Pick-up Lines: Week 12

Last week was fascinating. With many of the major public plays hitting all at once, we watched the sportsbooks get demolished at a rate not normally seen from week to week. Four of the top five most-bet games covered (Dallas, New England, NYJ and Kansas City, respectively. In addition to that, four other teams who grabbed >55% of the bets cashed. Combine that with the number of parlays associated with those teams and I wouldn’t be surprised if some bookies had to clean out their offices Monday morning.

Favorites went 9-4-1 ATS and road teams (again) crushed, finishing at 8-4-1 for the week. We’re looking for a bounce-back week, as many of my bets not only lost but looked straight-up foolish (Carolina over Atlanta? Houston over Baltimore? Anyone?).

I look dumb sometimes. We march forward.

Week 11 record: 4-5

Season Record: 65-46-1

Week 12 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.

  • Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5)

A lot of you that just read the “I promise I’m not an idiot” thing above are probably a little skeptical of that after seeing my first bet on the bored.

Give me the Iggles, who are coming into this game severely undervalued after pooping away a game against the Patriots last week (a game that many people watched). They are matching up the Seahawks, who are sitting pretty at 8-2 after we saw them beat San Francisco in primetime two weeks ago.

I’ve been getting worked on a good portion of my short-home favorite plays this season, but the Eagles need this game heading into the rest of their incredibly soft second half schedule to remain in playoff contention. Teams coming from west-to-east in the second half of the season don’t ordinarily do too well.

  • Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-6.5)

Love this game.

Everyone is down on the Patriots. Even Tom Brady, who is employed by the Patriots and has been since I became cognizant of the times tables, is down on the Patriots.

Their recent offensive struggles aside, we haven’t seen any real evidence that the Pats have actually fallen off in any way to warrant a relatively short line against a talented yet inconsistent Dallas team. Losing in Baltimore was expected. Struggling to win in Philadelphia is reasonable. That doesn’t meant the Patriots should be laying less than 7 in this spot at home.

The Cowboys have yet to cover against an above .500 team on the road this season, with their only impressive showing really coming at home against the Eagles in Week 7. If you’re on the Dallas side, I would wait until this line jumps to 7 before kick-off.

  • Denver Broncos (+5) at Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills are receiving 63% of the bets, but only 35% of the money. The Broncos, meanwhile, just walked into Minnesota and got off to a 20-0 start before pissing away the game (but not the cover!) to Kirk Cousins and co. I have been on the “Bills are frauds” bandwagon for weeks, and I don’t intend to stop now.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

This is the ideal spot to bet Pittsburgh, as much as I hate to do it after Mason Rudolph acted like he frequents Weenie Hut Jr.’s (or Super Weenie Hut Jr.’s, depending on which angle you saw) on national T.V. in the closing seconds of a piss-poor four-interception performance.

Cincinnati covered last week, and Pittsburgh needs this game in order to have any prayer of staying in the playoff hunt. I have no choice to bet on Pittsburgh against the 0-10 Bungals in this spot, despite the fact that they are employing a QB1 whom Roger Goodell clearly kept on the field because he thought it would be significantly worse for Pittsburgh without a suspension.  

Pittsburgh’s defense should control this game. Despite the divisional angle, I’m betting the road favorite. If this number reaches 7, I stay away.

Unrelated, did I mention that Mason Rudolph, standing at 6’5” and weighing in at 235 pounds,  reached for another grown man’s junk on National T.V. after his 300-pound teammates (plural) jumped in between the two and ended the fight?

I also don’t know how Mike Tomlin and Freddie Kitchens aren’t taking more heat for what transpired. Why is Mike Tomlin running four-wide down two touchdowns on the road with 12 seconds left? Spread was 2.5, there is no backdoor cover in that spot, Mike. And Freddie, who doesn’t play prevent in this spot? Why send a blitz there?

The same thing happened in the Malic in the Palace (almost 15 years ago to the date of this post). Larry Brown, down 15 points runs a post-up for Ben Wallace while still having almost all of his starters in the game in fucking November, leading to a hard charge to the hoop and a harder foul from known psychopath Ron Artest, leading to one of the darker moments in sports history. Watch the clip, the Pistons clear the lane for one of the worst offensive players in league history.

Not that the two instances should really be compared (one involved fans, the other did not), but it just goes to show you that inexplicable coaching decisions late in blow-outs lead to fights and a lot of column inches wasted talking about said stupidity (like these column inches!).

All reactions from that little scuffle last Thursday were unwarranted. The one-sided outrage was equally weak.

End rant. Bengals are bad. Lay the 6.5.

  • Green Bay Packers (+3) at San Francisco 49ers

There is a lot of action on this game, with bets coming in on both side and the sharps leaning more towards the almighty 49ers.

I’m okay with needing Aaron Rodgers in primetime in this spot. Coming off a bye, the Packers have had this game circled on their calendar for weeks, and I like a fresh Packers team even on the road in this match-up of former Redskins employees. Aaron Rodgers off a bye (at least 10 days rest) is 15-5‑2 ATS all time, including 5-1 as an underdog. Bet on A-A-Ron(s).

  • Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (+3)

The 3-7 J-E-T-S (Jets Jets Jets) are bad. The 6-4 Oakland Raiders are good, or at least have been coming on in recent weeks.

Well, let’s see it.

This is not a great spot for Oakland, heading east to face a sneaky-hot Jets team on the road. I’m getting a field goal when the numbers suggest I should be betting a two-point favorite here. On the other hand, there are numbers that suggest the Raiders are more on the fraudulent side of the spectrum, with their negative point differential (-25 through 10 games) and, you know, Derek Carr still employed as their QB1. Historically speaking it has been profitable to fade squads with winning records but negative point differentials.

  • Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Rams (+3)

This is a tough spot for Baltimore, a short road favorite coming three fantastic wins in blowout fashion. There is A LOT of action on Baltimore (84% of the bets heading into Friday). We’re looking at a very simple 80-20 rule play here, as the Rams are catching a field goal in a spot where they could easily win. Los Angeles, secretly, has been one of the most profitable teams ATS this season (7-3 thus far). I really hope this game jumps to 3.5.

Gun-to-my-head picks: 30-20-1

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-3.5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5) at Atlanta Falcons

New York Giants (+6) at Chicago Bears

Miami Dolphins (+10.5) at Cleveland Browns

Carolina Panthers (+9.5) at New Orleans Saints

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins (+3.5)

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