NFL Week 17 Best Bets

I have an announcement to make. I am seeing the board, and I am seeing it well. After a 3-1 record in Week 16, my NFL record is starting to look more respectable by the day. With only two weeks left in the regular season, I plan on keeping the momentum going in Week 17.

*Lines as of 12/30 at 11 a.m. ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 17 Best Bets

Eagles -6.5 vs. Saints

I was happy to see my guy Gardner Minshew thrive on national television. Against the Cowboys, Minshew threw for 355 yards with 2 TDs, 2 INTs, and 1 rushing TD. The Eagles lost the game, 40-34, but Minshew proved he should be a starter in this league. There is a shot that Jalen Hurts plays against the Saints, but Minshew will probably start again for the second-straight week. The Eagles have not clinched the one-seed or the NFC East, so they want to win and not have to rush Hurts back next week. I’m all about fast starts, and the Eagles are the highest-scoring first-half team in the NFL (18.7 points). The Saints rank 24th with 9.0 points. As long as Andy Dalton is still playing QB, I’m betting against the Saints whenever I can.

Bucs -3.5 vs. Panthers

This bet makes me a little queasy, considering how poorly the Bucs have played all season. Yet, the Bucs are still in the driver’s seat in the NFC South. If the Bucs win, the division is theirs. But this will be no easy task, as the Panthers have somehow turned things around under Steve Wilks. The Panthers rushing attack is the team’s strength, as evidenced by their 320 rushing yards a week ago. Look for the Bucs to stack the box and force Sam Darnold to throw against a Bucs defense that allows the fourth least passing yards per game. Let’s be honest. This game comes down to Tom Brady. If he does GOAT things, the Bucs win and cover. If he struggles, he’ll lose to the Panthers for the second time this season. I’m going with the former.

NFL Week 17 Underdog of the Week

Vikings +3 vs. Packers

The Vikings are a strange team. After breaking my heart last week against the Giants, Minnesota moved to 12-3 on the year. They’ve clinched the NFC North and still have a shot at the one-seed in the NFC. Yet, the Vikings are three-point underdogs in Lambeau against a Packers team that’s 7-8. If I could throw in a soundbite right, it would be a “HUH” from Chris Berman. The Vikings might be the most disrespected 12-win team, but with the lowest scoring differential (5 points) ever for a team with 12 wins, it’s hard to see them beating a team like Philly or San Fran. However, the Vikings are playing the red-hot Packers, and Aaron Rodgers will look to torch the worst passing defense in the league. But, the Vikings have won 11 one-score games and I expect the Vikings to keep this close and cover. It also helps to have Justin Jefferson on your side. I’m just saying.

NFL Week 17 Teaser of the Week

6.5 points: Eagles -6.5>PK, Chiefs -12.5 > -6

You already know why I like the Eagles. Now, let’s quickly talk about the Chiefs. If I had to pick one team to use in a teaser every week, it would be the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in football and this year’s MVP. More importantly, Mahomes is 10-0 against the Broncos. Do I expect Mr. Unlimited and the Broncos to go into Arrowhead and keep this close? No, I do not. The Chiefs are still hoping to secure the one seed in the AFC, so they have everything to play for. Chiefs should cover the 12.5, but they will cover the 6 in the tease.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 14-13-1

Underdog of the Week: 8-6

Teaser of the Week: 8-6

Total: 30-25-1

The New NBA Awards Missed an Opportunity to Honor Kareem Abdul Jabbar

We need to talk about the new NBA Individual Award trophies, and the decision to omit Kareem Abdul Jabbar from being included amongst the honors.

If you haven’t seen it yet, the NBA decided to re-name its awards to honor the contributions of past greats. Most championship trophies have names, for example the Larry O’Brien trophy that goes to the NBA’s champion. But honoring former NBA greats on the individual awards is new. 

Let’s go through them-

The league’s Most Valuable Player will now be awarded with The Michael Jordan Trophy. You’d have to be insane to think there was an honor that could be given out that didn’t deserve to have Michael Jordan’s name on it, but Kareem won this award six times. More than any other player in NBA history. And even if you say to yourself, but surely “Michael Jordan deserved the MVP award more than the five times he won it,” don’t forget that in 1973 Kareem Abdul Jabbar averaged 30 points and 16 rebounds per game, and finished second to Dave Cowens, who averaged 20 and 16. MJ ain’t the only one with a legitimate complaint here.

