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NFL Week 1 Gambling Bonanza

You know for weeks I’ve been telling guys to not take no for an answer, to keep pushing, to not stop gambling till you get what you want. This deal I’m about to sign, barring me from parlaying, barring me from DraftKings, my bookie… What the fuck is that? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s me being a hypocrite. It’s me taking no for an answer, it’s them selling me, not the other way around! Fuck it, I’m not leaving!

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Admittedly I started to slip on my gambling coverage last year when I was a floundering post-grad scrounging for cash. People thought I was hanging up the gambling and blogging cleats for good. Well I am happy to report that I will be back and better than ever with the brand new GAMBLING BONANZA.

I used to pick 4 NFL games and write a couple thousand words about why I thought that pick was a lock with tweets, GIFs, and rap songs. I finally realized that nobody truly gives a fuck about the fluff and you people just want me to cut to the chase so that you can inevitably fade me and stack dough. So this GAMBLING BONANZA will be different. You’ll get your spreads and my two cents about ’em. You’ll also get Survivor Pool picks ranked on confidence. I’ll sprinkle in some DraftKings/Fantasy plays and fades. I want this to be your one stop shop for all things degenerate gambling.

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Let’s get to the picks.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns (+5.5)

Yes, you read that right. You probably saw Myles Garrett as the cover of this ~article~ and thought I was fucking with you. Well fucking with you I am not. The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in an internal battle between front office, star running back, offensive line, and head coach. To summarize, 29 year old star RB Le’Veon Bell is holding out and not signing his franchise deal for a myriad of reasons. The entire Steelers offensive line was in the news shitting on him, citing how much more money he makes than them, alluding that he’d be nothing without them. tl;dr 2nd year player and cancer survivor (fucking badass) John Conner ($4,500) will be starting at RB this Sunday.

Conner is a beast and the Steelers have proved that any RB they throw into the backfield will put up numbers (D’Angelo Williams). However, the narrative with Big Ben’s home/road splits exists for a reason. With all the distractions combined with Mother Nature on Sunday, I think that this game will be low scoring and sloppy enough for the Browns to easily cover and possibly even win.

I can admit that I watched Hard Knocks and I am more or less enamored with the Cleveland Browns. Even though they ended up cutting nearly every player I loved, I still think they’re due for a massive turnaround. Their suddenly crowded backfield will be important in this game as they have a couple bruisers in Carlos Hyde ($4,500) and Nick Chubb ($4,100) to compliment pass-catching Duke Johnson ($4,700.) The Steelers haven’t been able to comfortably replace Ryan Shazier which leaves a massive hole up the middle. I also love the revenge narrative from former Steelers coach Todd Haley:

Control the clock, hold onto the ball, run hard, and the Cleveland Browns could win their first game since 2016.

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)

7.5 is a shitty spread but the Buffalo Bills are a shitty team. The Ravens defensive front will be way too much to handle against a Bills offensive line that is missing three starters from last season, including Eric Wood and Richie Incognito. That means Bills QB Nathan Peterman will have to make split second decisions against a skilled Ravens secondary led by FS Eric Weddle. Will Nathan Peterman repeat his 5-INT in a half performance from last Thanksgiving against the Chargers? Probably not. Will he struggle against a superior defense with his inadequate weapons (Kelvin Benjamin, Zay Jones, Jeremy Kerley, Charles Clay)? For sure. LeSean McCoy has an active legal investigation hanging over his head which is just the icing on the cake for a Bills team that is in big trouble.

The Ravens brought in receivers Michael Crabtree ($5,400) and John Brown ($3,700) to compliment Joe Flacco, who is a bad stretch of games away from fans clamoring for Lamar Jackson to start taking snaps. This game could get so ugly that I wouldn’t be surprised if Lamar was the QB to kneel at the end of the game. Alex Collins ($5,600) averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year and should have plenty of opportunities to eclipse 100 yards in the rain Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints OVER 49.5

The Saints might just score 49 on their own against this horrid Tampa Bay team. Jameis Winston is suspended, making Ryan Fitzpatrick the starter against a rising New Orleans defense. Two of the three best corners on Tampa are listed as doubtful as well.

