SportsGrid’s Week 6 NFL Pick$: We Were Undefeated Last Week, So Expect Disaster
5-0 last week, as I decided to stop betting a million games a week, like a sensible person. I told you selling my Bill Belichick game-worn buttplug would solve all of my problems.
Here are my Week 6 NFL picks and bets. They will be as good as last week, unless they're not.
Realize: betting NFL is really hard. These picks are meant to hopefully help you out a bit, but mainly to entertain you. They AREN'T meant to be followed blindly. Listen, and hopefully be entertained by my childish jokes. Or at least say something mean about me so I can get a good cry in.
I will make a pick for every game. But if I don't specifically recommend a bet, I'm just throwing darts. Don't listen to my advice. The pick is there so I can have a record for picking every game, one that will undoubtedly suck. And then you can make fun of me. I'm a man of the people. As always, I hope you argue with me on Twitter.
For the actual bets, I will keep track of my record and profits/losses. Unlike my NHL/NBA "how not to lose your money gamblin' " series, a normal bet will be to win $100, for tracking purposes, because I'm a hypothetical high-roller, and you are too. There will be occasional double, triple, quadruple, and probably even quintuple bets.
Home teams are starred.
New York Giants (+7.5) over Chicago Bears*
I was drunkenly wandering New York City last weekend, when my friend brought me to a bar that served pizza, by the slice. We had finished the pregame-and-watch-college-football portion of the night, and were moving to the going-out-to-a-place-where-people-drink-and-talk-and-maybe-even-dance-and-create-friction-between-their-loins portion, but then I was introduced to this new concept, where you could sustain or increase your buzz, while getting a reasonable portion of pizza!
Did you guys know this exists? I know there are pizza places that serve beer, or restaurants that serve whole meals of pizza (I'm pretty smart), but a bar, like a regular one that wouldn't look out of place on a CBS sitcom, that you can order one slice from a bartender?!?!? The only issue was that it took me five minutes to order because my mind couldn't grasp the fact that the bartender wanted my pizza order in addition to my drink order. (I'm not pretty smart.)
It was amazing; I sustained my buzz and hunger, but I wasn't drunk enough to require the amount of food to make me shit my pants at the next bar. All was well.
And then three hours later I ordered two slices of Buffalo Chicken pizza and one sausage, but, hey, if it wasn't for Pizza Bar, I'd probably have ordered three of each and not be here right now.
Oh, you wanted betting advice on this game?
I have advice for you: Do not bet on this game. The Giants are awful, but their stock is so low right now that there can't possibly be any value in betting against them, yet they look so awful that you can't be sure if there's any value betting on them.
Chicago actually played really well in a loss to the Saints last week (8 yards per play to 5.3), but their overall defensive numbers are surprisingly bad (allowing 6 yards per play). They're weirdly an offensive team so far, I don't really get them, and I don't really want to bet on this game.
Because it's unfair to expect you to not bet on a night where there is football, I give you, a fun parlay. It's hockey.
Bet... Parlay: Bruins ML, Oilers/Canadiens OVER 5.5 AND Rangers/Ducks UNDER 6 (+363), $50 to win $181.30
Green Bay Packers (-2.5) over Baltimore Ravens*
I saw this line, and then: instant boner. Am I crazy? For seeing the Packers barely favored over the Ravens, at home? I've been down on the Ravens all year, based on the reasoning that they suck Edgar Allen Poe's meat staff.
When something excites you like this, take a cold shower, try hard to convince yourself why you're wrong, and if you can't, then bet. Here was my reasoning, post-shrunken-testicles.
1) Hey, Matt, you know that Green Bay's defense is shaky, they gave 19 catches and 700 miles receiving to Anquan Boldin? And that Clay Matthews is out? And that Baltimore's defense is playing fairly well?
2) You know Joe Flacco is 35-7 career at home, and he recently spanked the Texans?
That's all I've got.
This, from Team Rankings, sums up the reasons for betting the Packers. The Packers are on the left.
The difference in offenses is SO VAST, that I don't care that much about the gap in defenses, especially since the Ravens' pass defense hasn't been great, and thus this is a great matchup for the Packers. I'm not sure Flacco has the weapons to keep up with Rodgers, even if the Packers' secondary is shit. Basically, if you can't stop Aaron Rodgers, and you can't keep up with him, you're fucked.