The NBA is introducing a new award at the end of the 2022-23 season, the Kia NBA Clutch Player of the Year. This trophy is named after Jerry West. Love Jerry, but he’s already the logo, and do I have to remind you that at 1-8, Jerry West has the worst NBA Finals record of all time. His nickname might have been “Mr. Clutch” back in the 1970’s, but if Jerry West existed with this record in today’s hot take economy, you’d go to sports entertainment jail for calling him the most clutch player of all time. Kareem not only has six NBA championships, he owns the longest win streak in college basketball history, and was on the other end of snapping the longest win streak in NBA history by dominating Wilt Chamberlain and the Lakers. If anyone is clutch, Kareem is clutch.

And speaking of Wilt Chamberlain, the Rookie of the Year trophy has been named in honor of Wilt. I’ll admit that the man had the craziest debut in NBA history, coming out of the gate with almost 40 points a game. But if we’re keeping it a buck, Wilt wasn’t technically a rookie when he was a rookie. Through no fault of his own, Wilt was forced to wait to enter the draft after leaving Kansas, and spent time with the Globetrotters. Kareem, who went by Lew Alcindor when he came out of UCLA, turned down the Globetrotters money, and also won rookie of the year, improving the Bucks record by 29 games and setting a record for 20 point playoff games  by a rookie that stood until 2018. 

The Most Improved Player award is being named after George Mikan, whose scoring average dropped every year from 1950-1956, and who never won MVP again after his first season with the Minneapolis Lakers. I mean, what are we even doing here.

Until LeBron breaks Kareem’s all time scoring record, we’re talking about the all-time leader in scoring, wins, MVP’s and all-star selections, and is tied for most all-NBA selections. And while I get naming the NBA Defensive Player of the Year trophy after Hakeem Olajuwon, guess who “The Dream” had to pass in order to be the NBA’s all-time blocks leader? That’s right, Kareem. I don’t care what the NBA has to do to make this right- whether it’s a citizenship award, or an award that goes to the total points per game leader, Kareem Abdul Jabbar deserves something. Especially if we’re inventing new awards to hand out to Jerry West because he hit four buzzer beaters in a 14-year career. You know who more than doubled that amount? Michael Jordan. We should be naming the clutch award after him, and the MVP trophy after the guy who won the award more times than anyone. 

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 16 Best Bets

So last week, I messed up. I had my NFL Week 15 bets ready but never finished my weekly column. I had to take care of an urgent matter while writing the piece. I never returned to finish. If you hate excuses, I understand. My apologies. These were going to be the picks:

  • Eagles -8.5 vs. Bears (L)
  • Steelers +2.5 vs. Saints (W)
  • Patriots +2.5 vs. Raiders (L, gross)
  • Teaser: 6 points: Eagles -8.5 > -2.5, Steelers +2.5 > +8.5 (W)

Enough housekeeping. Happy Chrismukkah! Here are my Week 16 bets.

Tip: Make sure to check the weather before betting. It’s going to be cold and windy throughout most of the country.

*Lines as of 12/24 at 11 a.m. ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 16 Best Bets

Steelers -1.5 vs. Raiders

For this game, I’m going with my heart over my head. I loved the Steelers going into the week because they’re facing a warm-weather team in the cold on a Saturday night. Pittsburgh has won 3 out of 4, and all four games have been low-scoring defensive battles. However, Pittsburgh is not losing because of Franco Harris, who tragically died this past week. It’s the anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, and the Steelers were set to retire Harris’s jersey. There is no chance the Steelers come out flat. The Steelers win on an emotional night.

Bengals -3 vs. Patriots

If you believe the Bengals are the best team in football, I do not argue against that statement. After losing to the Browns on Halloween night, the Bengals are 6-0 with wins over the Chiefs, Bucs, and Titans. Burrow and Chase get all the attention (rightfully so), but their defense seems to make big plays at the right time as Cincy is the 5th best in turnover differential (+5). After last week’s humiliating loss, do Bill Belichick and the Patriots have anything left in them? It’s probably a mistake to write the Pats off, but I’m grabbing my nicest pen and signing their death certificate. Cincy wins and covers.

