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Well, that happened and by “that,” I mean week four. 

Everyone except for like one person I know got their asses handed to them on bets last week, so there’s safety in numbers. The outcomes that we should have seen coming, but didn’t are Cleveland, Detroit, and Dallas. I don’t want to spend too much time on them, but this is as good an opportunity as any for a learning moment.

But before that, a note on Thursday night.

I really hoped you followed us with bets on the Rams. Classic bounce back spot and they came within about four feet of winning outright on a kick that a lot of people would have been their house on Greg the Leg making. That game was insanely good. 

Cleveland was coming off an embarrassing loss. They are supremely talented and we all knew Balty was not going to be playing at their historic level on the defensive side.

For me, it’s about allowing the mess ups and the lack of focus cloud my usually clear view when it comes to bounce back spots and THAT was as big of a bounce back spot for Cleveland as you’ll ever see. I stand by my statement that Baltimore has a superior coaching staff, but recognize that Cleveland flashed their creative potential and Nick Chubb is a straight up stud and I ignored the bounce back spot staring my in the face. That was dumb. 

I’m all in on Beowulf Minshew.

I’m not saying he is taking them to the playoffs just yet, but he’s completing 69-percent of his passes, is averaging 10.8 yards per pass attempt, has seven TDs to one pick, moves well in the pocket, has a good feel for where pressure is coming from, and a team that looked like it could be a dysfunctional mess has coalesced around this guy.

When you watch Jags games pay close attention to how he behaves between drives. He’s collected, attentive, confidently going through play selection and diagnosing the defense with the coaches. The guy is ON IT. That’s not to say Foles will be packing his bags for Minnesota, but he should be. A sixth round draft choice on a cheap contract with mobility, pocket presence, and who is clearly in control of himself?

Look, I know the guys who do talent evaluation for a living supposedly know more than we do and I know Foles will be starting when he heals up because he’s got an $88 million contract, but the eye test sells me on this guy. Sure, it could all come crashing down, but I just have a gut feeling this fun ride isn’t a flash in the pan.

Speaking of gut feelings, I think the Broncos still have a shit ton of talent, but because their quarterback is Joe Flacco

It’s going to be hard for them to cover games. Catching them coming off a couple hard luck losses as they head to San Die … er Carson, Ca to play the Chargers and their myriad injuries.

Getting almost a touchdown against a team that is historically bad at covering as a favorite. Check this shit out, the Chargers are 5-9-1 ATS as a “home” favorite since 2017. Jesus, Deano, why don’t you dip into your fortune and build your own stadium in San Diego, you loser.

Any time you think about laying money on the Chargers just remember that their owner asked a bunch of retired Marines and sailors to chip in over a billion dollars in taxes so he could have his capital infrastructure costs covered. That alone makes me want to fade the Chargers until the sun swallows the Earth.  

Matt Stafford still has it.

He was dropping dimes on what is clearly a crap KC defense. Hint: Keep on eye on how high KC O/U numbers go before blindly betting them. Detroit hung in there and could have won outright if a couple things break their way and Detroit is sneaky good.

Maybe the Rocket Scientist isn’t as stupid at football as I thought.

The Colts…

The Colts are still one of my darlings, but they have a slew of injuries now, so proceed with caution when it comes to Indy.

Their injury report includes TY Hilton, Malik Hooker, Tyquan Lewis, Marlon Mack, and Darius Leonard. That’s brutal going into KC.

Tread lightly if you’re even thinking of the Colts on the ML. You’re probably a square though, so you’re thinking Mahomes at home is guaranteed, but keep in mind it’s going to be double digits. Please, please, please, for the love of all that is unholy, do not put yourself in a position where you have to be relying on covering 10.5 point spread bets to save your bacon. 

Dallas looked lost on Sunday.

It was bound to happen and it came as a short road favorite in primetime with basically the whole world on them. Note to self: Remember how you always say fading the public is a great bet? Remember that next time, dummy.

I wouldn’t read to much into it. They had a bad game and Dak was probably due for one. It was also proof positive that they cannot just slam Zeke into the line repeatedly and expect to win. I’d like to think Kellen Moore is going to mix things up against Green Bay, but since the Packers are getting gashed against the run we’ll see. 

Anyways, the Saints…

They have given us two games with Teddy under center and are clearly comfortable going into grind-it-out mode and dragging other teams down. That’s a perfectly acceptable strategy, so bet the Saints accordingly until they show they are going to trust Teddy with a more wide-open game plan.

The Bears are better with Chase Daniel which is bad news because Mitch is a really bad QB…

And Daniel is no better than a serviceable backup who has never started a season as any team’s starter while Colin Kaepernick is still unsigned. The Bears defense can win games by themselves and competent QB play will keep them in the mix. Just imagine what they could do if they had Josh Rosen.

Speaking of, Rosen deserves so much better.

Put him on a team like the Bears or Buffalo and those teams would really be cooking with duck fat. I have a couple Bears fans buddies who are visiting voodoo priests in New Orleans right this second asking for that to happen. 


Week 5 NFL Best Bets

Ravens -3.5/-180 ML vs. Steelers +160

O/U 44
So, right away the market is telling me that betting the Ravens is not going to be cheap, especially in a bounce back spot against a division rival. Sure, on the surface Balty’s stats look great, but they lost to a Super Bowl contender and then got blasted away at home by the Browns.

The Steelers are not suddenly ready to steamroll the AFC North because they beat the Garanimals, but uh, they did what they normally do: Involved their running backs, took a couple shots downfield, and held serve with time of possession. They still have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, so just dismissing them at home against a popular public team is very dangerous. 

