Mike McDermott once reminded the world that if you can t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you are the sucker. That s a little how I feel after ripping off a 9 1 run in the SuperContest and these best bets over the last two weeks and winning the third quarter best record contest for Team OddsShark.
Not that I m the sucker, per se, but that at some point the run of favorites covering at extreme rates is going to come crashing down. This feels like the week for it too there are a lot of big favorites on the road, in huge spots, getting heavily backed by the public.
At some point, the bottom is going to fall out and the dogs are going to cover. Some regression to the mean is due. But I m going to gamble I ve got one more week of favorites covering and, once again, I m going with a tried and true theory here betting on teams I trust.
Let s take five more huge spreads and let s walk down Pete Prisco/Nick Kostos in our Pick Six Podcast standings contest. I m at 26.5 points, just two back of those loooooooooosers. Subscribe here on iTunes to check out the latest interview with Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
Jaguars 9.5 vs. Colts
OK, I don t actually trust the Jaguars. And someone pointed out that I m terrible when it comes to picking the Jaguars, but I m on a 3 0 ATS streak with Jacksonville right now and 6 4 on the season picking them against the spread. That makes me feel much better.
You know what makes me feel even better than that? The Colts have a negative 14.8 point differential on average as a road underdog this season in five games. They also previously lost to these same Jaguars by a healthy 27 0 score in Indianapolis. They re simply a terrible matchup for Indianapolis, who does not protect the quarterback or run the football very well. Indy has the worst offense in the NFL according to Football Outsiders, while the Jaguars have the second best defense behind only Baltimore . If you ask me to pick the best defense, I m taking Jacksonville. And this is a huge spot if they lose and the Titans handle the Texans, they re suddenly two games back of the division.
One caveat to all of this if for some reason the Jaguars offensive line is completely decimated by injury and Jalen Ramsey doesn t play, I might be a little hesitant at this number. My SuperContest picks are due Saturday at noon, and I might wait and see what the situation with the injuries are. If Ramsey, Patrick Omameh and Jermey Parnell are ruled out after Friday s injury report comes out that could change this line. But I m planning on taking the Jags I still think Leonard Fournette gets going this week against a weak rush defense of the Colts.
Patriots 8.5 at Bills
Speaking of weak rush defenses, the Bills somehow https://www.patriotsnefans.com/james-ferentz-jersey-c-70.html, managed to bottle up Kareem Hunt last week in a stunning upset of the Chiefs at home. They won t have quite as much luck this week with the Patriots bringing in a slew of running options, including Rex Burkhead, who found the end zone twice last week against the Dolphins just a week removed from a fumble that appeared to potentially cost him some job security.
The Patriots have not been great at covering against Buffalo in Buffalo as big favorites, but they are 3 1 against the spread this season as road favorites and won those games by 13.2 points on average. New England understands the stakes here they have a really friendly schedule all AFC East opponents except one with the Steelers looming. Beat Pittsburgh and they can claim the No. 1 seed in the AFC; they could still potentially steal it with a Pittsburgh loss, but they need to be laser focused against their other four remaining opponents. Expect no mercy from New England in this one.
Steelers 5 at Bengals
The Steelers actually have not been very good about covering as a road favorite this season, going just 2 3 against the number. And this is a Monday Night Football game with a lot at stake for the Bengals, who desperately need to win against their division rival to keep their playoff hopes alive.
But here s the problem the Steelers are rolling right now in their primetime games, putting up big numbers offensively. They decimated the Titans on Thursday night in Week 11 and even though they sneaked by the Packers on Sunday night in Week 12, Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown continued to shine brightest on the biggest stage. The Bengals are a better offense than the Packers, but they are also an offense the Steelers are familiar with. Since 2014, the Steelers are 6 1 straight up against the Bengals and 4 1 against the spread as a favorite in those games as well. They have beaten the Bengals three straight times in Cincy, winning by 21, 13 and four points in those three games. I just don t trust Andy Dalton in primetime and I think the Steelers know they need to pour it on and try to lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Pittsburgh s had some rough moments but they are at trustworthy team.
Rams 7 at Cardinals
This one scares me a little. OK https://www.patriotsnefans.com/alan-branch-jersey-c-68.html, a lot. That number is so high. But here s the thing that no one is talking about the Rams defense is starting to look great. They re ranked No. 5 by Football Outsiders DVOA and the Wade Phillips Factor is starting to really take over. Phillips defenses always improve his first year on the job and the Rams are really improving quickly.
The Cardinals looked really frisky against the Jaguars and upended one up and coming contender already. But this line is begging people to take Blaine Gabbert plus the points. The Rams are only 1 1 against the spread as a road favorite this year, but Los Angeles has been dominant against bad teams and has blown out a bunch of them, hammering the Cardinals 33 0 in London, beating the Giants 51 17 on the road and throttling the Texans 33 7. Jared Goff and Sean McVay are not scared to pour it on.
Bruce Arians is a fantastic coach and you know how much I loved the Cardinals before the season, but with all the injuries and this bad matchup, it s not difficult to see the Rams rolling away with ease on the road and handing the ball to Todd Gurley 20 times in the second half to ice this away and win by double digits.
Chargers 14 vs. Browns
And finally, my Los Angeles Chargers. The SuperContest line moved to 14 on Wednesday 13.5 is obviously much more palatable, because that s a key number. But I don t care. It s a huge number to lay Corey Vereen Jersey, but the Browns are now 0 5 on the season as a road underdog, losing those games on average by 12.2 points. The Chargers are starting to get rolling and understand how important this game is they have to win four of their final games if they want to make the playoffs. Nine wins should get Los Angeles in. This is by far the easiest of those games.
The Chargers gave Cleveland their last victory losing to the Browns on Christmas Eve in 2016. There s no excuse here, as the Browns won t bring a large crowd to Los Angeles https://www.patriotsnefans.com/malcolm-butler-jersey-c-69.html, and going against DeShone Kizer is not that much worse than going against Nathan Peterman no offense to Kizer or Peterman, they re just both rookies . The Chargers defense should find the end zone once and Philip Rivers is going to have a field day winging the ball all over the place, throwing for 350 yards and several touchdowns, while inserting himself in the MVP conversation after Sunday s action. Chargers win by 20 plus points.
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