Week 14 (1-3) was not the best week for bettors, so let's get some wins to make up for it on Sunday.
The Colts handled their business in Las Vegas, like an air conditioning repairman in the desert heat. Meanwhile, the Raiders went on to lose their Thursday night game behind a competent Mariota performance, but seem to be melting down, like an ice cream cone in the desert heat. Keep that in mind for possible fade opportunities in the coming weeks.
As for our losses, it was an assortment of disappointments. The Taysom Hill Traveling Show seems to have come to an unceremonious end. Backups starting this late in the year have typically meant variance, so I wasn't so surprised by Jalen Hurts hurting my wallet.
The Chargers actually managed to beat the Falcons somehow. Even more amazing? It came down to the final seconds and Matt Ryan's line looked like this: 21/32, 224 yards, 1 TD, and 3 INTs. Even more amazing? Justin Herbert's line looked like this: 36/44. 243 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. I really can't wrap my head around how they won this game and how Herbert could complete 36 passes WITHOUT him throwing over 281.5 yards. Another classic football mystery for the ages.
Lastly, the Steelers didn't even bother showing up to Buffalo. The drop parade continued for the Pittsburgh wide receivers and Josh Allen has mastered cutting up highly rated defenses.
Minnesota Vikings -3 over Chicago Bears
This is a week of overwhelming favorites, each with their own particular hook that should scare off any seasoned bettor. Tennessee -9, Tampa Bay -6.5, Indy -7.5, Seattle -6.5, Baltimore -13, LA Rams -17, Cleveland -6.5, and Pittsburgh -14.5? All too rich for my blood, sir. However, something like a passable Minnesota Vikings team, who easily handled the Chicago Bears on Monday night just over a month ago on the road. Justin Jefferson has been a revelation for the offense, filling the hole left by the Stefon Diggs trade, and joining some hallowed company in the record books. I'd look for him to go over 4.5 RECEPTIONS to power a nice win and cover.
Kansas City Chiefs -3 over New Orleans Saints
Earlier this week @AdamSchefter and I talked about Chiefs-Saints being a potential Super Bowl preview. It just got… https://t.co/LcgRKbUkLa— Evan Kaplan (@Evan Kaplan)1608302832.0
Super Bowl preview? It's possible. The Chiefs feel undeniable in a way that's both terrifying and comforting. You know that they will score and score and score. The Saints have stayed afloat without Drew Brees for a few weeks, which all came to a head against a floundering Philly team, who got a shot of life in the form of Jalen Hurts. If they had a hard time containing or keeping up on offense against him, may I re-introduce you to Patrick Mahomes. Things have gotten more interesting given the announcement that Drew Brees, 11 broken ribs and collapsed lung, will return to his starting position. However, the football gods gave and take away in equal measure. Michael Thomas will be out and that offense seemed to suffer more without the 40 year old signal caller.
Miami Dolphins -1.5 over New England Patriots
This line starting at 2.5 and working it's way down to 1.5 is like manna from heaven. The Patriots have a few extra days to prepare after the Thursday night dismantling by the Rams and the Dolphins are coming off a game against the Chiefs that they kept much closer than they had any right to. (Breaking a few -11.5 and Chief win by 14+ points along the way.) The Miami D is for real, Xavien Howard is an interception machine, and Tua is a born leader. Belichick will find a way to make this a grind it out, ball control, and last possession wins kind of game, but I'm willing to bet the Dolphins kick that game winning field for the win.
Arizona Cardinals/Philadelphia Eagles over 49.5
Jalen Hurts tucks the ball to run, pointing for a block, against the Saints. JOE LAMBERTI/COURIER POST
The Cardinals and Eagles have not been known for their defenses this season, falling outside of the top 10. The Cardinals are 28th in points allowed, the Eagles are 27th in turnovers caused, and each struggles getting opposing offenses off the field. However, the Cardinals offense, powered by Kyler and DeAndre, has been averaging over 30 points a game at home. That feels like a pretty easy floor for them to hit with a much higher potential ceiling. That leaves the Eagles to pick up the slack for two, maybe, three scores, which feels very doable for the reinvigorated Philly team and their quarterback, who loves food analogies.
Sunday's NFL Playoff action featured six teams who don't like each other at all.
All these games were played between teams who had played each other at least once during the regular season. If you thought those games in the regular season were intense, Sunday's playoff matchups upped the stakes even more.
The Chicago Bears even replicated a dubious feat from their regular season matchup, as one of their wide receiver Anthony Miller was ejected after throwing a punch at C.J. Gardner-Johnson. The New Orleans cornerback also got into the head of Chicago wide receiver Javon Wims in the November matchup, causing Wims to get ejected in that game after he threw a punch at Gardner-Johnson.
The Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs has passed, and we're now down to the remaining four teams that are vying for a Super Bowl championship this season.
HOW ‘BOUT THOSE CHIEEEEFS?!?!? https://t.co/rWt2MIdoP2— Kansas City Chiefs (@Kansas City Chiefs)1610995798.0
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."