Bet: Packers -2.5 (-110), $220 to win $200
Detroit Lions (-2.5) over Cleveland Browns*
You can't bet this game now, because Calvin Johnson's status is uncertain, and if you take the Lions and he winds up out, it's like buying a plane ticket from New York to San Francisco, but as the plane reaches cruising altitude, the pilot goes, "SORRY MY KNEE HURTS" and the floor drops out below you and you fall to your demise. You don't want that, do you?
Even with Calvin in, I think this line is a little square. The Lions aren't 5.5-points better than the Browns, who look like a good team, but I like the matchup here, because the Browns' abysmal ground game can't take advantage of Detroit's poor run-D, and Brandon Weeden's wee-brain can't take advantage of anyone, and will likely be destroyed by Ndamukong Suh.
If it seems like Calvin is playing, and I can get this line at -3 or -2.5, I'll probably take the Lions on a half-sized-bet. If not, I will not be going to San Francisco. The city will still be there next week, barring a catastrophic earthquake.
Houston Texans* (-6.5) over St. Louis Rams
"And they're bringing Stacy back in." I zoned out for a second and though the Rams had the first female NFL player.
— Matt Rudnitsky (@Mattrud) October 6, 2013
Zac Stacy's Mom has got a few things going on, but this is a baaaaaad line. We're getting some savory value here because Matt Schaubchez cannot possibly look worse, but if Blaine Gabbert can throw a 67-yard TD on St. Louis, Schaubchez should be able to do something of substance.
St. Louis can't stop the run, and if you can't stop the run, you can't stop Houston. And they can't stop. And they won't stop (!!!!)
(Oh, and Houston's defense is still very good.)
Bet: Texans -6.5 (-110), $220 to win $200
Kansas City Chiefs* (-7.5) over Oakland Raiders
The Chiefs are definitely good, but you're not gonna get much value betting on an undefeated team that hasn't dominated an easy schedule. They're contenders by default, because the AFC is a pile of mediocrity, and every solid team is in the Contenders If Peyton Fucks Up Or If The Broncos Defense Continues Allowing 900 Yards tier.
This line is fair, as the Raiders aren't awful and the Chiefs are exceptional at home. But I do think this is an especially great matchup for KC.
Still, I rarely bet on a team with a conservative, low-scoring offense if their spread is over a touchdown, because they could dominate the game and still not cover. But I feel like this matchup is too good to pass up, that the Chiefs and their 9.91% sack percentage is going to be very scary for the Raiders and their 11.46% sack-allowed percentage, and everybody is going to stop salivating over Terrelle Pryor when he faces a real defense in a scary environment. The man is not nearly as good as people are acting. The Chiefs are going to eat Pryor alive and sell his expensive cyborg meat for a tremendous price. The right arm will be chopped off and donated to the CFL as not to devalue the rest of the meat.
But seriously, I think the play here is the under, and probably the Raiders team total under of 17 or so when it comes out, and possibly something like a TERRELLE PRYOR DOES AWFUL AND THROWS MILLIONS OF INTERCEPTIONS prop. Check back.
UNDER 40.5 (-110), $110 to win $100
Jacksonville Jaguars (+27) over Denver Broncos*
Denver under Peyton Manning, at home:
10-2, scored 30+ points in 12 of 13 games, average margin of victory: 15.3. Wins of 20+ points: 6.
This spread might be slightly inflated, but it's not ridiculous. It will be a genuine shock if the Broncos score fewer than 35 points.
But I don't see any value in betting this game, because you're basically betting on if the Broncos will come out flat at all, or run the ball once they're up, or if they'll rest starters, give up garbage-time points, etc. etc. You're betting on bullshit. Don't do it.
If you think outside the box, though, there might be value. As you saw last week, the Broncos' secondary is very beatable (8.3 ypa, 31st in NFL). The Jaguars offense is putrid, but it's reasonable to think they'll score a couple of touchdowns against this secondary, while throwing deep and often, with their crew of believe-it-or-not-they're-actually-really-good receivers. Chad Henne is bad, but he can be bad, and throw for two touchdowns in a rout.
Because of the Jaguars' perceived value, you can probably bet on their team total over at 13.5 or so. We'll see on gameday, but if that's the case, I do actually like the over.
