2-3 Last Week
Bringing my total to 7-6 on the season. Not great but plenty of time to improve. For better picks, make sure to check Branded Sports’ better handicapper.
If you haven’t watched American Vandal, Netflix’ parody of the popular true crime documentaries (Making a Murderer, The Jinx, The Staircase), I suggest you do so immediately. My card for Week 4 of the NFL season reminds me of the recently released season 2, in which an anonymous prankster known only as the “turd burglar” terrorizes a school with various poop related pranks. Many of the teams I am betting on this week are complete poop and you are going to have to hold your nose while you submit these wagers.
The Giants suck and I already swore I wasn’t going to bet on them again this year (this is gambler’s equivalent to “I’m never drinking again”). The Raiders are 0-3 and have a coach who thinks it is 1996. The Cardinals have scored 20 points total in three games. Yet here we are, wagering on them, and not even as major underdogs. The reason for this is value. The public makes decisions on teams after a few weeks and sticks with them throughout the year. And they aren’t always wrong; these teams do suck. But even crappy teams are going to win a few games over the course of the season (aside from last years Browns) and there is value to be had wagering on them when you see a good spot. I will go into each play in depth.
Last week, we went 2-3, which is but losing weeks are going to happen. If a few plays on Monday Night Football went our way, it could have been different; we were very close to another winning week. Also, taking a team as 16.5 point favorites and seeing them lose outright by 21 is embarrassing as fuck and a hit to my credibility, but give me that over a backdoor cover with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter any day. It took me a few days to put that behind me, but I am reset and ready to roll with Week 4.
Miami +6.5 at New England Patriots
I am not going to call the Patriots dead; every year when they get off to a slow start some internet hacks rant about how the dynasty is over and yet, come January, they are in the AFC Championship game and the person with that hot take finds themselves retweeted by Old Takes Exposed. What I am going to say is that they are still getting more respect than they deserve. The public seems to think that the Pats slow start is a fluke and they will snap out of this funk any week now, whereas the Dolphins 3-0 start is somewhat fluky and the benefit of playing some poor competition. It is not impossible for both of those things to be true, but one thing I am certain of is 6.5 is too many points. The Dolphins are not just 3-0, they are 11-1 in the last 12 games started by Ryan Tannehill. Its easy to forget that head coach Adam Gase was considered an offensive guru when he was hired. A year of Jay Cutler can really kill a man’s rep. But I really like what he is doing and the offense is exciting and fast as fuck, while the Patriots do seem slow. I see no reason other than public perception that this game is not close the whole way through.
Counterpoint: how can I ever bet against swag like this:
Green Bay Packers -9.5 vs Buffalo Bills
The Bills suck. This is the hill I am willing to die on. Sometimes in life, the unexplainable happens. A dipshit reality show host becomes president. A schmuck like me gets a hottie to marry him. The Bills go into Minnesota and don’t just win; they flat out dominate. All of these things unarguably occurred but do not make any sense. That is all I am taking out of last week; it was an inexpiable miracle. I mean, the Vikings were dealing with Everson Griffin going all Katt Williams in the hotel, but they still should have easily beat the Bills. The universe will restore order to itself this week and the Bills will get blown out in Lambeau, even if Aaron Rodgers is playing on one leg.
Oakland Raiders -3 vs Cleveland Browns
Here we go; this is the kind of shit team I talked about in the opener that we are putting our money on this week. The Browns won a game and acted like they won a Super Bowl, but you know what, I’m ok with that. That team and those fans have been through so much, good for them to get a win. And not just an ugly shitty win; a legitimate come from behind victory led by a rookie quarterback who looks to be extremely legit. Good for Cleveland. I do love this guy.
But in true Browns fashion; the optimism will come to a screeching halt on Sunday. Baker Mayfield is the man and I am going to root for him throughout his entire career. But he is a rookie making his first start on the road against a team that, unlike the Jets, is actually preparing for him. I expect him to have some issues. The Raiders are 0-3 but how is this for an amazing statistic: of the 180 minutes of football they have played this year, they have been in the lead or tied for 157 of them (and 36 seconds). They have just not been able to finish, which sure, is partially attributed to the fact that they are old as fuck, but is also an unsustainable fluky statistic. On Sunday, they will be able to play a full four quarters and come away with a convincing win.
Although I do hate being on the opposite side as Ava.
Arizona Cardinals +3 vs Seattle Seahawks
Yup, were betting on the Cardinals; another 0-3 team. Unlike the Raiders, I cannot make any convincing argument that this team is competent in any way, shape or form. However, they are at home against a division rival and they have finally committed to their QB of the future, Josh Rosen. When a team puts a hopeless uninspiring QB like Sam Bradford out there, the players know he sucks and know they are probably going to get crushed. It impacts their play and their energy. You saw it last Thursday night; the Browns didn’t suddenly develop the ability to catch the ball when Baker Mayfield was put in the game; the team was just energized that the guy behind center actually gave them a fighting chance. I expect Larry Fitzgerald & Co to react similarly on Sunday. The Cardinals came very close to their first win of the season last week against the Bears. This week, they will get it.
New York Giants +3.5 vs New Orleans Saints
If you were to show all of this weeks lines to your Average Joe friends, they are all going to tell you to bet on the Saints. They may even call them a “lock,” which is a word that nobody who knows the industry will ever use. In situations like this, I love to fade the public. Sportsbooks don’t go broke, but public bettors sure do. In situations like this I like to align myself with the sportsbook by fading the public.
There are actual football reasons I like the shitty Giants in this one; their defense is actually decent, Drew Brees is a different QB outdoors, Saquon should have a field day against the Saints defense, the Saints are coming off a big road win against a division opponent.
I don’t blindly fade the public and only bet on “sharp” sides just because, but when I actually like the side AND the other side is getting 70% of the action, I go to pound down. I expect this game to be ugly, low scoring and close. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Giants come away with the outright win, but at the very least it will be a field goal game.
Those are the plays for week 4. Make sure to comment or find me on Twitter at @Eagles_Dan88. I love discussing plays and if you have any questions about a side or total you like that I did not touch on, I would be happy to lend my two cents. Lets have a big week!