The Saints are going to enter this season angry after being just one play away from the NFC Championship Game. Alvin Kamara ($8,700) is poised to have an enormous game as Mark Ingram is suspended and recently signed Mike Gillislee is the only other RB on the roster. With Grimes and Harris out for Tampa Bay, Michael Thomas ($7,800) and now-healthy Cam Meredith ($4,400) are going to eatttttttt.

Historically, NFC South matchups in New Orleans are shootouts. The only way this game doesn’t hit the over is if the Saints hop out to a quick three score lead and go on autopilot.

Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos (-2.5)

Hate to break it to you Seattle fans, but the Legion of Boom is gone. It’s over. Finished. The Seahawks are a shell of their former selves. The remaining members of the LoB are begging to leave!

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Doug Baldwin ($6,200) is the lone offensive weapon on the Hawks and he’s already banged up:

They haven’t had a decent run game in years and their first round pick, RB Rashaad Penny has been unimpressive in camp. All of these factors poise to be problematic against a Broncos defense that is still very strong despite the absence of Aqib Talib.

Newly acquired QB Case Keenum ($5,100) is the best QB that the Broncos have had on their roster since Peyton Manning’s 2nd season there. Demaryius Thomas ($5,700) and Emmanuel Sanders ($5,000) are criminally underrated yet again and will probably both chalk up 1,000+ yards this season. Rookie RB Royce Freeman ($4,500) seems to have won the starting gig and is at the very least a lateral move from CJ Anderson, who was a 1,000 yard rusher last year. The Broncos are quietly a very solid team and they should prove that Sunday afternoon.

 

Those are my 4 picks this week. Join or Die. Now onto the Survivor Pool.

Since it’s Week 1 and nobody really knows how good or bad every team is yet, my advice is to pick a team that you are more confident in. If you don’t know what to think, check out what Vegas thinks. The highest spreads are Saints -9.5 vs. Bucs, Ravens -7.5 vs. Bills, Packers -7 vs. Bears, Lions -6.5 vs. Jets, Vikings -6.5 vs. 49ers. With Khalil Mack leading the new-look Bears D, I wouldn’t pick the Packers. With Sam Darnold at the helm for the Jets against the Lions and Matt Patricia’s coaching debut, there are too many variables to pick Detroit. With Jimmy G’s undefeated record and Kirk Cousins’ Viking debut, I wouldn’t pick Minnesota either. So in my mind it’s either a strong Saints team that I might want in my back pocket for later in the season or an unproven Ravens team against what should be a piss poor Bills team that I plan to attack all season.

Safe Picks

  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Baltimore Ravens

Risky Picks

  1. Green Bay Packers
  2. Los Angeles Rams
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Minnesota Vikings

My Pick: Baltimore Ravens

 

Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

START:

  • The Saints. All of the Saints. Any Saint. Including these ones:

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  • Looking at your favorite team’s schedule so you can plan to do “fall things” with your significant other during their bye week. You can thank me later.
  • DeAndre Hopkins. The Patriots will bend, not break, and Hopkins will take all the yards he can get.
  • RPOs. It’s a copycat league and with the Eagles’ success with the Run/Pass Option last season, be ready for other teams to implement RPOs of their own.
  • Preparing to not know what’s a catch, what’s a personal foul, and where a defensive player is allowed to hit a QB.

SIT:

  • Josh Gordon and Andrew Luck. Both are frontrunners to win Comeback Player of the Year, but neither seems totally ready to rock. I’d rather be a week late than a week early on them.
  • Dez Bryant. Don’t pick him up, either on your fantasy team or your real football team. There’s a reason he’s still a free agent and there’s a reason that the Dallas Cowboys are excited to have Allen Hurns instead of Dez as WR1.
  • Spider 2 Y Banana. With Jon Gruden coaching the Raiders, there won’t be anybody up in the broadcast booth to say S2YB every possession.
  • Sweatpants. Summer is still holding on for dear life so we’ll have to wear shorts in order to properly absorb 12 hours of football on Sunday.
  • On your couch. We finally made it.

 

Football season is here. To quote Big Cat, the entire football sandwich is in front of us. Now let’s make some money.

