It’s November which means it’s getting cold around here no, I’m not talking about the weather.
For the second straight week, the three wise men picking football games went 6-9 against the spread. I suppose it’s a good thing we still have our day jobs. (P.S. I work at night.)
In another week gone wild in the NFL, several double-digit favorites ended up losing outright. The once Super Bowl bound Buffalo Bills couldn’t score a touchdown against Jacksonville. The Dallas Cowboys, who were once 7-0 against the spread, got trampled by Broncos and the Derrick Henry-less Tennessee Titans forced MVP candidate and Rams quarterback Matt Stafford into back-to-back interceptions for the first time in his career. Go figure.
If you gambled on football last weekend, odds are you lost but that’s the good thing about gambling. There is always another opportunity to earn your money back… or give more of it away.
Kevin and I will be hoping for the former as we lick our wounds and step gingerly into Week 10. This week, we invite Bobby Kady into the mix. Kady runs a fantasy football podcast and is a local stand-up comedian, which we find appropriate since our picks have been nothing short of comedic. He has a little write-up for you below, but before we get to him…
Let me have $50 on Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Late Tuesday night, news emerged of domestic abuse allegations against Dalvin Cook. Cook is the superstar running back of the Minnesota Vikings. He has vehemently denied the charges. The Vikings’ success is largely predicated on the ground game he creates. He ranks third in the league in total yards per game. Untrue or not, these allegations can’t bode well for a Vikings team that is already struggling. They are 3-5 and have won only once on the road. Meanwhile, the superior Chargers sit atop the AFC West, a division which has four teams over .500. The Chargers are three points better than the Vikings without all the drama surrounding Cook. With it, the Chargers should be able to win this game relatively handily, and most certainly by three, especially if the Vikings aren’t 100%.
I’ll take $40 on Cleveland Browns (+2 ½) at New England Patriots
Speaking of clubhouse drama, the Cleveland Browns just got rid of theirs. Odell Beckham, Jr., once a Brown, is now a Ram. The on-field connection between he and Baker Mayfield never panned out as much as the Browns would have liked. In fact, it barely panned out at all. Beckham only had seven receiving touchdowns in two-and-a-half seasons. No Beckham? No problem. The Browns manhandled the Bengals last week and put themselves squarely back into the AFC playoffs mix. This week, they’ll travel to Foxboro to face an overachieving Patriots team. Personally, I think the Patriots are overvalued while the Brownies are undervalued. Both teams are 5-4 and desperate for a win but pound for dawg pound, the Browns are the more talented team. For some reason, the Pats have struggled at home where they’re a rather surprising 1-4. I have a hunch the Browns ride momentum and sneak into Foxboro to steal one. Since I’m getting two-and-a-half, I’ll take the Browns plus the points on the road.
I’ll take $30 on the Camolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (-10 ½)
Do you want to know the 2021 NFL definition of desperation? The Carolina Panthers paying Cam Newton $10 million to give him his job back. Someone on Twitter recently joked that the owner of the Carolina Panthers is now paying Cam Newton, the guy they signed to replace Cam Newton and the guy who replaced the guy they thought would replace Cam Newton. It’s like a really expensive Abbott and Costello routine except Panthers fans are not laughing. In September, it appeared Carolina had moved on. The Panthers started the season 3-0. Behind their newly signed quarterback, Sam Darnold, it looked like the Panthers might even be legitimate playoff contenders. Then Sam Darnold remembered he was Sam Darnold and the Panthers have lost five of their last six. Here’s a look at Carolina’s depth chart at quarterback: PJ Walker, Sam Darnold, Matt Barkley and James Morgan. I guess that’s why they called up Cam, to get the band back together and officially make Carolina the most fucked team in the league outside of the Houston Texans. This week, Cam and Company travel to play the best team in the league, the 7-1 Arizona Cardinals. Talk about bad timing. Arizona’s got health problems at quarterback as well, meaning Kyler Murray is a game time decision but no Murray no problem. League veteran Colt McCoy started in his place and proved at 35 years old, he’s better than anyone Carolina has on their roster. Another CMC, Christian McCaffrey is going to have to put the Panthers on his back but that won’t be easy all by himself, especially against a top five defense. Arizona is also top five offensively which means this is could be a long day for Carolina as they inch closer to the 2022 Top NFL Draft pick. It’s a lot of points to lay but all signs point Arizona minus ten-and-a-half.
