Sports Bet Review (NBA – Week of Dec. 23, 2019)

1) BKN SU vs. NYK, OKC SU vs. MEM, DAL SU vs. SAS (+142)The Nets really need their stars back as they feel to the Knicks in a game where nothing worked for Brooklyn. None of their pieces were efficient, and they allowed Julius Randle to take over the game.

OKC was on a bit of a hot streak, however, Memphis came out strong at the start of each half getting great play from Valanciunas and Brandon Clarke. Hot streaks meditated on hot shooting from Schroder and SGA can’t be relied upon (as much as I love Shai and his amazing jersey to letter value).

Dallas was able to pull away late, but the first half was very tic for tat. This game featured the return of newly minted Jordan Brand athlete Luka Doncic, and in the end the Mavericks were able to secure the win against the Spurs. That being said, Doncic still has a ton of rust to knock off before I feel comfortable betting on the Mavs again.

Overall, these middle of the pack teams are hard to predict, even against bad teams.

Bet Review (NFL Week 16, 2019)

1) BUF +6.5 @ NE (-105)

My thought behind this bet was that it would be a low scoring, tight affair regardless of the ultimate winner. As such, 6.5 points seemed like a gift. Both teams generally struggled to score, and the game was close until the Patriots scored last in the 4th. The Pats were gifted with a penalty and went for 2, which was a gift for this bet. However, the attempt was successful. I still feel like this was a good bet, and is just another reason to dislike the Patriots.

2) BUF @ NE Under 42.5, SF -.5 vs. LAR (-110)

The Patriots were able to win, but the game total stayed at 41. It’s fortunate the low-scoring portion of my prediction came through on this game.

The 49ers made this one unnecessarily exciting, shooting themselves in the foot several times. Between the San Francisco QB’s propensity to hold the ball for too long, the fading of the vaunted 49ers pass rush, and Jared Goff able to string drives together, the 49ers did just enough to win the game. I’ll likely stay away from the 49ers moving forward as their D-Line is too talented to fade, but the streaky offense is enough to make me want to stay away.

3) PIT @ NYJ Under 37.5 (-110)

I’ve been riding Pittsburgh on the under for a couple weeks now. The defense is just too talented, and the offense is inept. The shuffling of quarterbacks due to injury on the side of the Steelers is unfortunate, but I’ll continue to ride the Steelers while I can. The Jets are streaky, and have nothing to play for. As predicted, the Jets offense had a few bright spots, but was generally kept in check by the Steelers. Opposite, the Steelers failed to produce much of any offense, and the injuries continue to pile up.

4) BAL -10 @ CLE (-105)

One of the two teams to beat the Ravens this year was the Browns back in Week 4. That was a very different Browns team, however the two games started very similarly. The Browns struck first, and the first half was very calm in terms of scoring. Late in the second, the Ravens hit on two quick touchdown drives. From there, the Ravens started to demonstrate why they are the #1 seed in the AFC, and the Browns unravelled in typical fashion.

5) BAL -4 @ CLE, KC SU @CHI (-110)

The Chiefs took control of this game from the start with a revitalized defense. Turbisky wasn’t able to sustain a drive all night, although he did avoid committing a turnover. The Chiefs seem to be getting hot at the right time, and will be a tough out in the playoffs.

Bet Review (NBA – Week of Dec. 16, 2019)

1) TOR SU vs. WAS, MIA SU vs. NYK, BOS SU vs. DET (+106)

I was most worried about the Celtics withoit Hayward and Smart, but with Griffin out as well I figured the injuries were a wash. Given home field advantage and what the Celtics have shown thus far, I liked this matchup better than others on the slate. Kemba did his best to make me regret this decision (scoring a paltry 2 points in the game), but Brown and Tatum were able to pick up the slack.

The Heat at home against the hapless Knicks was a gimme. The Wizards made it a lot closer than I expected, but the Raptors were able to outlast.

I was tempted to take the 76ers against a short-handed Mavs team, as well as the Magic at Portland. However, the Sixers basically play the fourth quarter down a man due to Simmons being a max contract liability. The Blazers as well have turned around from their terrible start, and Melo has produced far better results than expected. Despite the current standings, these will be great lessons learned moving forward.

Bet Review (NFL Week 15, 2019)

1) MIA +3.5 @ NYG (-115)

Admittedly, I underestimated the Giants offense, and assumed they’d regress under Eli. Unfortunately, the Dolphins lack of a secondary struck again. This time, the Dolphins weren’t able to get into the red zone with regularity like they did against the Jets. I thought that the last game was a good sign, and that the TDS would come this week. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and the Giants ran away with this one. There just wasn’t enough time for the Dolphins to come back.

This game is a reminder to not break a cardinal rule – Do not bet on bad teams playing other bad teams. The only constant is inconsistency in these situations.

2) TEN -3 vs. HOU (-105)

The Titans were uneven in this one, after tying the game, the offense stagnated. What happened in previous games is that Derrick Henry would bail the offense out in various situations, as well as making sure the defense always having to ensure he was accounted for. In this game, the Texans were able to contain Henry as well as any team has in the last several weeks. The Titans will have another chance in a couple weeks to play the Texans again. However it seems like the divisional rivals have the recipe to take out their rivals.

