I had a 4-1 week and I’m shouting it from the rooftops!!! As I should considering it’s my first 80% week since October.
This weekend, we’re back to picking college games as the bowl season is finally upon us. All of us except the Florida Gators.
Speaking of the woefully eliminated, one more team has been ousted from playoff contention in the NFL, the New England Patriots, which marks the first time a Belichick-coached Pats team has been bumped this early since Tom Brady rode the pine.
With regards to Mr. Brady, apparently there’s a new Netflix Roast of the Goat coming out that is sure to include some quality Tampa humor. Surprisingly, I have yet to be contacted for material. Speaking of comedy, this week we’re looking for Bobby Kady to save the rest of you from wallowing in your mis-picking misery. Kady knows what he’s doing and is 6-3-1 against the spread for positive money so take heed.
With only four weeks to play, I hold a comfortable lead over my opponent but not comfortable enough. Meanwhile, our guest participants are not holding their own, by far experiencing their worst year yet.
SportsChump 40-29-1 +$370
The Wife Hates Sports 38-31-1 +$180
Celebrity Guests 30-38-1 -$230
I hate to beat a horse while you’re down but if I remove Swoops’ and DRealEmcee’s combined 9-1 records this season, the rest of you are picking games with a combined 36% accuracy. No wonder gambling is now legal in Florida.
But enough about you guys. This relay is down to first and second place. Therefore, lemme have…
$50 on Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (+3 ½)
If I were to tell you that the Tennessee Titans haven’t won a division game yet, would you believe me? Of course, you would. They’re not a good football team. Although you’d never know it by watching Monday night’s game against the Miami Dolphins, a game in which they did something that 767 teams before them failed to do, come back down two touchdowns with four minutes left. If the Titans hadn’t already moved on from Ryan Tannehill, they sure did Monday night as a fired-up Will Levis took the reins and appears to be their quarterback for the future. That emotional win should carry through to the next game. On the flipside, it appears that Houston’s magical run is over. Their injury report reads like the walking concussed. Tank Dell is lost for the season, CJ Stroud is in concussion protocol and both Will Anderson and Nico Collins are nowhere near 100%. The Texans are dangerously close to missing the playoffs. They are one of six AFC teams tied at 7-6 and, having lost two of their last three, are playing worse football than the Bills, Broncos, Colts, and Bengals who share that same record. For those reasons, I like the Titans to play spoilers. At 5-8, they’re not eliminated yet but far be it from a Mike Vrabel-coached team to lay down. They won’t. The line opened with the Titans as dogs and quickly moved to them as small favorites. Either way, they’ll ride Monday night’s momentum. Unfortunately, it’s a little too late to salvage their season for anything other than pride. Titans +3 ½.
$40 on Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6)
I have faith in the Jacksonville Jaguars. I’m not so sure I should, but I do. They’ve been playing some bad football lately, losers of their last two and three of their last five. This was a team that many considered at least a mild Super Bowl contender. I’m not sure this young squad has talent for the big game, but this isn’t a bad football team, at least not as bad as they’ve shown lately. They’re just going through some growing pains. Speaking of pain, Trevor Lawrence being bent backwards two weeks ago didn’t help matters. This weekend, on Sunday night, they face the top seed in the AFC: the Baltimore Ravens. Again, this is a conference that nobody wants to win. I’m not saying anything bad about the Ravens here, they’re also a quality football team but they’re essentially winning this conference by default as no other team has shown the desire or consistency to win the darn thing. Lamar Jackson is doing Lamar Jackson things but a closer look at this Ravens team shows they’ve had it relatively easy. I can’t find a signature road win on their schedule. Maybe Week Two against the Bengals but that’s back when the Bengals were struggling. Jacksonville matches up well with Baltimore and will be the best team they’ve played on the road to date. The Jaguars season is far from over. This team has enough fight in them, and experience now, that they should be able to prove they can hang with the best teams in the AFC, which as know, can be anybody in that conference. The line opened at six and has moved down to three, so I’ll cheat and take the six, even though I like Jacksonville to win this one outright. Jacksonville plus.
