Bobby Vegas is back in the house and I’m ready to cash some tickets. Last week was a big one for me as I was within seeing eye distance of the line of profitability for the season. I haven’t been below the 52.4% mark all year and I sure as hell didn’t want it to happen with only three weeks left in the NFL season.
Well what do you know but the gambling God’s were smiling down upon me. I turned in a 9-5-2 week which brought me up to 54.1% and had me seeing green. This was good enough to win the week over G-Hunt, who went 6-8-2 and continued his slide towards 50% on the year.
This slate of Week 16 games is filled with lots of home dogs and crappy quarterbacks. In his entrance music The Million Dollar Man says, “Everybody’s got a price!” What’s your price to feel good about the bet you are laying? Is it worth losing an extra couple points of value to feel good about taking the Seahawks over a Ryan Lindley led Cardinals? How about getting to feel all warm and fuzzy by taking Aaron Rodgers laying double digits on the road against one of the worst teams in the NFL? And nothing feels better than betting on Peyton Manning every week, right? Everybody’s got a price.
This year my price of having a positive gambling season has been feeling uncomfortable and taking teams that aren’t fun to root for when you hold their ticket on Saturday. Then Sunday shows up and what do you know, the Raiders, Bills, and Vikings somehow find a way to keep it close. Then you get to cash in more winning tickets than losing tickets and that’s fun.
This week I hope to cash a mixture of good and crappy team tickets.
Here are our NFL Week 16 Picks ATS (lines are from Tuesday):
Titans @ Jaguars -3
Greg: Titans +3
Rob: Jaguars -3
The Jaguars are favorites for the first time in their last 42 games. The winner of this game is actually the loser as there is no benefit to winning this game and hurting their draft position. We’ve already had a Marcus Mariota Titans jersey sighting so it’s safe to say the Titans fans want their team to Suck For The Duck. The Jaguars have covered in two of their last three so that’s good enough for me.
Chargers @ 49ers – 1
Greg: Chargers +1
Rob: Chargers +1
The 49ers are a sinking ship but the Chargers are 1-8 ATS their last nine games. The 49ers backfield is all sorts of messed up due to injury, so if the 49ers are going to win this game then it’s going to be with passing and defense. The problem is the Chargers defense is in the top 10 in passing yards allowed and yards per attempt. And you are crazy if you think that Colin Kaepernick, who hasn’t had a rushing TD this season and hasn’t thrown 2 TD’s in a game in over two months, is going to somehow turn into Steve Young. I have more faith in Phil Rivers being able to score versus the 49ers D than I do the 49ers offense scoring enough to win this game for their D.
Eagles -8 @ Redskins
Greg: Redskins +8
Rob: Redskins +8
This has been my Year of Minority where I get comfortable with being uncomfortable. This means backing a lot of teams that look undesirable. This is a perfect example. The Eagles are 6-2 ATS as favorites this year, almost 80% of tickets on this game are on the Eagles, and the Redskins are 2-8 ATS their last 10. The only thing that looks appealing about the Redskins is that they are at home and getting more than a TD. I’ll begrudgingly take it.
Lions -8 @ Bears
Greg: Lions -8
Rob: Lions -8
Thank God for the Bulls and the Blackhawks. Bears fans in Chicago are ready to burn Jay Cutler at the stake and starting Jimmy “Pickles” Clausen and his one career NFL victory under center ain’t the answer. The Lions have a ton to play for and a great defense. Maybe this game is too close to home for me since I get to hear about the Bears train wreck all day every day, but I just can’t back them (despite what I said in the Redskins game).
In gambling there is no such thing as an automatic win, and that’s what scares me about this. Matthew Stafford is due to have an inexplicable Matthew Stafford 3 INT game, but I’m just banking that the Bears crappiness trumps those odds.
Vikings @ Dolphins -7
Greg: Vikings +7
Rob: Vikings +7
The Vikings have been gambling darlings for me as they are 7-1 ATS their last eight games. No way I’m getting off that train, especially since the Dolphins are 0-3 ATS their last three and are laying a TD.
Falcons @ Saints -6.5
Greg: Falcons +6.5
Rob: Falcons +6.5
Both teams have been horribly inconsistent this year and typically they play each other close. I’m taking the points just on principal.
Patriots -11 @ Jets
Greg: Jets +11
Rob: Jets +11
This is going to be Rex Ryan’s last home game as coach of the Jets so there is some extra motivation for the team to show up. Each of the last three games and four of the last five between the Patriots and Jets have been decided by three points or less. Throw on top that 85% of bets are coming in on the Patriots, so the 80/20 Rule applies. J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!
