Red Fridays at the Retirement home
Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Since this is the first edition of this column on this website, I’ll give you a little backdrop into the title. I’ve always been a massive sports fan, with the Chiefs being my bread and butter. Some of my earliest memories as a child come from watching football, basketball, baseball, and professional wrestling on TV with my brothers and my dad growing up. I’ve been a fanatic for Chiefs football, the NBA Finals, March Madness, and a bevvy of sporting events for as long as I can remember. But when I got into my mid to late 20’s I realized, on my own and through some friends, that you could use your knowledge of sports to make money through gambling. I studied lines, I made myself familiar with different elements of the craft, listened to podcasts and consumed other forms of media on it, I started tracking teams and players records against the spread (referred to as ATS moving forward) – I thought I was going to be good at it.
There’s a reason they call it gambling and not winning. I played the game for a little bit, would be up a few hundred here and there, but for the most part I was just throwing money away. I took a personality test for my job in 2018, and the guy running the assessment told me I was the “open kimono type”, meaning I wore my heart on my sleeve. Those who know me know this is 100% true. I’m an emotional and charismatic guy. If I’m mad, you can see if, and if I’m happy you can see it. And everything in between. That’s not good for gambling. I bet with my heart a lot. I bet the Chiefs to do things I knew the Chiefs were incapable of doing. So, because of all of these factors, and the fact that I didn’t want to borrow against my 401K at the age of 31, I decided to call it quits. It was an illustrious 18 month run for me as a gambler, but it’s over. The ship has sailed. My days of wetting the beak on Saturdays and Sundays are now replaced with going to Target with my fiancé and only feeling stress when the Chiefs are playing. I used to be able to say the same about Mizzou football (about the stress) but I’ve abandoned hope on them being competitive for the time being. Having said that, Mizzou +39.5 is almost a no brainer to play tomorrow.
But what we’re going to do here on Fridays is pick the Sunday/Monday NFL slate. We’ll get to picking Thursday night games separately, but as we’re getting this blog off the ground it’s been a time constraint issue up front (couldn’t get the Packers/Cardinals pick em off the ground quick enough) and a lack of interest. Anyone who lives outside of Indianapolis or NY/NJ really didn’t care about last night’s game, and would have picked the Colts to roll just like I would have. But here goes nothing. I’m going to give you picks outright, ATS, as well as whether I think the over or under is going to hit on these games, as well as a brief breakdown of why I think what I think. Please remember – I am retired from gambling for a reason. I am in no way a sharp, and I in no way endorse or encourage you using these picks in your own gambling endeavors. You have been warned.
Broncos (4-4) @ Cowboys (6-1) : Dallas -10; O/U 49.5
This is one of those matchups that I really don’t care a whole lot about because, quite frankly, I despise both teams. The clear favorite here is Dallas at home, but Denver’s defense has been fairly game this season. Losing Von Miller might actually be an advantage, since the team no longer has to worry being spammed for Venmos for a Halloween party they didn’t want to go to. Teddy Bridgewater is remarkable ATS in his career (18-3 in his career, 7-1 when he’s more than a touchdown underdog), but Dak is Bak and the Cowboys offense is going to be too much for the Broncos to handle. Teddy doesn’t make too many mistakes, but count on at least one turnover with Tayvon Diggs on the field. Cowboys 34 Broncos 17 (Cowboys -10; Over 49.5)
Vikings (3-4) @ Ravens (5-2) : Baltimore -6; O/U 50
Both teams are looking to bounce back after embarrassing losses – the Viking on primetime against Cooper Rush, and the Ravens shellacking two weeks ago against the Bengals. Minnesota is allowing 121 rushing yards per game this season, which doesn’t fare well against the third best running offense in the NFL (Baltimore is averaging 149.4 rush yards per game this season). I see Baltimore controlling the clock and pulling this one out, but the Vikings will keep this close with late action from Kirk Cousins and company. Ravens 24, Vikings 20 (Vikings +6; Under 50)
Browns (4-4) @ Bengals (5-2) : Cincinnati -2.5; O/U 47
I don’t know why, but this seems like an easy over to me. Both defenses are playing fairly well (minus the anomaly that Cinci experienced against the GOAT Mike White last week), and both offenses can put up points if needed. The OBJ situation could be a distraction for Cleveland this week, but even if it wasn’t I think Cincinnati bounces back with a win this week. Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase continue to show prove the truth in the saying “if you love someone set them free, if it comes back it was meant to be. Ja’Marr came back and it seems meant to be. Bengals 28, Browns 21 (Bengals -2.5; Over 47)
Bills (5-2) @ Jags (1-6) : Buffalo -14.5; O/U 48.5
This is going to be bad. Bills 42, Jags 10 (Bills -14.5; Over 48.5)
Patriots (4-4) @ Panthers (4-4) : New England -3.5; O/U 41
The Stephon Gilmore revenge game. New England got a shocking win against the Chargers last week, one of the rare occurrences where I will thank the Patriots. Having said that, this season seems to be one where, unless you’re one of the best teams in the league, most are following up impressive wins with pathetic losses. The Panthers are 4-4, but not a very convincing 4-4 (wins against the Jets, Texans, and Falcons accompanied by a good win vs. the Saints in week 2). They started 3-0 but have gone 1-4 in their last 5, and I think they may be actually bad. The Patriots look decent, so I’m taking Mac Jones and co. Patriots 20, Panthers 17 (Panthers +3.5, Under 41)
Falcons (3-4) @ Saints (5-2) : New Orleans -6.5; O/U 41.5
Trap game. Trap game. Trap game. People are high on New Orleans after the entire country watched them work Tom Brady and Tampa over in the golden hour last weekend. In the process of that, as we all know, they lost Jameis, and are now looking at Trevor Siemien as their starting QB. Atlanta will be without Calvin Ridley, but with Cordarelle Patterson playing how he has this year and Kyle Pitts due for another big game, I think the Falcons come in and upset the Saints in this one. This is way more of a gut pick that it is a logic pick (remember, heart on the sleeve), but I’m going Falcons 19, Saint 13 in an ugly game (Falcons +6.5; Under 41.5)
Mid picks note – I am terrified that the last two picks I’ve made have included underdogs covering, and the under. This is in no way my style, and I’m second guessing myself, but I’m going to continue riding it so you all get my honest first takes on these games. Another reason why I retired from gambling – I’m a waffler. I would go back and forth and back again on picks. Not good for the brain or the wallet.
