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A Preseason Star is (San)Born: Rapid Fire Recap of the First Practice Game

| August 14th, 2022


Let’s start in the only appropriate place: the disgrace that was the Soldier Field pitch. It is unacceptable. It is an embarrassment. And both coaches were crazy to put their players out there. But they did. So, I watched. Now, you read.

Quarter One.

  • Trestan Ebner is a solid kickoff return man; north to south runner who will not make mental errors. Ebner back on both early kickoffs seems to signal it’ll be his job.
  • Braxton Jones had a very strong first few drives, holding up in protecting and sealing the outside on a nice Khalil Herbert run. Jones has a chance to be a real bright spot in a potentially dark season.
  • Defensively, it’s difficult to know what this team will look like with that many starters not on the field. But Al-Quadin Muhammad paid off what’s been a very strong start to camp, getting to the QB multiple times.
  • Dazz Newsome got the first punt return opportunity and capitalized by fumbling it and then losing thirteen yards. Probably not the start he was looking for.

Quarter Two.

  • Trenton Gill’s punt off the opening drive of the quarter was a beauty. Gill was one of the players I was interested in seeing in game action and he didn’t disappoint. (He had another punt later that deserved a better outcome.)
  • Dante Pettis is given the second punt return. Have to believe the plan wasn’t for Dazz to only get one attempt. Not good for the kid.
  • Jaquan Brisker bossed the game a bit against the second (third?) string Chiefs. That’s exactly what he should do.
  • Tajae Sharpe is going to be that guy, isn’t he? Follow social media. Fans will be calling for him to start by the end of the day today.

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After the Craziest Few Weeks in NFL Off-Season History, Updated Division/Title Odds

| March 28th, 2022


I’m posting these to DBB because over the course of the season, I find myself constantly searching out data like this. Figure it’s easier to store right here on the site. 


NFC NORTH

Packers -175

Vikings +275

Bears +750

Lions +1200

Thought: Green Bay actually feels a bit undervalued at that number. Barring a Rodgers injury, they are winning the division.


NFC EAST

Cowboys -115

Eagles +350

Commanders +400

Giants +650

Thought: The Giants have near identical odds to win their division as the Raiders do to win theirs. Just shows you how awful this division looks to be on paper. If the Cowboys weren’t such a national entity, they’d have plus odds.


NFC SOUTH

Bucs -280

Saints +450

Falcons +1000

Panthers +1100

Thought: What is there to say? On paper, this is the greatest divisional mismatch in the sport. It is Tom Brady vs. three teams that struck out on Deshaun Watson.


NFC WEST

Rams +160

Niners +195

Cardinals +325

Seahawks +1300

Thought: San Francisco is the team I’m most wary of at this stage because Trey Lance absolutely disappeared in 2021. (They had packages for him early in the year.) Is he going to be ready to be the starting quarterback in 2022? Has the bridge been burned with Jimmy G? Too many questions for odds like that.


AFC NORTH

Browns +175

Bengals +200

Ravens +225

Steelers +850

Thought: Deshaun. Watson. 

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Championship Sunday Gambling Guide!!

| January 28th, 2022


Last week my attempts to go 8-8 on point spreads and over/unders failed, as I came in a measly 5-8. (I was 13 seconds from a triumphant 6-8.) This week I smell a 4-4. Do you?

____________________

AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-7), Over/Under 54.5

  • The Bengals should not have beaten the Raiders. The Bengals would not have beaten the Titans if Ryan Tannehill showed up. This is a different animal, in a different environment. Chiefs win by multiple touchdowns, making the -7 an easy play.
  • Not overthinking it. The Chiefs are playing. Over.

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NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5), Over/Under 45.5

  • The Rams have had huge leads in their last three games and failed to sufficiently close two of them. Does this team have a killer instinct? They’ll need one against a Niners teams that is finding ways to win every week without the services of a quarterback. Rams play their most complete game of the year and cover the -3.5.
  • These teams have played twice. First meeting total was 41, with the Rams only scoring 10. Second meeting, the Rams blew a big lead to the total of 51. Kyle Shanahan has dominated his matchups with Sean McVay, so it’s unlikely the Rams will shut down the Niners offense. That puts both teams in the 20s, and that means I’m slamming the over.

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Divisional Round Gambling Guide!

| January 21st, 2022

Atlantic City at 40 (Original Photo)


Last week, the guide was actually about gambling (i.e., trying to make money) and my slips in Atlantic City proved that advice to be solid. This week, I’m going to try and nail all eight general bets. That’s every spread and every over/under. Will I achieve that? Of course not. But it’s a worthy endeavor.

