Picking football games (against the spread), volume iii

This might sound shocking, but I have not placed a bet on football during the 2017-’18 season.

While that’s a pretty swell thing, I do miss the act of betting on football games. I miss betting on two totally irrelevant teams, then watching the game as if it were the goddam Super Bowl or something.

So as I continue to be a good boy and stay away from the action, it doesn’t stop me from writing about a handful of games that would have been my picks if I was betting. As always, gambling should be for entertainment purposes only. All home teams will be in CAPS:

1. Patriots (-6) over BUCS, under 55.5 points (-115)

[This selection was written on Wednesday evening, before New England won by a score of 19-14.]

New England’s defense fucking sucks. Already they have allowed 42 points to the Chiefs, 33 to the Texans, and 36 to the Panthers. And those were all home games.

Weird shit tends to happen on Thursday Night Football, and it wouldn’t totally shock me to see the Bucs put up 40 in this one. What I’m banking on, though, is that Tom Brady puts his team up by two touchdowns early on and forces Jameis Winston to throw 45 times.

The bets: $115 on the Patriots (-6) to win $100; $115 on the under (55.5 points) to win $100.

2. BENGALS (-3) over Bills, over 39.5 points (-110)

The Bills are 3-1, and the Bills just won on the road against the Falcons — who could easily be the best team in a meh NFC field. So why bet against Buffalo to win on the road against an inferior Bengals team?

My reasoning is simple: the Vegas line opened at Bengals -3, and it hasn’t moved all week. That seems a bit sketchy to me, especially since a lot of the public action has been on the Bills. They remain a pricy -125, while the Bengals are beautifully better than even money at +105. Las Vegas is fucking begging you to put money on the Bengals, so I am going to be that sucker and take the dare.

The bets: $100 on the Bengals (-3) to win $105; $110 on the over (39.5 points) to win $100.

3. Packers (+1.5) over COWBOYS, over 52.5 points (-110)

Here’s the thing: I’m not a Packers fan, but I generally root for them to win. I’m also not a Cowboys hater, but I generally root for them to lose. Neither of these items mean anything.

Go talk to your nearest Packers or Cowboys fan. Seriously, they are everywhere; go talk to one of them. I can’t find any who actually feel good about the direction their team is headed, even though they are both realistic playoff squads.

Neither of these defenses will be able to stop the other, so this is going to be a shootout. And assuming it’s a one possession game into the 4th quarter, I will roll with the more seasoned QB. And that guy is on the Packers.

The bets: $105 on the Packers (+1.5) to win $100; $110 on the over (52.5 points) to win $100.

4. Seahawks (+1) over RAMS, under 47.5 points (-115)

The Rams are becoming the darling of the NFL again. They have a fresh young coach, a big offense, and are home favorites against one of the preseason favorites in the NFC.

I like the Seahawks because reality needs to set at some point. The Seahawks haven’t been terribly impressive, but I think they have enough on defense to win this game by a field goal.

The bets: $110 on the Seahawks (+1) to win $100; $115 on the under (47.5 points) to win $100.

5. Chiefs (-1.5) over TEXANS; under 45.5 points (-115)

Houston has been surprisingly awesome this year, making this Sunday Night Football game the best matchup on paper of the weekend.

Kansas City has been the best team in the NFL through the first quarter of the season. They’ve also beat three good teams already. Beating the Texans on the road in prime time won’t be a cakewalk, but I’m betting that the best team in the NFL can handle the flavor of the month by a touchdown.

Now that the Patriots look reasonably beatable, the AFC is wide open. Whichever team wins this game is going to get a shitload of love from the national media, probably enough to make them a trendy Super Bowl pick.

The bets: $110 on the Chiefs (+1.5) to win $100; $110 on the under (45.5 points) to win $100.

Being anti-Trump is great, but it can get tired. One way or another life has become a giant persuasive essay, and you are either for the guy or against him.

My thing is, where there is criticism there must be solutions. What is a persuasive essay without arguing against yourself to some degree, at least insofar as letting the audience know you have some degree of awareness.

In short: don’t only tell me what you are against, tell me what you are for. I make clear where I stand, which is firmly against Trump and firmly in support of more worker-friendly policies. If you are against Trump and not for anything, really, then it doesn’t really say much.

Because Trump has set the bar so low, the Democrats have been attempting to rehabilitate all kinds of figures. They are trying to turn Hillary Clinton into some sort of hero, trying to make George W. Bush seem like an all right guy, and making Barack Obama seem like some sort of champion for liberalism.

In reality, Clinton is still more unpopular than Trump. Bush did a great deal of harm to the world. Obama didn’t do very much to better the lives of working class people. These are all corporation-friendly Republicans.

Trump is somehow worse than them all, but it doesn’t make the others any more acceptable. It doesn’t take much to be better than the current president.

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