I’ll be honest here: I just got murdered in college football today (App St. fumbling twice at the 2 yard line, Bama giving up an inexplicable deep TD, West Virginia getting lit up by a WR playing QB, etc.) and to soothe that pain, I’ve been drinking all of the bottled beer in a 20 yard radius. Most men might be deterred by losing a billion units in a single day of college football…not here…not today. We’ll just bet two billion for tomorrow. It’s the financially responsible decision.
To the picks…
CHICAGO (-7) over San Francisco
The Bears are hot, man. They’ve won three out of four and have covered seven of their last eight games. Now, here’s where someone might bring up the fact that they haven’t been favored once before this week and now they’re getting a full touchdown AND extra point (good thing we’ve got Robbie Gould). Does this concern me? Absolutely, unequivocally not.
I don’t know, I’ll probably buy a half point, but the 49ers STINK. They’re 0-5 on the road and 1-4 ATS on the road. They’re averaging 10.4 PPG in their last five and the Bears D is only giving up 15.5 in their last four. The Niners defense isn’t any better as they’re bottom five in the league in total and passing defense. Alshon’s back for the Bears and that’s big. They average 25.5 PPG with him and 16.0 without him.
To cap it all off, it’s a 10 a.m. PST game for San Fran and they’ve played in two other such games so far this season. Well, how’d it go, Lars? They lost by 25 to Pittsburgh and 21 to St. Louis. BEARS BIG.
Cincinnati (-9) at CLEVELAND
I got in on this line early and it’s up to ten now in most places. I like the pick at nine, but not sure about the play at ten because that’s quite a bit to give up on the road in a divisional game. Bengals won the first matchup 31-10 and since then Austin Davis is running QB1 for the Browns because Mike Pettine is a moron and won’t play Johnny because he had a quiet night out with friends and a couple drinks. Grow up, Mike.
Anyway, Bengals are 9-1-1 ATS and Cleveland is 2-8-1 ATS. Main reasons I like this play: Bengals score a lot of points and the Browns give up a lot of points. Browns don’t score a lot of points and the Bengals don’t give up a lot of points. I’m not gonna bore you with more stats than necessary. Additionally, the Browns are worst in the league at protecting their QB and the Bengals D is top ten in the league for QB sacks.
To put a cap on it, I think the Browns are about to quit after they just got their guts ripped out at home by the Ravens B squad. Last year, the Bengals and Browns were in similar situations and played a game in mid-December at Cleveland. Bengals won 30-0. BENGALS BIG. #FIREPETTINE #FREEJOHNNY
Baltimore (+3.5) over MIAMI
Miami had a nice hot new romance with Man Campbell for the first couple weeks after he took over. Since then, they’ve lost four games by double digits and three of them were 16+. They beat Philly by a point in one of the worst games of football execution I’ve ever witnessed. And, yeah, Matt Schaub is still playing QB1 for Baltimore, but they have won three out of their last four. They’re 4-7, but don’t forget they lost in brutal fashion for the first six weeks of the season. They have a ton of injuries, but Miami’s wide receivers are banged up right now, too. For all the preseason praise Miami’s D-Line got, the defense is the fourth worst in the league right now. All in all, I think Miami is so bad that there’s no reason they should be favored by more than a field goal over anybody in the league right now. If you’re feeling frisky, play the money line.
MINNESOTA (+2) over Seattle
Minnesota has had a couple of stink bombs this year, including one a couple of weeks ago against Green Bay. But they’re still 9-2 ATS and 8-3 straight up. This line just tells me everyone is still thinking of Seattle as the team from the past couple of years and not the one that started this year 2-4. They’re back to 6-5 because of a 4-1 stretch, but just look at what scrubs they’ve been beating. Of those four wins, two were against San Fran, one was against Dallas without Romo, and one was at home against Pittsburgh. They looked decent in their loss to Arizona. The Steelers and Cardinals are the two good teams there, so I looked at those games a little closer.
Against Arizona, they forced three turnovers. One was returned for a touchdown and one set them up at the three yard line for an easy Marshawn score. They still lost by seven in that game…at home.
Against Pittsburgh, they forced four turnovers, all interceptions. Two of those were against Landry Jones when he replaced Roethlisberger, who was absolutely SHREDDING their pass defense. The Legion of Boom is dead, but they got to feel all cocky and shit because they intercepted two of Landry’s four passes. Their turnovers led to three drives that started in Pittsburgh territory that turned into touchdowns.
The real point I’m trying to make here is that Seattle relied heavily on turnovers in those games. 7 of their 15 takeaways came in those two games. The other eight were spread across the other nine games. Minnesota ranks fourth in the league with only 11 turnovers all season. Vikings ain’t giving away the ball. Take the home dog.
TAMPA BAY (+1) over Atlanta
This line’s been jumping all over the place. Maybe it’s because Gerald McCoy isn’t gonna be there to clog up the middle for the Bucs, I don’t know. I still like the Bucs here for a couple of reasons. One, they won in Atlanta a few weeks ago. Two, they’re 5-2 ATS in their last seven and Atlanta hasn’t covered in their last seven games. They’ve lost the last four straight up. #FIRETHECANNONS
Indianapolis (+7.5) over PITTSBURGH
Indy is starting to play better, winning three straight and covering the last four. Pretty easy to argue they’re better off right now with Hasselbeck over Andrew Luck throwing two picks every week. The Colts are 5-0 as dogs this year and they’ve won three of those games. I think it’ll be a one possession game throughout.