Do the New York Jets need a new center?
Here’s my “tryout” at MetLife Stadium earlier this week where I got onto the field and was able to kick field goals (I missed them all), field punts (I shanked all three and fell down once), play wide receiver (I caught 1 ball out of 3), and throw a touchdown pass (2 for 2 — sign me up!).
Great experience ever for a lifelong NFL fan.
Unfortunately, even the Jets didn’t sign me. So, that means I’m back to handicapping again. Back to the grind.
First, let’s take a look at last weekend, which produced solid results — 4 wins, 1 loss, for a net win of $1,470. I’m 13 games above the .500 mark for the season heading into Week 13. Despite some cold spells, given that’s 110 picks so far, I’ll take those numbers.
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS (Lay amount/Win amount):
Buffalo Moneyline (-255) vs. New Orleans — Laying $1275 to win $500 — WON
TEASER: New England -1 / Washington +6 (-120) — Laying $600 to win $500 — WON
Minnesota +3.5 (vs. San Francisco) — Laying $330 to win $300 — LOST
NY Giants (vs. Philadelphia) Team Total UNDER 20.5 (-120) — Laying $360 to win $300 — WON
MNF: Washington (pick) vs. Seattle — Laying $550 to win $500 — WON
2021 NFL WAGERING RECORD
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $12,472.
Net Gain/Loss: + $2,402.
Last Week’s Results: (4-1) + $1,470.
Can we believe them?
Last week’s LA Rams at Green Bay Packers game was a model of deception. Packers offensive line was supposedly in tatters. QB Aaron Rodgers had “turf toe” and didn’t practice all week. Many cappers gobbled the bait and took the Rams, coming off two straight losses, and supposedly primed to make a statement that they belong among the NFL elite. The line even moved 2.5 points in the Rams’ favor, unusual for a high-profile game. Final result: Green Bay won 36-28, but the game was out of reach at the end of the 3rd quarter as the Packers led by 19. The offensive line played a perfect game and Rodgers’ turf toe” made a miraculous recovery.
I’m not saying to disregard IR info, released in midweek. But it’s given far too much weight in handicapping. Short of a starting QB being replaced, most injuries (except cluster injuries) don’t really mean that much. The Packers game last Sunday is a perfect example.
WEEK 13 PREDICTIONS AND PICKS:
Minnesota / Detroit UNDER 46.5 — Risking $330 to win $300
Minnesota is laying -7.5 at Detroit. The Lions are winless but also 7-4 ATS, one of the best bets in the NFL this season. Detroit has been underdogs in every game. It’s tempting to bet the Lions at home getting more than a touchdown but I think the far better wager is the UNDER 46.5. Detroit is 8-3 to the UNDER this season with a struggling offense that can’t move the ball and doesn’t score many points. Minnesota won’t have to produce much to win this game and despite some defensive lapses after playing 5 straight games with winning records, they get a much softer opponent here. In October, these division rivals played a 19-16 sleeper that easily went under the number. Unless this game turns into a blowout early and the Lions backdoor some late TDs, I see a 27-13 type of game that falls under the number.
Atlanta Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Tampa Bay (-125) — Risking $375 to win $300
The Falcons’ offense has collapsed the last three weeks, scoring just 24 points the last 3 games, and 21 came against awful Jacksonville. Now, Atlanta faces one of the NFL’s best defenses, especially versus the run, which will force QB Matt Ryan to drop back and throw. That’s a bad thing given how poorly the Falcons have played against good opponents. Atlanta is 1-4 at home this season, with their lone win against the miserable Jets. I expect the Brady offense to dominate, milk the clock, and the defense to make Ryan spend most of the afternoon running for his life. It’s tempting to lay the points (-10.5) with the Bucs, but what keeps me off them is the fact this is Tampa’s 4th road game in 5 weeks, and also a division rival. This is more of an “against Atlanta” play than anything. I also like protection catching the push on 20. My bet is UNDER 20, even with the high vig.
TEASER: Arizona -1.5 vs. Chicago / Miami -.5 vs. NY Giants (-120) — Risking $600 to win $500
This is a two-team 6-point teaser. The Cardinals get everyone back on offense and are healthy again which should mean an easy road win. I can’t lay more than touchdown here with quite as much confidence, so I’ll opt for the teaser and simply ask Arizona to win by -1.5 or more. This is the classic Wong basic strategy teaser situation. The Bears finally won a game but that was against Detroit. I expect the chants of “fire Nagy” to begin by the middle of the second quarter. /// In the other half of the teaser, I’ll take resurgent Miami which has completely turned around their season the last month with four straight wins. The Giants are banged up and will reportedly start backup Mike Glennon, which doesn’t inspire confidence for one of the league’s worst offenses. Giants have lost 4 of 5 on the road, so teasing the hot Dolphins down to a half-point looks like a wise wager.
Pittsburgh Steelers Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Baltimore — Risking $220 to win $200
Does any team win uglier than the Ravens? Baltimore is 8-3 but stank it up in several win/non-covers. Their salvation has been on defense as the Ravens tend to stuff struggling teams, and the Steelers are really struggling right now. The Roethlisberger era looks to be coming to a miserable end in Pittsburgh. Half of the Steelers games have seen their offense score 17 points or less, so betting UNDER 20 here with a horrid offensive line and Pittsburgh’s confidence shot looks like a strong play. Key Stat: Baltimore is the NFL’s best time-of-possession team, at nearly 34 minutes per game (8 minutes more than their opponents). They grind the clock. All these factors will inhibit the Steelers’ ability to score points.
San Francisco -3 vs. Seattle — Risking $330 to win $300
Here are two teams headed in totally opposite directions. I don’t lay points on divisional road favorites often but Seattle is glorious fade material with QB Wilson back (which drove the lines and fooled lots of bettors — how the hell were the Seahawks favored at Washington last Monday night?). Seattle’s offense has been terrible, and they now face the 49ers, winner of 3 straight in which they’ve scored 30+ in each game. Even a marginal performance by the 49ers offense should get the win and cover. I’m comfortable laying -3 on the road with San Francisco here.
New England Team Total OVER 9.5 (First half) vs. Buffalo (-115) — Risking $575 to win $500
I’m surprised by this low number on the Patriots for the first half. New England is the NFL’s hottest team, and the evolution of QB Mac Jones and the offense has been a significant factor in the win streak. Moreover, the Patriots rank 5th in the NFL in first-half scoring, averaging 13.9 PPG. Catching the win on “10” is huge, so give me the OVER 9.5 for the max.
SUMMARY OF THIS WEEK’S BETS:
Minnesota / Detroit UNDER 46.5
Atlanta Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Tampa Bay (-125)
TEASER: Arizona -1.5 vs. Chicago / Miami -.5 vs. NY Giants (-120)
Pittsburgh Steelers Team Total UNDER 20 (Game) vs. Baltimore
San Francisco -3 vs. Seattle
New England Team Total OVER 9.5 (First half) vs. Buffalo
This is the final report for NFL Week 13.