Last Week: 4-1
Season: 30-23-2 (56.6%)
Look, I try not to get cocky here. When I do that, I tend to lose. But last week fucking owned. The Colts, Raiders and Bears, all underdogs that I picked against the spread, each won OUTRIGHT! And the Browns took care of business as well. We went into Monday Night with a chance to sweep the board and go 5-0. Of course, the perfect week evaded us, because God hates me (or Kirk Cousins sucks, either one) but last week’s success put us back over 56% on the season, which means if you are not following, you are missing out.
I am in an extra giving mode this holiday season, sitting here handicapping in my most festive gear. Seriously:
Just call me Danta Claus aka Jolly Old Saint Picks aka Kris Wingle. Im in a very giving move this time of year.
This can only mean good things are coming our way. I expect another winning week in on the way. This is the first week of the season when there are Saturday games, but none of those sides made the cut.
Indianapolis Colts -3 vs Dallas Cowboys
There are many different ways to handicap sporting events. Some people have their own power ranking systems, or algorithms that they use to generate their own lines and compare them to the actual line. Some people love to use trends, other people just fade the public. I have never been one who uses any of those methods. My biggest strength as a handicapper is being able to foresee when a team is going to show up flat. Every team has bad games. Teams that go 10-6 usually win their division, but they lose 37.5% of the time. I am have become pretty good at picking out flat spots for good teams (see last week’s fades of the Rams and Steelers) and I have that feeling about the Cowboys this week.
By beating the Eagles last week, the Cowboys essentially concluded a three game home stand by locking up the NFC East. I am sure they are high on their own fumes right now, and I am sure they celebrated. I don’t think they have spent the last week preparing for the Colts as extensively as teams usually prepare for must-win games. The Cowboys are going to win the East and they are almost surely going to be the 3 seed; they aren’t catching the Rams or Saints. Therefore, while the Colts 100% need this win, the Cowboys can take it or leave it. Give me Andrew Luck and Frank Reich to defeat the Cowboys at home and keep their postseason hopes alive.
San Francisco 49ers +3.5 vs Seattle Seahawks
Again, this is a good spot to fade a good team. The Seahawks made the Vikings look bad on Monday Night, but now have to play a division road game on a short week. The 49ers had their season ruined early due to a string of injuries, most notably to their Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and for a few weeks it looked like they were going into the tank. But Kyle Shanahan has the team playing hard every week with young players; the same way he did in 2017 when Jimmy G was making his presence known. This is not a tanking team and Nick Mullens is making a case to be some teams QB next year, while George Kittle might be the best Tight End in the NFL at the moment. I think they give the Seahawks all they can handle and an outright win would not shock me one bit. But of course, when you can get more than a field goal of wiggle room, you gotta take it.
New England Patriots/Pittsburgh Steelers over 53
I don’t have a long write up for this one, this just has all the makings of a shootout between two very solid offenses with a rich recent history of playing classic games. I think the winner of this game is going to have 30+ and both teams should get to 24 easily, so taking the over here makes sense. I expect this game to be all Brady and Ben; lots of throwing the ball down field and not a lot of rushing and running the clock. I actually like the Steelers to get back in the win column, and I will continue to monitor the line and pounce if it reaches 3.5 (follow me on twitter @GamblinDan88 for added plays) but it is tough to bet against New England when they play Pittsburgh; dumb shit like this always seems to happen
So no need to get involved on a side in this one. No matter who wins, there will be points.