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Malott’s Believe It or Not Week 17

A Weekly DFS, Fantasy Football and Sports Betting Blog

Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

First of all, if you are reading this, Happy New Year!

Second, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available.

Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Like many of you, I did not work much of the last week or so due to the holidays and am sitting down to write this having woke up not actually knowing what day of the week it is, so take my betting advice with a grain of salt. We’re caffeinated and there’s little chance of any game-breaking decisions other than your standard game time decisions, so let’s do this!

Hey there are really some banger NFL games this week and to be completely honest, after yesterday’s college football, I am excited for the future of football! I had no dog in those fights, but I do want to point out a couple of observations from the games. I love the play of Stetson Bennett (UGA’s QB), but I’m afraid he’s too slight at 5’11” 190. Also, I’m glad to watch a college football playoff without Alabama in it despite the fact that I think they’d beat these teams if given the chance.

Sports Betting

One of the things I’ve learned is that in addition to the standard methodology of gambling, which we have shown week after week in our ability to consistently win our bets using only the spread for this blog’s purpose, is that we have to follow the news cycle and that has to factor into our decision making as well. Yes, I am aware there is more to life than gambling on the spread of an NFL game. I am trying to engage a reader in a simple dialog about the subject of sports betting. We can bet straight up (and sometimes we do!), we could prop bet (and maybe we’ll do that next year or something!) and I’m a big fan of parlaying our bets, so yes there is absolutely unexplored space here. Relax, let’s remember most of us don’t gamble at all.

I try to point out fairly obvious stipulations that played out in the media and contort them to fit my narrative. For example, Russell Wilson (who I have no problem with but my wife can’t stand the guy), got rode hard and put away wet over having his own office in the Denver Broncos +12.5 facility. I have absolutely no problem with your franchise quarterback having an office if he’s earned that. I’m sure other teams treat their star players a little differently. Normally going into this week, if I hadn’t paid attention to the media, in which Russell Wilson’s teammates came out and staunchly defended him, HAS to play into my rationale for taking them ATS vs the Kansas City Chiefs -12.5. I’m not saying they’ll win. I’m saying there’s logic behind their spirited play that while I am not at all saying they’ll beat the Chiefs, but they may have a little extra in the tank today is all I’m saying.

Your Indianapolis Colts +5.5 are on the road in the Meadowlands taking on the New York Giants -5.5 and again, you have to think about what’s going on with the Colts into account here along with the knowledge that if the Giants win, they clinch a Playoff spot. I am not going to ever lie to you and be like “Oh yeah the Colts are game-planning to win this game”. For those of us that have so rarely had to think about the hope that a Top 5 pick can bring to a franchise (think the Giants’ own Kayvon Thibodeaux that rocked the 2022 Draft with his excitement over his selection), you certainly never want to be in the position the Colts were in a couple of weeks ago and that’s up 33-0 and needing to lose. You read that right.

I’m not saying the Colts are tanking and I’m also not saying the Colts are really that bad. I think it’s both and neither. I think the Colts are so wildly out of control that they need a man in the room. It’s going to take a new head coach and quarterback and that ain’t coming any time soon, so buckle up because no matter what head coach or quarterback they bring, neither of them could be the man the Colts need to right the ship. Prepare for the Colts to lose to the Giants today and I’m not even going to say to take them and hope they keep it close. No. Take the Giants straight up and choke down this 60 minutes of shame like the rest of us Colts faithful.

In re the Jacksonville Jaguars -3.5 on the road against the Houston Texans +3.5 — this game intrigues me because I 100% expect the Jags to fumble the bag here because they’re the Jacksonville Jaguars. Come on. However, the Houston Texans are historically lousy. Again, I’m not going to lie to you and be like “oh yeah the Jaguars are going to handle their business, win this game, take the AFC South and then Trevor Lawrence is going to take over in the Playoffs.” That is hooey. I think the Jags take care of business today and I’m gritting my teeth as I type it, so think about that.

