Vikings at Bears Game Preview: A Potential Season, Pick Power Poll, Book Club, Another Win?

| October 13th, 2023

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears this Week?







On the Potentiality of an Interesting Season

Thought experiment.

Pretend Matt Eberflus’ brain didn’t turn to hot soup against the Denver Broncos and the Bears won that ballgame. The team would be 2-3, on the periphery of the wildcard conversation, with a chance to win their third straight against a Justin Jefferson-less Minnesota Vikings this Sunday. This would be a massive contest.

But Eberflus’ brain did turn to split pea, and this is not a massive contest. But that doesn’t mean it is unimportant. Just remember, if the Bears win Sunday, they will be 2-4, with a mediocre Raiders team coming to town next week, bringing with them a big, shiny opportunity to be 3-4. And isn’t hovering around .500 with an improving Justin Fields exactly what most of us expected from this campaign?

The Bears could not lose that Broncos game. And they did. Because of that, they needed to win the next three in order to insert relevance into their season.


Minnesota. [ ]

Los Angeles [ ]

Stats of the Week

  • Bears have started solving their run game, increasing their average to north of 130 yards per game in recent weeks. That is 50 yards more per game on the ground than Minnesota averages. This is Chicago’s most significant advantage.
    • The Vikings and Steelers are the only teams in the NFL without a rushing touchdown.
  • Justin Jefferson is 6th in catches, 3rd in total yards, 1st in big plays. His absence cannot be overstated; he is the best player on this team by a significant margin and it is a huge advantage for the Bears that he won’t be playing. Minnesota still has receiving talent, especially TJ Hockenson and Jordan Addison, but those players should prove far more manageable without Jefferson on the field.
  • Only one quarterback has thrown more touchdown passes than Justin Fields: Kirk Cousins.

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Week 7 Game Preview: Bears Travel to a Surging Patriots (Where They’ll Likely Lose)

| October 24th, 2022

It ain’t easy but…

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?







Three Stats That Matter

  • Patriots are only allowing opposing quarterbacks a passer rating of 81.1. (9th) Justin Fields has a rating of 72.7. (32nd)
  • Bears are allowing 163 yards per game on the ground. (29th) Patriots average 131.3 per game. (10th)
  • In 13 punt return attempts this season, the Patriots rank 7th, averaging 10.9 yards per return. They only have two fair catches. The Bears have 8 return attempts, rank 30th at 4.4 yards per return, and have two game-costing fumbles.

You have to do serious digging to find an advantage for the Bears tonight.

Video of the Week

Website: Brant Buckley

Four Favorite Things About New England (Eating & Drinking Category)

(4) Crow’s Nest, Gloucester MA

Ever see The Perfect Storm? Well, this is the bar. It’s real and it’s there. And if you’re an adventurous sort, you can sleep upstairs.


(3) The Black Duck Cafe, Westport CT

Hey, how many bars are actually slowly falling into the water? This one is!

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Wildcard Weekend Gambling Guide!

| January 14th, 2022

All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 


  • 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.


  • 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.


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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Thursday Lynx Package (7/29/20)

| July 30th, 2020

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Wildcard Weekend Gambling Guide!

| January 3rd, 2020

Four games. I’ll give you a bet for each. (All odds courtesy of DraftKing Sportsbook.)

Saturday 3:35 PM Central

Bills at Texans (-2.5)

Over/Under 44

My heart is all-in for the boys from 716 but Josh Allen, facing a good pass rush, on the road, terrifies me. Look for Allen to use his legs a bunch in this one but I still don’t see Buffalo producing enough offense. If this line were a point higher, I’d go the other way. Begrudging Bet: Houston -2.5. 

Saturday 7:15 PM Central

Titans at Patriots (-5)

Over/Under 44

Bill Belichick will go into this game with a one-track mind. If the Patriots stop Derrick Henry, they win. But Henry has quietly become the best back in football and New England struggles upfront against these bruising-type runners. I don’t know if Tennessee wins this game but I like them to keep it close. Bet: Tennessee +5.

Sunday 12:05 PM Central

Vikings at Saints (-8)

Over/Under 50

I thought the Saints were in the best team in football in 2017. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous play.

I thought the Saints were the best team in football in 2018. They lost in the playoffs on a ridiculous call.

I think the Saints are the best team in football in 2019. They’re not losing to Kirk Cousins. Bet: New Orleans -8.

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A Four-Quarter Game Prediction For Super Bowl 53

| February 1st, 2019

Quarter One

This game starts fast. Both of these offensive coaching staffs thrive on the two weeks of preparation and script out the first 15-20 plays to perfection. Tom Brady does it with his trademark short passing game, exploiting the Rams underneath with a ton of James White. Jared Goff hits the Pats secondary over the top. Call it Brandin Cooks for a 54-yard TD. Three possessions. Three touchdowns.

Score: 14-7 Patriots

Quarter Two

Things slow down. Both offenses try and get their running games established, to limited success. Goff makes the first major mistake as halftime approaches, tossing an interception to Stephon Gilmore, and setting up the Pats for an easy score and a comfortable half-time lead.

Score: 28-14 Patriots



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Three Thoughts on the Actual Football Game Being Played Sunday in Atlanta

| January 31st, 2019

The best bar in Atlanta.

Thought 1. The Rams need a steady & consistent interior pass rush

Nobody pressures Brady from the perimeter because no quarterback in the history of the league is more comfortable stepping up quickly in the pocket and delivering the short-range bullet to a wide open, usually-white receiver. If your game plan to defend him is reliant upon edge pressure and disguised coverages (*cough* Vic Fangio *cough*) Brady will dice you up like a sous-chef working a garlic bulb.

You must put defenders in his face. And few teams are better equipped to do so than Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh and these Rams. This game has career-defining potential for Donald.

Thought 2. Where the hell is Todd Gurley?

A few months back, the player Bill Belichick would have completely removed from this game would have been Todd Gurley. “Eliminate Gurley and force Jared Goff to beat us” might have been his rallying cry. And it would have been the correct approach. The Bears showed the league that if you take away the Los Angeles rushing attack and pressure Goff, you control the game.

But Gurley seems to have eliminated himself, unless you believe the injury fairy tale spewing out of the City of Angels. C.J. Anderson has somehow become every bit the horse but Anderson does not have anywhere near the game-changing explosiveness of a man many considered the best offensive weapon in the sport in, like, October! If the Rams are going to win this game, Gurley can’t be riding the stationary bike on pivotal possessions.

Thought 3. Return Men

Three names will be involved.

For the Rams, JoJo Natson.

For the Pats, Cordarrelle Patterson and Julian Edelman.

All three are capable of conjuring the kind of game-altering play that decides which team is holding the Lombardi at the end of the evening. (And all three rank in the top ten at all the relevant return statistics.)

Who will it be? Watch out for Patterson. If Greg the Leg gives him an opportunity to give the Pats an easy six, he may just do it.

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