Raiders (5-2) @ Giants (2-6) : Las Vegas -3; O/U 46.5
West coast team going east for a noon game. I always pick the home east coasters in these, which is probably a mistake because the numbers show it’s about 50/50 on who wins these matchups, and it ultimately comes down to who is more talented. If the Raiders weren’t dealing with what they have been dealing with all week I’d probably take them easy, but I think missing their best big play threat and coming east is going to matter. The Giants weren’t great Monday night, but they fought hard. I think the effort is enough to get them through at home against Vegas. Giants 23, Raiders 17 (Giants +3; Under 46.5(
Texans (1-7) @ Dolphins (1-7) : Miami -5.5; O/U 46
Who cares. Dolphins probably win because they’re at home. (Miami -5.5; Under 46)
Chargers (4-3) @ Eagles (3-5) : LAC -1.5; O/U 49.5
I’ve had my eye on this one being more interesting than people think, and it looks like the oddsmakers agree. The Eagles destroyed the Lions last week, which isn’t shocking, except when you consider a ton of pundits thought this was going to be the game the Lions got their first W. Nope. Philly’s offense, when clicking, can be explosive. The Hurts/Smith combination is clearly something real (slightly watered down version of Burrow/Chase) and they have a few guys who can run it. It will be interesting to see how Justin Herbert’s hand effects his throwing in this one. I think the Chargers eek by Philly, but I would not be surprised at all if the Eagles win this game. Chargers 31, Eagles 28 (LAC -1.5; Over 49.5)
Cardinals (7-1) @ 49ers (3-4) : San Francisco -1; O/U 45
The fact that San Fran is favored here confuses me. Coming off of a loss against Green Bay I think that Arizona is going to be out for blood. This is a game where I see Kyler going for 3 TD through the air and 1 on the ground and Arizona rolls. Cardinals 31, 49ers 17 (Arizona +1; Over 45)
Titans (6-2) @ Rams (7-1) : Los Angeles -7.5; O/U 53.5
Really wish we could see this matchup with Derrick Henry in the lineup. The “unstoppable force meets the immovable object” headlines will have to wait. Von Miller will bring a dangerous element to the Rams defense, only because Aaron Donald gets triple teamed regularly. If he can stay healthy he should rack up some sacks. I think the Rams are too much for the Titans in this one on the road without their best player. Look for the Rams to run a pivot route to Cooper Kupp at least 36 times in this one. Rams 27, Titans 20 (Titans +7.5; Under 53.5)
Bears (3-5) @ Steelers (4-3) : Pittsburgh -6.5; O/U 40
If Pittsburgh’s defense plays like it did against Cleveland last week, this could potentially be a shutout. Chicago is not very good offensively, and I think the Steelers D confuses Justin Fields enough to win this game on their own. Najee Harris has been on a bender lately and the Steelers are starting to look like the run the ball/play defense team that no one is really going to want to see late in the season. Running the ball and playing defense travels anywhere. Steelers 17, Bears 10 (Steelers -6.5; Under 40)
Well, there you have it. Your week 9 picks from the gambling retiree. Will I be wrong on most of these? Almost 100% guaranteed. But we’ll keep track of how I do so we can all quantify just how good (or bad) I do throughout the course of the season. If we get enough likes and follows, who know – maybe we could do a retiree vs. the fans season long contest to see who’s more delusional when it comes to picking games.
We’ll have a full fledged Chiefs/Packers game preview out tomorrow morning for your reading pleasure. One more sleep until Chiefs football. Have a great Saturday, Chiefs Kingdom!