I’ve enjoyed a modestly successful 2017-2018 NFL season. Since posting picks weekly here at my website, I’ve now posted 4 winning seasons, and 2 losing seasons. I’m slightly ahead overall after six years, and that includes more than 1,000 NFL wagers since I began doing this prior to the start of the 2012 NFL regular season (note that I posted picks at other sites prior to launching this site, dating back to 1996…years which were far more successful before picking winners became increasingly difficult).
If you think Donald Trump and Archie Bunker are very much alike, wait until you read about the differences. Fact is, the President doesn’t have any of Archie’s virtues.
I ask myself three questions when writing a move review:
1. Did I like the movie?
2. Was the movie well-made?
3. Did I gain something from seeing the movie?
Generally, if I can answer “yes” to all three questions, then I give the movie my recommendation. One or two affirmative responses means the movie is borderline. Zero “yes” answers means I probably hated the film, assuming I didn’t storm out before the movie ended.
2017 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BALANCE: $11,530. (+$1,530.)
OVERALL W-L RECORD: 56 wins / 45 loses / 3 pushes
Week #1 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$250
Week #2 — 1 win, 0 losses = net +$350
Week #3 — 7 wins, 2 losses = net +$1,070
Week #4 — 1 win, 1 loss = net -$20
Week #5 — 7 wins, 3 losses = net +$740
Week #6 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$40
Week #7 — 3 wins, 4 losses, 1 push = net -$280
Week #8 — 4 wins, 2 losses = net +$360
Week #9 — 2 wins, 2 losses = net -$270
Week #10 — 9 wins, 6 losses = net +$480
Week #11 — 3 wins, 4 losses = net -$280
Week #12 — 2 wins, 4 losses = net -$480
Week #13 — 4 wins, 2 losses = net +$360
Week #14 — 4 wins, 4 losses = net -80
Week #15 — 2 wins, 2 losses, 1 push = net +$60
Week #16 — 2 wins, 3 losses = net -$370
LAST WEEK’S UPDATE: Last week, I posted 2 wins and 3 losses — for a net loss of -$370. The killer was Detroit inexplicably losing to Cincinnati (Lions’ bumbling offensive lineman, Don Barclay, played one of the worst games I’ve ever witnessed — committing three key penalties in the fourth quarter alone — that probably cost his team the game and me a couple of units in profit). With yet another lackluster weekend, I’m stumbling out of breath towards the finish line with a small profit. This puts me at +11 games over .500 for the season after 16 weeks. I’m hitting about 56 percent entering the final week of the regular season.
WINLESS TEAMS UPDATE: The “bet on winless teams” angle continues getting hammered. Last week, Cleveland (the NFL’s only remaining winless team) lost yet again — both straight up and against the spread. The system is now 7-12 for the season for a loss of -6.2 units. This week, the Browns are getting +6.5 at Pittsburgh, which is expected to rest many starters (line opened at -13.5). What I’m about to say probably makes no sense, but I think the Browns might win this game outright for reasons which I’ll explain below.
THIS WEEK’S PICKS:
On to this week’s games (lines current as of Saturday afternoon). I made 1 wager, but also have several strong leans:
Buffalo at Miami
Picking Buffalo as a road favorite isn’t usually a profitable strategy. However, the Bills are playing their most meaningful late-season game in years. For this reason, I expect they’ll get the victory. Miami has played well at home, notably upsetting New England three weeks ago. But that was a MNF game and this is a season closer on New Year’s Eve. Buffalo won the first game relatively easy in Week #14. Tipping point for a bet on Buffalo was announcement that (4th stringer coming into the season) QB David Fales will probably get some playing time. It makes no sense to play Jay Cutler the entire game. If Fales gets significant playing time, that should be enough of an edge for the more experienced Bills. QB Tyrod Taylor has enjoyed his best games against the Dolphins. Laying the -2.5 appears to be a reasonable wager.
