The Browns losing to the Jets, even without all of their starting wide receivers, seems like something from an alternate reality.
Sure, if I'd heard that before writing this column, I wouldn't have taken them -9.5, but laying that big of an egg with the team's first playoff berth in 17 years is mind boggling.
Back in this dimension, the Washington Football Team was relying on Dwayne Haskins, which in turn, means we were relying on Dwayne Haskins. If you haven't heard, he isn't on the team anymore, so that pretty much sums up the betting-on-Dwayne-Haskins experience.
Lastly, the Colts looked like the easiest money anyone could've made on Sunday. In the early morning hours, before kickoff, they had moved to +1 underdogs. For nearly three quarters of football, they made everyone look ridiculous for believing that Pittsburgh could pull out of their recent tailspin. Suddenly, the Indianapolis offense sputtered, producing nothing of value, while the Steelers soared behind the arm of Big Ben, clinching the AFC North title. It was a little like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
As for our win, Jalen Hurts easily surpassed his 232.5 passing yards against the weak Dallas D. Thank the man for keeping us from winless.
Green Bay Packers -4.5 over Chicago Bears
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will be playing for a lot this Sunday. The veteran QB has a third MVP award on the line, while Green Bay needs a win to lock up a first round bye and home field advantage for the postseason. Resting players is a luxury only the AFC can afford, as there's still a lot of possible permutations that the NFC playoff picture can take on this year, including a possible entry by the Bears, who technically control their own destiny.
However, when facing Rodgers with high stakes, who really controls who's destiny. The man is 20-5 in games against Chicago for his career, and the Pack absolutely trounced this Bears team only a little over a month ago. Obviously, the Bears and Mitchell Trubisky have looked better than they did during the six game slump midseason, but there's just too much on the line for a team that's so talented for this one to be close.
Classic combo of @AaronRodgers12 & @tae15adams. 💪 TOUCHDOWN! #TENvsGB | #GoPackGo 📺 NBC Watch live 📱… https://t.co/nbvb9sMAkQ— Green Bay Packers (@Green Bay Packers)1609121495.0
Buffalo Bills -1.5 over Miami Dolphins
Josh Allen has officially elevated himself to the top tier of NFL QB this season. There were times when it seemed unlikely or impossible that he would reach this final form, having taken on the status of punchline after one of the wilder wild card games ever. The Bills will secure the number two seed in the playoffs with a win or a Steelers loss, which should become reality with Pittsburgh sitting Big Ben against Cleveland.
However, not content to wait out the season, Allen will be playing for positioning and a possible stab at the MVP conversation. On the flip side, the Dolphins need a win to get in, but with Tua under center, the offense hasn't looked as dynamic, leading to him being pulled in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick for the final five minutes of the barn burning finish in Las Vegas last Saturday night.
Going forward that won't be a sustainable strategy in the NFL for a number of reasons, but the most pressing is that Fitzpatrick has been added to the COVID list and will be unavailable in relief. A dink and dunk Dolphins offense won't be able to keep up with the run and gun Bills this time.
Couple @SportsCenter notes from AM #WashingtonFootball remains optimistic Alex Smith starts vs #Eagles. Will make… https://t.co/Hmg3uV1Gk3— Jeremy Fowler (@Jeremy Fowler)1609615175.0
For any other human man, setting an over/under at that number of rushing yards in a game would feel ludicrous. However, we aren't talking about any man. We are talking about the man who's about to wrap up his second straight rushing title. The man who's 223 yards away from 2,000 on the season. A man who's gone for over 200 yards twice against the very opponent he's about to face, including a performance last year to lock up said rushing title.
If there were ever an opponent that would make finishing with this many yards seem possible, it's the Texans. They have the 31st ranked rushing defense in the league, their offense has been stagnant, and unnamed players have seemed to have given up. If Henry seems anywhere close as the game begins to wind down, how could Vrabel not lean on his horse and let the King make history.