Chiefs @ Steelers -3
Greg: Steelers -3
Rob: Steelers -3
The Chiefs are 6-1 ATS as underdog’s this season but are only 1-3 ATS overall their last four. The Steelers are trending up as they’ve covered in each of their last two and a win here clinches a playoff spot. Plus, the Chiefs don’t have a lethal downfield passing game to exploit the Steelers weak secondary.
Packers -10.5 @ Buccaneers
Greg: Buccaneers +10.5
Rob: Buccaneers +10.5
80/20 Rule. Embrace the discomfort. The Packers are only 1-3 ATS their last four and the Buccaneers are 2-1 ATS their last three. That’s how I’m talking myself into it.
Browns @ Panthers -4
Greg: Panthers -4
Rob: Browns +4
We had to go with the only line we could find since this game is off the board in most places due to Cam Newton’s availability. If he doesn’t play then this is the Derek Anderson Bowl and you know he’ll want to stick it to his former team (which really means nothing). Johnny Manziel looked atrocious but that was last week and I’m not ready to overreact to it. The Browns are 5-1-1 ATS as underdogs so hopefully the defense will keep it close.
Ravens -5.5 @ Texans
Greg: Texans +5.5
Rob: Ravens -5.5
When Tom Savage attempted 19 passes for the Texans last week that was 19 more attempts for quarterbacks from the University of Pittsburgh than quarterbacks from the University of Alabama in the NFL this year.
This is another game where all signs point to taking the Ravens, but the same was said last week against the Jaguars when they were 14 points favorites and the Ravens barely won that game and didn’t cover. 84% of bets are on the Ravens so the 80/20 Rule applies, but I’m gonna have to ignore it. I just can’t put my faith in a team that’s out of the playoff hunt and starting a retread Case Keenum.
Giants @ Rams -5
Greg: Giants +5
Rob: Giants +5
Look out but the going no where Giants have covered in each of their last two games and three of their last four. Their offense is also averaging 28 ppg over that four game time span. Leave it to Tom Coughlin to somehow finish the season/his tenure with the Giants by winning his last four games.
The Rams had covered in four straight before their field goal fest loss against the Cardinals. There offense doesn’t do much for me so I’m taking the points.
Colts @ Cowboys -3
Greg: Colts +3
Rob: Cowboys -3
The Cowboys have strangely lost each of their last three home games straight up. You’d think that after a two game road trip in which they won and covered both games handedly that coming home would be a good thing, especially this late in the season. Tony Romo is having a very efficient and productive season and that can all be wiped away with a late 4th quarter gaff like we’ve all come to expect in big games. The haters would be in full force in that event, but I don’t think it’ll happen.
Bills -6 @ Raiders
Greg: Raiders +6
Rob: Bills -6
At some point you have to get past the Kyle Orton thing and just bill-ieve that something greater is going on. I just got married to a girl from Buffalo, I love chicken wings, and this Bills defense ain’t something you wanna mess with. Their D is 5th in the NFL in yards allowed and 4th in points allowed. Oakland already has a 40-year-old virgin offense that can’t score and a defense that is legs wide open. LET’S GO BUFFALO!
Seahawks -9 @ Cardinals
Greg: Cardinals +9
Rob: Seahawks -9
Queue Luda’s How Low because how low can the Cardinals defense and quarterback situation go? The Cardinals D is really good but in order for the Cardinals to win and/or cover this game they’ll need to be no mistakes lights out good. There is also zero margin of error with this “who can we bring off the scrap heap” quarterback situation. Do I think the Seahawks will score at least 14 points in this game? Yes. Do I think the Cardinals will score an offensive touchdown? No.
Broncos -3.5 @ Bengals
Greg: Broncos -3.5
Rob: Bengals +3.5
The Broncos are my favorite “good in real life, not as good in gambling” team of the season. Unless you look at it every week you wouldn’t realize the Broncos are a yawning 7-7 ATS this year. However, public perception is always that they are gonna win every game by 30. They are only 2-3 ATS their last five and Peyton Manning doesn’t seem 100% right. The Bengals have been an equally average ATS this season but are 5-1 ATS as an underdog this year. They find a way to keep it close.
Head-to-Head weekly victories and season record:
G-Hunt (4-9-2): 110-106-8 (50.9%)
Rob (9-4-2): 117-99-8 (54.1%)