NFL Week 16 Underdog of the Week

Eagles +4 vs. Cowboys

My love for Gardner Minshew has been well-documented. He deserves to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He can be the next Ryan Fitzpatrick without all of the interceptions. I don’t care who you play for, but if you have thrown for 41 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions in your career, you deserve a chance to start in this league. Plus, Philly has a better team than Dallas. A shaky showing against the Texans and a collapse against the Jaguars have the Cowboys in the A-block on every debate show. This comes down to the trenches. The Eagles boast the 4th best rushing attack (158.6 ypg), and Dallas ranks 25th in stopping the run (133.1 ypg), so I expect this game to be within a field goal either way.

NFL Week 16 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Niners -7>PK, Chiefs -10.5>-3.5

This was my Super Bowl pick at the beginning of the season. I’m happy with where both teams stand. The Niners and Chiefs are a combined 13-1 since October 30. The Niners get a scrappy Commanders team at home while the Chiefs face off against the injured Seahawks. While the Niners game should be close because the Commies rank 3rd in yards allowed per game

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 12-13-1

Underdog of the Week: 8-5

Teaser of the Week: 7-6

Total: 27-24-1

Justin Herbert vs Tua Tagovailoa Was Never (And Will Never Be) A Rivalry

We need to talk about the rivalry between Tua Tagovailoa vs Justin Herbert.

I mean we don’t, because it’s not a rivalry, and it will never be a rivalry.. but for some reason enough of you got tricked into engaging in something that has no business being a debate, so here we are.

The only thing Tua and Herbert have in common, besides the position they play, is that if I had to name two NFL quarterbacks that would rather face a free-rushing Aaron Donald than be included in a synthetic rivalry for the sake of ’embracing debate,’ it would be these two men right here. Both are humble, hard working, and embrace the challenge before them without any prima donna tendencies. 

If anything, they could both use a bit more ego. Maybe then, Herbert would protect his ribcage and Tua would protect his medulla oblongata, instead of putting their health at risk for the benefit of their teammates and the fans that root for them.

 But for some reason, we’ve been roped into comparing their skillsets.

Are you kidding me? 

I get that most sports debates are subjective. Statistics go a long way to scaffold and support an argument you’re presenting in one of those debates, but for the most part, a person makes up their mind, AND THEN finds the numbers that will buttress their claim. But that’s only a process people go through when there’s a debate worth having. Or at least, it used to be.

If you were walking a busy downtown street and saw a man holding up a sign that said “Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?” You might stop and give the question your time and energy. But if that same man held up a sign that said “Puppies or Tax Audits?” You don’t need to add your voice to that. 

It’s not anyone’s fault Herbert went after Tua in the draft. He had some training wheels on him in Eugene, and despite the fact that he was clearly built in the same quarterback lab that gave us Josh Allen, at the time of the 2020 draft, Allen hadn’t finished evolving into his highest form yet. And to even become the sixth pick in the draft, Herbert had to outshine his initial three star ranking out of Sheldon High, while also languishing on Larry Scott’s inaccessible television network.

Tua was always that dude. ESPN and Rivals had him as a top 60 prospect. 247 had him as a five star, which if you’re not familiar with the rankings, five star means projected first round NFL draft pick. Nick Saban clearly thought he was worthy of a spot on a championship roster out of Alabama, and he lived up to every bit of the hype while in Tuscaloosa. 

But one of these men is 6-6, 240, has Michael Vick’s arm, and Rob Gronkowski’s athleticism, and was drafted with the full understanding that all those tools had yet to be tapped into to their fullest extent. And all he’s done since landing with the Chargers is save the entire franchise from drowning in the irrelevance that moving out of San Diego created.

Meanwhile, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, has his entire franchise being sanctioned over trying to get rid of Tua for everyone from Deshaun Watshon to Tom Brady. Tua is a very good quarterback, but not good enough to have the man that signs his paychecks convinced he’s the future. 

Do you understand how concerning that is? It’s pretty clear that Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill might hate his starting quarterback, and vice versa, but even that dysfunctional mess of a relationship doesn’t go as far as denying that Kyler is the future of the franchise.

