When I was a kid, the New York Post would run a weekly NFL column where they picked games against the spread. Shoot, they probably still do. Anyway, the writer would express how confident he was in each game by the amount of money he would wager. Of course, it wasn’t money – wink, wink. The writer would come up with some other term instead of dollars.
Sometimes it was related to the game or a player, sometimes it was something pop-culture related and sometimes it was just … something. Truthfully, a lot of them flew over my head. But that’s okay. It’s good if an article – even a lowly sports-gambling piece – challenges you to think and maybe look something up. Eight-year-old me didn’t have the internet and the references weren’t anything that would have been in the encyclopedias we did have. However, you don’t have any excuses.
Anyway, I know a good idea when I steal one, so no dollar figures here, either. So, dig in your pockets and see how many Shlabotniks you can afford to wager this week. Remember, bet with your head and not over it!
Odds taken from yahoo!sportsbook. Home team in bold.
Tampa Bay (-13) over Carolina – That’s a lot of points for a home dog. But it’s also a team that just fired its coach, had a player that the interim coach kicked off the field in the middle of a game and one who just traded its best player for draft picks. Let’s go 25 Giselles on the visitors.
Baltimore (-6.5) over Cleveland – The Ravens are without J.K. Dobbins and Rashad Bateman will be a game-time decision. But Lamar Jackson will play and he’s capable of beating the Brown singlehandedly. He’s also capable of losing it that way, too. But it’s this year’s Browns on the road. Place 25 Lenores on the home team.
New York (+3) over Jacksonville – Having just re-watched The Good Place, it’s hard not to yell, Bortles!, after typing Jacksonville. And while Trevor Lawrence is a big step up, he’s not enough to stop the feel-good Giants from earning another win. Put 25 Jianyus on the Giants.
Washington (+4.5) over Green Bay – The Commanders won’t have Carson Wentz. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Meanwhile, the Packers are 3-3 and have won just one game by more than a field goal. When in doubt, take the points. A shaky 15 Riggins’ on the home team.
Indianapolis (+2.5) over Tennessee – Jonathan Taylor was a full participant the last two days of practice and will be eager to avenge his team’s earlier loss to the Titans. Plus, Vegas is begging you to take the division leader at home in a rivalry game with a spread less than a FG. Don’t fall for it. Pick: 25 Mayflowers on the Colts.
Detroit (+6.5) over Dallas – You look at the standings and see the Lions at 1-4 and think – all is right in the world. Yet Detroit put up 35 points against the Eagles, 36 against the Commanders and 45 against the Seahawks. The Cowboys haven’t scored more than 25 points this year. Also, this seems like another Vegas trap line. Bet 25 Silverdomes on the visitors.
Atlanta (+6.5) over Cincinnati – Both teams come in at 3-3 but having won three of their last four games. But those Bengals wins came against the Jets without Zack Wilson, the Dolphins without Tua and the Saints without Jameis Winston. Cincinnati may break that streak and win against Atlanta and its starting QB Marcus Mariota but the play here is for a cover, at the least. Wager 25 Runnerups on the Falcons.
Las Vegas (-7) over Houston – The best thing you can say about the Texans is they tend to keep it close. But that changes this week as the Raiders get past their blown game against the Chiefs with a blowout of a bad team. Throw 25 Davantes on the home team.
New York (+1) over Denver – The Jets’ defense has allowed just 27 points combined over the past two games and the Broncos can’t score, as they’ve topped 20 points just once this season. New York survived in London just fine and they’ll do likewise at Mile High. Toss 25 Kleckos on the Jets.
Seattle (+5.5) over Los Angeles – The Chargers haven’t beaten anyone by more than five points this year and they were lucky to escape with a win over the lowly Broncos last week on Monday night. Meanwhile, Pete Carroll is proving that yes, you can win with Geno Smith as your QB. If this team makes the playoffs, Carroll should get Coach of the Year votes. Flip 25 Keurigs on the visitors.
Kansas City (-1.5) over San Francisco – Since the beginning of 2018, the Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes combo has lost back-to-back games just three times in a span of 86 games, including playoffs. This year’s team is still finding its way a little bit but we should all be leery of betting against this duo. Call 25 Montanas on the Chiefs.
Miami (-7.5) over Pittsburgh – As a Vikings fan since the 1970s, the best thing about this game is one of the teams is going to lose. The Dolphins defense looks good and whoever starts at QB will have a full week’s worth of practice. And the Steelers are pretty banged up, especially on defense. Go 50 Csonkas on the Dolphins.
New England (-8) over Chicago – The Patriots have won their last two games, 67-15, and the Bears are 0-3 on the road and in the discussion for one of the worst teams in the league. Is revenge for Super Bowl XX still a thing? Throw down 100 Vatahas on the home team.
This column is for entertainment purposes only. If you actually wager on these picks – I’m certainly not! – please find the nearest 12-step program immediately.