Week 10 was a great improvement for me in terms of overall record as I went 8-4 ATS on Sunday. But unfortunately, I lost half of my recommended wagers for a small loss. I really wish I could have a couple of those wagers back, and you can probably guess which games I’m referring to.
After the public’s slaughter of the books last week, you would have went three for five if you blindly bet against the staggering public plays yesterday afternoon (Patriots, Giants, Broncos, Lions, Cowboys).
Anyways, I have plenty of excuses for my incorrect picks this week, so let’s get this started.
Bills @ Patriots
- Closing Odds: Bills -13.5, total 54.5
- Predicted Outcome: Patriots 31, Bills 24
- Actual Outcome: Patriots 37, Bills 31
I’m still shocked that the Patriots won this game. Buffalo managed to commit 14 penalties for 148 yards and still had a chance to knock off New England at home. Most of Buffalo’s penalties were legitimate except for one terrible call on Stephon Gilmore in the endzone that essentially gifted the Patriots a touchdown. Penalties aside, there were a number of other reasons for Buffalo’s demise. For starters, Ryan Shitspatrick predictably blew up in the last two minutes of the game throwing a brutal interception. It’s hard to imagine that this assbag actually once studied at Harvard. The rest of the blame has to fall on Chan Gailey for continually leaning on Fred Jackson instead of C.J. Spiller. Spiller had 131 total yards on 13 touches while Jackson was coughing up the ball all afternoon, but I guess that that doesn’t matter much to Gailey. Buffalo’s season is all but done and even though they host the reeling Dolphins on Thursday Night Football, they’ll probably get shellacked. As for New England, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. They’ve been far worse at home this season than they have been on the road. I’d love to bet on them against Andrew Luck and the Colts next week but their track record at Foxborough hasn’t been very good.
Giants @ Bengals
- Closing Odds: Giants -4, total 47.5
- Predicted Outcome: Giants 23, Bengals 21
- Actual Outcome: Bengals 31, Giants 13
Usually I blindly bet on Cincinnati against bad football teams and fade them against good football teams, but my gut feeling this week was that they’d keep the game close. I was wrong. This game was never close as the Bengals proceeded to lay a beatdown on the defending Super Bowl champions. I’m not really going to read too much into this game. The Giants were awful in pretty much all aspects of the game but considering nearly every NFL team has been awful in the game before their bye week this season, I’ll give New York a pass. They’ll be hearing about how terrible they are for the next two weeks and will likely beat Green Bay in Week 12 after their bye week. After all, they did it in the playoffs last season when most people didn’t give them a chance. As for Cincinnati, they played a pretty good all-around football game. Andy Dalton looked surprisingly useful but I wouldn’t overreact to this game too much considering the Giants didn’t show up to play. The Bengals are listed as only a 3.5-point road favorite in Kansas City next week which basically tells you what the oddsmakers think of them right now.
Chargers @ Buccaneers
- Closing Odds: Bucs -3, total 47
- Predicted Outcome: Bucs 27, Chargers 20
- Actual Outcome: Bucs 34, Chargers 24
Classic Chargers. No San Diego loss would be complete without giving up a special teams touchdown on a punt block and having Philip Rivers gift the opposing defense with a pick six. Aside from those two terrible plays, the Chargers actually played one of their best games of the season, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the two huge mistakes. Norv Turner really needs to be fired at this point. That’s the only way out of this hole for the Chargers. San Diego travels to Denver to battle Peyton Manning and the Broncos next week, and I just don’t envision that being a close game unless the Chargers can cut down their mistakes. As for Tampa Bay, they improved to 5-4 on the season and more importantly, 7-2 ATS for bettors. The Bucs didn’t play all that great this week but they continue to win despite their atrocious secondary. Another winnable game is on deck next week when Tampa travels to Carolina to battle Cam Newton and the Panthers. If the Bucs catch a couple of breaks down the stretch this season, they could be a playoff team.
