Podcast #4 is up in time for the NFL Playoffs! Lou and I talk the NFL Conference Props, the Wild Card lines for the weekend, and some thoughts on WNBA and NCAA COllege Football Bowl betting (for those of you who care: AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).
This is down to +8 now. Both Lou and Cousin Sal have this as one of their locks of the week. I even wanted to tease Pittsburgh (and so does everybody in America)….but this is always the type of game where they puke on themselves, especially on the road. Pittsburgh is 2-10 vs the number he last 12 times they have been a 7+ point favorite on the road; and they’ve even lost some of those games, so the ML (+360) is even in play here IMO. And you know the Steelers are going to be partying on South Beach once they land in Miami, could be a hangover effect there. The majority of the public is on Pittsburgh. Miami is atrocious in many areas, but I think they’ll at least be able to throw the ball against a shitty Steeler secondary and keep it close at home.
Kansas City +1
This is now at -1 KC. The Chiefs travel to Oakland after getting the shit kicked out of them in Pittsburgh 2 weeks ago. They are coming off a bye, and Andy Reid is 15-2 in his career coming off the bye week. Oakland maybe without Latavius Murray, and KC gets back Jamaal Charles (he played last week, but was on a pitch count). He’ll actually get some more touches this week, and I think is a DFS punt vs an Oakland defense who has a hard time stopping the pass. Denver lost last night, and that will give them some extra motivation vs an Oakland team also still in the AFC West hunt, but for some reason has struggled at home (actually, it isn’t a mystery: the Oakland Coliseum is a dump).
Saints vs Panthers Over 53
Cam Newton is probably not playing, but I don’t give a shit. I think even Derek Anderson can throw 2-3 TDs vs this shitty New Orleans offense, and the Carolina offense gets Jonathan Stewart back, which should be a boost. Carolina’s secondary has been suspect this year, and the Saints can always score a 30 spot at home, especially coming off a bye where they get guys back healthy like WR Willie Snead.
I also noted on the podcast I liked Washington +3 (-130) at home this week as well vs Philly, BUT their star TE and chain mover Jordan Reed is questionable with a concussion. If he doesn’t play, I’ll stay away as the Washington offense is probably cooked vs a surprisingly good Philly defense.
Chicago Blackhawks +115 ML
Toronto at Cleveland Over 7.5 -105
Totally forgot to ask Lou on the podcast about NHL leans.
Here are mine:
Winnipeg to NOT make the playoffs -115
Florida Panthers Over Points 97.5 -105
Edmonton Oilers Under Season Points 87.5 (-105)
Top goal scorer: Tyler Seguin +1800
Chicago vs St Louis Under 5 (+110)
Syracuse +9 (-105)
Arizona +135 ML
Keep riding Predators…
Nashville (+1.5 -200)
Bank : 982.14 (-17.86)
Loss and push on our return to action recently. Let’s keep rolling.
Plays @ 14
Maple Leafs +138
Bank 986 Units
PARLAY: COL+DET ML +390
SB Preview coming this weekend.
PARLAY: DET+COLUMBUS +400
Welcome to playoff football! I’m going to do a Pros/Cons layout of each pick, talk it out, and then hopefully select my way to an ever seemingly impossible 11-0 this year (hell, I’d take 9-0-2). 4 HOME DOGS! I’ve never seen this before; this might be the hardest weekend to pick games, ever.
— Covers (@Covers) January 9, 2016
— Covers (@Covers) January 9, 2016
Kansas City (11-5) at Houston (9-7)
Line: KC -3.5 (EVEN)
Everyone talks about how the Steelers, Seahawks are the “hot” WC teams coming into the playoffs. How about Kansas City? They have won 10 in a row! Granted, it wasn’t against some of the best competition, but they still took care of business despite losing all world RB Jamaal Charles to injury. Some have argued their offense has become more diversified now because they don’t force the ball to him as much. Jeremy Maclin has been healthy as well, which is a surprise considering his history. He is banged up for today, but will play. They have a good defense playing in form, with two excellent bookends in Hali and Houston (who comes back today) and the second best CB this year, Marcus Peters. KC also beat them in Week 1 27-20, a game that is not indicative of how the game went….it was mostly a KC blowout.
The QB is Alex Smith, and the HC is Andy Reid. These men have destroyed bankrolls in playoffs past…and so have the Chiefs, 0-8 SU/ATS in their last 8 playoff games. This is also a team if they fall 10-14 points behind, they may not have enough firepower to make a comeback. Even if they are up 14, you still are nervous because it’s Alex Smith and Andy Reid.
Great individual talent. Watt, Clowney (who ends up being a late scratch), Wilfork, Hopkins, Cushing, Joseph. Houston HC Bill O’Brien is a innovative guy who will call anything at anytime. Romeo Crennel coaches the defense.
