Week 13: 2-3
Hey, Todd Gurley tried to help us finish 3-2:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 2, 2018
Unfortunately, there was too much time left in the game this time, unlike the last time he did this, and Gurley himself eventually did score a touchdown. It does stink when a late TD kills your cover like that, but it’s happened before and it will happen again. On to week 14. We are still in the green so far but really need a strong finish. No doubt in my mind we will have one.
Cleveland Browns pk vs Carolina Panthers
A brutal loss to Tampa Bay last week killed the Panthers playoff hopes. It is hard to think, after that game, that they are going to show up in Cleveland with much fire. There is also a lot of talk around Carolina that Cam Newton could be injured. Maybe he is, maybe that is just fans reaching for excuses for his recent terrible play, but whatever the reason is, over the last four he hasn’t been the same guy we are used to seeing. The Browns never had playoff aspirations but they seem to be enjoying their newfound status of “not the shittiest team in the NFL” and I think they show up inspired and get the W.
Indianapolis Colts +4.5 at Houston Texans
The Colts burned me last week by not putting up any points against the Jaguars; a performance that looked even worse when the Jags proceeded to embarrass themselves on Thursday night in Tennessee. Acknowledging that, I think they get their shit together with their season literally on the line. The Colts were coming on strong before laying last weeks egg, and while the Texans are on fire, winning nine games in a row, they are playing out of their minds. The Texans are probably going to win the division, but they are not the kind of team that should be going 13-3, and I think there is a good chance they lose this game outright, but I will take the points for security.
Oakland Raiders +10 vs Pittsburgh Steelers
I know, the Raiders suck. The Raiders REALLY suck. But Mike Tomlin’s ineptitude towards covering large spreads against sub .500 opponents can’t be ignored. The Steelers are in a rough spot on the road on the west coast, and they are going to be extremely one dimensional with running back James Connor out for the game. Everything sets up well for the Steelers getting a real scare from the Raiders, and while I do think they eventually pull out the win, it is going to be an ugly, scrappy game that I am happy to take the team getting 10 points in.
Chicago Bears +3 vs Los Angeles Rams
I am happy to fade a road favorite getting 68% of the public action on a national TV game. The Rams offense is widely regarded as one of the best in the NFL, but this is a very bad spot for them, and I think the Bears defense gives Jared Goff fits. This has all the makings of a statement game for Chicago, and while I do think that when all is said and done this season, the Rams will end up in the NFL Championship game and the Bears will still be a year away, this is an amazing spot for Chicago to show that they are going to be a lot of trouble for a long time.
Minnesota Vikings +3 at Seattle Seahawks
I have no problem admitting when I am wrong AF and I was wrong AF about the Seahawks. I thought this was going to be a 4-12 disaster that would lead to Pete Carroll retiring and the team as a whole entering a full rebuild. I could not have been more wrong; the team has played excellent football and appears headed for a wild card. However, I do think that they are still playing a lot better than they are, and the Vikings absolutely need this game. 66% of the public likes the home team to cover, so I am happy to be on the other side. I think these two teams, in terms of overall quality, are essentially equal, so taking the one getting three points is worthwhile.