Broncos @ Panthers
- Closing Odds: Broncos -4, total 47
- Predicted Outcome: Panthers 24, Broncos 23
- Actual Outcome: Broncos 36, Panthers 14
The Panthers may have been blown out here, but I’m still convinced that they were the right side. Carolina trailed Denver 7-3 but looked like they were going to give the Broncos a game until Denver caught a massive break. Trindon Holliday returned a Panthers’ punt 76 yards for what appeared to be a touchdown until a replay showed that Holliday dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line, which should have resulted in a touchback. Every touchdown play gets reviewed so you’d figure that this touchdown would have been overturned, but inexplicably, this was completely missed. Holliday was awarded the touchdown, the Broncos went up 14-3, and the rest was history. That play completely altered the momentum of the game and forced the Panthers to play catchup, which they’re not very good at. Carolina drops to 2-7 and at this point would be better off tanking every game for the rest of the season to move up the draft board and find Cam Newton a legitimate target. As for the Broncos, start placing some Super Bowl futures on them now. They have a ridiculously easy schedule down the stretch and will likely earn themselves home-field advantage in the AFC. Peyton Manning is going to be awfully tough to beat with that thin air in Denver.
Raiders @ Ravens
- Closing Odds: Ravens -7.5, total 48
- Predicted Outcome: Ravens 31, Raiders 28
- Actual Outcome: Ravens 55, Raiders 20
Here’s my first big regret of the week. I know that the Ravens are a great home team and I know that the Raiders are a steaming pile of garbage, but I still decided to place 4-units down on Oakland this week. The Raiders played well in an early game in Atlanta earlier this year so I figured the early start time wouldn’t affect them. I was dead wrong and I knew it pretty early on. Oakland decided to go for it on 4th-and-1 around midfield in the first quarter and Carson Palmer proceeded to trip over his own feet after snapping the ball. I immediately turned to a friend of mine and uttered “the Raiders are losing by a minimum of four touchdowns today”. That was my first accurate prediction in this game. Oakland hosts New Orleans next week in what would appear to be a prime bounce-back spot. New Orleans just won their Super Bowl against Atlanta this week and the Raiders are coming off of a blowout loss, so I’ll probably hold my nose and bet on Oakland next week. As for Baltimore, I don’t give them much of a chance of winning in Pittsburgh next week. Historically, the Ravens-Steelers matchups have been pretty close, but this Ravens defense isn’t close to what it was in years past.
Falcons @ Saints
- Closing Odds: Falcons -2, total 53.5
- Predicted Outcome: Saints 30, Falcons 24
- Actual Outcome: Saints 31, Falcons 27
This was the Saints’ Super Bowl and they played like it. New Orleans has owned Atlanta in the last few seasons and despite falling down ten points early in the game, the Saints outscored the Falcons 31-17 down the stretch en route to a tight victory. New Orleans now improves to 4-5 and keeps their playoff hopes alive, but I still don’t think they’re going anywhere. Everyone will talk about this game like it was some sort of turning point for the Saints, but they’ll completely forget that New Orleans actually lost to Kansas City at home this season… that’s right, Kansas City… at home. As I mentioned above, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Saints lose to Oakland next weekend. As for Atlanta, they weren’t going to get by on smoke and mirrors forever. Mike Smith continues to use Michael Turner heavily in his offense despite the fact that Turner looks like he turned 104 earlier this month. The lack of a running game constantly forces Matt Ryan into third-and-long situations, and that just won’t cut it against the better teams in the league. The Falcons return home next week and welcome the Cardinals to town, but that could be a dangerous game with Arizona coming off of their bye.
Lions @ Vikings
- Closing Odds: Lions -3, total 46
- Predicted Outcome: Lions 26, Vikings 13
- Actual Outcome: Vikings 34, Lions 24
I wanted to vomit watching this game. I’m a complete idiot for wagering any money whatsoever on a team that is coached by Jim Schwartz, but I fell right into the trap. I figured that the Vikings offense would struggle considerably without Percy Harvin in the lineup, but I completely overlooked the fact that the Lions would have no answer whatsoever for Adrian Peterson. Big mistake. Detroit’s been screwed over by the NFL schedule makers this season having played six of their first nine games on the road so they still have a chance to turn things around, but they need to fix some big issues. If they continue to take stupid penalties and employ a 2:1 pass to run ratio, they’re going to get destroyed by the Packers next weekend. As for Minnesota, they head into their bye week with a solid 6-4 record and will have a full two weeks to prepare for a huge divisional matchup with the Bears in Week 12. The Vikings have benefited from a lot of favorable situations this season and it’s time to start giving them a legitimate chance of being a playoff team.
