Another revealing week in the NFL brought us an undefeated single Tom Brady, a still troubled Green Bay Packers team, an elbow injury to the potential MVP and a brand, new head coach in Indianapolis who has not so much as coached a single minute in the NFL. More on that later.
So far this season, yours truly remains on a scorcher, picking games at a 65% clip (28-15-2 ATS) so I hope you’ve been paying attention and gambling accordingly. Our celebrity guests are more than holding their own at 27-18 ATS and Kevin, well, let’s just say he’ll be sitting at the kiddy table this Thanksgiving, asking for permission to make more bad picks with his second helping of stuffing. Our defending champion of this contest has resorted to flipping coins for winners. I’m already looking forward to his season’s end post professing my greatness and proclaiming me champion.
But it’s a little too early to start counting chickens so we’ll hold off on any further self-aggrandizement. Our guest this week is none other than local stand-up comedian and fantasy football podcast host Bobby Kady. I look forward to hearing what he has in store, but his picks can’t be any more comical than KP’s. Rim shot please!
Without further ado, our current standings, and our picks. Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your servers.
$50 on Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders (- 4 ½)
I tend bar for a living. I’m perfectly capable of doing other things, as I have professionally over the years. But Tampa General wouldn’t hand me a hospital gown and some sutures and expect me to perform open heart surgery. That’s exactly what Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has done with his current coaching staff. He has handed the keys to his banged-up old Chrysler to a man who has never driven a car. Fortunately for new head coach Jeff Saturday, the Colts have extremely low expectations. Forget the fact that the coaches currently on this staff, regardless of their relationship with Jeff Saturday, must be stewing about him getting this job over them. This entire organization is ill-equipped to compete in this league, with Irsay winning the NFL’s Most Incompetent Owner of Week Award, narrowly edging out regular honorees Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones. This weekend, Irsay and his Colts travel to Vegas. With little to play for, you can’t tell me their players won’t be out gambling and carousing the night before Sunday’s game. On the other side of the poker chip, the Raiders are also horrible. There’s locker room infighting and a quarterback who looks like someone just shot his dog. They are in last place in the AFC West and are nowhere close to having the success they thought they’d have. This weekend’s matchup couldn’t come at a better time. The Raiders will open one up on the Colts as their head coach scrambles to get the plastic wrap off his new playbook. This is a game has all the potential to get ugly. Saturday sat on ESPN’s help desk for months trashing coaches for jobs they couldn’t do. It’s his turn to get thrown into the fire. Raiders cover the four-and-a-half easily and makes this my no-brainer of the week.
$40 on Missouri Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers (-20 ½)
Missouri is in trouble. This week, they travel to Knoxville to play the Tennessee Volunteers. The Vols are in a pickle. Previously ranked number one in the nation, their loss to Georgia leaves their hands tied. There’s essentially no way they can win their division, nor represent the SEC in the championship game. That doesn’t mean they won’t get an invite to college football’s playoff system. The voters still like them as one of the best teams in the nation. That means, Tennessee will have to smoke whoever they play for the rest of the season to remind the college playoff committee that they deserve a place in the Final Four. They might have a point. That task begins this week against a Missouri team that doesn’t really score the football. They’re averaging 23 points per game. Meanwhile, Tennessee is first in the nation in yards per game and second in the nation in scoring, averaging 45 points per game which, if you do the math, is twice Missouri’s output. Even if Tennessee didn’t have voters to impress, they’re infinitely better than Missouri and should win this home afternoon game handily. I’ll take Tennessee minus the twenty-and-a-half.
