L – KC -8.5 @ LAC (-110) Justin Herbert starting for the Chargers was an unexpected wrinkle for this bet, but I thought it to be a positive factor when it was first announced. However, what I didn’t factor in was the ineptitude put on display by the Chiefs Defense, allowing Chargers Receivers large areas of cushion, and poor tackling leading to additional YAC. Further, the Chiefs Offense failed to produce against a talented/stout Chargers Defense. Rather than a blowout win, the Chiefs eke out a slim win in overtime and will try to learn from this close call in their pursuit of a championship repeat.
W – BAL -7 @ HOU (-105) A massive thank you to the Ravens for performing as expected and preventing a completely win-less day for our betting outfit here. The defense played as expected, and even though the Houston offense contained Lamar Jackson better than I expected, the turnovers kept this game securely in the hands of Baltimore for the entire duration.
L – MIN +3 @ IND (-110) The Vikings are actually very bad, and the Colts shooting themselves in the foot may actually be an anomaly. Jonathan Taylor was able to fuel the offense singlehandedly (with the great Indianapolis O-Line), which gives me hope for this team, grounded in strong fundamentals. Kirk Cousins looks far worse than last year without Diggs stretching the field, and the defense has major gaps from COVID opt-outs.
L – BUF -6 @ MIA (-110) Fitzmagic is to Fitztragic as Jekyll is to Hyde, and this week we witnessed the magic. It wasn’t enough to win Miami the game, but it was enough for the Dolphins to cover this bet instead of taking their tank gracefully (which would’ve allowed the Bills to win by 11). If the Bills can’t even beat the Dolphins, are they truly contenders? Or, could this just be a case of playing in Miami in September and inter-division shenanigans?
L – DET +6.5 @ GB (-110) The Lions going up with early 14 points all but secured a sad finish to the day. After this point the Packers came back with fury, and Detroit’s Defense could do little but watch. My Lions love continues to look more foolish as the weeks go on. Green Bay is the real deal and the Aaron Rodgers revenge tour is in full swing.
KC -2.5 @ LAC / SF -1 @ NYJ (-110) The 49ers covered their side of the bet despite losing multiple first round picks on defense, their starting running back, and most of all Jimmy Garoppolo looked to sustain a fairly significant injury. Luckily for San Francisco, they faced one of the worst teams in the league, and won comfortably. Harrison Butker secured the overtime win for his team and this bet. The Chiefs won’t likely repeat such an ugly result against such a poor opponent this season, and I’ll try to wash this one from my memory. Kickers are important!
L – PIT -6.5 vs. DEN (-110) My late pick of the week, and this time it didn’t pan out. The vaunted Steelers Defense looked fairly permeable against the fearsome backup quarterback Jeff Driskel and the Broncos league of young receivers. There was a chance for the Steelers to come back and cover at the end of the game, but James Conners couldn’t finish in the end zone (probably smart for the real game) and Pittsburgh ended up winning by only five. An unexpected result from my perspective for sure, especially given the quarterback situation for the Broncos.
L – KC @ LACOver 47 (-110) A panic pick I made to chase losses from the morning. As always, this is a mistake. The Chargers Defense was able to largely contain a Chiefs Offense with Super Bowl aspirations. Don’t chase.
W – LAL -3 vs. DEN 1Q (-105) Moving to NBA in the chances to get a win anywhere (clearly I didn’t listen to my future self’s advice above). LeBron James and the Lakers got on a hot streak sparked by a KCP (yes, KCP) three pointer. Denver then allowed an 18-2 run and the Lakers comfortably cruised to an eight point first quarter advantage.
W – Russell Wilson Longest Pass Over 37.5 Yards (+100) Props… as you can tell, I was spiraling by this point in the afternoon. However, 37.5 yards is just far too low of a mark for a quarterback like Russell Wilson with weapons like Tyler Lockette and D.K. Metcalf. The latter of which Wilson connected with on a 54 yard touchdown. This was one of my favorite props last post-season, and old habits die hard.
L – Russell Wilson Over 40.5 Rushing Yards (+300 / Quarter Unit) My thought here was the stout Patriots Secondary would push Wilson to use his legs at least a handful of times this game. Further, the lack of quick linebackers would enable chunk plays from Wilson on the ground. In the first half this bet was trending in the right direction. However, some dump off passes that could’ve gone for nominal rushing yardage eventually sunk this bet with Wilson hitting a couple yards shy of the mark, with 39 yards of rushing to end the night. Great odds, a partial bet, and a slim loss, so I don’t feel too poorly about this one.