Jets @ Seahawks
- Closing Odds: Seahawks -5, total 38.5
- Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 17, Jets 16
- Actual Outcome: Seahawks 28, Jets 7
This is undoubtedly my biggest regret of the week. I took the Jets this week figuring that they would have had a full two weeks to incorporate Tim Tebow more heavily into their offense, but instead, New York rolled out the same vanilla offense that they’ve been losing with all year. Rex Ryan is a stubborn fool with an ego the size of his gut. We’ve seen enough of Mark Sanchez to know that he’s a complete dud, so there’s really no risk in turning things over to Tebow right now. My blood is actually boiling just thinking about this game. The worst part about losing with the Jets this week is that they were actually in a position to take the lead on multiple occasions in the first half, but were ultimately done in by Sanchez being a complete moron. The Jets have now lost three games in a row and are an underdog in St. Louis next Sunday. As for Seattle, I should almost consider blindly betting on them in every single one of their home games. Even when the Seahawks don’t play their best game, they still find a way to cover spreads at CenturyLink Field.
Cowboys @ Eagles
- Closing Odds: Cowboys -2.5, total 44.5
- Predicted Outcome: Cowboys 27, Eagles 19
- Actual Outcome: Cowboys 38, Eagles 23
As a Cowboys fan, I’ll try to remain as impartial as possible in this recap. Dallas didn’t play a very good game and still managed to win by more than two touchdowns. That should tell you all you need to know about the state of the Eagles’ franchise right now. Philadelphia managed to hang around for the first half of the game, but ultimately couldn’t get it done when it mattered most. Most people will point to Michael Vick’s injury as the turning point in the game, but Vick hadn’t turned the ball over yet, so Dallas probably would have recovered a fumble or two had Vick stayed in the game for the second half. Truth be told, Vick’s injury was a blessing in disguise. Vick isn’t the problem in Philadelphia but the Eagles need to see what they have in Nick Foles to see if they have a legitimate quarterback of the future. Philly’s season is over so Foles should get the start in Washington next weekend, but I doubt Andy Reid will actually make the switch if Vick is deemed healthy enough to play. Don’t even get me started on Reid. As for Dallas, they return home to play the Browns next weekend in a must-win game if they want to have any shot of making the posteason. Someone may also want to let Morris Claiborne know that grabbing opposing receivers 20 yards down the field is frowned upon.
Rams @ 49ers
- Closing Odds: 49ers -13.5, total 38
- Predicted Outcome: 49ers 20, Rams 13
- Actual Outcome: 49ers 24, Rams 24 (tie game)
I hate ties. I can’t really give you a reason for hating them, but I do. Maybe it’s because they remind me of soccer, or Donovan McNabb, or the old-NHL, which then reminds me that there’s no hockey due to a lockout that could have easily been avoided. In fairness though, if there was ever a game that deserved to end up without a winner, it was this one. Aside from Jeff Fisher showing some massive balls and converting on two fake punts in the same game, both teams did their best to squander any opportunities they had of winning. St. Louis had a game-winning 79-yard touchdown negated by an illegal formation penalty and then had their game-winning 53-yard field goal taken off the board due to a delay of game penalty. Greg Zuerlein a.k.a. Legatron, then proceeded to miss the 58-yard field goal attempt to the right. For the 49ers, David Akers had a chance to win the game with a 41-yard field goal attempt in overtime, but he proceeded to piss himself in front of the tens of thousands in attendance at Candlestick Park. The only thing worse than the performance of the two teams in this game was the performance of the zebras. These refs had no fucking clue what they were doing. If you’re ever looking for a great drinking game, watch a replay of this game and take a drink every time one of the refs screws something up—I can guarantee you’ll be drunk by the end of the first quarter.