They won the worst division in football. Their O-Line stinks and have a rotating situation at RB. Their entire QB stable is all of backups, and today’s starter Brian Hoyer is one hit away from us seeing T.J. Yates or B.J. Daniels again. Houston isn’t that tough of a place to play, and there is a reason why they are usually picked for the 4pm Wild Card slot, otherwise known as the “What the NFL thinks is the crap game of the weekend”. Oh, and Romeo Crennel coaches the defense.
The Pick: Kansas City -3.5 (EVEN)
The sharps both like the line and the ML from KC (-180). We do too. I just think Houston is too weak in many of the areas KC excels, and the Andy Reid/Alex Smith puke show will most likely come later in these playoffs but not against this shitty Houston team.
Pittsburgh Steelers (10-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (12-4)
Line: CIN +3.5 (+120)
PIT Pros: Antonio Brown has been the best WR all year, and the Steelers probably have the best WR stable in the league. They can put up 40 points at any time. Their front 7 has been one of the best against the run and have played well vs the Bengals in their 2 meetings this season defensively up front. Big Ben is a two time champion and isn’t afraid of the big spot.
PIT Cons: They are hurting at RB; LeVeon Bell out for the year, DeAngelo Williams will miss this game as well. That leaves for Fitzgerald Toussaint (who I recommend for DFS) and Jordan Todman at RB; we need to see how they do vs a very good Bengals defense. Big Ben has played really shitty as of late, throwing 8 picks in his last 3 games. The secondary is average and this team is coached by Mike Tomlin, who makes a habit of weird decisions and setting games on fire.
CIN Pros: They have probably the second most balanced roster in all of football (behind Arizona) in my view. They do everything really well, and have really good players at almost every position. At TE and WR, they are, as Jay Bilas puts it, very “LONG” – tall guys who can make any QB look good with balls in traffic. There is a 90% chance of rain tonight, which helps them as well as Pittsburgh will mostly likely needs to pass the ball to move it up field.
CIN Cons: They lost Andy Dalton to a broken thumb to these Steelers in Week 13, and now go with former Alabama starting QB AJ McCarron, who people know more for his hot girlfriend than his actual quarterbacking play. Ask Brent Musburger. If the Bengals do win tonight and he plays well, it could actually create somewhat of a QB controversy as Andy Dalton, even as well as he played this year…has never won a playoff game. Neither has Head Coach Marvin Lewis, who is 0-8 in the playoffs as a HC. This game might set coaching back 5 years after we are done.
The Pick: Steelers -3 (+115)
I think this becomes a close division style game, and where the Steelers could actually cover the line and lose the game when Mike Tomlin goes for 2 after scoring a touchdown, down 31-30, late in the game. Hell, he might do it down 33-30 late in the game. The thing about the guy who hits “15” in blackjack when the dealer is showing a 5……sometimes, even the sun shines on a donkey’s ass.
My DFS Lineup for this weekend, and an NHL lean as well, below:
NHL Bonus: MINNESOTA WILD +130
Wild Card week! What a fun time of year…..and I’ve never seen 4 games so up in the air than this year for this week. Not one lock I can see, although there has been some heavy public action on some teams. We even have a pick ’em!
Onto the Conference Odds…..some of my favorite talk of the year (and most profitable – I’ve had good years taking both Seattle in 2013 and 2014 to win the Super Bowl once they locked up homefield).
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) January 6, 2016
Denver is the #1 seed and they are not even the favorites to win the conference. I don’t think I have ever seen that before, and it’s because there are so many questions with the Broncos. Peyton Manning’s Week 17 “comeback” vs the Chargers now cements him in for the starting QB slot. Say if the weather is bad, or the defense which has had some key injuries in the last few weeks…..and Peyton doesn’t start out so hot, does Kubiak go to Osweiler? How does the team’s mood change with this? Do the HGH allegations vs Manning motivate the team? Do Phil Simms and Phil Nantz continue to openly wank it on air when they call the game in Denver in two weeks? Did Manning really have a foot injury and this is all a rouge to get Peyton off of a HGH cycle for a playoff run? That’s a lot of “ifs” going into the playoffs for me to be behind the Broncos.
Cincy is talented but the Dalton injury (and the fact they are coached by Marvin Lewis) takes them out of the equation. Ditto with the Steelers and LeVeon Bell (and the fact they are coached by Mike Tomlin). Houston is the “happy to be there” team.
Kansas City has won 10 straight and no one is really talking about them. Maybe that’s because their QB is Alex Smith and their coach is Andy Reid and we’ve all seen this story before. That being said, their defense is playing the best out of anyone in the NFL coming into the tournament and they get back Justin Houston from injury. But they most likely will have to play all 3 games on the road and I don’t think they have enough on offense, especially after the Maclin injury last week. But if you are looking for a “long shot” team, they might be the one you would pick just because of their defense. Wait, what am I saying…they are being coached by Andy Reid and it will eventually end up in a ball of flames like it always does.
