WELP…I could cry. Since Sunday night, I could cry. I’ve been feeling it lately betting football, so I decided to make a big bet. Not in terms of money (although, 60 bucks is a lot more than the usually gutless 10-20 I lay on games), but in terms of odds. If I won the bet, 10 grand. That went out the window thanks to the Dolphins not stopping the 49ers on a 4th and freaking 15!! How do you not stop a team to close out a game when it’s 4th and 15?!? They didn’t, but I could still win pretty big because that game was only a push, not a loss. I still had 5200 I could pull in, nice little Christmas gift. It won…had the Calgary Stampeders simply won. The biggest underdog that I bet against in the entire bet, 10 games, was the one that beat me and cost me 5200. It sucks knowing I was SO close to winning 10 grand, but it REALLY sucks that I got down to three games to go and the virtual guarantee cost me 5200.
I know this is NFL hot takes, but let’s hit on the Grey Cup for a minute here because I don’t talk much CFL and the league deserves more exposure and should get it from knobs like myself.
20 years ago I watched one of the best Grey Cup’s of all time between the Esks and Argos in a blizzard. I remember being at my Grandma’s watching the 89 Grey Cup between the Riders and Ti-Cats, but I didn’t watch any of the game. I was probably too concerned with getting a glass of Beep and getting her to make me some Zoodles…loved me some Zoodles! That was the best Grey Cup of all time, but the 96 Grey Cup was maybe the most important of all time. Because in 96, there was serious talk about the league surviving. Fast forward to 2016, and the league isn’t in THAT kind of trouble, but I do fear it is in trouble.
With the country being so nuts about the Jays right now, and the NFL now being so accessible to us, the CFL faces a major uphill battle. And it doesn’t help that currently it’s most vital markets are in down swings. Saskatchewan I view as vital because of how big their fans make the league feel. Toronto is vital because of how big they can make the rest of the league feel, and to a lesser extent Montreal. It’s not a good scenario for the league right now, and I hardly hear any talk about the league amongst people I know.
So with all that being said, what a perfect time to get maybe the story of the year with 41 year old Henry Burris and the Redblacks upsetting one of the best regular season teams in CFL history. The game literally had it all and while it wasn’t one of the best played games in CFL history, it may have been the most exciting. It couldn’t have come at a better time for the league, and I really hope this is the beginning of a turnaround. I would love to see them do some things with the salary cap to bring in more star power, but that’s a discussion for another day.
The Detroit Lions are going to win the NFC North ladies and gentlemen. It’s going to essentially be by default, but they are going to win it. It’s basically Matt Stafford on offense, and then a defense that stops teams JUST enough for Stafford to lead them on a game winning drive late, just like he did against the Vikings on Thanksgiving. Other than that game there wasn’t much to add about the Thanksgiving day games. Cowboys/Redskins was great, but nothing unexpected, and then the Colts/Steelers was a dud once we found out Andrew Luck couldn’t go.
What a difference a year has made for the Arizona Cardinals. Most people picked them to go to the Super Bowl. They aren’t going to the Super Bowl, nor are they going to the playoffs. What’s really shocking is their defense is number 1 in the league in YPG. And obviously they weren’t that good on Sunday. But Carson Palmer has gotten really old, really fast. I don’t know if it’s the playoff loss to the Panthers that’s still haunting him or if he’s just fallen off a cliff. I just know that they’re done. If you look at their remaining schedule, they’ll be lucky to go 2-2 in their next 4, which would put them at 6-8-1 going into their final game in L.A. Done.
I still see the Ravens as a TOTAL fraud despite being 6-5 and leading the NFC North. They don’t have one decent win under their belts. They beat the Steelers I guess, but that was with the Steelers starting a still very beat up Ben Roethlisberger. And even that game they did most of their scoring on special teams. If they beat the Dolphins Sunday, it’ll be their most impressive win of the season. This team has a good D, but nothing else. They’ve just got insanely lucky thus far with their schedule. Watch for them to drop three of their next four.
The NFC version of the Ravens is the Giants. I won’t go on and on about them again this week, but just keep in mind what I said last week:
I would not be shocked if the Giants lost their final five games of the season. The lightest of their final five is the 6-4 Lions at home.