Wild Card Weekend Picks

What’s up Darters. It’s been awhile. My victory lap(s) finally ended this summer and I have joined what the adults call the “real world.” One time I had an interview for the show, The Real World; but that’s a different story for a different day. The craziest/worst part of pretending to be an adult is having to hide your degeneracies around people that are probably trying their hardest to hide their own vices as well. I made a dark joke about being lucky that I didn’t drive over any bridges on the way to work on a shitty day wayyyyy too early into my employment and I am now 100% pegged as the guy to watch out for by at least a couple people.

I’ve been off my gambling game but have kept my ear to the ground and am ready to come back in, fuck shit up, and leave a winner. I prefer playoff time because you really get to dive into specific matchups and you aren’t overwhelmed by a 14+ game slate. Last year during the Championship Round I hit my infamous 5 team parlay which helped fund half of this year’s shenanigans. But you guys aren’t here to listen about what I’m up to (or are you?), you’re here to make some money. Let’s get it.

 

Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-8)

The Titans are much worse than their 9-7 record suggests. I was praying that either the Chargers or Ravens would claim the 5 seed instead of Tennessee. Alas, neither did. The Titans do have one thing going for them:

FINALLY Derrick Henry will be freed from his DeMarco Murray shackles and will be able to ball out for a full game. I drafted Henry in fantasy in like the 11th round and waited and waited and waited and waited and waited….to no avail. Even Sirius Black was like damn dude you waited forever.

After a couple impressive wins at the beginning of the season, the Titans had a ridiculously easy schedule, and still managed to lose to the 49ers and Cardinals down the stretch. Their receivers have been plagued by injuries and their 1st round WR Corey Davis hasn’t really done anything. Delanie Walker is still a mainstay in the offense, despite Marcus Mariota taking a step back this season. Their secondary is on the rise, but they are still vulnerable downfield. Alex Smith doesn’t take deep shots very often, but he does have the best deep threat in the league on his side in Tyreek Hill. There probably isn’t a single human in the NFL that can match Hill step for step, so it’s a matter of time before he breaks one off.

When/if Hill is covered, Travis Kelce has a great matchup this week. If Gronk didn’t exist, Kelce would be one of the biggest names in the NFL. He’s still pretty much a household name. With Hill, Kelce, and rookie RB Kareem Hunt teamed up with a veteran game manager in Alex Smith, there is simply too much offensive firepower for the Titans to be able to contend. Also pencil in Kelce to catch a shovel pass TD.

Atlanta Falcons (+6) @ Los Angeles Rams

With Carson Wentz’s injury, the NFC race is kind of wide open. The Vikings may be the favorites, but I’d put my money on the Saints. That being said, a team like the Falcons can make a serious run themselves. They proved to be a Super Bowl worthy team last year for 3 1/2 quarters, and have nearly the same roster top to bottom this year. Matt Ryan has been off all year, but at any moment he and Julio Jones can click and rack up 200+ yards. The Falcons have an endless supply of skilled pass catchers, and have the best RB duo not named Ingram and Kamara.

The Falcons racked up 39 sacks this season. They’re going to do everything they can to get pressure in Jared Goff’s face and try to force turnovers due to his inexperience. Additional pressure on Goff would force the Rams’ hand into keeping Todd Gurley in the backfield to pick up blitzes and protect Goff. That would be huge for Atlanta. If they can eliminate Gurley for even 10 more plays than usual, that’d force the Rams to move the chains with lesser playmakers in Robert Woods, Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp, etc. Keanu Neal and Deion Jones will be sitting back ready to pounce.

Despite having Aaron Donald clogging up the middle, the Rams nearly gave up 2,000 yards on the ground this season. Keep Freeman and Coleman away from Donald, and they can get to the second level with relative ease. I like the Falcons straight up; +6 seems crazy.

Buffalo Bills (+8.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

I like the Jaguars, but 8.5 points is a lot. I think that we’ll get a bit of a defensive slugfest, despite each team having a top RB in the league. Good running games mean that the clock will tick. A game like this could end 17-14 before you know it. As long as Nathan Peterman isn’t on the field, the Bills don’t turn the ball over a lot. Sacksonville has prided themselves on getting to the QB, and Jalen Ramsey solidified himself as one of the best corners in the game. The Bills don’t have a real standout pass catching threat that can give Ramsey any trouble. So basically the Jaguars can pick any receiver on the Bills and eliminate him by having Ramsey cover him. That’ll open the door for LeSean McCoy and Charles Clay. If McCoy can reach 150 total yards from scrimmage, then that’ll be good news for the Bills.