Is it just me, or did you watch the Garanimals/Steelers and think that they should make Jaylen Samuels the starter? For my money James Conner is plenty solid, but he is basically a one cut guy whereas Jaylen is shifty and good in the open field. I snagged him as a handcuff in a couple fantasy leagues and like his potential. If the Steelers keep up the multi-back look, which is pretty smart, they have some options as they get Mason Rudolph worked in. 

Rudolph is not going to remind anyone of Big Ben, but he’s in a system designed to hook QBs up with high percentage passes and give him space to work. I like that.

I am not the biggest Tomlin fan, but I do give him a TON of credit for keeping the Steelers competitive after losing all of the Killer B’s. Ask any other coach to deal with losing his best QB, RB, and WR and then ask him to stay competitive. Tomlin’s doing it and shut up about the Niners game. The Niners are pretty good and Pittsburgh covered. Well, at least for me they did. 

Balty is getting a lot of love and they should. They are still super talented on offense, they are coming off a shellacking, and even with the inflated numbers from the Miami game are legit dangerous. They can run, they can throw, but their defense is ehhhhhhhhhhhhh, oh god, I took them in fantasy because I am stupid. Look, I am not going to say Rudolph is on the same level as Mayfield. He’s not. But with a two-headed running back look and JuJu being JuJu, I am very happy. 

ANYWAYS, motivation is high on both sides of the ball. Division rivalry, motivation for Balty coming off a terrible performance, and Pitt coming off a great performance against a shit team. This is the sort of game where stats kinda go out the window because the coaches and players know each other well. But do the players really know each other that well? The Steelers are in a really new look right now but with the same system. 

I’m gonna cut through the bullshit and just pick the Steelers. I like them as a home dog. I like this being a one score game. I like the hook. I like the Steelers possibly winning outright, but it’s gonna be a tight one. Ask yourself this: If Pittsburgh had won in Santa Clara and both teams are 2-2 would the Ravens still be favored on the road? I do, but by maybe 1 or 1.5. 

The Pick: Give me the Steelers +3.5 @ Unibet

Bears -5.5, -240 ML vs. Raiders +200 ML

O/U 40 

The public is streaming to the Bears and for good reason. Mitch is out, Daniels is in, the Bears defense is legit one of the best in football, and the Raiders are still the Raiders. I’ll say this though, the Raiders being 2-2 right now is an achievement for them. Seriously, everyone figured they’d be 1-3, but they did work in Indy.

Now, losing Burfict is not inconsequential. Homey is a seriously good linebacker, but hitting people in the head is what gets him gassed as opposed to winning. Now they have a big fat hole in their linebacking corps. Good luck filling it. 

This is also a great spot for the Bears. They put the hurt on Minnesota and are feeling it. Chase Daniels is not a serious starter, but he is better than Mitch and can run the offense competently. Like, I don’t even feel the need to run a bunch of numbers on this one because it feels like if this game were played in 1435 Khalil Mack would rip off Derek Carr’s head a-la The Mountain and toss it at the feet of Jon Gruden.

I feel pain coming for the Raiders in this one. Give me the Bears all day. 

The Pick: Bears -5.5 @ SugarHouse

Packers +3.5, +165 ML vs. Cowboys -185

O/U 47

I am still feeling pissed about Green Bay giving away that game against Philly. The Flower’s decisions in the red zone and his inability to make adjustments are incredibly frustrating. It’s also terrible to see Rodgers wasted like this. The guy should have already been in at least three Super Bowls, but no. Instead it’s a lot of tantalizing what-if’s. 

Anyways, the Pack are on extra rest and prep which I would normally mark as a positive, but Dallas is coming off a lackluster performance in a game that around 99.9999 percent of the world thought they would win and are coming back to Jerry World. Now, since 2017 Dallas is 7-6-1 ATS as a home favorite. Not great, not terrible, but Green Bay is 5-7-1 as a road dog.

Green Bay is vastly improved on defense and are ranked third against the pass, but 26th against the run. That doesn’t bode well facing the best O-line in football and Zeke who are fifth in the league in rushing offense. 

Sure, Rodgers is Rodgers, but after the first quarter things get dicey because the Packers play-calling becomes suspect. I do not think they will continue to screw up the red zone, but I also don’t expect them to spend a lot of time there because the Cowboys are seventh against the run and 10th against the pass. Davante Adams has been ruled out, so there goes Rodgers’ most reliable target and now it’s gonna be a lot of Aaron Jones, right? What does Green Bay do, rely on Rodgers freelancing and do a lot of spray and pray? 

I’m not buying it. Give me the Cowboys all day. 

The Pick: Cowboys -3.5 @ Pointsbet where they have reduced juice -105 odds on all NFL spread bets.

Possible Money Line Parlay if you’re feeling frisky

I am totally stealing this from one of my new gambling buddies because I think it’s a great play.

Steelers +160

Bears -240

Cardinals +145

Jaguars +155

Bucs +150

Lighting round here: 
Steelers as a home dog, I like it even though it’s dicey. Bears against the Raiders because I think Mack will blow up that Raiders backfield. Cards because Cincy has no business being favored against anyone and the Cards have a puncher’s chance. Jags because come the f on, it’s Gardner Minshew. Bucs because they always give the Saints some trouble and Jameis is playing for a contract. Not only that, the Saints can’t keep grinding out games, can they? Don’t go crazy, but this is one with some nice value. We

Other Bets…

Now, before I go, sure, I wrote up two picks with favorites, but I’m also going to be looking at grabbing the points on the Jags, Cards, Bucs, and Bills, but am still working those out.

Be careful laying too many points and avoid over exposure on chalk.

Also, last note, small bets on the Pats against a really bad Redskins team wouldn’t be out of line, but if you can get under 43 on the total, you’d be doing yourself a favor. Can you see Colt McCoy and company even getting a touchdown against New England? 

Don’t go crazy and manage your bankroll. 

Good luck, folks. 

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