$30 on Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-9 ½)
Every Sunday night after the action subsides, I’ll look over the following week’s slate and come up with what I think should be the next week’s lines. If you’re not doing this yourself, you should start. Then I’ll look at my lines, see which are drastically different from Las Vegas’ and bet accordingly. One such game this week was Jacksonville at Kansas City. I thought this spread might reach well over two touchdowns. Swanson, Samsonite, I was way off. The Chiefs are at home and only laying nine-and-a-half. I feel like I’m repeating myself. The Jaguars are overvalued, and I can prove it. They are 3-6 ATS this season, which is good for 31st in the league behind only Tampa Bay, who Vegas also thinks will keep winning, or at least covering, but doesn’t. I like Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and even Christian Kirk but I fail to see why we keep thinking this team is ready for prime time. They are 3-6 on the season, not only against the spread but in the standings. Prior to beating a dysfunctional Raiders team last week, the Jags had lost five straight. Their only impressive win on the season remains the afternoon they went to San Diego and beat up on a Chargers team whose quarterback had bruised ribs. This week they travel to Arrowhead and while they’ll want to give it their best shot, they’re nowhere close to hanging with one of the best teams in the league. If Kansas City wants to put their foot on the gas, this has all the makings of a blowout. A feisty Jaguars team who wants to use this game as a measuring stick might make us sweat a cover early, but I don’t see how the Chiefs don’t end up putting them away handily by the fourth. I’ll take the Chiefs to cover the nine-and-a-half.
$20 on Florida State Seminoles at Syracuse Orange (+7)
I’m seeing a lot of recency bias in college football lines lately, which is a good sign if you can spot them. That means an opportunity to make some money. For example, Florida State is coming off a dismantling of Miami. That game, a huge instate rivalry, was never close. That leads everybody to believe Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation. And they’re not bad. That doesn’t change the fact that Miami is horrible, and Florida State might not be as good as we all think. They’re still a flawed football team. Keep in mind not all that long ago, this team lost three straight football games, albeit to three ranked teams, Wake Forest, North Carolina State and Clemson. Speaking of three straight losses, Syracuse is coming off an unhealthy bender of their own. After winning their first six ballgames, Syracuse has dropped their last three. They can’t get back to the Carrier Dome soon enough, which is where they’ll be hosting the Seminoles, this Saturday night, and you guys know how I feel about home dogs at night in college football. The Seminoles are laying seven points in a game I believe the Orange can win outright. This game doesn’t mean much more than bragging rights as neither team can catch Clemson in the ACC’s Atlantic, so it will just be another rowdy night in Syracuse with the Orange reminding the garnet and gold that it is still a tough place to play. I’ll take Syracuse plus the seven.
$10 on Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2 ½)
Anybody who’s ever read this website understands that I love betting the Lions and taking the points. Under Dan Campbell, this team has played an inspired, albeit under .500 brand of football. I also generally don’t like betting the Bears. This is a team that over the years has proven they simply cannot score the football. However, America has now fallen in love with Justin Fields. We are all finally praising Chicago’s decision to draft him, at least after last Sunday. All Fields did last week, in a loss to the Dolphins, was throw for three touchdowns and run for one more. Fields will likely not rush for 178 yards against Detroit, and he’s still rushing for more yards than he’s passing but he’s the focal point of the Bears offense that so desperately needs it. Detroit on the other hand has yet to win a road game. They’re coming off an emotional victory over Green Bay but raise your hand if you haven’t beat Green Bay this season. Like I said, I do like the Lions, and I normally hate betting against them but this week I must ride the hot hand and that hot hand is behind center in Chicago. Look for Justin Fields to win this game again single-handedly, leading the Bears to cover the spread of two-and-a-half.
THE WIFE HATES SPORTS WEEK TEN
$50: Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
Jacksonville has competed in six straight one possession games. That includes an eight-point loss to the Eagles back on October 2. Five of the six games have been losses and four have been against teams with losing records. Enter Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. If the Jags are going to have a chance, it’ll have to start with an established run game featuring Travis Etienne Jr. Kansas City ranks fifth in run defense (102.0 ypg allowed). That could be partially because teams get into passing shootouts with them. Despite that, K.C. is miles ahead of Jacksonville’s more recent opponents. So while the Jags are headed in the right direction as a franchise, I don’t like their chances this weekend. Chiefs cover at home.
$40: LSU Tigers (-3.5) at Arkansas Razorbacks
After narrowing the NFL and College slates down, I dropped a handful of CFB games from my final cut, leaving me with this SEC matchup. The Tigers have turned the corner and look to build off the momentum of an impressive win over Alabama last week. This week, LSU travels to Arkansas, an up-and-down team that has lost its last two home games (both to ranked teams, Alabama and Liberty). Two stats from Phil Steele stick out and explain the line: 1) Arkansas is 10-4-1 ATS versus LSU since 2007 and 2) Seven of LSU’s last ten trips to Arkansas have been decided by one possession. So, technically if LSU wins by a touchdown, that’s one possession. The red-hot Tigers cover on the road.