$30 on Dallas Cowboys at Buffalo Bills (-1 ½)
Remember how high I was on the Cowboys last weekend? I was right. They manhandled the Eagles. You might also recall how high I was on the Bills as well. In desperation mode, I liked them to go into Kansas City and pull out the win. So what if Kadarius Toney was lined up offsides? Without rules, there is anarchy. These two teams face off against each other this weekend, with Buffalo fighting for their playoff lives and Dallas fighting for the NFC East title. Home field in this year’s playoffs will be key. No one wants to play in Philadelphia and Dallas has yet to lose a game at home. Buffalo is still currently in the 11-hole, but after this game against Dallas, has two winnable games against New England and the Chargers. They’ll then face Miami the final week of the season in what could be a pivotal game. Don’t be surprised if we see the Bills run the table to finish the season but that all starts this Sunday, at home to Dallas. They will not look ahead. This is your game of the week, the Bills fighting for their lives against the hottest team in football. I like their chances. Despite Dak’s MVP-like season, the Cowboys have struggled on the road against stiff competition, losing at San Fran, Philly and even Arizona. The Bills are stiff competition. The line is small, the Bills need this win more than Dallas. They’ll get it and cover the 1 ½.
$20 on Washington Commanders at Los Angeles Rams (-6 ½)
Don’t look now but the Rams might make the playoffs. I don’t know how this is even possible. This team was once 3-6 and it looked like we were headed for another off-season of Sean McVay waffling about whether he wants to return, only to obviously do so. Right now, the Rams are one of five teams that are 6-7 and have a good shot at making the post-season. Of course, they won’t like who they’ll have to play in the first round but still this is a far cry from where they were after dropping three straight games about a month ago. This week, they face the Washington Commanders and dead man walking in Ron Rivera. While it would not surprise me one bit if this Washington team gives it one last ditch effort for their head coach before they’re officially eliminated from the playoffs, I’m not sure this team has it in them. They’re 4-9 and have dropped six of their last seven. Their only win during that stretch came against the New England Patriots. In other words, the Commanders are one of the worst teams in football. What would make me think they can go across the country and beat a team that’s vying for the playoffs? Nothing. Rams cover.
$10 on Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions (-4)
Dan Campbell is pissed. Never before in the history of NFL coaches have we seen a man run the entire gamut of emotions. He’s the coach you’d most like to see in a dark alley. While he’s physically intimidating, you know you could talk him into a tickle fight or hold a stuffed bunny at gunpoint and make him cry into submission. His Lions are struggling right now. The fourth best team in the NFC, maybe, is troughing at the wrong time. After last week’s inexplicable loss to the Chicago Bears, Campbell told the media he could be more irritable if necessary. Yeah, right. And I have a stuffed bunny and a water gun to sell you. That does not change the fact that if this game against the Broncos, at home, at night, were held ten weeks ago, when the Lions were hot and the Broncos were not, the line would be twice what it is now. While the Broncos are hot, and staving off elimination, and needing this win more than the Lions in the standings, Detroit needs this win not for numbers, but for confidence. Denver has won six of its last seven, Detroit’s dropped two of its last three, but the Lions are the better team and I’m only laying four. Campbell is making his team do up and downs until Jared Goff is no longer tired or thirsty. Lions respond and rebound. I’ll take the home team and lay the four.
Bobby Kady’s Picks (Career 6-3-1, +$110)
Dear Mr. Humpherys,
Boy, the NFL is super predictable, right? We have proved betting is definitely a science, right?
How smart you must feel or dumb you are the moment Toney lines up a foot offsides for the Chiefs on a 1.5 point line? Or how would we know on a Friday Tommy “Cutlets” DeVito’s agent is wearing a fedora with the Italian horn on the sideline Monday night?
That’s why a lot of what I’m about to do goes against my rules. Don’t bet without knowing all the information, and even if you have it all, it’s called gambling for a reason. But here’s my best go of it…
I will say this before I dive straight in. I only bet the ones I love. Sometimes that’s not betting at all. Sometimes that’s ten games. The NFL has been wildly unpredictable and that’s why I LOVE POINTS WITH THE UNDERDOG….
$50 – Cowboys getting 2 points against the Bills. Loved the Bills last week with emotions running high, but the Boys are a wagon right now, and the Bills have been wildly up and down this year. Give me the better team getting points.
$40 – Broncos getting 4.5 against the Lions. Simple. Most ascending team vs the most descending team. It’s got all the makings to make no sense of trends like Wall Street to break my heart, but I’m sticking to my guns. Payton has Russ cooking, and Detroit has been overcooked since Turkey Day.