Texans @ Bears
- Closing Odds: Bears -1, total 37
- Predicted Outcome: Texans 20, Bears 16
- Actual Outcome: Texans 13, Bears 6
My God this was a terrible game. I PVR’ed this one in favor of watching The Walking Dead and Dexter and I’m really glad I did because I found myself fast forwarding for most of the game. It was obvious that these refs were watching the 49ers-Rams game from earlier because they were just as clueless. While I’m glad that I nailed my Houston pick, the Texans received some extremely favorable calls that could have altered the outcome of this game. Chicago was epically bad on offense though. They couldn’t move the ball all night and when they were able to pick up first downs, they would promptly fumble the ball away to the Texans at the end of the play. Jay Cutler was predictably awful, so I figured it would help the Bears when Jason Campbell came in to replace the concussed quarterback at half-time, but apparently, Campbell has been spending way too much time around Cutler. Campbell was brutal and despite the fact the Texans never led by more than a touchdown, the outcome of the game was never really in doubt. I also feel the need to point out that the worst player on the field on Sunday night was Brian Urlacher. Urlacher was missing tackles all night and clearly isn’t healthy right now. That’s something to keep an eye on down the stretch the season. Chicago travels to San Francisco to battle the ’9ers on Monday Night Football next week which should make for an interesting game. Houston is awesome and will probably be a 124-point favorite over Jacksonville at home.
Before I get to my Monday Night Football pick, I have to share something with you. In my Week 9 NFL betting preview, some assclown named Henry decided to post a comment ripping my picks. In my preview for this week’s game, I took a shot at Henry, calling him a jackass for not being willing to bet more than three plays in a given week. Obviously this comment attracted Henry’s attention and he decided that he would post his plays for this week’s games for everyone to see.
What’s particularly interesting about this post is that he picked both St. Louis and San Francisco this week. As 100% of you are aware, St. Louis and San Francisco played each other this week. What makes this even more intriguing is that I’m not sure if these picks were against the spread or straight up considering there was no mention of any lines in his post.
Seeing as how there were no spreads posted here, I’m going to assume that these picks are straight up. This marks the first time in the history of the world where someone took both teams to win a game outright, and still managed to lose. Congratulations Henry. You’ve done something that I deemed to be impossible.
Just in case Henry meant these picks to be ATS (in which case he should specify that next time), his record was a whopping 3-5 if you include both picks in the Rams-49ers game. I’m assuming it would have been 2-5 because he’s a huge square and would have probably taken San Francisco. Once again, congratulations.
Monday Night Football Pick
I’m not going to waste anyone’s time here. I have no opinion on tonight’s game and will probably try to catch Skyfall at my local cinema instead of enduring a painful three hours of Jon Gruden talk about how great Ben Roethlisberger is.
I’m well aware of how good the Steelers are and I’m well aware of how bad the Chiefs are. I’m also aware that Todd Haley is the offensive coordinator of the Steelers and would love nothing more than to run up the score against a weak Kansas City defense. But I’m a sucker for double-digit underdogs.
No one really gave Buffalo or St. Louis a chance yesterday, but they both could have won their games outright. I’m not saying the Chiefs are going to win outright here, but I think it’s more likely that they keep this game within 13-points than getting blown out.
This would appear to be a terrible spot for Pittsburgh. The Steelers are coming off of a hard-fought emotional victory over the defending Super Bowl Champions, and they have to play a game against the lowly Chiefs before a HUGE game next week against their biggest rival, the Ravens. Pittsburgh is just 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a win, while Kansas City is 5-2 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record. Kansas City will be well rested following their Thursday game against the Chargers and might just catch Pittsburgh in a flat spot here. Steelers 24, Chiefs 17
Week 11 Early Lines
Last but not least, here are my thoughts on the early posted numbers for next week’s games.
Dolphins @ Bills -1 – The public loves to overreact to last week. Buffalo could have beaten New England while the Dolphins got blown out by one of the worst teams in the league. People will be lining up to bet on Buffalo even though Miami has been a great play as an underdog in recent years. The Dolphins should really be favored here.
