This is not gambling advice. Gamble at your own risk.
Every week during the NFL season, I will put out my picks with the spread for each NFL game. This is my first year writing about sports betting because I live in Indiana. Sports betting was made legal in 2019. If it helps you to know that I’d placed bets before, understand the betting structure, and going into last week, I was placing the correct bet 63% of the time and this doesn’t include the times I suggest to bet the game straight up instead of the spread and am right (or wrong, I’d just take the L). Many of my counterparts in sports media have made a living off of being right about 55% of the time and only ever give you a pick plus the spread. Last week, I was correct 9/14 games, meaning up to this point, I’m 57/90 (63.3%).
I know that somewhere in this stale Hell we call 2020, some of you have forgotten what day it is. Today is Thursday, October 22nd and there’s Thursday Night Football tonight! Let’s get to the picks.
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (HOME TEAM in caps. Pick in bold.)
Giants +4.5 vs. EAGLES -4.5
Every time the NFL abuses its fans by putting an NFC East matchup on Thursday night, an angel loses its wings. Actually, despite their records, this is the best the NFC East has to offer this year. Eagles win by a tudder at home.
Bills -12.5 vs. JETS +12.5
Well, the Bills just got beat up by the Chiefs and the Jets are coming off getting shut out by Miami. I’m not saying the Jets have hit their franchise low, but we’re near it. The Bills will win this game handily. Bills bring on the backups in the 3rd quarter.
I had sort of chosen Aaron Rodgers and the Packers as my NFC favorite this year, calling it “The Aaron Rodgers Revenge Tour”. That ended last week. The Packers got brought back down to Earth by the Bucs. The Packers right the ship and kick a field go to do it, so I’m taking the Packers straight up.
Here at Stampede Blue, your Indianapolis Colts SBNation site, we have a natural rivalry with the Tennessee Titans and their fans. Our franchise, however, does not and should not even see the Titans as their rival. You have to occasionally beat your rival to actually call them one. I say all of that to say that the Titans are overrated and the Steelers get a big road upset win that isn’t really an upset. Who makes these lines?
I’m saying this right now. Joe Burrow is the real deal and Baker Mayfield is a game manager. One of these is a rocket ship and the other is a falling star, we just won’t talk about it being true for another five years or so. The Bengals will probably lose this game, but I’m picking them to win.
Panthers +7 vs. SAINTS -7
It’s worth pointing out that the Saints are coming into this home game off of a bye week and the Panthers just lost by a touchdown to the Bears at home last week. I feel like the spread is a trap, but I’m weak for a blowout home win call, so here it is.
They have all this firepower on offense (Atlanta), but just can’t seem to put it together. This Detroit secondary is good, but it doesn’t generate turnovers. Atlanta gets a big home stand this week. I see Atlanta’s win over Minnesota as real and the Lions beating up on the Jags as unreal, for those wondering.
Cowboys +1 vs. WASHINGTON -1
See what I mean when I say the Giants and Eagles are the class of the Division? This matchup is brutal. The Cowboys without Dak versus the Team Without a Name. Hmm. At least Washington played the Giants close? Washington wins.
Seahawks -3.5 vs. CARDINALS +3.5
I really like the Cardinals and think that Seahawks, coming in off of a bye, win this game handily. It’s more of a matter of conditioning and overall health here. Seattle by a touchdown.
Chiefs -9.5 vs. BRONCOS +9.5
This spread is egregious. I can’t imagine a world where the Broncos (the ones that just beat the Patriots on the road) lose by double digits to the Chiefs the next week. I get that the Chiefs are nasty. The Broncos have more fight in them, right?
Jaguars +7.5 vs. CHARGERS -7.5
The Jaguars are in trouble of letting their season get away from them. The Chargers are coming in off of a bye and the Jaguars just got rolled by the Lions last week. I think again, this is a matter of conditioning (midseason success hinges on it), and the Jaguars might get whooped at least a couple weeks in a row here. I’d take the Chargers by a touchdown. I’m not in love by being expected to win by two possessions to win.
49ers +1.5 vs. PATRIOTS -1.5
The 49ers win this game going away. This will be a sweet, sweet road victory for Jimmy G.. I mean, he’s about to beat his old team, the game isn’t likely to be close and he’s in the Bay instead of the N’oreast.
Buccaneers -4 vs. RAIDERS +4
The Bucs just housed the Packers by four touchdowns and I’m supposed to see the Raiders, coming off a bye week but otherwise beatable, are going to keep it within a touchdown? No. This game isn’t close.
Bears +6 vs. RAMS -6
The Bears just beat the Panthers and are 5-1. Meanwhile, the Rams just lost to the 49ers. I think the Bears are being disrespected here. The Bears get a big road win on Monday night.
The idea isn’t to bet on all of these games. Personally, I would go through each contest and predict each outcome based on information like season record, recent results, offense/defense, the injury report, etc. and then rank how confident you are in each outcome against each other outcome. Then, ideally, you’d take the top 3-4 outcomes you like the most and bet a parlay on those outcomes. Again, don’t gamble without doing your research and reading to this point is more than 88% of people will do, so consider this research.
Enjoy the games. The Colts are on a bye this week.