Like I always say, you can’t win ‘em all. Or, for the sake of staying on-brand of my 2018-19 gambling season, I should probably start saying “can’t lose ‘em all.”
At the risk of tempting the gambling gods, that is exactly what happened last week. I did not lose all of my bets! In fact, I won exactly one (count ’em, one) of my bets! Jets +3 (-105) covered easily after (the now resurgent?) Sam Darnold and co. dismantled the Raiders on Sunday. I did however lose my other six bets that I strongly advised you to take last week, causing me to stare longingly at the pavement outside of the fourth‑floor of my office building.
Alas, cooler heads prevailed and we continue to march forward here at the Barnburner. I consider Thanksgiving to be the ideal week to bet NFL games, as how the hell else are you supposed to get through four quarters of this every year (besides spending time with your family etc.):
This week, I will celebrate thanksgiving by betting all three Thanksgiving games. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Eat lots of pie.
Week 12 record: 1-6
Season Record: 66-51-1
Week 13 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.
- Chicago Bears (-2.5) at Detroit Lions
This line jumped to 3.5, but I still like the Bears provided there isn’t a miracle comeback from Matthew Stafford in this one (listed as doubtful heading into Wednesday). Simply put, the Bears are still trying to win (as silly as that sounds) and the Lions……I guess there’s an angle that this might be the last game where they try this season, but I have zero confidence in their ability to move the ball against this Bears defense. I’m taking the short road favorite and I’m prepared to start Thanksgiving off in very sad fashion.
- Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
I’m waiting for this line to drop to 6.5, but I will be on the Dallas side in this game. This is a big bounce-back spot for Dallas and I do not believe the Bills will be able to win the turnover battle or stop the Dallas offense in this one. The Bills are a public underdog, getting over 61% of the bets so far. I think many are simply waiting for this line to drop to 6.5 before jumping on it. At that point, I expect the bets/money percentages to normalize in Dallas’ favor.
- New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (+7)
The Falcons laid an egg last week, and New Orleans is coming into this game looking for a bit of revenge after Atlanta pulled off arguably the biggest upsets of the season a few weeks back. I like the full touchdown at home on a short week for both teams. I have this line at six, so I believe we are catching one point of value.
- San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)
Last Sunday, when I was sad and depressed, I looked ahead at some lines looking for bounce back opportunities. I saw Baltimore at 4.5, and jumped on it, thinking Baltimore should be favored by a significant amount at home against the 49ers.
As it turns out, the line jumped to six after their blowout of the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. Upon more sober thought over the last few days, this line actually appears inflated and I would skew more towards the 49ers if it continues to rise (unlikely at this point).
I still like the Ravens as the home favorite. I don’t believe in San Francisco’s ability to travel east in this spot and I expect Baltimore to win the turnover battle. Baltimore has already shown the ability to handle good defenses at home and San Francisco has struggled to cover against mobile quarterbacks (see last three weeks before they turned Aaron Rodgers into a shit sandwich).
- Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Arizona Cardinals
The Rams needs this game. They’re terrible. The Cardinals are coming off a bye and have been the most profitable team to-date ATS. They are the public’s darling right now, and this is the exact spot to fade them. Rams are getting 60% of the money despite receiving only 42% of the bets. Fade the public and pray Jared Goff has some semblance of pride left in his body after what happened to him last Monday night.
- Los Angeles Chargers (+1.5) atDenver Broncos
This is another look-ahead line that I jumped on Sunday afternoon. However, unlike Baltimore, I still feel very good about this side heading into Sunday.
The Chargers are coming off a bye, healthy and the Broncos, who have been competitive for most of the season, are just waiting to start shitting the bed so they can waltz their way into a top-7 pick. I expect Los Angeles to win, though I might stay away if this line gets to 3.
- Minnesota Vikings (+3) atSeattle Seahawks
The Seahawks easily won in Philadelphia last week, but I believe that had more to do with Philadelphia than Seattle.
I’ve been crushed lately for fading the Seahawks, but Minnesota catching 3 off a bye when either side could win is a little ludicrous. I like Kirk Cousins in prime time (shoot me) in this spot. However, I should point out that since 2014, the Vikings are 0-13-1 on the road & outdoors against teams that are above .500 as an underdog….
- Cleveland Browns (-2) at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Browns are the play, despite heavy line movement indicating that Pittsburgh is catching a good amount of value as the home underdog. If this line stays below three, take the Baker Mayfields. If it jumps above three, hedge.
- New York Jets at Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5)
Who loves ya, baby?
The Captain is back, and he is ready to piss-off every Cincinnati fan with a win this Sunday (+163 on the money line, if you’re curious).
I love the Bengals in this spot. The Jets are a bit overvalued after a dominant win last week. Make no mistake about it, the Jets are still very bad and the Bengals, who have quietly covered two weeks in a row, should not be catching more than a field goal at home in this spot.
Give me the red rifle one last time.
- New England Patriotsat Houston Texans (+3.5)
The Texans are catching the same amount of respect that the Baltimore Ravens received four weeks ago (line is now at 3). The Texans are not the Ravens, but the Patriots are not the same team they were four weeks ago, either. We are getting a lot of value with Houston as the home underdog, and I do not think this is a Patriots team that can break all of the rules anymore.
- Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (+7)
Coming off a blowout loss, the Packers would ordinarily be my pick in a nice “get right” spot for Aaron Rodgers in co. However, this is not the spot to bet the Packers. Both teams are beat up, and this may come down to which side is healthier heading into Sunday, but I like the home underdog catching a full touchdown against a slumping team.
Gun-to-my-head picks: 34-23-1
Tennessee Titans (+2.5) at Indianapolis Colts
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)
Philadelphia Eaglesat Miami Dolphins (+9.5)
Washington Redskins (+10) at Carolina Panthers