L – NE +4.5 @ SEA (-105) More spiraling. I saw line movement, and jumped on it. A team with a new QB vs. a franchise stalwart? Sure. Away in a pandemic year? Why not. “In Bill Belichick, we trust”, as the locals say, and that’s good enough for me. Let’s just throw discipline out the window. I hate missed field goals, and Nick Folk missed one to put the Pats up 17-14 mid way through the second quarter. Ultimately, a missed field goal/two-point conversion was the difference in this bet, as the failed last second touchdown attempt wouldn’t have mattered if either of the aforementioned bad omens didn’t occur. I’d classify this one as a bad beat.
Overall for this week we ended an uninspiring 4 – 7.25. For the season we’re looking at 9-10.25. Special shoutout to the Lions and Vikings really making me look like a fool. No more chasing ; we’re going to stay disciplined next week, and I’m sure we can win this back.
I’m still getting over the De’Andre Swift drop, but Week Two is here and it’s time to post some bets. I’ve taken some learnings from Week One to hopefully hone in on some wins this Sunday:
KC -8.5 @ LAC (-110) Last week Kansas City showed that they were firing on all cylinders, from the Offense looking as potent as their Super Bowl run, and the defense clamping down on the Houston Offense until letting up in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs only needing 1.5 more points to cover against the Chargers (basically the Chiefs second home field) feels like it should be an easy cover. Especially, after the Chargers were unable to get any prolonged offense going against the woeful Bungles last week.
BAL -7 @ HOU (-105) Similar to the above, Baltimore didn’t look to lose a step from 2019. Further, defenses did not get the expected time to prepare for Lamar Jackson’s dynamic style of play, so he’s still catching folks as flat-footed as last season. The Houston Offense struggled to find its rhythm, and the impact of losing DeAndre Hopkins doesn’t seem to be built into this line. I’ll take Baltimore to win by more than 7 against a Texans team that still trying to find itself on offense.
MIN +3 @ IND (-110) This may be my spiciest take of the week, but I didn’t think the Vikings were that bad against the Packers last week. The defense allowed an angry Aaron Rodgers to make his way down the field, however, a twilight-year Phillip Rivers is a far cry from the Vikings Week One opponent. The Vikings also showed an ability to score quickly if needed, with Adam Thielen still being an excellent option at receiver. I think Vegas may have over-compensated for the Vikings faltering last week, and I’ll take the 3 points against the turnover-prone Rivers.
BUF -6 @ MIA (-110) Buffalo looked great last week against the Jets, and get another good matchup against Miami in Week Two. Devante Parker looks to be hobbled, and the Bills Defense should be more than able to contain the Dolphins Offense that struggled significantly against the Pats last week. I foresee a similar result for the Dolphins this week, and will gladly take the Bills to win by more than six. The Bills have a very similar aura to the early-season 49ers from last season, and if they can further build momentum early this year, I’ll be more aggressively taking the Bills in the future.
DET +6.5 @ GB (-110) I don’t like to chase, but I really believe in the Lions this year. Detroit lost in classic Lions fashion last week against the Bears, but it was more so the Lions losing the game than the Bears winning. The Packers looked angry, but I expect this to be a shootout with great backdoor cover potential. Further, with these divisional matchups there’s always room for a funky game script which I think benefits the Lions greatly here.
KC -2.5 @ LAC / SF -1 @ NYJ (-110) I’m a huge 49ers fan, and even I think the team looked to be in the midst of a terrible Super Bowl hangover in Week One. That being said, the Jets looked to be absolutely inept against the Bills last week. This is really a bet on the Jets being terrible, not the 49ers returning to form. Given the state of both offenses, I anticipate an ugly game with many blown opportunities, but the 49ers eking out a win.
I’ll be feeling out other lines as the weekend progresses. There’s a trend of taking road favorites above, which makes sense to me given the waning impact of home field ‘advantage’ in recent years. This should be exacerbated this year, as mostly empty stadiums should further fuel the trend.
Place your bets, set your lineups, and prepare your body. Good luck!
W –GB +2.5 @ MIN(-110) The Packers were in control for the entirety of this Divisional Showdown with Aaron Rodgers passing for four touchdowns, and the final score of 43-34 covers up a game that was far less competitive than the final result. Both of these teams look like they’ll be able to score, and both defenses got gassed late in the game.
L –DET -2.5 @ CHI (-110) The ejection of Jamie Collins in the first half was a bad omen for the outcome of the game. I consider this loss a “bad beat” with the Lions leading the way until late in the game. Even then, rookie DeAndre Swift had the perfect pass to him in the end zone, but failed to secure the ball costing the Lions the game and the cover. I don’t buy the Bears late game surge, and once Kenny Golladay is back I believe the Lions Offense will come roaring back.
