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!
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.
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!
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.
- New Orleans Saints
- New England Patriots
- Baltimore Ravens
- Green Bay Packers
- Los Angeles Rams
- Denver Broncos
- Minnesota Vikings
My Pick: Baltimore Ravens
Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em
- The Saints. All of the Saints. Any Saint. Including these ones:
- 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.
- 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.