Oof, an 0-3 week to bring the season record to 11-12. I will finish the season above a 50% win rate. I hope. We’re only one game under with a lot of season to go so there’s plenty of time to turn our luck around or entirely spiral out of control and crash and burn. I’d say they’re equally likely outcomes. Let’s take a quick look at last week’s loser and try to learn from our mistakes.
Chargers/Ravens over 24.5 1st Half: I knew I was gonna get burned by picking a first half over. We missed it by two points and had the ball on the edge of field goal range before Lamar Jackson took back-to-back sacks to blow the cover. At least if you had taken my Ravens over 27.5 recommendation you would have had a winner.
Texans +6.0 1st Half: Another loss by a point. The Texans had the ball late in the second quarter and started to put together a drive, but couldn’t quite get into field goal range. I guess that should be expected with Davis Mills at quarterback. How the people at Draftkings are so good at setting the lines, I’ll never know.
Panthers +1.0 1st Half: Wow, looking back at these losses we were just one score away on all three picks. The Vikings took a two-point lead into halftime and we took a loss on this one. Sam Darnold was quite frankly not very good; turning the ball over on the first play of the game typically doesn’t help win bets.
Now, let’s get to some picks.
Robby Anderson O/U 45.5 Receiving Yards
I like to write up last week’s picks at the beginning of these articles so I can see what went wrong and learn from my mistakes. I literally just wrote about how bad Sam Darnold was last week. But, like any good (terrible) gambler would, I’m going to immediately ignore my own brain and make this pick because it feels right. It’s not gonna make a ton of sense at first, but it feels right to me.
I know absolutely nothing about TikTok and the various characters on there that make videos that I don’t quite understand. What I do know is that these two guys showed up on my Twitter feed, singing about being “island boys”, not making a ton of sense, yet being stuck in my head and all over the internet anyways. I don’t know what an island boy is or how you become one, but Robby Anderson is definitely one of them. Look at his hair. That’s island boy hair. If there were ever a week for him to finally click with Darnold and win a bet, it’s this one.
Apart from being an island boy, there are real reasons I think he can amass 46 yards. For starters, the Giants are 22nd in the league in pass defense, allowing 264.2 passing yards per game. Even the Saints managed to throw for 230 yards with a conservative offense and mediocre receivers. On top of the total yards the Giants are surrendering, they’re also giving them up in chunks. One in every ten passing plays run against the Giants has gone for more than 15 yards, and it’s not all run after the catch. ProFootballFocus grades the Giants as the 8th best-tackling team in the league. The cornerbacks are solid, but the safeties on the back end are struggling to play coverage and giving up big plays. Anderson runs deeper routes and will give the safties issues. This over could hit in just one or two catches. Overall, Anderson hasn’t had a great season – 46 yards would be a season-high for him, but it’s not for a lack of opportunity. Over the past three games he’s been thrown the ball 28 times. I’ll put more of the blame on Darnold than Anderson. He can’t possibly be as bad as lack week again, right? Right?
Pick: OVER 45.5 Receiving Yards (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Lions @ Rams First Quarter Spread
The Lions are bad. The Rams are good. The Lions have no wins. The Rams have five wins. That’s basically all there is to this pick. It’s probably the biggest sucker’s bet I’ve ever made but I’m going to go for it anyways. I don’t even really know how to introduce this pick because anyone in the world could find a reason the Rams will beat the Lions. Maybe Jared Goff will play the game of his life out of spite, or maybe Aaron Donald will eat him alive after not being allowed to hit him in practice for several years, Lions’ center Frank Ragnow is out after all. I really don’t see a way the Lions compete in this game from the jump, so read the stats in the next paragraph, bet the Rams, and come back next week and tell me I’m a sucker.
The game flow in this one should lend itself to a few possessions to give us a chance at over ten points. First and foremost, the combined pace is fairly fast; we don’t care how bad the Lion’s offense is as long as they get off the field quickly. If they manage to score some points in the first quarter, that’s a bonus, we’re really just betting on the Rams to score twice here. Next, the Lions haven’t managed to get much pressure on opposing quarterbacks while the Rams have been able to protect Matthew Stafford fairly well, so he should have plenty of time to find the open guy and march down the field, especially if Trey Flowers is limited due to a knee injury. Keeping this train going, the Lions allow more explosive pass plays (15+ yards) than anyone in the league while the Rams are the second-best team at creating explosive pass plays. And last but not least, the Rams love to throw the ball early in the game; 65% of the Rams’ first quarter offensive snaps are pass plays. Look for the Rams to take advantage of the Lions’ poor passing defense early and jump out to a lead.
Pick: Rams -5.5 First Quarter (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Titans @ Chiefs First Half O/U
If you’ve been reading for the past six weeks, you know I’m an under guy. The public loves to bet the over because who doesn’t love rooting for points, and that leads to some value betting the under. Being an under guy sucks because when you lose a bet you know you could have more fun betting the over and rooting for points. For once, I’m joining the public and rooting for points because this game is just too much fun to pass up. Unless you’re doing it professionally, gambling is really just a form of entertainment, and if you’re reading this article you’re definitely not a professional gambler, so let’s have some fun.
I’m a little worried about how much Tennesee runs the ball and keeps the clock moving, but I’m willing to ignore that because Kansas City can’t stop the run. Derrick Henry will likely be almost impossible for them to contain, opening the door for big play-action shots down the field. Patrick Mahomes is Patrick Mahomes and the Titans are liable to give up big pass plays. Hopefully, A.J. Brown can sort out his digestive issues and get back on the field and help the Titans’ receiving corps. Most importantly though, the Chiefs and Titans are last and second to last in first-half points allowed, combing for about 33 points per game. 29 points is a lot to ask for in one half, but I’m gonna root for the points and have myself a party.
Pick: OVER 29.0 First Half (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Featured Image by Jacob Roy (@jmrgraphics3 on IG)