Decent week for DEGEN, although slowing down still after a stunning debut. DEGEN went 5-9 this week (counting the Redskins game), which at 2.64 to 1 parlay odds, is still +$420 at $100 a wager. My picks meanwhile did significantly worse, hitting only 6 of 14 games, for a loss of $254.
Onto the picks!
1. Seattle + 7 @ San Francisco
I kind of still think the 49ers are the best team in football after the New York Football Squadron, but I’m fairly compelled to take the Seahawks here. They’re both strong defensive units with suspect offenses. Accordingly, I tend to expect a tight game, and I’m inclined to lean on the under 37.5 as well. Something like 14-10 49ers sounds about right to me. Sagarin/Massey have this as a push/Seahawks lean respectively.
2. Titans + 3 @ Bills
I think the Titans defeat of the Steelers was more about the downfall of Steel City. Meanwhile, I’m still kind of a fan of the Cardinals for some reason, so the Bills win there impressed me. Sort of. This isn’t like a game I want to sell the house to bet, but I kind of feel okay about the Bills here all the same. I think they’re a rung up from the Titans, and should be favored by 4.5 or so? Computers are on the Bills here.
3. Cardinals +6 @ Vikings
The others side of taking the Bills is that I’m committed to thinking the Cardinals will recover and show flashes of their undefeated start. I think their defense remains very good, and Skeletor will have a week of reps with the team again, so he may not keep throwing game ending interceptions. Plus, I think six points is a lof for anyone to be favored by. This is the year of Mike Trout after all – take the underdog all else being equal.
4. Browns +3 @ Colts
Okay, I admit I was on the super square side of the Brownies last week. I’ll also admit that’s probably gonna keep happening. Colts lost last week, Browns won? Gotta ride the streak, right? I’m not being sarcastic. Ride the streak. Maybe Wheedon will be better than Luck for some reason. Data likes the Brownies here.
5. Ravens +6.5 @ Texans
I know Ray Lewis and L. Webb (don’t want to look up the spelling) are out, but the Ravens are a very good team, and the Texans are missing one of their best defenders too. I think this is now six weeks in a row I’ve picked the Ravens. Only my desire to keep losing money on Phil Rivers will match my determination there. Take Baltimore, and take some moneyline action too. Actually, they might just win by double digits. Look into some alternate point spreads too.
6. Packers -5.5 @ Rams
Good gambling law tells me it’s mandatory to take the Rams here, and I’m not going to argue with that. That being said, Sagarin tells me the Packers should be favored by 10, and he doesn’t factor in stuff like “it’s on!”, which is clearly a thing now with Aaron Rodgers having his mojo back. That said, even a strong desire to bet the ultra sharp road favorite isn’t enough for me. Not after last week’s decision to lay the 9 with the Falcons. The search for the sharp big favorite will have to wait.
7. Cowboys -2 @ Carolina
Okay. Deal. I won’t take the Packers as road favorites, but how about the Cowboys? That’s gotta be a terrible bet too. Road favorite? Cowboys? All the makings of a wrong team favorite. I’m on board. This is strictly a “countercyclical” bet. Cowboys fans are furious with their team’s inability to win vs. Baltimore, and the Panthers should be fresh coming off a bye. All that adds up to a big Cowboys win for no reason.
8. Redskins +6 @ Giants
Gee Men. Thump thump. Gee Men. Thump Thump. I’m a Patriots fan, and thus sworn to hate this team, but my back is broken, and nobody will hang me in a giant rope thingy to fix it. Accordingly, I’m anointing the Giants as the best team in football, and thus expecting them to roll the rest of the way. If this game were on the road, I’d feel a lot better about the picking the champs, but that’s asking too much.
9. Saints -3 @ Bucs
Okay, this is probably my favorite bet. That doesn’t mean much of course, but it’s my favorite bet all the same. It’s a home dog, which is always good. It’s a slightly decent Bucs team facing an incredibly bad looking Saints team. I know the Saints beat the Chargers, but whatever – that’s Norvall for you. He could lose to a college team if he wanted it bad enough, and he wanted it bad that Monday night.
10. Jets +10.5 @ Patriots
Everything says the Patriots are broken, and the Jets will keep playing. I say this far, and no further. The Patriots are gonna take a dump on the Jets in an attempt to get the bandwagon rolling again, in time for a heartbreaking Week 1 playoff loss. It starts this Sunday with a 48-10 drubbing of the Jets. Bonus: Most of those points will be scored by the defense and the special teams.
11. Jaguars + 4 @ Raiders
I’d honestly rather watch either of these teams play Bama or something. At least that would have some novelty. I guess I’m reluctantly on the Raiders here, out of some belief that they’ve got some residual talent. The Jaguars might not have any at all. Also, I think Bama could give the Jags a game. And don’t tell me “all the guys on the worst NFL team were college stars.” First, that’s not true. Blaine Gabbert was not a star in college. Not even close. Second, all the guys on Bama are going to be playing in the NFL in a year or two. And some of them are going to be playing for good teams, unlike the Jags…
12. Steelers -2.5 @ Bengals
I think the Steelers aren’t that good, and a good friend of mine tells me to always take the dog in the AFC North. Plus it’s a home dog, which is always fun. The downside here is that normally, a home dog should be the team you can’t bring yourself to bet on. For instance, something like Texans -7 @ Cardinals or something. That’s not the case here. The Steelers have not been kind to moneyline bettors this year, so this line ended up being pretty small. I still like the Bengals, but how okay this bet feels is something to watch out for.
13. Lions +6.5 @ Bears
This can’t be right.