$30 – NYJ getting 9.5 against the Fins. Zach actually looked great last week. Not sure how healthy the Dolphins are, and I know they will definitely be missing their starting center as well as Jaelan Phillips for the remainder of the season. Plus, I love the possibility of Rodgers coming back, and
J-E-T-S staying relevant.
$20 – NYG(men) getting 6 against the Saints just because I am Italian and am a Bucs fan who needs to see this happen. Andiamo!
$10 – Steelers getting 1.5 against the Colts. Why? You tell me. I just feel the Yinzers find a way. Whenever they win, it doesn’t make sense, and same when they lose. Bet the opposite when betting the team from 3 Rivers. 26-6 against the Colts since 200 BC doesn’t hurt.
THE WIFE HATES SPORTS PICKS
$50: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (+3.5)
Snagging the Titans as 3 1/2 point underdogs at home is too much to pass up, especially considering all the question marks with Houston’s banged up offense. This division tends to have topsy-turvy, surprising results week in and week out. My track record of $50 games this season has also been far from impressive. With that said, the biggest reason for this pick is QB C.J. Stroud, who is currently listed as doubtful (concussion). Stroud has had a fantastic rookie season. If he’s a no go, that likely leaves veteran Case Keenum to start. Tank Dell is already out for the season. Nico Collins is questionable. Dalton Schultz is set to return. The Titans are coming off short rest, but have to be riding a high following Monday night’s shocking comeback victory over the Dolphins. Titans cover at home.
$40: Washington Commanders at Los Angeles Rams (-6.5)
Have the “Commander-skins” given up on the season? Maybe it’s not fair to go that far, but this team has looked abysmal in recent weeks. The Rams, meanwhile, are right in the thick of the playoff race, sitting 6-7 and tied with a handful of teams. Los Angeles has scored 30 or more points in three straight games (Cardinals, Browns, and Ravens). Now, they get to face Washington’s defense that is ranked last in the NFL (379.8 ypg allowed). Expect both Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua to feast all game long. Washington is also dead last in turnover differential (-10). So while Sam Howell is likely to have his positive moments, I don’t expect it to be enough to stick with L.A.’s offense on the road. Rams cover at home.
$30: Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are so bad, tickets are apparently going for as low as 45 cents a piece (see below). Seriously, a pack of gum costs more. Obviously, that doesn’t include all the fees, but you get the idea. So, while this Carolina offense feels like the equivalent of stepping in gum, it’s not like the rest of the division is that much better. In fact, the Falcons, Saints, and Bucs all sit 6-7. Plain and simple, Atlanta has too much to play for. Carolina is a -8 in turnover differential. Offensively, the Panthers are 30th in the league (270.0 ypg). On the flip side, the Falcons are likely to focus on its run game, which ranks 6th in the NFL – and is likely to take over the game by the fourth quarter. Falcons cover on the road.
$20: Philadelphia Eagles (-3) at Seattle Seahawks
If you’re wondering, yes… I have been watching the Eagles play defense over the last few weeks (see stat below). It’s the three-point line that entices me. That and the Philadelphia offense that is tough to slow down. Seattle was throttled by the Ravens a few weeks back. That comparison is mostly due to Lamar Jackson’s mobility and Baltimore’s ability to score in a variety of ways. Seattle ranks 23rd against the run and will likely have a difficult time facing Philly’s 8th ranked rushing offense. In addition, Geno Smith is still a question mark. My gut says the Eagles – despite missing Darius Slay – will play better defensively. It’s only up from here, after all. Eagles cover on the road.
$10: Western Kentucky Hilltoppers vs Old Dominion Monarchs (+2.5)
In the Famous Toastery Bowl, the game opened with Old Dominion as 2 1/2 point underdogs and now they sit as 3 1/2 point favorites. Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed (3,340 passing yards, 33 TD, 11 INT) will be a handful for Old Dominion. But playmakers aside, big games are almost always won in the trenches. The concern with Western Kentucky is its offensive line. Three WKU starters will not play, due to transfer and/or opt-out. Old Dominion managed just 15 sacks on the season (128th in CFB) and leading tackler Jason Henderson is out due to injury. So will the lack of depth even matter? We will see how Old Dominion’s 79th ranked pass defense can handle Reed and the Hilltoppers. Despite the lack of sacks, the lack of OL experience and depth will hurt Western Kentucky. Monarchs cover.