Bet: Jaguars Team Total OVER 13 (-110), $330 to win $300
Seattle Seahawks* (-13) over Tennessee Titans
The Titans have been surprisingly good on defense, like, really good, but not as good as Seattle. And they are going to get eaten alive on offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing balls in Seattle. RYAN FITZPATRICK IN SEATTLE.
I don't think there's much value here because the Titans can potentially stifle the Seahawks on offense, but like I'll be looking to do in Kansas City, I'm hoping for a RYAN FITZPATRICK THROWS SO MANY INTERCEPTIONS THAT HE GOES INSANE AND STARTS RUNNING AROUND NAKED IN SEATTLE AND BECOMES A HOMELESS HIPSTER SINCE HE ALREADY HAS THE LOOK DOWN prop. That should have nice odds.
Bet: Titans Team Total UNDER 14.5 (-115), $115 to win $100
Arizona Cardinals (+11) over San Francisco 49ers*
I don't like this matchup for San Francisco, relatively speaking. They should win. But I think they'll struggle a bit. The 49ers struggle when they can't run the ball, or when Anquan Boldin is shut down. Patrick Peterson will completely shut him down. The Cardinals give up just 3.3 yards per carry and are 4th in run-defense DVOA.
Factor in the fact that the 49ers will probably shut down the Cardinals, and we're looking at a nice under here.
Bet: UNDER 41.5 (-110), $110 to win $100
Dallas Cowboys* (-4.5) over Washington Potato Skins
Uhhhhh, what's going on here, exactly? The Cowboys look good, nearly beat the Broncos... and now they're considered as just 1.5-points better than a popular appetizer? These are not gourmet Potato Skins; these are some failed-menu-item McDonald's 'skins. The only way this line makes ANY sense is if RG3 got thousands of times healthier over the bye week, and that seems unfeasible. He'll likely be better, but this line makes less sense than topping Fruit Loops with mustard, whiskey and grout.
Bet: Cowboys -4.5 (-110), $220 to win $200
San Diego Chargers* (+1) over Indianapolis Colts
The Next Peyton Manning vs. Post-Comatose Awkward Stud. I don't see how you can back a side here — the Colts are the better team, but they're on the road, and I'm not sure their mediocre pass defense can stop the Post-Comatose Kid and his 8.1 yards per attempt.
But... one mediocre defense (Colts) against what's been one of the best offenses in the league, really — and one porous defense against what's also been one of the best offenses in the league? The Chargers are third in offensive DVOA, I swear, and the Colts are fourth. These motherfuckers score more than Drake at a club in Newfoundland.
Three of five Chargers games have gone over 50 points. Both teams are in the lower half in plays per game, which is a tad worrying, but with lots of passing on the agenda, I like this very much.
OVER AND OUT, FRIENDS.
Bet: OVER 50 (-110), $220 to win $200
Carolina Panthers (+2.5) over Minnesota Vikings*
Did you know that Danish people can't make the "V" sound, and call Vikings, "Wikings?" Even though their Scandinavian.
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) over Buffalo Bills
If Thad Lewis beats Andy Dalton, nobody will ever draft a Ginger Quarterback again.
New York Jets* (+2.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
I've bet on the Jets every week so far, because they've been ridiculously undervalued, but this week, that ends. They're getting respect, and they're playing an underrated team. No value.
Philadelphia Eagles (-1) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers*
Explosive Offense That Doesn't Have Receivers Or Its Quarterback vs. Good Defense, and Unready Statue Quarterback Who'll Be Out Of The League In A Few Months vs. Porous Secondary.
STAY FAR AWAY.
New Orleans Saints (+1) over New England Patriots*
Gronk might be coming back, and I want to see how the Patriots look with him before betting on their games. What would it look like if you put Rob Ryan's head on Gronk's body? Meet Rob Rynowski, otherwise known as RYONK.
BONUS PARLAY: Seahawks ML/Jaguars TT OVER 13/Anquan Boldin UNDER 67.5 receiving yards (+317.4)... $50 to win $158.7
That's for shits and gigs, only.
Good luck, friends.
Last Week's Betting Record 5-0 (1.00) (+739.73)
Betting Record 25-24 (.510) (-$1,228.61)
Dart-throwing record: 39-36 (.520)
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