$30: Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Tua has been steady and effective on the field this season. As a result, the Miami offense has been a lot for opponents to handle. Last week’s Dolphins-Bears game was a high-scoring surprise and this matchup has a lot of similarities. That is if you look at the Browns, a team with the 3rd ranked rushing offense (164.6 ypg – and yes, the Bears currently rank first). The Dolphins did just enough to shut down Justin Fields. Cleveland is more a focus on the backs and not so much QB mobility. In the end, with home field, I like Tua and the Dolphins to cover at home.
$20: Indianapolis Colts (+4.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
Change can spark a team. Yes, the Jeff Saturday hiring didn’t just come from left field, but from a completely different ZIP code… or perhaps even another planet. Yet, here he is. Jonathan Taylor looks on track to play and we could see a return to the run game. Indianapolis features the 6th ranked pass defense (192.3 ypg allowed), which could create a challenge for a Raiders offense that has sputtered of late. Look for the Colts to establish the run, improve on its -8 turnover differential, and put together a more consistent performance. In what should be a close game, give me the Colts and the points on the road.
$10: Washington Commanders (+11) at Philadelphia Eagles
I fell victim to the large NFL spreads last week and decided to pivot in the other direction. The Carson Wentz revenge equation (and inconsistency) is out of the picture. It’s the Taylor Heinicke show in D.C., and the team responds to him. Last week, the Commanders blew a 4th quarter lead to the Vikings, but the game was within reach. There are certainly distractions right now in Washington. However, Philadelphia has the growing pressure of trying to run the table. As for this rivalry, six of the last seven games have been by 10 points or less. Therefore, give me the Commanders and the points.
CELEBRITY GUEST WEEK TEN: BOBBY KADY (Last season’s record: 3-2, -$70)
$50 on North Carolina Tar Heels (+3.5) vs Wake Forest Demon Deacons
– Two words. Drake Maye. He “may” be better than this year’s NFL draft top prospects Bryce Young and CJ Stroud. Wake Forest is not a bad team, and their QB Sam Hartman is no slouch. But for me, it’s simple. UNC is hot and Wake Forest has been stumbling. Either way, I highly recommend tuning into this game just to watch Mr. Drake Maye accompanied by a very talented WR corps.
$40 on Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) vs Carolina Panthers
– Atlanta seems to have the most realistic opportunity to challenge the Bucs in the division. You must win these kinds of games. These two teams played just 2 weeks ago where Carolina’s Hail Mary was all-for-not after a missed extra point after a DJ Moore penalty for, uh, showing his face. But Atlanta has Patterson back and I expect that run game to get rolling after Carolina allowed Joe Mixon to have a Madden-esque stat line.
$30 on LSU Tigers (-3) vs Arkansas Razorbacks
– Trap game for LSU game after win vs the all mighty Alabama Crimson Tide? I think not. I can’t stand Brian Kelly, but there is no denying that he’s got these kids in the bayou believing year one. More importantly, he has found a gem in Jayden Daniels. Arkansas is a good team. But they are inconsistent and have lacked a complete 60 minutes against top tier foes.
$20 on Denver Broncos vs Tennessee Titans (-3)
– Most teams would feel great after a win heading into their bye week, and come out strong with an extra week of prep. But what about if you trade away your star, premiere pass rusher in Bradley Chubb? Mostly, I’m betting more so on Vrabel over Hackett. Vrabel continues to be underrated, and in my humble opinion, the best coach in the NFL over the past few years. Hackett could be fired in his first year with multiple basic, high school level coaching mistakes.
$10 on TCU (+7) vs Texas Longhorns
– I admit this one is just fun for me. I am eager to watch this game. TCU has been fun to watch. That’s a lot of points for a team that just continues to find a way to win. I guess it’s conceivable that Texas could beat the brakes off of the Horned Frogs, as TCU is dealing with injuries, most notably star WR Quentin Johnston being questionable. But this team is gritty. The David surrounded by Goliaths in the CFP top 4.