Herbert and Tua’s skillsets, and their place with both their own franchises, and as the future of the NFL aren’t even in the same neighborhood. And the worst part about engaging in this conversation at all is that it steals the joy from Dolphins fans who should be able to enjoy being competitive in the AFC East for the first time in decades.

Instead they have to mount up and defend a point that they don’t even believe. 

Imagine being a Dolphins fan last night when Justin Herbert and the Chargers had a two-score lead in the fourth quarter, and Herbert had thrown for more yards against your defense this year than anyone outside Josh Allen. Imagine sitting there knowing that your franchise quarterback, who had been artificially inserted into a debate he wanted no part of, was simultaneously putting together the worst game of his career. Instead of just taking the L and moving on to next week, you’re having to consider whether to delete all the social media apps off of your phone, or to mentally deconstruct your own understanding of both facts and truth so that you can engage in living an obvious lie without it causing permanent brain damage.

Last night should be the end of a conversation that never should have started, but in the hot take economy anything can happen. And if Justin Herbert vs Tua can heat up the internet streets, anything can. Guard your hearts and minds, folks, because if not, you might find yourself skipping dinner with the family to write ten paragraphs about why Jalen Hurts is better than Davis Mills.

When a thing is true, it should be able to Speak for Itself. 

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 14 Best Bets

Is this heaven? No, it’s the column of a man who clawed his way back over .500 in NFL gambling. I’m officially back over .500, thanks to a 4-0 record in Week 13. Let’s do that again in Week 14, shall we?

*Lines as of 12/11 at noon ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 14 Best Bets

Titans -3.5 vs. Jaguars

The Titans, who pride themselves on toughness, got punched in the face last weekend in their 35-10 loss to the Eagles. This is a good spot for them to bounce back against a Jaguars team they typically dominate. The Titans pick apart teams with losing records as they are 6-0 ATS against those losing teams. Meanwhile, the Jaguars are 2-5-1 ATS against a team with a winning record. Plus, the Jags are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 against the Titans. No Treylon Burks hurts, but Derrick Henry will do enough on the ground to cover the 3.5

Niners -1 1H vs. Bucs

The Niners are my guys. I ride them with them in good times and in bad. I feel awful for Jimmy Garoppolo as his season is done. Get well soon, my king. However, the train keeps rolling for the Niners. The offense now belongs to Brock Purdy aka Big Cock Brock. Kyle Shanahan will do whatever it takes to put Brock in a position to succeed. Tom Brady may be 6-0 in games where the opposing QB is making his first career start, but that doesn’t change the fact that Tampa is 29th in first half scoring. The Niners are 10th in first half scoring. Give me the Niners to cover the first half.

NFL Week 14 Underdog of the Week

Vikings +1.5 vs. Lions

Out of principle, I have to bet on this game. Just about every advanced stat says the Vikings are the worst 10-2 team ever. That may be the case, but Minnesota is 10-2. Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook are still on this team. The Vikings have won nine of the last ten games in this matchup. They should not be an underdog. Clap those hands, we’re chanting, “Skol.”

NFL Week 14 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Cowboys -17.5 > -10.5, Vikings +1.5 > + 8.5

The Browns beat the Texans last week, 27-14, without scoring a single offensive touchdown. Now I’m supposed to believe they’ll stop the Dallas offense for four quarters? I don’t think so. 17.5 is too risky for me, but taking the Boys to 10.5 is a no-brainer.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 10-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 7-4

Teaser of the Week: 6-5

Total: 23-20-1

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast (12/7/2022): Utah goes Back-to-Back, Caleb Williams for Heisman, Deion Sanders to Colorado, Pac-12 Awards

On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden recap Utah’s dominant victory over USC, and discuss whether USC deserved to be knocked out of the college football playoff in favor of Ohio State. Deion Sanders made a giant splash in his first speech to the Colorado players, and the guys discuss what they like and don’t like about Prime’s first few days on the job. The transfer portal is running at capacity, and George likes it, while Ralph defends all the fans that say they hate the new direction of college football. Finally, the guys get into the conference awards and who they felt got snubbed.

Apple Podcasts // Spotify // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher // RadioPublic // iHeart

You can also watch Pac-12 Apostles on YouTube!

Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’, Content Director for, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. . Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

A Message For People Mad About Brittney Griner’s Freedom

Brittney Griner is free. 

I’d love to talk about one of the best women’s basketball players of all time returning home after being held as a political prisoner over a vape pen… but enough of you have made today’s events about YOU, YOUR morals, YOUR preferences, and YOUR politics, that I’m not sure it’s even possible to talk about Brittney Griner.

So let’s talk about you.

You don’t think the Biden administration should have traded a convicted arms dealer for a female basketball player, especially with former Marine reservist and Iraq War veteran Paul Whelan going on four years behind bars for what may or may not be false charges of espionage. 

That’s sensible I guess. 

But my question for you is this. When did you first learn Paul Whelan’s name? When was the first time you appealed directly to the Biden administration for his release? Or the Trump administration before that? Or at the very least, publicly posted on any social media platform to alert your followers of a cause that today’s events have revealed is apparently so near and dear to your heart?

Go ahead. Pause the video and look it up for me. 

Was it before Brittney Griner’s detention? And if not, are you prepared to keep that same energy from here forward, to pressure our leaders to negotiate the release of political prisoners from vindictive, undemocratic countries?

Maybe you’re completely committed to fighting the injustice of Brittney Griner’s release in the face of Paul Whelan’s continued detention on behalf of the Whelan family. Surely they must be furious at this inexplicable injustice, and you’re just doing your part on their behalf, with their blessing.

It’s not like Paul Whelan has a twin brother out here saying something to the effect of “I am so glad Brittney Griner is on her way home,” or “The Biden Administration made the right decision to bring Ms. Griner home, and make the deal that was possible, rather than waiting for one that wasn’t going to happen.”

Can you imagine if Paul Whelan had a twin brother named David that said those exact things today? That would mean that your outrage wasn’t about the family at all. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing?

Or maybe you just want to make sure that a member of the United States armed forces is treated with dignity and has his needs prioritized. You’re pro-military. That’s it, right? You’re so pro military you have the same rules as USAA- you don’t just care about our troops, you care about their families. So if former Marine Paul Whelan hypothetically had a daughter imprisoned in Russia, you’d probably rather have her home than Brittney Griner, right?

Wouldn’t it be crazy if there was someone out there named Raymond Griner that served two tours in Vietnam and spent 30 years as a cop, hoping for someone as pro military as yourself to come along and reward the sacrifice he made on your behalf to help get his daughter home? I’d imagine that would motivate someone as pro military as yourself into action.

Or maybe you just spent too much time on ESPN’s trade machine, and you don’t want a war criminal back on the St. Petersburg streets because it’s an objectively unfair price for this country to pay. Certainly you’ve known of Viktor Bout’s imprisonment since the Bush justice department pursued him, and the Obama administration extradited and imprisoned him. And I know that you can provide lots of public evidence that you’ve posted about how important an asset he is to the American government in hostage negotiations. Posts that you definitely made before Brittney Griner’s arrest. You can show me all that, right?

Look, maybe you just want the Secretary of State to publicly acknowledge how lopsided and unpopular this is. I’ll do you a favor. Let me read this direct quote from the Secretary of State. “We acknowledge that the release of these prisoners is unpopular, but this difficult action will lead to an important result…”

Oh wait, my mistake. That was Donald Trump’s Secretary of State talking about the release they negotiated of 5,000 imprisoned members of Taliban and ISIS, 400 of which were said by the Afghan government to be “convicted of serious crimes, including the killing of Afghans and citizens of the international community.”

Ah, that’s my bad guys. I’m positive you’ll also be able to provide me with several examples of the outrage you publicly expressed when Donald Trump’s treaty to get us out of Afghanistan called for the release of nearly 5,000 Taliban and ISIS soldiers. I didn’t mean to make more work for you, but I know you’re consistent, so I’ll wait here while you gather that up.

But hey, there’s always the few of you that just don’t think the United States should be doing anything to negate the foreign punishment of a spoiled athlete that hates America. After all, Brittney Griner called for an end to the playing of the national anthem before WNBA games

It doesn’t matter that Brittney Griner was specifically protesting the unjust killing of Breonna Taylor at the hands of the Louisville, Kentucky police. It doesn’t matter that Griner repeatedly said that she loves the police, and grew up wanting to be a police officer like her father. It also doesn’t matter that she repeatedly said she supports the idea of a new national anthem, rather than stand for one that includes an unsung third verse about hunting down rebel slaves. 