How about $20 on New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (-2 ½)
Am I missing something here? The Titans just went into Los Angeles last weekend and handed the Rams an embarrassing loss. Nobody expected that outcome considering MVP candidate Derrick Henry had foot surgery and was lost for the regular season. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Saints just lost to the Falcons? The line is this game is only two-and-a-half points. Head-scratcher. The Titans have won five straight and sit atop the AFC South, although they can definitely hear the Colts breathing down their necks. It’s the NFL and no lead is ever safe. The Saints are only one game back of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South but last week’s setback against Atlanta is concerning. The Saints still have major issues at quarterback. They play well on the road, with wins already in New England, Washington and Seattle but Tennessee is better than all those teams. New Orleans’ defense is near the top of the league but I’m not sure they’ll be able to control the ball possession after possession for enough scores to keep up with the Titans. I’ll take Tennessee minus the two-and-a-half.
And finally, I’ll take $10 on UConn Huskies (+41) at Clemson Tigers
I can’t help myself. I feel like the oddsmakers keep parading out the same old, bloated lines and expecting me to see a different result. I don’t know what the Clemson Tigers are against the spread this season (I’m kidding, they’re 2-7) but they are only now starting to find themselves as a football team. They beat Florida State and Louisville in back-to-back weeks but have yet to put together a three-game winning streak this season. They’ll do that this weekend as they host UConn. UConn is a horrible football team. They are 1-8. But the Clemson Tigers are laying an overwhelming 41 points! I feel like I’m a broken record. Clemson has scored over 40 points only once this season. This is not the Clemson of old. They’ll work out some kinks against UConn but all UConn has to do is score a touchdown or two to make covering this point spread unattainable. It might be even if they don’t score. Clemson is not ready to be laying this many points. I’ll take UConn plus the 41.
THE WIFE HATES SPORTS WEEK TEN PICKS
$50 NFL: Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (-10.5)
I’ve floundered with my highest confidence picks over the last few weeks. Here, there’s some risk, considering Arizona currently has an injury report that’s as long as a CVS receipt. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins missed last week and could be out again. Despite their absence, Arizona posted 31 points and knocked out the Niners. Enter the Panthers, a team that’s biggest news is the return of “Superman”. Do we really think Cam Newton can be the savior for a team that started 3-0 and has since lost five of six? Newton should be serviceable, just not a fancy hat wearing season saver. Meanwhile, P.J. Walker starts for Carolina. Considering the Panthers have scored just 28 points over the last three weeks, I have a hard time seeing Walker going toe-to-toe with the Cards. Even with all the injuries. Arizona covers.
$40 College: Duke Blue Devils at Virginia Tech Hokies (-11.5)
Virginia Tech’s season opening win over a highly ranked UNC team feels like ages ago. Now, the Hokies are 4-5 (2-3 in the ACC Coastal). Justin Fuente is on the hot seat and could be looking for another job next season. If the Hokies lose this game, he most certainly will be. Enter Duke, the cure for just about every team’s ills. Virginia Tech’s offensive inconsistency is likely to be sparked by a Duke pass defense that ranks 129th in the nation and has allowed 21 TD’s through the air. The Blue Devils have allowed 31 points or more in six straight games. That includes 33 points to Kansas (at least that was a win) and a recent three-game stretch against Virginia, Wake, and Pitt where they were outscored 147-36. So, despite VT’s struggles, a home game in Blacksburg should be just what the doctor ordered. Hokies cover.
$30 NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5) at Washington Football Team
Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin are currently major question marks heading into the weekend. This could leave the Bucs with Mike Evans, Tyler Johnson, and Jaelon Darden as the team’s only healthy wide receivers. Tom Brady managed through similar in New England for years. Simply put, Brady makes every teammate better. On the flip side, Taylor Heinicke is not the same player that pushed Tampa Bay to the brink in last year’s playoffs. The WFT has its share of injuries on offense, too. No Curtis Samuel and no Logan Thomas. Antonio Gibson has a lingering stress fracture in his shin and the O-line is also banged up. Worse, the Football Team’s defense continues to be a major disappointment and now will be without Montez Sweat. No pressure on Brady? Yeah, give me the Bucs to cover on the road.
$20 College: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-5.5) at Virginia Cavaliers
With this game, it’s really which team has had more success when being battle tested – and that’s Notre Dame. Virginia’s toughest foes this season are North Carolina (loss by 20), Wake Forest (loss by 20), and BYU (loss by 17). The Wake game was at home. On the flip side, the Fighting Irish have wins over Wisconsin (by 28), North Carolina (by 10), Purdue (by 14), and Virginia Tech (by 3). Since its loss to Cincinnati on October 2, Notre Dame has rattled off four straight wins. Matchup-wise, I look at Virginia’s #2 ranked passing offense (401.0 ypg) facing Notre Dame’s pass defense. On defense, the Irish are 65th in the nation against the pass (231.1 ypg allowed). What’s more eye-opening is Notre Dame allowing just 8 TD’s through the air in nine games (with 12 INT’s). Notre Dame wins the turnover battle and covers.
