Pick-up Lines: Week 9

I just want to take a moment and remember 2011 Rose Bowl Champion Andrew Gregory Dalton.

Dalton, 32, was benched on his birthday as the Cincinnati Bengals look to tank for a shot at Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, or Justin Herbert (Spare me the Chase Young talk. A quarterback is going number one in this draft).

Andy Dalton finished his Bengals tenure (as a starter by choice, anyway) with a 68-57-6 (54.4) career record ATS. He was the 8th-most profitable starting quarterback in the NFL during that span. I will miss him dearly and can’t wait for John Elway to trade Denver’s third-round pick for him in five months.

On another personal note, I’m sad that I won’t be able to incoherently shout “Give me the red rifle!” on NFL Sundays without it being weird (or less weird, rather) whenever I’m betting the Bungals as home dawgs with ole’ number 14 leading them onto the field.

*heavy sigh*

I’m betting that this is the week that the home dawgs finally resume their rightful place in the gambling pecking order. It hasn’t happened all year, as road teams are still covering at an absolutely bonkers 62% clip. But this is the week they crumble. Give me all of the home dawgs/short home favorites and let’s see how much I cry on Sunday.

Week 8 record: 8-3

Season Record: 46-36-1

Week 9 Picks

As always, my picks will be listed most to least confident. For reference, I will have the team I’m picking in bold font next to the point spread. My gun-to-my-head picks show the games I did not bet on (hence the poopy record above) but the pick I would make if there was a…..you get the picture. Some of these picks will not be locked in until Sunday, as lines do often change/hint at future change in the middle of the week.

  • New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)

The public loves the Patriots, as they’re receiving 70% of the tickets. 

What do we say to betting public when they hammer the Patriots as road favorites?

The Ravens (coming off a bye, I remind you) are going to knock off the Patriots this week. I bet Ravens money line as well. While the Patriots might have the best secondary we’ve seen in since the 2016 Broncos, the Ravens have plenty of fire power on the ground to put up points against a defense that has yet to be legitimately tested, unlike the 49ers, who are just killing everyone. More on them later.

  • Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (+3.5)

Let me be clear: I have not wagered on this game yet. The Browns are getting heavy action (-125) and I’m expecting this to move in Denver’s direction again later this week (if not today).

This line opened at Denver -1.5. Then Joe Flacco ran his mouth, and Denver benched him due to a “sore neck.” Mmmkay.

But, the last time Joe Flacco was worth 4.5 points was……2012? Never?

Give me the Broncos as the home dawg against a team that just loves throwing footballs to the other team, dropping footballs so that the other team can have them, and arguing with reporters because they’re falling way short of their projected nine wins from Vegas.

Word of caution: Denver absolutely shit the bed last time they were in this spot (Kansas City, two weeks ago) and I’m well aware of how bad they are.

  • Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders (-2)

The public loves the Detroit Lions.

I don’t recall ever writing that sentence before, but here we are. The Lions are getting 70% of the bets heading into Thursday, and Raiders are getting over 50% of the money. Oakland just came off a legitimately competitive game against the Texans and are finally taking a trip home for the first time since Week 2 (!). I love the Raiders here as the short home favorite almost as much as I love the idea of betting against Matthew Stafford right when the public is starting to trust him (even though he hasn’t covered in two weeks).

  • Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)

This isn’t technically a home dog, with the Jaguars hosting Houston in London this Sunday, but the underdog has the value here. Jaguars nearly upset Houston in Week 2 and I love them in this spot catching points on a neutral field. I’m sad that I couldn’t catch this game when it opened at 3, but the Jaguars are getting nearly 60% of the money while getting less than 40% of the bets. Gardner Minshew even sounds a little British (You know you just said his name in a British accent in your head. Don’t lie to me).

How can you not trust this man?
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6.5) at Seattle Seahawks

Trap game.

Jameis Winston loves throwing interceptions, but he also loves making you think he’s good right after you declared that he can’t be saved.

But this is more about the Seahawks than Tampa, as Seattle is playing at San Francisco next week and just wants to walk out of this game with Russell Wilson walking properly. I was all over Seattle two weeks ago when they hosted the aforementioned Ravens, and they fell flat on their stupid faces. Come to think of it, I’m not sure Seattle has put together an impressive showing all season. I expect this game to be close, and wouldn’t be surprised if Tampa Bay was able to win this one.

  • Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers (-3)

This is an easy bet for me to make with resurgent Titans, winners of two in a row with my favorite friend Ryan Tannehill at the helm, traveling to Carolina to face a Panthers team that was mollywhoped at San Francisco last week.

I am of course referring to the general narrative that is no doubt circulating re: these two teams. I’m throwing last week out (surprise) and betting on a Panthers team that is vastly undervalued after wetting the bed in San Fran. I don’t see Tennessee being able to score in Carolina.  

  • Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5)

I’m wagering here that Vegas simply knows something that I don’t about this game. I don’t really know why this line is so low, with the Chargers being an absolute mess and Packers fans travelling as well as they do, but I have a feeling the hook is saving me here.

The Chargers are getting an incredibly low 5% of the money, which I would say is unheard of, but the Packers were doing the same thing to Kansas City last week prior to the line jumping to 5.5. Hopefully the public continues to hammer the Packers so that I can squeeze more value out of this game later in the week.

P.S. Can’t wait for the Chargers to Charger it up and fail to cover in the most miserable way imaginable

  • Chicago Bears at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5)

The Bears are catching a good amount of sharp action this week, but I don’t buy it. The Iggles strolled into Buffalo last week and stomped Josh Allen and his poise into the ground and now are returning home for the first time since Oct. 6.

The Bears are toast and I love this match-up for Philadelphia. I expect the Eagles to try to establish the run early in this Jordan Howard revenge game (and against a quietly inconsistent Chicago run defense) and for them to be successful in doing so. This line should be 6, and it’s still not there. Give me the Eagles.

  • Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants (+7.5)

Last time we saw the Cowboys, they beat the Eagles into a bloody pulp. Now, they’re rested and coming off a bye and playing a mediocre Giants team on the road.

This is the exact spot to bet against the Cowboys, at least in the Jason Garrett era. Dallas has covered only once in their last five games coming off a bye, outright losing three of said games.

Dec 7, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Steelers won 42-21. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
  • Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (+1)

It’s admittedly worrisome that James Conner might not play this week. However, Pittsburgh should be favored. Quietly, the Steelers have won 3 of their last 4, with the only loss coming against the Ravens. The Colts are a quality team, and they are catching 70% of the bets.

  • San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+10)

Similar premise to my Buccaneers pick. San Francisco just wants to get out of this Thursday game alive. This line opened at 7 (where the line should be) and jumped all the way to double-digits in a matter of hours. The value is on the Cardinals.

Gun-to-my-head picks: 22-16-1

Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) at Kansas City Chiefs*

Washington Redskins (+10) at Buffalo Bills

New York Jetsat Miami Dolphins (+3)

*Off the board

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