Starting Bankroll: $4,635
What a glorious regular season of football. There were definitely some surprises, like the New Orleans Saints failing to miss the playoffs. There were definitely some things predicted here on OTBR that came true, like the Chip Kelly experiment being an epic fail after he decimated the team in the off-season and had himself a bench of whiny (though number 1 on any team) running backs.
Now here we are with two weekend days of football for the next two weeks, thanks to college bowls being over. If we don’t know these teams by now, then we haven’t been paying attention. In case you missed it, I’m up $635 over the season, so I’ve been paying a little bit of attention. True, I haven’t calculated my return percentages yet, but I guarantee that if you invested with me over the season rather than the stock market, you would be very happy.
There are no clear cut winners that I can see this week. I’m definitely going for value with my picks this week. Not all the favorites can win, and some of these money lines are just too tasty to pass up. So just one of them hitting puts me close to a wash for the week, and two of them hitting will be a nice payday. All three hitting? I’ll let the wife Super Size it next time we go out.
Let’s get to the bets!
Houston Texans (ML +150) over Kansas City Chiefs for $100
Both these teams are finding ways to win. In Week 6, everyone, including yours truly counted both the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs out of the playoffs for the 2015 season. But my how things have changed. Both teams went on a tear, but the Kansas City chiefs did it in remarkable fashion. They started the season 1-5, lost their only offensive weapon in Jamaal Charles in Week 5 and then won 10 straight games. How? I have no frigin clue! Which is why I am picking them to lose to the Houston Texans. Alex smith is good, but he’s not a 10 game win streak good quarterback. The Chiefs defense is good, but it’s not a 10 game win streak good defense. The Chiefs are favored simply for their recent history of winning 10 straight. F**k history. The Texans on the other hand have found a way to make the playoffs using 4 different quarterbacks that are all pretty much Alex Smith quality. They are starting Brian Hoyer this week. Although their offense has had to adjust to a new quarterback every few weeks, there is something to be said for having a fresh quarterback to start the playoffs. The 16 games that preceded this week take a toll on a quarterback’s body, so Brian Hoyer should be feeling pretty spry compared to Alex Smith “thanks” two his 2 week vacation to rest his body while recovering from a concussion. This game shouldn’t be a blow out. It also shouldn’t be a very high scoring or exciting game. It will be very methodical by both teams in both sides of the ball. But the Texans will be heading to the AFC Divisional Playoff round. The bonus is the Texans are getting positive money!
Cincinnati Bengals (ML +125) over Pittsburg Steelers for $100
The Pittsburg Steelers are tough. Ben Roethlisberger is
possibly the toughest quarterback in the game. They had some bruising running backs with Le’Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams, and we have no idea what Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman are made of. And Matarvis Bryant will be trying to prove he’s tough after getting called out by Big Ben for being soft. The 2015 Bengals are not the one and done Bengals of seasons past. This is a much better team. And like I said with my Chiefs/Texans prediction: F**k history. Consider how well the Bengals were playing with Andy Dalton under center. And then AJ McCarrron comes off the bench and plays like a veteran. That’s pretty scary if you’re an opposing defense. And the Bengals had one of the best, and least talked about, defenses in the NFL. Look, the steelers are good and it wouldn’t be a stretch to see them muscling their way into the Super Bowl with brute force. That can happen any season. However they have lost games that I didn’t expect them to lose (um, both games against the Baltimore Ravens for example). That inconsistency means that there is a good chance they lose to the Bengals. And the Bengals are getting positive money which is even better.
Minnesota Vikings (ML +200) over Seattle Seahawks for $100
There are two reasons I’m picking the Minnesota Vikings over the Seattle Seahawks in the Wildcard Playoff game. Reason 1 is the weather. It’s going to be right around zero degrees in Minneapolis at game time. The Vikings aren’t choosing the seats on the patio at their corner Starbucks, but they do have the advantage of playing and practicing in those types of elements. The worst that happens in Seattle is that it rains every day. Playing football in weather that’s 50 degrees colder than you’re used to is going to be painful. Reason 2 is that the Vikings are huge underdogs. Getting 2 to 1 value is very tasty to me. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay packers in week 17 to lock up the division! No doubt the Seattle Seahawks are getting hot at the right time. Russell Wilson has recently been putting up stats to make the summary of his entire season look good. But they’re not invincible. Most teams that reach the playoffs are good. Most teams do not deserve to be a 2 to 1 underdog. The expected value of this game is off the charts. I’m taking the positive expected value with the Vikings.
Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins?
I have no idea. I have no idea how Washington has been winning (except for the games against the NFC East which were all JV games), and I have no idea how the Green Bay packers have been losing. The line on this game as a pick ’em is perfect. It’s a coin flip for me, and there no value on either side. I am not touching this game, because there is negative expected value due to the coin flip and the vig.