$10 NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (-2.5)
This should be a battle. Two defenses that are playing well. The Titans have allowed 27 sacks (3rd most), so the Saints defense could feast. Despite this, I lean towards the offensive side of the ball, specifically the RB position. Alvin Kamara has yet to practice this week. If he misses the game, that’s obviously huge. Tennessee is without Derrick Henry, as we all know. As I said last week, you can’t replace Henry, but let’s not discount how much talent is on this Titans team. Tennessee now has a three-headed monster to help carry the run game, plus A.J. Brown and Julio Jones in the pass game. They are improving defensively and had a monstrous win over the loaded Rams last week. For the Saints, there are question marks at the QB position, a lack of depth at the WR position, and a potential absence by Kamara. For these reasons and more, I like the Titans to cover at home.
CELEBRITY GUEST PICKS: BOBBY KADY
As I downloaded the new Hard Rock Sportsbook App in Tampa, Florida, my brain stormed through the history of betting to present day, wondering if this was actually the day. It was a Tuesday. There were no parades. I was at home about to head into work. Bookies were not raging and rioting in the streets. I wrestled with the legitimacy of this being the day with such little hype in my own personal lens of the world on this Tuesday. But it was, and Sports Betting would forever change.
Thank Jesus, and all the disciples, that I decided to watch every one else go nuts the first weekend, and wait it out for at least one week. As I waited for possible kinks to be resolved, I watched the NFL reach new levels of parity to the point of parody. Up was down, down was up, and after Week 9 of the NFL, I still had money in my bank account. And it’s all because I did not open that App Week 1 of its existence. Was this a lesson from God? I should never bet after what I witnessed, and realize we are never going to beat the system, right? I am gonna delete this app right now, right?
Hell no! That’s why I’m terming this weekend, “The Get Right Weekend”. The world, at least the NFL, has to return to some normalcy after a chaotic week. As the host of a fantasy football podcast (shameless plug, link below), I watched Malik Turner finish as a top 10 WR, Olamide Zaccheaus finish inside the top 5, and Elijah Moore finish as the WR 1 overall. Or how about Josh Allen finishing as the worst QB, because of another Josh Allen sacking, intercepting, and recovering a fumble all from the aforementioned Josh Allen. Colt McCoy went on to triple Josh Allen’s fantasy production. Which leads me right into my first pick…
BUF -12 @ NYJ
They will be playing with plenty of emotion after getting embarrassed by the Jags. As much as I love Robert Saleh, and believe he could turn around the fate of the Jet’s franchise, he does not do it this weekend. Matt White will attempt to stay in the game with another start at QB, but I don’t buy the hype, and the Bills are flat out better than how they played last week. I’m not overly worried about a back door cover as they like to keep the gas on the pedal, even in blowouts.
CAR +10.5 @ ARI
Just when you think Arizona should cover a spread at home, they do not. I love that Cliff Kingsbury started McCoy over an ailing Murray last week, but I think this situation is in a little bit more limbo this week. Darnold was placed on IR with a bum shoulder, and PJ Walker gets a shot. I’m not expecting a whole lot, but it can’t be too much worse than what we have seen from Darnold lately. CMC had no setbacks, and their offense is the worst part of their underrated defense.
SEA +3 @ GB
Green Bay is about to get Seattle’s best effort of the year. The Seahawks are clinging to life support at 3-5. However, they are coming off a bye with Russell Wilson looking ready to return to the lineup. We don’t know if Rodgers will play, and even if he does, expect some rust and fatigue. If the woke mob won’t get to A-Rod, expect Jamal Adams to this week. Remember the other time Aaron looked rusty? Week 1 against Jameis and the Saints? This line started at GB -4, so I think the money sees it too.
If you are looking for a couple college plays, here are two I like this week…
WAKE FOREST -2 vs NC STATE
Wake Forest is returning home after a devastating loss to UNC. As I watched my alma mater, Florida State Seminoles lose to NC State, I wondered, “how did we even lose this game?” I don’t normally say that after an FSU loss, because it’s pretty obvious. I did not say that during our loss to WF. They are well-coached, and primed for a bounce back, and that’s why I like Wake Forest.
PURDUE +21 @ OHIO STATE
I had to do a double take on this spread. Purdue has been tough all year. OSU seems to play close games with good competition. Both of these teams seem to be getting stronger as the year goes on. All Purdue has done lately was beat a #2 Iowa Hawkeyes and a #3 Michigan State team. Maybe I am missing something, but I like the 21 points the Boilermakers are getting.
Happy Betting to all on this “Get Right Weekend”, and be sure to give me a listen on Thee Fantasy Football Podcast if you enjoy a little levity with your football advice.
Thee Fantasy Football Podcast
Apple, Spotify, Google Play, and all Major Podcast Platforms
A Night of Comedy with Bobby Kady: Starring Cam Bertrand
December 17 @ La La’s Sangria Bar
Channelside Tampa, Fl