It’s the principle of the matter. This is America. You can’t just go around protesting our hallowed institutions because a woman got shot by law enforcement. And you, you’re consistent. It’s not like you’re out here calling for justice for Ashli Babbitt. 

Are you?

Certainly you’ve thought this through. You’ve been consistent. You cared about the executive branch’s role in political prisoner negotiations long before Brittney Griner was detained, and you’re going to keep caring long after she’s been freed. I’m definitely going to see you at the rallies to release Paul Whelan, and I’m definitely not going to see you doing anything but deferring to the statements and wishes of his loved ones. 

You certainly condemned Trump’s prisoner release, and you’re not partisan at all, so you’ll do the same when the next republican president is faced with a similar decision. 

And every time someone brings up January 6th, I’m going to hear you talking about how the police have a hard job, and how anyone that protests the convictions that came out of the events that day hate America, and are criminals that deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. 

Because today’s energy has always been your energy, right?

Let that sink in.

The Transfer Portal Is A Good Thing- But You Can Have Too Much of a Good Thing.

We need to talk about these restless college football youths.The transfer portal is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. 

I love players being able to transfer, and have the same freedoms as the coaches and administrators that make a living off of their blood sweat and tears. 

But just like how not every coaching move is the right one, there’s often a price to pay for movement for the sake of comfort or short term gains. 

Have you ever been driving the speed limit, and someone comes along whipping in and out of traffic like they’re in a Fast and Furious reboot, only to end up sitting at the same exact red light. 

Now they won’t look you in the eye because you know and they know they didn’t have to do all that movement for the sake of movement?

Some of these players are hitting the portal two or three times only to end up in the exact same place as they would have had they just stayed the course. 

Fans used to be able to invest their interest in 90% of any given roster to stick around for anywhere from 3-5 years. While most people are fans of the laundry above all else, many did invest deeply in the personalities and talents of the young men that elected to represent the university they love.

Now you have NFL-level roster turnover in the NCAA.

Whether or not it’s a fallacy that fans were able to separate the NFL being a business from the so-called purity of the NCAA’s “amateurism cartel,” the fact that players stuck around and earned their place both on the field and in the hearts of the fans is a very real reason why people love the sport.

I don’t fault people for hating that the transfer portal takes them out of the fantasy that college football isn’t a business. 

But it is a business. And if we’re being honest, some of these players and their families are out here making Sam Bankman-Fried style short term business decisions.

Your business might be booming today, but if you’re not smart, it could be belly up tomorrow.

Look, there are a lot of lies told on the recruiting trail, but the whole thing about how your college choice is a 40 year decision isn’t one of them. 

I cannot tell you how blessed I’ve been to be part of the Oregon Duck community as I’ve gotten older. Do you think I’d have the same networking and relationship benefits if instead of jumping to the NFL after three years in Eugene, I’d treated my lack of playing time as a freshman like it was everyone else’s fault but mine? Or what if I’d decided to take this smile to Seattle for the million dollars my mother says it’s worth?

You’d be surprised how fast a million dollars gets spent. Even a million after tax. And now I’m old and wise enough to know there’s no amount of money I’d take to be a Husky. 

I’m just playing, Washington fans. 

My point is this. If you’re out here selling yourself to the highest bidder, don’t sell yourself short.

Yes, having a bank balance is better than being broke. Yes it feels better to be built up by recruiters than broken down by coaches, and yes it’s sometimes hard to reconcile when the recruiter and the coach are the same person. 

But nothing feels better than proving yourself where you planted yourself, and discovering that your worth goes beyond your net worth. 

Maybe the best spot for you is somewhere else. And every case is different. Especially for quarterbacks, or other positions where only one person can play. But wherever the best spot for you is, it will only be because you brought the best version of yourself to that spot. 

And if you haven’t brought the best version of yourself to the spot you’re already in, you might want to try that before jumping ship. 

I think you might find that it’s good for business.

Let that sink in.

I’m Disappointed Deion Sanders Left Jackson State for Colorado, But I Get Why He Did It.