The Pats not getting the #1 seed was shocking, quite frankly. The “4 Corners” offense they played with starters in Miami was embarrassing as they started the game with 18 straight plays to running backs. It’s not a good sign when the first time Brady threw vs Miami, Marcus Cannon throws Suh into Brady’s knees causing him to now have a high ankle sprain, which could effect his throwing accuracy. An AFC Championship game in Denver, as a Pats fan, scares me because Brady and Belichick are 3-7 lifetime there and always seem to get jobbed by the referees like a WWE PPV whenever they play there. If the Pats do lose in Denver, Belichick’s decision to set the Philadelphia game on fire earlier in December will be the reason why. The O-Line is a worry….but the key is Julian Edleman’s health. He is what gets the offense moving even against top flight defenses, and the last few weeks have shown that the Patriots do not have much WR depth. Gronk gets less double teams, Brady gets easier pre-snap reads and he is now the guy on 3rd down, especially with the injury to Dion Lewis. He’s also their best punt returner. If you short the Patriots, Edleman’s health would be one reason to do so, as the Patriots offense needs him healthy and effective for any chance for New England to fingerbang their way to Super Bowl 50. The Patriots are my selection to go through at +200, as in the end, the NFL is a league of quarterbacks and the Patriots have the best one.
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) January 6, 2016
I saw maybe 3 or 4 articles today saying that Seattle is the Wild Card team. The same team that scored 10 points at home vs the Rams 2 weeks ago. Yes, Doug Baldwin is on a heater but their defense has looked suspect at times and Thomas Rawls is injured meaning that their backfield next week will be a hobbled Marshawn “Old Groin” Lynch coming off injury, Bryce “Fantasy Sleeper Bust” Brown, and Christian “Two First Names and 4 Different Teams” Michael. Add that their game in Minnesota will be played in 0 degree temps, which might effect them even if they do win into the later rounds, I am very bearish on Seattle.
Green Bay’s WR can’t beat man coverage and their O-Line is injury ridden. Eddie Lacy decided to eat all of Wisconsin’s cheese. Aaron Rodgers has played crappy the last few games and Mike McCarthy’s sad mug on the sidelines looks like a guy at the bar who just lost his whole bankroll after playing 3 hours at the blackjack table. They need considerable personnel improvements at a good number of positions to be considered a contender for next year, in my own opinion.
Minnesota I think will be an annual NFC player down the road thanks to the coaching of Mike Zimmer. They were the best team against the spread this year at 13-3. But the NFL is a QB league; is Teddy Bridgewater good enough to throw for 300+ yards if the Vikings require that type of quality from the position? I say not yet. But it’s been a good season with good young players with Barr and Diggs and if they keep drafting like that, they could be a Super Bowl contender sooner rather than later.
Washington is interesting; “Kirk Cousins has made people millions in fantasy football” can be filed under “things I thought I would never say in 2015”. Jordan Reed is healthy and I’ve always thought when he is, that as a TE he is the closest comparison to Aaron Hernandez we’ve seen(minus the blocking ability….and the fact Hernandez also killed people). Their weaknesses are their defense and lack of running game, which I think creates a bad matchup for them deep into the tournament vs Arizona or Carolina.
Carolina has had a great year, only losing one game. They have the best LB core in football, and the best “in form” CB in Josh Norman. Cam Newton should be the MVP, and he’s done so with WRs like Ted Ginn and Jericho Cotchery. It’s like Madden 2006 all over again. But my issue with Carolina is three fold:
a) Can Cam Newton step up and win the big game NOW with this WR core? What happens if Greg Olsen goes down? He’s the MVP and talented…but until a QB can prove he can win, it’s always a question that needs to be asked.
b) The health of Jonathan Stewart. In any zone read style of offense, the RB quality is just an important as the ability of the QB to be a threat on the perimeter (as well as on play action). If it’s Cameron Artis-Payne, defenses will be more willing to cater to defenses that “sugar rush” Newton and keep him in the pocket and throw the ball more. Carolina needs a good balance because against playoffs defenses, that WR core I don;t think is good enough to win the game on their own.
c) Pass Rush. DL depth has been an issue for Carolina all year, and they have had numerous injuries to the position. It’s why they traded for Jared Allen’s old ass. And it’s also why they gave up big plays in December when things got tighter.
Them now not being able to go for 19-0 is a reason to be bullish on Carolina as that human pressure (which clearly effected the 2007 Patriots on their run) won’t be there…but I just think Carolina is this year’s “Team that overachieved because of a crappy schedule”.
Arizona is my choice for the NFC at +210. They have the best coaching in Arians, the best special teams, the best WR core, and the play of David Johnson has elevated their offense to the next level. The only outlier is Carson Palmer he’s always one hit away from disaster, which is something to think about if you are bearish on the Cards.
Stay tuned here later in the week as I try to go for my “Pursuit of Gambling Perfection” against the NFL Playoff lines as well as my “Champion of Champions” Yahoo DFS lineup I have for the weekend.
NHL BONUS: Pittsburgh Penguins +115