Man, nobody is talking about them, but the Saints…at least offensively…have been back in full force this season! Brees just has too many weapons to work with, and their O-line is playing really solid. Only 5-6, but they got a massive game in two weeks in Tampa, then they get Tampa at home again in week 16. Their chances aren’t great to make the playoffs, but they aren’t dead yet.
Of course they have to win those games against Tampa, who are coming off win’s at Arrowhead against KC, and now at home against the Seahawks, and the Bucs are starting to look like the team I’ve been expecting them to be. It seems like every year I have the Bucs to make this massive improvement and at least challenge for the NFC South. Well now they’re finally doing it. Jameis Winston is coming along nicely (although as Johnny Manziel would tell you, having Mike Evans to simply throw it up to is a nice luxury to have, most underrated WR in the league), their D is really solid, and with Doug Martin healthy their running game is pretty good. Those will be a couple of sneaky big games between the Bucs and Saints coming up.
What a game that was in Oakland. Again, I still don’t see the Raiders winning the AFC West, but they’ll be a big threat to anyone in the playoffs. I’ll also go out on a limb (hot take, HOT TAKE!!!) and say they’ll be Super Bowl favorites heading into next season.
I don’t know if what I just watched in Philly was good from the Packers, or bad from the Eagles. One thing I’m pretty certain about is Carson Wentz has digressed a lot since week 3. Member that (oh and for all you fake South Park fans, at least get the f***in joke right when you reference it, they’re “Member berries”, not “Remember berries”)? Wentz was the next Peyton Manning! How could the Rams be so stupid to take Goff over Wentz?! The hot take community was all about that one. Well now, Goff looks ok and should get better, and Wentz is getting worse. There is a long way to go in both these kids careers, let’s just settle the f*** down on both of them.
I have to hit on my picks ATS. I went undefeated! How sweet is that?! Well, not too sweet, because I only won two games?!?!?!?! 2-0-3. Three freaking pushes! Better than loses, but that’s just annoying.
Speaking of betting, as has now become the way I end this piece, here’s a look at how I did predicting the betting lines for the upcoming week 13 games.
Dallas -3.5 at Minnesota
Kansas City at Atlanta -3
Falcons are -4, so that’s another win.
Detroit at New Orleans – 2.5
Ouch! Up to -5.5 for the Saints and climbing. Public must be on the Saints hard after seeing them put 49 on the Rams.
Los Angeles at New England -11
Another loss as the Pats are -13.5.
Denver -6 at Jacksonville
Back in the win column, though the Broncos are only favored by 5.
Houston at Green Bay -3.5
Apparently opened at this, now at 4.5. Still a win.
Philadelphia -1.5 at Cincinnati
Even after the loss, Eagles are favored by 1. Pretty surprised at this, likely would take the Bengals with how Wentz is trending.
Miami at Baltimore -2.5
Another one within a point as the Ravens are favored by 3.5, and as I said when I predicted this line…take the Dolphins!!
San Francisco at Chicago -2
Bears by 2.5, and climbing. The 49ers are winning this one outright.
Buffalo at Oakland -3.5
Raiders only by 3. Pretty surprising to me as I thought if anything they would be favored by 4 or 5. Early money has gone on the Raiders though so this will move that way.
NY Giants at Pittsburgh -6
Steelers by 5.5. I’m terrified to bet the Giants right now, and the Steelers are far from safe to bet as well, but my inclination would be to take the Steelers here. Again, I just think the Giants are such a fraud, so perhaps Vegas is trying to bait the public into taking the Giants?
Washington at Arizona -2.5
Bingo, Cards by 2.5.
Tampa Bay at San Diego -3.5
Bingo, Super Chargers by 3.5.
Carolina at Seattle -6.5
Was bingo earlier in the day, Seahawks now up to 7 point favorites. A win, but I enjoy saying bingo.
Indianapolis -2 at NY Jets (this is IF Andrew Luck is playing)
Damn. Read that it opened at the Colts -2.5, but is now a pick’em. Still, 12/16 within a point. Not to brag, but DAMN I’m good at this!
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