Here in my Eastern Standard time zone, we call the afternoon games the 4 o’clock games and there are some great games today. The New York Jets -1.5 get QB Mike White back on the road in Seattle. I actually think Mike White provides the kind of lift to help a Jets team that is 4-3 (good, actually) on the road against a Seahawks team that is 3-4 at home (average to bad depending on this outcome, right?). When the spread is less than 3 points, I am more likely to take my team to win straight up.

In re the Green Bay Packers -3.5 vs the Minnesota Vikings +3.5, my thoughts are that eventually the spell has to break and either Aaron Rodgers is one of the GOATs and you don’t bet against that or this is Minnesota’s year and they’re just better than the Packers. I’m torn and wouldn’t place a bet here just enjoy the game, man. Again, I don’t bet against greatness and in that’s Aaron Rodgers. I’m not saying the Packers hold at home or none of that. It’s really hard to believe this is the Vikings’ year for me. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not a believer yet.

Tonight, on Sunday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers +2 are on the road against the Baltimore Ravens -2. From what I understand, no Lamar Jackson for the Ravens and Kenny Pickett starts for the Steelers? Here’s what may transpire, though. The Steelers could be eliminated from Playoff contention before the game starts and that could have an impact on the game. I think it makes the game more chippy and that’s not always in a good way. There are a lot of emotions going into Sunday Night Football already, this is a storied rivalry, a Division game, and could have Playoff implications for the Steelers (meaning if they aren’t eliminated by game time, winning is good for them). It’s just interesting. I’m a fan of John Harbaugh and the Ravens at home. I’d probably bet that straight up.

Tomorrow on Monday Night Football there might just be the greatest regular season football game of all time and normally I’d have to stick “if Cincinnati can protect Joe Burrow blah blah” NO. Joe Burrow is that dude and so is Josh Allen. We all know what happens when both teams have elite quarterbacks (we saw it yesterday in college football). Points. The Buffalo Bills -1 are on the road taking on the Cincinnati Bengals +1. I have been rallying behind Joe Burrow in these blogs so far this year and as much love as I have for Josh Allen, I think is Joe’s year. The Bengals get it done at home on Monday Night Football!

Daily Fantasy Football

This week I like Mike White or Geno Smith, actually. You could catch me building a roster around Jared Goff as well. All of these QBs have the sort of value I’d put in a roster under $6,000 each. I’m buying the 49ers D/ST against the Raiders without Derek Carr at QB because of the price but the situation begs for attention. This week, I like the value of guys like Travis Etienne Jr., Leonard Fournette, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and again, the media-driven choice of Jerry Jeudy who is currently listed as Questionable and a game time decision (we try to avoid these). Head coach says he’ll play and add the fire his words will add this week to his effort. Oh yeah and TJ Hockenson is my TE of choice this week.

Fantasy Football

I made the Championship in a fantasy football league this season with the only team I drafted my way. I have studied the different methods of drafting like 0RB, 0WR, 0QB or RB Heavy/WR Heavy and have concluded that we need balance, depth and we need to make sure we take the players we want to start every week (like QB/TE are playing 17 of 18 weeks for you) are prioritized moving forward for me for sure. I’m calling my new method “get your guy”. Stay tuned for a lot of conversation surrounding this drafting style I’m going to announce. As for my team, I made sure to get my guys (Lamar Jackson and Travis Kelce) but again, not at the expense of the two Top 10 RBs and WRs I drafted as well.

Here’s a question for my readers. You’ve made it to the Fantasy Football Championship game! Congratulations! Your choices at QB are Kirk Cousin, Trevor Lawrence, Geno Smith or Jared Goff (Lamar Jackson out with injury). Which QB do you ride with for the ‘chip? I went with Kirk Cousins because he’s been hot lately and the Vikings are good? What do you think? Should I have went with youth over experience here?

Oh hey I forgot that I’m here to shill for follows on my YouTube channel. Each week during the NFL regular season, my wife and I sit down and record a video of us picking the winners of the games. What’s hilarious to me about this is that my wife doesn’t watch the games and I watch them religiously. We are neck-and-neck through 16 weeks of picking games! Ha! Any Given Sunday, amirite! Here’s this week’s video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notifications of when I first post a video and like the video so other people will see it, will you? Thank you. Happy New Year!