Big Ben loads up to throw in the face of pressure from the Ravens

Gene J. Puskar | Credit: AP

It wasn't exactly a banner week around here for the Picks, Parlays, and Props crew, but it could have been so much worse.

Week 12 Vibe Check (1-1-2)

First, Kareem Hunt, who saw only two targets, which would've been enough for us to scrape by on that over, ended the game with no catches. Then the Cardinals, even with a 10-0 lead, never quite looked in control and Kyler Murray never looked like himself. You can always count on Belichick to bamboozle a young QB by bluffing a blitz. Turns out that's exactly what baited the rising superstar into tossing a pick, leading to the go-ahead score for New England.



I'm still not quite sure how the Bucs clawed their way back into that Chiefs game. Tyreek Hill essentially called for a time of death in the first quarter. The Chiefs blew a couple more chances to truly blow their opponent off the field, and Brady putting up 14 in the final quarter just to force the push is classic. Of course, once KC went into kill-the-clock mode with about four minutes left, it was all over for us cashing an easy ticket.

Lastly, we missed out on an all-time bad beat with Seattle -5. It almost hurts to talk about, knowing how many others out there just got absolutely murdered by a truly truly truly pointless two point conversion. I snagged the 'Hawks early in the week when the line was a little lower and it's the only thing keeping me from going on a scorched earth mission to burn down Lumen Field (it's not CenturyLink anymore). I feel your pain, and this is a valuable lesson about how Pete Carroll only wants to win in the worst ways possible.

Washington +7 over Pittsburgh

The Football Team is fresh off feasting upon the lifeless Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and the Steelers are extra-fresh off playing the league's first ever midseason Wednesday game, meaning when these two face each other as the first half of a Monday double header that one will have 10 days of rest and game planning and the other will have four.

Washington's D, specifically against the pass, has morphed into a dominant unit. It's even more impressive considering last year's incompetence. Chase Young has brought an extra spark to an already star-studded unit. He leads rookie defenders in PFF grades, sacks, and brings a level of awareness to stopping runs and screens that most first year players simply do not possess.

If you want to stop the Steelers, you have to stop/slow down the passing game, which should be easier since the team will be without it's starting center, right tackle, and running back. Meanwhile, Alex Smith just needs to keep this one close for us, which should also be easier since Pittsburgh will be missing a starting outside linebacker, defensive end, and cornerback.

Tennessee -5.5 over Cleveland/Derrick Henry over 100.5 Yards vs Cleveland

Looking at the Browns schedule, it's hard to find an impressive win. Sure, they have eight to choose from, but how many did they seem to control the game against an opponent in the top half of the league? The Indianapolis game is the closest to qualifying, even if they replayed that same game this week, I think the Colts would be favored.

The rest are squeakers against the Bengals x 2, Eagles, Jaguars, and Texans or bigger wins against a Dak-less Cowboys or the Haskins-led Football Team. Don't even get me started on the losses. Yikes. Shellacking's by the Steelers and Ravens. The Titans D has seemingly coalesced at the right time, while the offensive has been equally efficient and dominant as they were last season. 5.5 points seem a little steep, but Tennessee has the ultimate weapon sitting in their stable...


Derrick Henry stiff arms a Colts defender in the open field. Derrick Henry swats away a smaller Colts player, like he's nothing more than a pesky fly.Michael Hickey | Credit: Getty Images


King Henry has only gone under 100.5 yards on four occasions this season, doubling that amount in games he went over the century mark. The Cleveland run D has been solid this season, ranking in the top 10 and allowing an average of 108.2 per game. However, that numbers have been creeping up recently and they just allowed the quietly-winning-fantasy-games James Robinson to put up 128 on them last week. If Henry racks up the yards, I'm very comfortable saying the Titans cruise to a cover.

Deebo Samuel over 5 Receptions

I've recommended a 49er receiver going over receptions before and I'm going to make a similar argument this time around. Instead of Brandon Aiyuk, it's Deebo Samuel, who was the focal point of last week's game in which he caught 11 balls for 133 yards. He's currently leading the league with 12.9 YAC (yards after catch), and is the only WR in the top five, demonstrating how the Niners deploy him. Lots of quick, short passes near the line of scrimmage, essentially an extension of the rushing attack, which happens to be Buffalo's biggest weakness. Little tap passes on end around's are still receptions and for that reason alone, this feels like a lock.

Josh Allen scampers for a gain against the Colts in the third quarter of the wild card game.

Harry Scull Jr. /Buffalo News

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."


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Wizards guard Bradley Beal looks on in a game against the Celtics on Jan. 8, 2021.

Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

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.


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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.

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