Buffalo -2.5 vs. Miami (Risking $330 to win $300)
OTHER GAMES AND THOUGHTS:
Cincinnati getting +9 at Baltimore is a tempting wager. Ravens uncertain offensively and playing in weather expected to be in teens. Bengals rose to the occasion in last home game for outgoing head coach Marvin Lewis and could be feisty here as a big dog. Lean Cincinnati and OVER.
Green Bay getting +7.5 looks to be the play against Detroit, which shit the bed last week and has nothing to play for. Hard to see which teams will show up for this one. For that reason, getting more than a touchdown looks like the way to go. Lions offensive line healthy again (two starters returning after missing game due to injury last week). But does that matter in a meaningless game. Lean Packers and UNDER.
I don’t know how Carolina is getting +4 in this game against Atlanta. Obviously, the Falcons need to win to make playoffs. However, this number looks a little high. I’d make it +3 at most. Lean Panthers and OVER.
Will Tampa Bay show up for its final home game against New Orleans? The Bucs sure played some good teams tough the last few weeks — almost beating Carolina and Atlanta. I won’t lay -6.5 with Saints in game where we can’t be sure they’ll play at 100 percent. Lean Tampa Bay and UNDER.
Neither team is expected to show much in the Jacksonville-Tennessee contest. These teams could play again in playoffs. Look for sluggish offenses and at least one team to have trouble scoring points. Strong lean to the UNDER 40.5
NY Jets +16 at New England might be worth a look in a game expected to be played in brutally cold temperatures. Question is — when will Patriots call off the wolves? I suspect second half will be very low scoring once Pats establish some early dominance. Lean Pats minus points in first half and the UNDER in second half and UNDER 43 for the game.
Impossible to predict the Houston-Indianapolis game. I want to fade the Texans who have clearly given up for the season. But how can the Colts be laying -5.5 to anyone. Very unpredictable matchup with no obvious side or total play.
Bettors who who very early might have got Cleveland at +13. Then the announcement came that most of the Steelers key starters will take the day off. Line has dropped to -6 and is even -5.5 in some places. I’d like at least a touchdown to be the dreadful Browns. But they do have motivation here to avoid the winless season, while Steelers are essentially playing for nothing and giving this the attention of a pre-season game. Strong lean to Cleveland and probably the best moneyline value on this board this week.
Despite the cold, I expect a higher scoring game in the Washington-New York contest than is being predicted by the 40.5 total. Two experienced quarterbacks and probably Eli Manning’s last game as a Giant. Frigid weather, but I expect at least one offense will roll up some points, so this is a strong lean to the OVER.
I’ve been on the Minnesota train for a while and see no reason to depart. Vikings laying -12.5 against Bears. Look for Minnesota to score enough to get the cover and shut down the Bears one-dimensional offense. Lean Minnesota -12.5 and UNDER.
I have no opinion on the Dallas-Philadelphia game. Lots of money poured in on Dallas. I realize Philadelphia has nothing to play for with home field locked up in NFC. But how will Dallas react to a cold weather road game with nothing to play for, as well? Lean Philadelphia +4.
San Francisco probably the right side playing at LA Rams. 49ers are shooting for fifth straight win, which was unthinkable a few months ago. Plenty of pride left on 49ers while Rams could go through the motions preparing to host a playoff game next weekend. Lean San Francisco laying -4.
Chargers laying a touchdown to Oakland which has fumbled away two wins in each of the last two weeks. Probably a situation where it’s Raiders plus 7 or nothing, but I’m going to pass. No real lean or opinion.
Seattle looks teasable at -8.5 but I couldn’t find a good pairing. Seahawks -8.5 could be a trap. Even though Cardinals are starting Stanton in the revolving door of QBs, I’m not sure Seattle deserves to be laying this number. Seahawks haven’t been the usual force at home. I like Seattle on the teaser at -2.5, but no higher than that.
Denver favored by a field goal over visiting Kansas City, which is resting many starters, including QB Alex Smith. Paxton Lynch starting for Broncos and his teams is favored? I haven’t seen any indication this is an NFL-caliber QB. I’d take Chiefs if forced to make a play. However, Denver defense might have enough pride left to completely shut down Kansas City. UNDER 37.5 looks to be worth a look.