Your weekly NFL picks brought to you by our staff retired gambler, LaCharles himself
Chiefs Focus @ChiefsFocus Charles Robinson @CRob5769
Welcome back to your favorite weekly picks column. Let me start by saying that there were picks made for this Thursday’s game (Miami vs Baltimore in one of the ugliest games I’ve ever seen) that did not make publication due to some technical difficulties on Thursday night, difficulties very similar to those experienced by the Ravens offense. And while I was very confident in the pick I made, I could not have been further from correct. For your retroactive reading pleasure :
Ravens (6-2) @ Dolphins (2-7) : Baltimore -7.5; O/U 46.5
The last time Lamar Jackson played in his hometown he did this in 2019. 300+ passing yards, 5
TD, and the birth of the infamous sound byte where Jackson said his performance was “not too
bad for a running back”, citing criticism from scouts prior to Baltimore drafting him to be their
franchise QB. This time around Baltimore comes in with the NFL’s 12 th rated passing offense to
match up against Miami, who just so happens to be the worst defense in the league against the
pass. Miami’s offense has had very few bright spots this season, but Mike Gesicki has a couple
unbelievable catches for the Dolphins last week when they won the war of attrition against
Houston. Those two, however, have been very lonely highlights in an otherwise dismal season
for the Dolphins, who were preseason picks to compete for the AFC East crown with the Bills.
Baltimore this season, though, is only 3-5 against the spread, meaning they’ve shown the
tendency to play down to their opponents level at times. Their overs are 5-3 on the year. I don’t
have the feeling that this is going to sway their ATS record any further towards the negative,
though, I think they win and win easily. Ravens 35, Dolphins 17 (Ravens -7.5; Over 46.5)
What an idiot. It’s hard to find any silver lining in making a pick like that and having the game go the way it did, but I guess if there is one it’s that I was within 5 points of the Dolphins total? That’s a reach for sure, but let me remind you the disclaimer I laid out in last week’s inaugural edition – I in no way endorse you using my picks in your own gambling endeavors. Unless you enjoy losing. Again, retired for a reason. Having said that, and completely ignoring the fact that I’m starting off this week 0-1 straight up and against the spread, the old retiree had some pretty good results last week.
The biggest miss from last week was obviously the Buffalo/Jacksonville game, which I don’t think anyone outside of Duvall County (and most inside of Duvall County) saw coming. That was the most Inception like game of all time – Josh Allen sacking Josh Allen to set up Josh Allen intercepting Josh Allen, and later in the game Josh Allen forcing Josh Allen to fumble. Josh Allen really has the advantage over Josh Allen in that matchup, and it showed.
Now that I’ve confused myself and have no clue if the above paragraph actually makes sense, let’s get to this week’s slate. This week has a sneaky chance of being one of the more entertaining buffet of games we’ve had so far this year. A couple divisional matchups where first place teams face off against bitter rivals trying to stay in the hunt (Raiders/Chiefs, Rams/49ers), some cross conference games between teams that are squarely in the playoff picture (Saints/Titans) and a matchup between traditional NFC behemoths that are in very different situations at the moment (Packers/Seahawks). Let’s get to the picks. You won’t see the Raiders vs. Chiefs game included in this assortment of selections, but we’ll have a full on game preview (from Las Vegas) out tomorrow morning. Good reading material to get you through the morning and the noon slate tomorrow to kill time before SNF.
Bills (5-3) @ Jets (2-6) : Buffalo -12; O/U 47.5
The entire universe has been collectively asking what is wrong with Patrick Mahomes over the course of the last 3 weeks, but what about Josh Allen? The loss to the Jags was obviously an absolutely brutal look for a team that looked like, after their clobbering of the Chiefs at Arrowhead in October, to be the best team in the AFC, and maybe the NFL. But before the Jags game Buffalo sleep walked through the first half of their game against Miami on their way to a 26-11 win at home against the Dolphins, a team they blasted 35-0 in Miami in week 2. Could be a mini slump, could be more, but it’s a concerning thing for the Bills and I’ll be interested to see how they come out against the Jets, who are limping in after getting embarrassed on Thursday Night Football by the Colts. Smart money goes to the Bills on this, but 12 points is a big spread to cover for a team that seems to have suddenly lost their offensive identity. Bills 21, Jets 17 (Jets +12; Under 47.5)
Buccaneers (6-2) @ WFT (2-6) : Tampa Bay -9.5; O/U 51.5
This has all the ingredients for a complete shit pumping by the Buccaneers. Veteran, loaded offense coming off of a bye against a defense that has been absolutely atrocious this year. This one won’t be close, and the WFT can officially put the 2021 season on ice after falling to 2-7. Buccaneers 34, WFT 17 (Buccaneers -9.5; Under 51.5)
Falcons (4-4) @ Cowboys (6-2) : Dallas -9; O/U 54.5
So who are the real Cowboys? Dak’s return last weekend didn’t inspire confidence in what appeared to be a world beating offense in Dallas before his injury. The Broncos won handily and the final score didn’t really represent how badly Denver actually beat the Cowboys. Obviously some red flags, but ultimately the achilles heal the Cowboys displayed was not being able to respond when a team comes out and punches them in the mouth with the run game. Simply put – Atlanta cannot do that. The Falcons were impressive in their win against the Saints last week, but I think the Cowboys bounce back in a big way this week and get everyone back in stride offensively. Big games for Ceedee Lamb and Amari Cooper on the horizon here. Cowboys 29, Falcons 16 (Cowboys -9; Under 54.5)
