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In Week 13, we were iffy at best. Obvious hits of mine were taking the Eagles, Lions and Steelers to win. My other shots were misses and again, that’s okay. It’s important to try to improve and get better than dwell on a single result (we haven’t had our best year but we are still winning a majority of our bets). The Texans are real bad, as are the Colts and maybe the Falcons are a little better this year than we thought they’d be (they did make the switch to Desmond Ridder at QB).
With the Colts on a much-needed bye this week, the rest of the league is offering the following:
In the AFC South, the Jaguars +3 are on the road against the Titans -3 and ideally, the Jaguars win this game because that hurts both franchises’ organizational goals. I think the Jaguars would love another high draft pick and the Titans look poised to win the Division again. I’d hate to be saying “Any given Sunday” after this game. I have no faith in the Jags, so I’d just bet the Titans straight up and go do dishes or something.
The class of the AFC South, your Houston Texans +17 are on the road against the Dallas Cowboys and flatly, there isn’t a planet this Texans team holds a candle to this Cowboys squad, so while I much prefer betting straight up on big spreads (I’d rather just pick the Cowboys to win than bet the spread here). Picking the Cowboys straight up seems like easy money here.
I think this game is a gimme and I’m sort of turning heel on the Lions -2.5 at home. I would love to be wrong, but my gut tells me the Minnesota Vikings +2.5 win this game on the road today and break the hearts (and wallets) of many. It’s not that the Vikings are that good (they are), and it’s not that the Lions are that bad (they aren’t!). This has more to do with your record being what you are this time of year than anything else. No worries, I love the crow here.
I see the Bengals -5.5 at home against the Browns +5.5 and again, I don’t care who the Browns QB is, I look at the records, the time of year it is and who is going to do what? Joe Burrow is going to lead his team to victory today because this is a winnable game for the Bengals, who are destined not to fall off after last year’s improbable Super Bowl run.
The Jets +10 are the one team in the league I’m willing to bet on nearly every week as an underdog because they play teams tough, these Jets do. I’m not coming out and saying the Jets are going to house the Bills -10. I’m saying this is a Division game in December between two historically underachieving franchises. The Jets are a QB away from hanging with the Jets in this Division for awhile. They keep it close today.
My actual parlay this week is S/U betting the Vikings, Eagles, Cowboys, Bills and Chiefs to win and seeing what happens, but flatly, Draftkings won’t let me verify my account (again) so maybe we’ll be looking for another place to lay that bet. Hmm.
I’d been having a down year in fantasy football this year. Not only did zero Stampede Blue community leagues fire this year (minimal interest like not even enough players for an 8-man league and I take the blame for failing to generate that interest so no shade-throwing there), but I’m really only in three leagues (for the first time in 15 years I’m not managing 20+ fantasy football teams!? Sweet!) and only one of them is a cash league. Here’s the skinny in the cash league (the one that matters). I am one game below .500 and in 4th in this league. That’s how tight it is. As of right now, my team is in the playoffs. This is the team I went 0QB with and just decided I’d be stable elsewhere and I guess even though it hasn’t shown in my team’s record, I have won 3 or more weeks in a row twice with this team.
The big downside of this league is that they use Yahoo! to draft and manage the league (don’t do this, big no-no) and they should have broke this league up after I went X-1 last year without a single transaction. This week, I’m paired against the #2 overall team in the league by record (I am ahead on points scored) and favored by 10 points. I promise you I won’t be surprised or mad if I lose after typing this and don’t make the playoffs, but I have a feeling if I do, I win the league outright. We’ll see!
Before anyone asks, I’m not falling for Mike White again as my value QB pick. I like Geno Smith $6,200 instead on the road against Carolina. I think in past weeks, I’d have picked Mike White, but he’s in his third start! After Geno, I like what I see in terms of RB Joe Mixon $6,900, WR Mike Evans $6,400, WR Deebo Samuel $6,100 and WR Devonta Smith $6,300. I noticed there are basically no good receiving TEs this week. I have a feeling that could mean lower-scoring games (making value-based rosters like mine good picks). Anyway, fill the rest of the roster how you like and hey! Let me know how it goes!
Also, each week during the NFL season, my wife and I sit down Tuesday-Wednesday and record a quick video picking the winners of each of the games. Obviously I make this content because I love my wife and it’s something we’ve been doing going on 5 years now, but it also helps illustrate what not doing your research means when you predict outcomes. I had gone into each of these videos blind (meaning I don’t do all that work before sitting down with my wife because I’m trying to enjoy that and I’m not obsessed with beating her, although that tends to happen anyway because she doesn’t watch the games). That’s the point! Up until this week (14 weeks into the season), my wife was beating me. Yes, I’ve overcome her with strategy and the eventuality of my nearly daily consumption of football. She’s still hanging around and that’s because it’s hard to pick outcomes without information. That’s all I’m saying! Here’s this week’s video.
Lastly, nearly weekly I record a podcast with Mateo Caliz, one of our other writers and a good friend of mine. He reached out to me after we recorded this episode and expressed that he felt this was one of our better episodes. This was recorded the day the Andrew Luck and Jeff Herrod articles came out. Our emotions are raw and we ask that you take what we say with a grain of salt. Here’s this week’s episode.