Antonio Gibson bids the Cowboys defense adieu during one of his three touchdown scampers on Thanksgiving.

AP Photo/Roger Steinman

I knew it was going to happen.

Not only did I fly in the face of the gambling gods and decide to comment on my little bit of good luck, I broke another cardinal rule of betting: Never put money on something just to put money on it.

Look, I couldn't resist trying to get in on some of that Taysom Hill magic. I missed on him in my fantasy leagues, and I couldn't stop myself at just taking the Saints, which did hit by the way(!), I was forced to pick an over/under on the most unknowable of the world's mysteries. Was it possible for Taysom to throw a good ball? Turns out, yes. Turns out, he can get a little more oomph on his throws, which opened up things downfield, even if they weren't always right on the money. Lessons… Noted.

For the game that sent a chill down my spine, the Dolphins lost to the Broncos. If I actually designated a "Lock of the Week," this would've been the "Lock of Lifetime." Tua had been hot, the Miami D had been stout, and the Broncos had been a state of utter disrepair. Just when you think you know football, quoting stats and pulling from trends, it absolutely humbles you into the ground.

As for the Browns covering over the Eagles that was a little bit like betting on paint drying. It was never really in doubt and it wasn't particularly interesting.


Arizona -1.5 over New England

This game has gotten a little bit tighter with each passing day, due to uncertainty regarding the availability of Kyler Murray. I'm betting on this with the assumption that he'll be starting and operating at, hopefully, 80% capacity. The Patriots couldn't handle the dynamic Deshaun Watson a week ago, and I can't imagine things will get any easier against an offense currently firing on all cylinders. The Patriots haven't been "doing their job" recently and rank 21st in rushing yards per game and 28th in DVOA. In a seemingly impossible turn of events, their pass D is actually worse. Meanwhile, the Cardinals can flat out pound the rock. They lead the league in rushing touchdowns, rank second in rushing yards, and average the most yards per carry. Throw in some Vance Joseph defensive wizardry to confuse and bamboozle the undermanned Pats offense and I think 1.5 points is a gimme.

Kansas City -3 over Tampa Bay

I'm back to beating the Tompa Brady Bucs being, ahhhhh, not so good. As the season has worn on, there losses look bad, and their wins look worse. They've managed to beat up on some weaker teams in the league, Packers excepted, and only squeak by middle-of-the-packers like the Chargers and Giants. Against the Rams, Tom looked more his age, and missed on multiple deep throws that could've completely shifted momentum. I could go on and go about how Antonio Brown looks completely lost out there, or how their running game leaves plenty to be desired, or how Mike Evans and Chris Godwin haven't received their share of downfield targets, but really this is still all about Patrick Mahomes. The man who got the ball back with 1:43 against the Raiders, and there wasn't a second of doubt he would take his offense in for a score. It was as if the win was bestowed by a King. While the two high profile QBs prepare to square off for what is almost undoubtedly their last time, the fourth will assuredly cement Mahomes as the true heir to Brady's GOAT throne.

Seattle -5 over Philadelphia

The Seahawks have been a little shakier than we thought they were a month ago, having a bottom of the barrel pass D in a pass happy league will do that for you. Luckily, the Eagles don't have much of a pass offense to speak of with Carson Wentz taking the dreaded step back. Seattle hasn't generated much pressure all year, but the Eagles will be down All-Pro tackle Lane Johnson and his rookie backup Jack Driscoll might be unavailable, too. There's been a total lack of consistency along the line before this news broke, anyways. That's the kind of thing that absolutely helps a defensive line trying to establish their presence.

Kareem Hunt over 1.5 Receptions


Hunt has only gone under this number once all season, just last week against the Eagles. Other than he's been a tremendous asset to the Browns through the air, including four touchdowns and a few jaw dropping grabs for anyone, let alone a running back. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are on pace to have the statistically worst defense in team history. As the Browns continue to operate a strong and complimentary backfield, I think it's safe to assume this one could be wrapped up by half time.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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