Well, that regular season was awesome. I wanted very much to finish at 60%, and I came oh so close, but Jason Garrett decided to coach a 100% meaningless game like it was the Super Bowl and my under did not come close to hitting. Not much I can say about that except that Garrett is an idiot, but I should have known that in advance.
Still, we finished this season at 35-25-2, which at 58.3% is a rate that would put me at the level of a professional handicapper. I am very happy. Also, the Eagles snuck into the playoffs and that is glorious.
This weekend we have four awesome games, and that is a rarity. In the past, the Wild Card round has given us games featuring the likes of Connor Cook, Brock Osweiler, TJ Yates and a ton of Matt Schaub. There is usually at least one game that sucks. Not this week, as every game has a spread under a touchdown, three of the four games are lined under a field goal, and there is not one team that, if they won, would be a total surprise.
The downside is, with only four games on the slate and all teams involved being competent, there is not much value to be had in the betting lines. Along with giving you the one side I will be playing, I am also going to tell you what props to look for. I am a gambler and if I can’t wager on a side, I am at least going to throw some “fuck it” money on a few player props. Now when I say “fuck it” money, I do not consider this real bankroll money. “Fuck it” money is money that I am throwing around for fun and entertainment. If I win, great, but I don’t count that the same as I count my sides. These props don’t come out until game day, so I will be telling you what I will be looking for.
On to my one side:
Baltimore Ravens -2.5 vs Los Angeles Chargers
One of the keys to being a legitimate sports bettor and not just a guy with a hobby is having an account at multiple sites. I have money on six sites right now, and in the past I have had more. The benefit to this is being able to line shop. This line is -3 at half of my books, but -2.5 at the other three. Look for the 2.5, unless of course you disagree with me and like the Chargers, in which case look for the 3.
I am in on the Ravens. They are playing a style of football that no other team is playing, as every defense has spent the last two years practicing defending the pass. Now, if I lose it will be silly to look back and see that I bet on a rookie QB who is not really good at throwing the ball, but man, Lamar Jackson is exciting. He also seems to have a flare for the dramatic. I think the Ravens defense shows up big, the run game scores enough points, and the Chargers are handed a 24-17 loss. I also believe reports that even if he plays, and it looks like he will, Melvin Gordon will not be close to 100%. Philip Rivers is going to have to become one dimensional and the Ravens defense is going to have themselves a day. Win or lose, this is such a fascinating game and I can’t wait to watch it, but I do think there is value in the Ravens here, so this will be my wager of the week.
In terms of props, here are some things I am looking for:
Indianapolis/Houston– Nuk props BIG! Last week the over/under for catches for Hopkins was 6. I thought it was a typo, but it was not and I won a lot of money when he went off for 11. The Texans know that Nuk is the offense and if they want to have success, it is going to be because of him. I assume the line for this will be 7 or 7.5. I will take the over up to that number. If it comes out at 8, I may lay off. Follow me on Twitter @Gamblin_Dan88 and I will post whatever props I play before kickoff.
Seattle/Dallas– This won’t be a Nuk-size wager, but I do think Ezekiel Elliot is going to get the ball a ton. If his total for rush yards is less than 90, it will likely be a play for me.
LA/Baltimore– While I already have a side in this one, I am going to monitor the Lamar Jackson rush yards total. I have won this bet 3 of the last 4 weeks, as books still haven’t adjusted to the fact that this guy carries the ball more than most running backs. Anything under 64 and I am jumping on the over. Anything from 64-69 I will still consider. Higher than that, probably not.
Philly/Chicago– I don’t love a lot here because I have no idea how this game is going to play out, but if the line on Ertz receptions is 5.5 or lower, I think the over will be a good play.
Again, follow me on twitter for confirmed prop plays. Most important, enjoy this weekend; it should be extremely entertaining and if we can win some money on top of that, that’s all the better!