Week 6 was pretty good to us. My sleepy picks went 3-2 and would’ve been 4-1 if not for Andrew Luck, King of the Backdoor Cover. This week I am a bit more well-rested. Sure, I was up dancing til 4 am last night in NYC and then drove all the way home to suburban Philadelphia fueled by Red Bull and the power of dance and didn’t get to bed until 6:30 am, but all things considered, my mind is fairly awake.
I missed another easy pick in the Thursday game, and it’s almost gotten to a point where I want to start picking the Thursday games again, but I know the way the gambling gods work, and I know that as soon as I attempted to pick one of those games I would immediately be reminded of my ignorance. Best not to give the gods ammunition against me. So whatever! We went 3-2 last week and I like having a winning week under our belts. Hopefully we can keep this going and turn this season around. It’s never too late for now.
Here’s the Week 7 lines. Home teams get the asterisk.
Rams* (-5.5) over Browns
Don’t get me wrong, I love the Browns. Hell, “Don’t sleep on the Browns” is like my fourth rule of football gambling. But the Rams are a good good good football team. The Browns are overvalued right now because Josh McCown lit up the Ravens a few weeks ago and pushed the Broncos to the brink last Sunday. But the Browns are due to slip, and the Rams are the team to take advantage. Joe Haden is out with a concussion, so Nick Foles will have his whole array of receivers available, not to mention Todd Gurley wrecking absolute havoc now that everyone realized how fast he can run on a football field.
The Rams are mad. They blew the cover against the Packers two weeks ago with dumb turnovers. It was a more competitive game than the final score indicated. Now their fresh off a bye. The Browns are due to falter. I really like this bet.
Jaguars (+5.5) over Bills
I know. The Jaguars are 1-5 against the spread this season. And I know I keep losing hypothetical dollars by picking them week after week. But hear me out.
First, this game is in London, meaning that it will probably be crazy in that “shitty type of football” kind of way, and as a rule I like to take the points in that scenario. Also, the Bills are beat up right now. Like crazy beat up.
Granted, I found that tweet in an SB Nation article titled “Buffalo lists everyone as ‘out’ and will probably still win” but that report only talks about the Bills winning the game outright, not covering five and a half.
Also, the Jaguars will probably be moved across the Atlantic and get some dope name like the London Calling within the next three years. This is a great opportunity for them to start garnering local support. No matter where on Earth you find fans of football, one universal truth remains: everyone likes watching Rex Ryan lose football games.
Eagles (+3) over Panthers*
I still don’t buy the Panthers. If you do buy the Panthers, take a break from reading this article real quick. Walk over to a mirror and take a good hard look at yourself. Then say to yourself, out loud with a bit of authority, “The Carolina Panthers are going to start the season 6-0.” Are you back yet? If you still feel good about your pick than by all means follow your heart. But I think it’s far more likely that halfway through the sentence you lost faith and began staring down your reflecting with desperation trying to figure out where your football life went wrong.
Additionally, the Panthers are coming off a dramatic win in Seattle. Because of this, I think there is significant potential for a “hangover” game here by the Panthers. Essentially, playing the Seahawks forces you to play tough. You spend a lot of mental and physical energy playing in Seattle, especially when you need to mount a fourth quarter comeback to pull it off. Now Carolina is playing at home in primetime, another place where energy needs to be high. I’m not sure they enough in the tank.
Fly Eagles fly.
Raiders (+4) over Chargers*
I could tell you here that this pick is directed by football logic. I could make arguments about how Oakland is coming off a bye and the Chargers just gave the Packers everything they had and are due for a hangover game much like the one I just finished describing above. But those would be lies, because this pick is not about football logic.
This pick is about karma.
Yesterday the news broke that the Chargers have filed whatever official paperwork is necessary to begin the process of potentially moving to Los Angeles, with an official request to move due some time in January. San Diego already had one of the worst home-field advantages in the league. Earlier this year Steelers fans got so loud that Philip Rivers had to switch to a silent count at home. That’s fucking insane.
I know that the Chargers have more talent than the Raiders. And I know that there are plenty of rumors that Oakland will also be moved to LA as soon as they can get their act together. But I believe karma is real, and the Chargers just sent all of theirs in the wrong direction. The gambling gods will smite them for their sins. Have faith.
Jets (+9) over Patriots*
Picking against the Patriots is really hard this year. They seem to be an unstoppable force of scoring machinery. The only time they seem not to score is when they don’t think scoring is very important and when Tom Brady feels like leaving Andrew Luck an opportunity for the backdoor cover because Brady hates the people that bet on him (full disclosure: I’m still a little bitter). But the Jets have a history of playing the Patriots tough: In the past two years, the Patriots have beaten the Jets 17-16, 27-25, and 13-10. The Jets also won one of those games 30-27 in overtime.
This pick doesn’t come easily to me though. I am well aware that Ryan Fitzpatrick has gone a suspiciously long time without doing Ryan Fitzpatrick things, and as much as we’re tempted to forget, it is important to remember that he is still, in fact, Ryan Fitzpatrick. But if Ryan Fitzpatrick continues his staggering streak of non-Ryan-Fitzpatrick-like performances, I feel confident about this bet.
Nine points is a lot of points, and oh man do I love points.
Chance the Gambler: Week 7
I got to see Chance the Rapper at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia this past Thursday. It was a religious experience. I ran into a few friends at the show, and requested of each of them one random number between 3-28. I figured I would not have the opportunity to ask Chance the Rapper for his five picks (I mean the Bears aren’t even playing this week), so I figured that this was the next best thing. Their numbers are as follows:
23, 11, 4, 17, and 9.
Those numbers translate to the following picks:
Giants* (-3.5) over Cowboys
Patriots* (-9) over Jets
Jaguars (+5.5) over Bills
Redskins* (-3) over Buccaneers
Dolphins* (-4) over Texans
Fun aside here: My boy Ben, a diehard Pats fan, tried to switch his pick from 4 to 12 in honor of Brady. He did not realize that picked Brady’s jersey number actually would’ve led to a pick against the Patriots. I was going to let the switch happen if only for comedies sake but I soon remembered that my boy Sean had already picked 11, so I am forcing Ben to stick to his original number. Still funny tho.
Many thanks to Ben, Sean, Pat, Mike and Emmie for their help in this cause.
And there it is! Week 7. I feel pretty good about my picks meaning I am probably in for a rude awakening in the coming hours. But it feels pretty good right now, and sometimes feeling good in the present moment is all we can ask of the universe.
My Picks Last Week: 3-2 /// My Picks Overall: 13-17
Chance Picks Last Week: 3-2 /// Chance Picks Overall: 15-15