I said I’d roast Deion Sanders if he left Jackson State.

I said I would. 

But if Prime can switch up, so can I. 

Let’s get into it.

My main issue is that I felt like the job at Jackson State, of getting eyeballs on the HBCU as a viable academic and athletic option, wasn’t finished. And to be honest, I still don’t think it’s finished. But who says it has to be Deion Sanders that finishes it?

In a metaphor I’m sure Deion could appreciate, Moses didn’t see the promised land. Some progress is generational, and it’s very possible that the foundation has been laid for people to come in and build the house that will stand for years to come.

Look, I get it. When Deion said “you either get elevated or terminated” as a coach, I felt that. In the performing arts world, he’s following the credo of “leave them wanting more.” 

In the process, he’s trying to create opportunities for some of his assistants by recommending his own replacement at Jackson State, and create an opportunity for more assistants in his new position at Colorado. 

I cover the Pac-12, and everybody that knows anything about college football knows what a special place Folsom Field is, and wants to see a competitive Buffaloes team instead of the doormat they’ve been for the last two decades. 

Deion making his way to the Conference of Champions is only going to make my life more fun. He’s one of the biggest stars in all of sports, and he’s going to stand out spectacularly in a conference that isn’t exactly known for its dynamic coaching personalities. 

And in thinking about myself and how this impacts me, I came to the re-realization that none of this is charity. Deion Sanders wasn’t at Jackson State to change lives and elevate the HBCUs. The fact that he did that is simply a byproduct of who he is. And Deion isn’t headed to Boulder because he has fond memories of Kordell Stewart and Rashaan Salaam, he’s there because they’re offering him market value for his services, and he’s ready to elevate to meet the next challenge.

Colorado administrators have to know that Prime is only here until the next challenge presents itself, and kudos to them for understanding that they need a jolt like this and still making the investment. Some people are here for a long time, and some people are here for a good time. In business, there are operators and there are owners. Operators are in love with running the business. Owners are about investment and returns. Maybe Deion’s calling is to be an owner. 

And in the end, Colorado, just like Jackson State, will be better for it.

Let that sink in.

NFL Week 13 Best Bets

Folks, we’re starting to gain some momentum. After a 3-1 record in Week 12, we’re on the cusp of .500. For some, that might be embarrassing. For others like myself, it’s exhilarating. NFL Week 13 best bets are coming right up.

*Lines as of 12/3 at noon ET on FanDuel

NFL Week 13 Best Bets

Browns -7.5 VS. Texans

The Texans are a bad team. Very bad, actually. I would go as far as to say the worst team in the NFL. The Texans are 4-6-1 ATS and have zero incentive to win. Today will be their Super Bowl because Deshaun Watson will be lined up at QB for the Browns. I fully expect the Texans to jump out to a 7-0 lead. When the dust settles, Nick Chubb, the NFL’s third-leading rusher at 1039 yards, will lead a Browns offense to score 21 unanswered and cover.

Vikings-3 VS. Jets

Do you believe in Mike White? After another 300+ yard performance, White might be the guy to lead the Jets to the playoffs. However, he did it against a Bears defense that has surrendered over 27 points in each of the last five games. The game will be close because of the Jets defense, but I’m taking 1 PM Kirk Cousins and the Vikings to cover at home.

NFL Week 12 Underdog of the Week

Bengals +2.5 VS. Chiefs

There is one team that can hold something over the Chiefs, and that team is the Bengals. Last year, Cincinnati beat the Chiefs in a shootout in the regular season and then somehow held Kansas City to 3 second-half points in their 27-24 playoff victory. Cincy is getting hot at the right time, and they’ve been doing it without Ja’Maar Chase, who is expected to play for the first time since 10/23. Whichever team has the ball last will win, and I believe that team will be the Bengals.

NFL Week 12 Teaser of the Week

7 POINTS: Browns -7.5 > -.5, Bengals +2.5 > +9.5

Am I a little nervous about trusting the state of Ohio for this teaser? Yes! However, the Browns will beat the Texans, and the Bengals will play a close game against the Chiefs so this teaser makes a lot of sense.

2022 NFL Season So Far

Bets of the Week: 8-11-1

Underdog of the Week: 6-4

Teaser of the Week: 5-5

Total: 19-20-1