As always, all lines from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Saturday

4:30 PM ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – Over/Under 47

  • Has a number one seed ever received less attention than Tennessee? They’re the least sexy team remaining but they’re also one that hasn’t been at full strength in months. If Derrick Henry returns – and all signs are pointing to him doing so – I think they move on. But the involvement of the hook (that extra half point) makes me nervous. Still, I’m taking Titans -3.5.
  • Usually when I’m playing the number, I play guess the score. I keep settling in around 23-17. Maybe 24-20? 27-17? One of these teams needs a major offensive output to get over. Under 47.

 

8:15 PM ET

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-6) – Over/Under 47

  • Since I picked the Packers to go to the Super Bowl, I’m picking them to win this game. But I think six is a lot of points for a game with projected weather conditions around 0 degrees. Packers win, because it’s not the NFC title game yet, but it’s a close one. 49ers +6.
  • Kyle Shanahan is going to want this game slowed down to a crawl. Control the line of scrimmage. Keep it in the 20s. And I don’t think this Packers defense is good enough to prevent that, even with injury concerns at QB for San Francisco. Under 47.

Sunday

3:00 PM ET

Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – Over/Under 48.5

  • Do we overreact to the Rams victory over the Cardinals Monday night? Anybody paying attention over the last six weeks knows the Cardinals have been awful. Do we overreact to the Bucs embarrassment of the Eagles early Sunday? The Eagles have a quarterback who can’t throw and were ultimately 0-8 against playoff teams this season. Sunday is the biggest game of Matthew Stafford’s career. Stafford is the story. I’m taking Tom Brady. Bucs -3.
  • The first time these two played – in September – Brady threw for 432 yards. Stafford threw for 343 yards. That’s nearly 800 yards through the air, folks. This game is going Over 48.5.

 

6:30 PM ET

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) – Over/Under 54

  • When the line is below three points, I ignore it and just pick the winner. And I find it hard to pick against Josh Allen right now. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense thrives when he’s manufacturing pressure but if the Chiefs overcommit, Allen will eat them alive on the ground. The winner of this game feels destined for the Super Bowl. Bills +1.5.
  • How do these two offenses stay under the number? Buffalo’s defense is very good, but they’ve been diced up several times this season, especially by any team with a competent rush attack. And Kansas City’s discovery of Jerick McKinnon last week gives them an additional element with which Les Frazier’s unit must deal. Over 54. 

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225 Comments

Wildcard Weekend Gambling Guide!

| January 14th, 2022


All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Saturday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bengals over Raiders, Bills over Patriots (+112).
    • I’m a believer in Bisaccia magic, and I think the Raiders pass rush will give Joe Burrow trouble, but the Bengals just have too much firepower to lose at home in the first round. I wouldn’t feel confident laying the six points, so I’m hanging onto the money line.
    • The most overrated victory of the season was New England’s Monday night victory in Buffalo. It wasn’t a real game. It was a football chess match played in a typhoon and Belichick might be the sport’s only master. The Bills are the better team, with the better quarterback. That’s where my money goes in the postseason.

Sunday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bucs over Eagles, Cowboys over Niners (+113).
    • Philly is 0-7 against playoff teams this season and the way you exploit this Bucs defense is with an accurate quarterback. (The Eagles don’t have that.) Tom Brady isn’t losing to Jalen Hurts.
    • Cowboys vs. Niners profiles as the game of the week but I don’t think San Francisco’s secondary can hang with these Dallas weapons. How the hell are the Niners covering a receiving corps that goes 4-5 deep with talent? (They’re not.)
  • Same Game Parlay: Chiefs -12.5 over Steelers / Under 46.5 points (+264).
    • I think the Steelers score ten points in this game, which means the Chiefs need to score only 23 to cover the number. It also means they need to score 37 to hit the over, and in frigid conditions that seems unlikely. 30-10 hits both bets safely and that’s my final score prediction.

Monday

For me, Cardinals at Rams is a gambling stay away. I don’t particularly trust either team. But the guide needs to have some action.

  • Spread: Rams -4 over Cardinals.
    • Since beating the Bears on December 5th, the Cardinals are 1-4, only eking out a victory over the Cowboys. This is a team, and a head coach, that peak on Halloween every season. And last week, in a game they needed, they let Rashaad Penny run for 8.3 yards per carry. You need to be tough to win on the road in the playoffs. That’s not this team.
    • Why is it a stay away, then? Because Matthew Stafford has been sneaky terrible for over a month. Would anyone be surprised if he threw three picks and threw the Rams season away?

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