The Jaguars have been plagued by injuries to their wideouts and they’ll now face a Bills secondary that has been surprisingly good. Micah Hyde turned out to be one of the best signings in the league, and Tre’Davious White had a fantastic rookie season. Allen Hurns should be 100%, and he’ll draw the top coverage guys. That means that one of my favorite college players from last year, Dede Westbrook, will have many opportunities to make a difference in this game. I was shocked that he dropped into the 4th round last year. Watching him with Baker Mayfield was fascinating, and I hope he can make some plays for Blake Bortles this weekend.

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The Bills have been susceptible to the run this year and the Jaguars have one of the biggest and baddest RBs in the league in Leonard Fournette. He’s going to get his, so it’s a matter of whether or not the Bills O comes in to Jacksonville ready to play.

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (-7)

I mentioned before that the Saints are probably my favorite to come out of the NFC. They finally have something that resembles a defense and they have the steal of the draft in Alvin Kamara. Also, the Saints are a different animal at home in the dome. They score and score, then score some more. Unfortunately for the Panthers, their secondary has been their biggest issue this year, and recent results prove that:

Michael Thomas has been practicing in full and I’m willing to bet that he finds his way into the end zone this week. Ted Ginn Jr is also going to find his way in for 6. The former Panther was Tyreek Hill before he entered the league and he would certainly like a little shot at revenge.

The Panthers do have some studs up front in Luke Keuchly and Charles Johnson, but the lethal combo of Kamara and Mark Ingram has been way too much to handle since the Saints cut ties with Adrian Peterson.

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The Saints are gonna go marching on in what I think is going to be a shootout in the Superdome.

 

 

It’s good to be back. Playoff football is the best. If this parlay hits I’ll be one step closer to getting out of this “real world” and back to public degeneracy. Pray for me.

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Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for some news about potential podcasts coming your way. I don’t know who, what, when, where, why, or how, all I do know is that some equipment should be in my possession come Monday. Can’t wait s/o Bart Scott.

By the way here’s an absolute banger that you need to listen to:

NFL Week 9 Picks

Halloweekend was tough. I dressed as Money Manziel for the 5th year in a row and I took it a little too literally.

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Instead of maybe holding back and saving up a little bit, I’m gonna get right back on that horse (Gunnevara) and crawl back inch by inch. Let’s get after it:

Continue reading “NFL Week 9 Picks”

Tanking for a QB is Not the Solution

The NFL isn’t the NBA. There are 11 players on the field at a time, and 53 on the roster. NBA teams have 5 players on the floor and 14ish on the roster. That means that one individual basketball player has a much higher chance to change the course of a game. If one individual doesn’t do his job, that means that a basketball team is only being 80% efficient on the floor. If one football player doesn’t do his job, the team is still being 91% efficient. Some positions are obviously more important than others (Quarterback), but if you put the world’s best QB behind the world’s worst offensive line he won’t be able to reach his full potential.

Continue reading “Tanking for a QB is Not the Solution”

Way Too Early and Pessimistic 2017 New York Jets Game-by-Game Predictions

Today is normally like Christmas Eve, but this year’s NFL schedule release was like getting a cat when all you’ve ever wanted was a dog. The Jets will be facing 5 playoff teams from 2016, including the Super Bowl Champion Patriots twice, and NFC Champion Falcons (Miami, Kansas City, and Oakland are the others). On top of that, they’re slated to go against the Broncos and Bucs, who both were tied for their respective Wild Cards at the end of last season but lost the tiebreakers. So, for those of you counting at home, at least 9 games on the 2017 schedule are against playoff-caliber teams. That isn’t counting one of the best offenses in the league in New Orleans, and a former MVP trying to turn around his team in Cam Newton and the Panthers. Strap in folks, this year could get ugly.

With about 5 months to go before Week 1, which includes the Draft, training camp, and linebackers punching quarterbacks, I’m here to give you the season preview that nobody wants, needs, or asked for.

Continue reading “Way Too Early and Pessimistic 2017 New York Jets Game-by-Game Predictions”

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