L – TB +3.5 @ NO (-115) After the first touchdown drive everything went wrong for the Buccaneers, getting outclassed by the Saints who clearly knew how to play together. Meanwhile, the offense for Tampa Bay looked inconsistent and it was riddled with sloppy penalties and unforced errors. The Saints appear to be the real deal, but against a weaker opponent I have confidence in the Bucs to cover in the future.
W –TB @ NO Over 49.5 (-110) Both teams started the game off strong and opportune Special Teams lapses and a pick six led to quick scoring for the Saints in the second half that quickly sealed this bet despite the game itself being less than competitive. I like both of these teams’ ability to score in bunches, and will be looking for it in the coming weeks.
W – LAS @ CAR Over 48 (-110) This was a last minute bet on Sunday morning (something that I don’t typically advocate for). However, the lack of defensive prowess for either of these teams along with a very manageable total led me to slam the over. Very quickly both teams were able to produce offense on the ground and with massive chunk plays in the pass game.
Including the 1-1 record from the Thursday night game our overall season record stands at 5-3. We are up 2 units.
This week really sneaked up on me. Without preseason we’ve been thrust directly into prime betting season with regular season NFL football. The beginning of the year is the most exciting, before Vegas really gets attuned to the lines, and there’s softness (or at least my perception of softness) to take advantage of. I have some strong preseason stances that I’m looking to cash in on here until the linesmakers catch up.
Note the below features a retrospective of the Thursday night game, and a preview of the Sunday slate.
HOU @ KC -9 (-110) Kansas City did nothing in the off season to indicate that they wouldn’t be contending for a back to back Super Bowl, meanwhile, the Texans lost their most valuable offensive weapon and didn’t seem to make any substantial changes that would allow them to stand up to the Chiefs offense. In recent years the Super Bowl Champion has covered the spread in their first game back, and this match up seemed especially assured.
HOU @ KC Over 54.5(-110) Between sloppy defense with poor tackling from a short off season, and at least one offensively elite team I figured that any over would be fairly safe. As it often goes, the first half missed field goal from the Texans was a very poor omen. Further, a missed two point conversion and CEH’s failure to hit pay dirt on the Chief’s final offensive drive (rather settling for a field goal) secured this bet’s fate. Unfortunately, getting in on a bad line (with the total of this game closing at 53.5) makes this one sting even more.
GB +2.5 @ MIN(-110) The Vikings were hit particularly hard with opt-outs this season. I also believe this division in general to be incredibly murky, with no expectation of who will take the division crown. That being said, I’ll take the free points and the Packers (led by the Aaron Rodgers revenge tour) in what will be a very close match up in Minnesota.
DET -2.5 @ CHI (-110) Matthew Stafford is fully healthy and ready to pickup where he left off last season where he was having a career year. Kenny Golladay’s injury is a hit, but I think the Lion still have sufficient firepower to outpace the Turbisky-led Bears offense by 3 points to secure this win.
TB +3.5 @ NO (-115) In Tom Brady’s first game for the Buccaneers I expect there to be fireworks. The Saints typically start seasons slower than other, and the off season has been abuzz with inadvisable impromptu Buccaneer practices. The absence of (or at least a significantly limited) Mike Evans would typically give me pause, but the Buccaneers have so many weapons that Evans as a decoy should be enough to cover this bet.
TB @ NO Over 49.5 (-110) Similar to the above, I think the game will be a close win or loss regardless of outcome. To get to this outcome I imagine both teams trading blows for the entirety of the game. This line has fallen to 47.5 since I’ve taken this wager, and I may put even more down at this point.
I’ve put off this post for a long, long time. As many readers may not know, I am a die-hard 49ers fan, so a loss in the manner that the 49ers lost the Superbowl, in the 4th quarter comeback enabled by the team letting their foot off the gas, it was devastating. At least in 2012, the 49ers were on the side of the comeback, just coming up a little short. Fandom aside, I’ll take a closer look at some of these bets:
The one that burned hotter than the rest was the loss of Patrick Mahomes rushing yards. This felt safe throughout the game, but somehow Mahomes lost almost 20 yards of rushing as he ran the game out.
I had the wrong kicker on the “longest field goal made” bet, with Gould knocking one in from over 40 out. Unfortunately, the game script never lent well for a long FG by Butker, but I don’t feel too bad about this one, as he definitely has the leg for it.
Onto next season, but the pain of this one will linger for years to come.