Derrick Henry clinches the 2019 NFL Rushing Title AND a 1,500 yard season with this INCREDIBLE run! https://t.co/HTm9aMcMnw— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS)1577664593.0
Tennessee Titans -7.5 over Houston Texans
For all the reasons above, I will be riding with the Titans to demolish this floundering Texan team. The Titans can win the AFC South with a win, and though they were outclassed in Green Bay, this team's offense has been impressively efficient behind the rock steady Ryan Tannehill. It's hard to imagine a world in which they're slowed down by this defense or matched by this hobbled offense.
As the NFL postseason got underway last week, it became clear we need to make some halftime adjustments with our picks this week.
The Ravens were an easy cover for us, especially once Lamer found his groove and the grooves in Tennessee's D. Throw in a few head scratching punts by Mike Vrabel and that does the trick.
Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs came up two catches short for us with three targets left on the table. It was always going to be tough to get that many grabs, but it was worth a few bucks just to see what would happen.
Please, please, please remind me never to bet unders. I haven't hit one all year and yet the siren's song calls me to shore. I maintain this is the best one I bet all year. The pick 6 and DK Metcalf bomb in the second quarter killed after the best start imaginable. After 15 minutes, we had a combined score of 3, 15 minutes of game time later? 30. Bananas.
Then I don't really know what else to say about Pittsburgh losing to Baker Mayfield and co. that hasn't already been said. I just have to edit my list of completely impossible things to put, "Snowing in the Sahara desert," and "Taylor Swift ever getting back together with Jake Gyllenhaal" above "The Browns beating the Steelers in the playoffs."
Put on your general manager hat for a moment and ask yourself this question: If my team struggled mightily the past couple seasons, is struggling now and will continue to struggle, would I trade my franchise star?
It's an extremely difficult decision to make, but it's something the Washington Wizards have to be pondering with shooting guard Bradley Beal.
Beal has been on an absolute rampage through 11 games, posting a league-high 34.9 points per game on 49% shooting and 38% from distance. He's also dishing out five assists and grabbing 5.3 rebounds with 1.5 steals. All that in 36 minutes a night, yet the Wizards are 3-8 which is the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"I'm pissed off," Beal told reporters after his 60-point game on Jan. 6. "I'm mad. I don't count [them]. ... Any of my career-highs, they've been in losses. So I don't give a damn. You can throw it right out the window with the other two or three I've had."
His frustration is evident, and though he hasn't verbalized that he wants out of D.C., it's hard not to think that the idea hasn't crossed his mind at least once with how bad the Wizards have been recently.
From 2018-20, they went a combined 57-97 with John Wall sidelined after he tore his Achilles. Before this season began, the Wizards acquired Russell Westbrook in exchange for Wall and a pick, thinking they were getting an upgrade at point guard. Plot twist, they weren't.
Wall is healthy and playing good basketball in Houston while Westbrook is sitting back-to-backs and is currently nursing a quad injury. More importantly, he doesn't make them much better because of his lack of defense and is thus piling up meaningless triple-doubles that don't translate to team success.
Each Friday, FindBet will preview the week's DFS slate, highlighting players that are priced well on DFS sites, as well as some contrarian plays that can push your team to the top of the leader board.
Most NFL DFS games have you putting a team together with players from a certain slate of games. It could be just Sunday 1:00 PM games, or it could be every game that is slated for the week. Once the last game that has eligible players is over, the final payouts are made according to how many fantasy points each team scored. Each player is worth a certain dollar amount, and you have a cap of $60,000 to build your team with. You have to have 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX (RB, WR, or TE) and 1 DEF.
The general scoring rules include (6) points for each rushing and receiving touchdown, (4) points for each passing touchdown, (0.1) points for each rushing and receiving yard gained, (0.04) points for each passing yard, and also (0.5) points for each reception. There are other scoring opportunities for defenses. Let's take a look at players we like in the first round of the NFL playoffs this weekend.