3) MIA +10 @ NYG, KC -3 vs. DEN (-120)

The chiefs seemed like an excellent value, at home with a defense on the upswing against a rookie QB playing in a hostile environment. The snow added another element, keeping the game a low scoring affair. The Broncos failed to generate much of anything on offense, and I regret not taking this spread straight up.

I thought that the Dolphins would win this one and thought of that as the constant to hold. A wiser decision would’ve been to trust the Patriots or Seahawks on the road.

4) NE -3 @ CIN, SEA 0 @ CAR, GB +1.5 vs. CHI (+170)

This was the first bet I took for this week after seeing the initial spreads. New England’s quickly rose, and it felt like Vegas was penalizing the Patriots for some recent losses. The Seahawks on the road have been excellent this year, and the Panthers have been very bad recently. While they were able to almost come back into this game, Kyle Allen was very sloppy, and his turnovers stopped the Panthers from truly mounting a comeback.

The Packers struggled to produce offense consistently against the Bears, but ultimately, they were able to hold the Bears when it counted despite numerous lapses on defense earlier in the game. The Packers certainly do not feel like a 11-3 team, but they seem to be able to play well in the clutch.

5) BUF @ PIT Under 36.5 (-110) Two strong defenses, a young QB away who has been more effective running than passing, and a third string QB formed the perfect storm to hit the under.

Bet Review (NFL Week 14, 2019)

1) BUF +6 vs. BAL (-110)

This game was very close, and the Bills had their chances at the end to steal a tying TD, or at least cover the spread. At the end, Marcus Peters made the game sealing play and the Bills lost by 7. The Bills look as fiesty as ever, but the Hayden Hurst 61-yd TD was the mistake that the Bills needed to prevent the win. That opening was enough for the Ravens to control the tempo, and win the game + the cover.

2) MIN SU vs. DET, IND +3 @ TB (+125)

The most marginal of victories, with the Colts losing by 3 resulting in a push for the majority of the value for this parlay. The Vikings controlled the game the entire way against the Blough-led Lions, and the result was as expected.

The Colts looked to have the game in hand, but Jameis cleaned up his play in the fourth quarter, and was able to win by a field goal. The Colts desperately need a healthy T.Y. Hilton/Jacoby Brissett if they want to return to contention. This was sort of a “must-win” for the Colts in terms of playoff contention, and while they came out competitive, they lost to a streaky Bucs team who gave up their requisite amount of turnovers. The Colts are lucky that the Texans also lost (in a much more embarrassing fashion) to the Broncos, an even less competitive team than the Bucs.

3) CIN +14.5 @ CLE, SF +8.5 @ NO (-110)

The 49ers game was very tight for the vast majority of the contest. Additionally, the Bengals kept it tight against the Browns with Dalton at QB as well in a game with depressingly low levels of offensive momentum. This bet felt safe from the start, I just expected lower scoring affairs from both matchups.

The Bengals now have a baseline of competence with Andy Dalton’s return. Players like Mixon and Ross now pose an actual threat, which opens up the offense for Joe Mixon, who has been getting smothered with attention after Dalton was benched. This game really came down to who wanted to lose less, as both teams are out of playoff contention.

The 49ers showed early that they could be more than just a run game on offense, and then mixed it in to great results after the pass game got going. Big plays from Sanders and the other receivers allowed Mosert and Breida to break through for long runs. The Niners secondary began to experience some injuries as the game progressed, and the Saints pass game opened up vastly. Penalties on the 49ers secondary also prolonged the Saints comeback attempt. Similar to Will Lutz in Week 1, Robbie Gould sealed the game with a field goal. The bet was never in doubt, which enhanced the enjoyment of the end of this exciting (and I’d say this season’s best) game.

4) TEN -3 @ OAK (-105)

Rumors around that Ryan Tannehill is in discussions with the Titans to extend his contract, and make him their starting QB for the foreseeable future. Plays like a 91-yard TD pass add substance to his case for an extension. Further, the defense made great adjustments in the second half, not allowing a score, and getting a pick-six. The Titans look like they’re poised to make noise in the playoffs, and have some crucial matchups against the Texans coming up. Derrick Henry’s health is something to monitor, but if he is fully healthy, I continue to like the Titans based on their defense and capability for chunk plays both on the ground and in the air.

5) SEA -1 @ LAR (-110)

The spread/odds bounced around for this game, ranging from SEA -1 to SEA +1 with odds ranging from -115 to +100.

I’ve thought that the Rams have looked bad for weeks now. Jared Goff didn’t pass for a TD in the month of November. When the Rams blew out the Cardinals last week, I attributed that much more to Cardinals ineptitude than a Rams return to form. In addition, the Seahawks are undefeated on the road, and home games for the Rams had been in name only. For whatever reason, Todd Gurley has awoken from his slumber, and Goff has returned to being a serviceable QB. The Rams controlled the game from for the entire first half, only allowing the Seahawks one score on their opening drive.

A key difference from the last time these teams matched up is the swap of Jalen Ramsey for Marcus Peters (and Aqib Talib as well). This made a key difference on key 4th down plays, as well as Lockette’s ability to get open. This win for the Rams keeps the NFC West, and NFC playoff picture a bit more variable. The urgency for both of these teams will be increased moving forward.