Sometimes it’s about the games you don’t want to play.
I know that sounds like some bizarre “Talladega Nights” fortune cookie shenanigans but it’s a proper right in sports gambling. There are some games that warrant too many disasters, too many unknowns, too many very dumb Football Men who think they know everything ready to muck the whole train up. There’s no divining these, no matter what the man on the voicemail tells you. He’s just there gibbering about units when he ain’t got a unit to spare.
However, by obligation to this betting column I have to pick every game. I could just write a bunch of these off, but I can’t. It brings the record down, Sam.
But rest assured, this week is full of traps, dangers and hurricanes that shouldn’t invite anyone. Short lines, long spreads, teams imploding under their own ambitions, benching quarterback for whatever reason, trade deadlines and the abominable Oakland Raiders, Week 8 of the NFL season has become a minefield. Tread carefully.
Last week’s record: 8-6-0
Jacksonville vs. Philadelphia UNDER 42
The right and proper thing to do right now is just keep selling on the Jaguars. There’s no reason to out-think yourself right now and believe there’s a turnabout. It might happen. It might not! The worst thing is, I have to pick every game, and I’d rather just stay away until this fire blows over. You know what that means, right? Time to take a total. But really you shouldn’t bet on this game and its two very sad teams.
Cleveland +8 @ Pittsburgh
Another wretched, abominable line! Eight is no good for anyone. The space between a 10 point spread and a touchdown is no-man’s land, and should be avoided proper. But as we determined at the start of the column, we’re interested in setting off whatever mines and exploding corpses we can find.
Detroit -2.5 vs. Seattle
I generally have distaste showing off my reasoning for Lions games picks in these columns, for various reasons. One should never bet where there might be any heart matter. But in this case, you should know the Lions are 5-1 against the spread so far this season, and while I will doubt their success in the present there’s no reason to fade them against a Seahawks squad who haven’t covered on the road all year. In a week of miserable lines, this one is tolerable to pick.
Kansas City -10 vs. Denver
This is the part of the season where betting on the NFL becomes decidedly un-fun. Lines get set excessively high or decidedly low, and the books have woken up to all your fun little secrets and edges and stomped them out ruthlessly, and everything looks like a trap.
New York +7.5 @ Chicago
Oh my god already just stop.
Oakland +3 vs. Indianapolis
We’re doing that thing with the Colts again, I guess. We’re just pretending they’re good because they’ve got Andrew Luck and not bothering to watch a second of this team play anyone, right?
The Colts suck.
They are the worst secret of the NFL, a black hole where former players in suits at roundtable desks throw platitudes into and nothing comes back out of. They are the most lauded 2-5 team you could imagine. Rest assured, the Raiders are a despicable, evil mess and a lousy excuse of a Hooters franchise, but they’re playing in their own home, a west coast cry from the nap-ridden fields of Indianapolis. Ignore the Amari Cooper trade; it won’t have an immediate impact on what the Raiders do.
Baltimore -2 @ Carolina
Is it me or have the Ravens played a NFC opponent nearly every week in October? I know that’s not right because I have the internet right in front of me and I could very well easily look up their schedule, but it just feels like it, okay? Sometimes your feelings are better than any facts. Go eat turpentine, Ben Shapiro.
All the rest
Miami +7.5 @ Houston
Cincinnati -4 vs. Tampa Bay
Arizona vs. San Francisco OVER 42
Los Angeles -9.5 vs. Green Bay
Minnesota vs. New Orleans UNDER 56.5
Washington +1 @ New York
Buffalo vs. New England OVER 44.5