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Malott’s Believe It or Not Wild Card Weekend Edition

A Weekly Football Blog focusing on fantasy football, daily fantasy and sports betting.

NFL: JAN 08 Texans at Colts
Shoutout Big Grover Steward for being the man.
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If you or someone you know has trouble with gambling, please call 1-800-GAMBLER.

Happy New Year!

I haven’t had my year-in-review yet, so who knows if this will be my last article here, but should I be blessed to continue my time here, this begins what would be my sixth year as a member of Stampede Blue’s staff! Mateo and I intend to continue to make The Coltist, our weekly or so podcast covering the Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. You can find the raw video uploaded first to YouTube (my thought process was to upload the audio to the podcast network, but we curse because gestures generally, so that appears to be a no-go), which I’m aware isn’t the sexiest-looking thing. I’m surprised we can even pull it off. Our show is unique because while I’m here in Indianapolis, Indiana, Mateo is in Argentina on the bottom half of the planet!

My wife and I have been making a weekly video during the NFL regular season where we have a contest to see who can pick more winners of each game. Thank you to her for being a good sport and here’s our Wild Card edition video!

I intend to continue making my post-game wrap video and I’ve always wanted to write about Fantasy Football, Daily Fantasy and sports betting, so if you’re reading this, you’re watching someone write about exactly what they want to talk about and make content how they want to make it. I have Brett Mock to thank for bringing me along with him and allowing me the freedom to make the content I want to make. I literally couldn’t have done it without him. Thank you also to my colleagues here at Stampede Blue.

The Colts did their job and lost to the Texans, costing the Houston team the 1st overall pick, meaning if the Texans want the best QB prospect in this class, for example, they’re now priced into paying to go up to 1 when all they had to do was lose to the Colts. The Colts kept their 4th overall pick by losing and while it doesn’t feel good when you’re wearing that uniform or that symbol and someone sees you in public and wants to talk about how they think your team is tanking to get a new QB, that’s exactly what Jim Irsay decided he didn’t want to do when he ordered Sam Ehlinger to start.

A lot of Colts fans, sportswriters, and the like are clearly confused, so hear me (read me?). Jeff Saturday wasn’t hired to win now. That’s right, Jeff Saturday was hired to first protect the Horseshoe and then the current players and staff. Frank Reich had lost the team to no fault of his own and he was fired to protect his coaching record. That’s right, despite being unable to find a QB in the wake of Andrew Luck retiring, Reich was still coaching winning football and even made the playoffs twice in five years with literal rags under center. Chris Ballard is still the absolute best man for the GM job and I honestly do not know who will be the Colts head coach. I like Eric Bieniemy and think he has to be the frontrunner because of the shared ties he and Ballard have with Kansas City.

If Jeff Saturday made better decisions in-game, I’d consider him more seriously as a head coaching candidate unless he was charged to intentionally make bad decisions so they’d lose, then he did a masterful job and I’d make sure to keep him handy so you don’t lose him, but again, I haven’t seen anything that makes me think he’s the guy for the job and I’m happy to be wrong because he won’t make it if he does get the job because there are people who have shown themselves to be better for it. Mark these words, you have to show competency at the same role in a lesser environment to do it on a level like the NFL, meaning he needs to coach high school, college, and probably assistant coach in the NFL at some level. Having done none of that, he made bad decisions including bad challenges and there were instances where we should have called a timeout and didn’t. I want to see competency from a guy before he gets a sweet gig, right?

Sports Betting

When it comes to gambling on sports, I only use DraftKings.

Look, the Seattle Seahawks +9.5 are a massive road underdog against the 49ers -9.5 and if you’ve read a single one of these, you know the rules. If the spread is more than 3, we are gambling, baby! I would absolutely take the Seahawks +9.5 to keep it close because in a just world, Geno Smith outduels Brock Purdy to win a Playoff game. This isn’t a just world, so I’m not going to sit here and say the Seahawks are going to win this game. They might keep it closer than a two-possession game, though!

The Los Angeles Chargers -2.5 are slight road favorites against the Jacksonville Jaguars +2.5 and while part of me likes this Jaguars story of having the worst coach in NFL history and one year later they’re a Playoff team, but the Chargers are better on paper, play in a better Division and are expected to win on the road. The spread is less than 3 so we are probably not gambling. My belief is that the home team should be a 3-point favorite and if they’re not, Vegas is correct.

The Miami Dolphins +13.5 are massive road underdogs against the Buffalo Bills -13.5 and if I’m the Dolphins, I’m not even thinking about trying to win this game. I’m trying to get out of it with my job, as many uninjured players as possible and back to the drawing board sans Tua right now. Quarterback is such an instrumental part of building a great football team and the Dolphins poorly managed that situation. Heads should roll, but because Tua almost did have his head knocked off, I suppose no one will get fired because they’re in the Wild Card despite that, right? The Bills are going to win today, the question is by how much. I don’t normally suggest the big home favorite will win going away, but I can see it happening here.

The New York Giants +3 are a slight road underdog against the Minnesota Vikings -3 and if I’m anything, it’s a Brian Daboll fan and I think the Vikings are a bunch of frauds. Daniel Jones is a better athlete at QB than Kirk Cousins, who I’ve likened to a bowl of plain oatmeal. Good? Sure. Are there miles better things to put in your gullet? Absolutely.

Tomorrow night, the Baltimore Ravens +8.5 are big road underdogs against the Cincinnati Bengals -8.5 and if I’m doing anything in this game, it’s betting on former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow AKA Joe Too Cool for an Ohio School to continue having the window of a career he’s having. I was born in Dayton, Ohio and while I am not too cool for an Ohio school, I am going to root for and bet on Ohio teams and players when I think it’s the correct thing to do. The Ravens don’t have Lamar Jackson or this is a field goal game.

On Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys -2.5 are slight road favorites against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 and on one hand, you don’t get rich betting against Tom Brady, but in this case, I just want to move on. It’s not that I don’t appreciate Tom or the Bucs, it’s just that the Dallas Cowboys kinda really need to win a Playoff game or I have a feeling a bunch of people are going to lose their jobs. Think about it, Tom, if the Bucs lose, he can just quit! Yes, I’m aware that apparently, this vampire of a human is going to try to take over the Raiders. I hope that franchise gets even worse, then. Starting with a Wild Card loss Monday night. Let’s go Cowboys!

Daily Fantasy Football

Of course, I could have just loaded up DraftKings and picked the heavy hitters (Josh Allen, Christian McCaffery, Diggs/Jefferson), you wouldn’t be interested any further because those rosters aren’t good enough top-to-bottom to win. This roster has hits at every spot and cash left over to improve to your liking and on multiple articles this season just like this, I’ve given most of a cash-winning roster away. Here’s the entire thing.

Fantasy Football

One of the things I want to address is mindset. To be great at anything, you have to have the right mindset. Full disclosure, I got discouraged this year and it had a negative impact on my enjoyment of fantasy football. Every year, I write an article that is just a callout to free fantasy football leagues that I offer to host with just Stampede Blue fans. In years past, I have been overwhelmed with 10+ teams and this year, there weren’t even enough responses to field a single league. I went from someone who is usually in 20 leagues to 3 leagues, one being a cash league, one a staff league with colleagues from Stampede Blue and then I got in another cash league at the last minute. I won that last league championship and again, I got discouraged and it effected my enjoyment of fantasy football this year and if you really love something, you have to learn to control what you can control, right?

Thank you for reading. Go Colts!