Eagles @ Redskins -3 – Regardless of who’s the starting quarterback for Philadelphia, I can’t envision the public not betting on Washington coming off of their bye week. The Redskins are notoriously a terrible home favorite but it’s extremely hard to back the Eagles at this point. They could easily be winless right now.
Packers @ Lions +3.5 – Green Bay is going to be a heavily back road favorite coming off of their bye. After watching the Lions get beat down in Minnesota this week, it’ll be tough to envision them keeping it close with Green Bay. It’s possible that the bye week could have disrupted the Packers’ momentum though.
Cardinals @ Falcons -10 – Arizona’s stock couldn’t be any lower right now, so even with the Falcons coming off of a loss, they’ll probably see the majority of the action here. The Cardinals are coming off of a bye, they’re a double-digit dog, and the Falcons haven’t won a home game by more than six points this season. I think I know where my money will be.
Bucs @ Panthers +1.5 – All aboard the Bucs’ bandwagon. The public is falling in love with Tampa Bay right now and they beat Carolina in Week 1, so they’ll be a heavily bet road favorite here. Even with how well the Bucs are playing, Carolina should be favored at home here. There’s a lot of line value with Cam Newton IMO.
Browns @ Cowboys -7.5 – Dallas will probably be the most heavily bet team in Week 11. There’s a perception that Dallas has turned their season around after their beatdown of the Eagles, but don’t ignore the fact that Philly sucks. Cleveland is usually a great underdog bet and Dallas is usually a horrible bet as a home favorite. This game may be closer than you think.
Jets @ Rams -3 – People are done putting their hard earned money down on Mark Sanchez. The Jets are a trainwreck and the Rams just tied the 49ers, so St. Louis will see heavy action here. It’s hard to make a case for New York right now because their offense is epically poor, but take note that they’ve responded well after every blowout loss this season.
Colts @ Patriots -9 – I really think that Indianapolis will be a publicly backed underdog next week. New England has struggled at home and has a Thursday night game on deck against the Jets, while the Colts are coming off of extra rest. Personally, I don’t think Indianapolis is very good and this may be a statement game for New England, so I wouldn’t be too comfortable getting only nine points.
Jaguars @ Texans -16 – This spread could be 24 and Houston would still take in more action than Jacksonville. The Jaguars are a terrible football team but they’ve been much better on the road this season, so 16-points is definitely hard to pass up… even against a team as solid as the Texans.
Bengals @ Chiefs +3.5 – This line could obviously change depending on tonight’s result, but Cincinnati is still going to get a ton of action in this game. After all, the Bengals tend to beat up on bad teams and they just steamrolled the defending champs. Still though, I’m not convinced that Cincinnati is very good and there’s no way I want to be laying points with them on the road.
Saints @ Raiders +4.5 – At least 80% of wagers on this game will come in on New Orleans. This looks like the ultimate letdown spot for the Saints after winning their Super Bowl against Atlanta this week. The Raiders have looked atrocious in the last couple of weeks so it’s definitely going to be tough to back them, but they shouldn’t have many issues moving the ball against the Saints defense.
Chargers @ Broncos -7.5 – It’s really hard to find someone who wants to bet on the Chargers right now. San Diego continues to make the same old mistakes under Norv Turner and now has to take on the unstoppable force that is the Denver Broncos. The Chargers’ season is on the line here though, so I won’t be in a rush to lay more than a touchdown with Denver.
Ravens @ Steelers -3.5 – Again, this line could change depending on the outcome of tonight’s game, but these Steelers-Ravens matchups tend to generate 50/50 action. In the past, I’ve almost always taken the underdog in these games but I think Pittsburgh is a far superior team this year. And the Ravens have struggled mightily on the road.
Bears @ 49ers -5 – There’s four possible combinations of starting quarterbacks in this game (Cutler & Smith, Cutler & Kaepernick, Campbell & Smith, Campbell & Kaepernick) so I can’t even speculate as to how people will bet this game. I don’t even have any clue how I’ll bet this game right now.