Saints (5-3 @ Titans (7-2); Tennessee -3; O/U 44.5
Strangest line of the day, especially considering Alvin Kamara will be out for New Orleans. The Saints defense has without a doubt been impressive this year, and that’s probably a large part of why this line is so close with New Orleans visiting the red hot Titans. Tennessee has reeled off consecutive, impressive wins against the Bills, Chiefs, Colts, and Rams, and right now look like they’re the team to beat in the AFC. They’re obviously without Derrick Henry, but that didn’t seem to matter when they demolished the Rams last week on Sunday Night Football. There’s probably some tricky football black magic that I’m missing here, especially with the city of New Orleans involved, but this seems way too easy for me. Titans 24, Saints 17 (Titans -3; Under 44.5)
Jaguars (2-6) @ Colts (4-5) : Indianapolis -10.5; O/U 47.5
I have the exact opposite feeling for this game as I do for the game above. Jacksonville’s defense was very much alive against the Bills last weekend, and the Jags are 2-2 since Urban Meyer “Grindgate”. The Colts looked incredible against the Jets last week, and Jonathan Taylor might be the best running back in the league now that Derrick Henry is on the shelf, but there are 3 guarantees in life – death, taxes, and Carson Wentz shitting the bed when teams put pressure on him. I’d say Indy probably pulls this out, but this line seems a little ambitious. Colts 17, Jags 13 (Jags +10.5; Under 47.5)
Lions (0-8) @ Steelers (5-3) : Pittsburgh -8; O/U 42.5
I’m done waiting on the Lions to get that first “emotional” win of the year. This roster is a dumpster fire, and while I believe in Dan Campbell, even Vince Lombardi couldn’t do much with these guys. Pittsburgh is atrocious against the spread, and Detroit has actually been pretty good, but I think Najee Harris goes bananas and the Steelers win this easily. Steelers 27, Lions 13 (Steelers -8; Under 42.5)
Browns (5-4) @ Patriots (5-4) : Patriots -2.5; O/U 45
In the running for game of the week. New England has looked crisp the last 4 weeks, and Cleveland appears to have (predictably) gotten better with the subtraction of Odell Beckham Jr. from the locker room. The Browns won’t have Nick Chubb, which will hurt, but this will be a game straight out of the 1960’s. Smash mouth running offense, hard nose defense, which will keeps things close until the very end. This one will come down to who gets the ball last. Browns 27, Patriots 23 (Browns +2.5; Over 45)
Vikings (3-5) @ Chargers (5-3) : Chargers -3; O/U 53
Justin Herbert was nails last week, as he has been most of the year this year. But the Vikings come into this one with 100% of their back being pressed against the wall. They have been miserable in close games this season, and eventually you have to ask yourself if they’re unlucky, or if they just can’t close. Worst case scenario both. I am one of the few believers in Kirk Cousins, and I really want to see the Chargers lose this for personal reasons, so consider this my manifestation of those desires. Vikings 34, Chargers 30 (Vikings +3; Over 53)
Panthers (4-5) @ Cardinals (8-1) : Cardinals -10.5; O/U 44
If Kyler Murray’s status wasn’t so murky, I’d give this about 10 words and move on. You won’t get a whole lot more than that here, Arizona still wins this one, it just might be a little closer if Murray doesn’t play. Either way, James Conner is a beast, Arizona is too loaded, and the Panthers 3-0 start is fully certified as fraudulent at this point. Cardinals 27, Panthers 10 (Cardinals -10.5; Over 44)
Eagles (3-6) @ Broncos (5-4) : Denver -2.5; O/U 45.5
The gut check test tells me this is where Denver comes back to Earth after a stunning win at Dallas last week. Philly has finally gotten smart and is running the ball reall well, so I think they give Denver a taste of their own medicine and keep themselves alive in the NFC playoff picture. This is the game that I will be kicking myself over on Sunday. Eagles 27, Broncos 20 (Philadelphia +2.5; Over 45.5)
Seahawks (3-5) @ Packers (7-2) : Green Bay -3; O/U 49.5
This one will likely include the return of Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. A marquee matchup for sure, and a game that should live up to the hype. Both QB’s will likely be shaking off some rust in the beginning of this one, but it could end with some fireworks. I’m imagining a high scoring second half with TD haymakers being traded until the very end. A-aron and Lafluer are 19-3 at home since he took over as head coach, so the smart money would say they win, but Russ is back and Mr. Unlimited and the Seahawks absolutely have to have a win to stay alive this season. Seahawks 33, Packers 30 (Seahawks +3; Over 49.5)
Rams (7-2) @ 49ers (3-5) : Los Angeles -4; O/U 49
As much as I’d like to see the OBJ drama start early in LA, the Rams are coming into this one with hot piss after getting humbled nationally by the Titans last week. Stafford and Co will come out firing, and it just doesn’t appear that the Niners have much magic in their arsenal this year. This one might get ugly. Rams 29, 49ers 17 (Rams -4; Under 49)
Well, there you have it. Your week 10 picks from the gambling retiree. I’m going to be honest with you – after getting through this I couldn’t be less confident in these picks. I never bet unders in the past, and I have 7 in one week. Having said that, I had just as little confidence last week and we did just fine.
We’ll have a full fledged Raider week game preview out tomorrow morning for your reading pleasure. One more sleep until Chiefs football. Have a great Saturday, Chiefs Kingdom!