Before we talk about the NFL Conference Championships, let’s pour one out to the season. There are only two days of NFL football left before it goes on a hiatus. Enjoy it, and more importantly, bet it (responsibly).
If you had doubts about the health of Jalen Hurts, those quickly disappeared last week against the Giants. Hurts was a man possessed in the first half, leading the Eagles offense to touchdowns on four of their first five possessions. The Eagles offensive line is the best unit in football, especially with Lane Johnson back in the lineup. Johnson and Jason Kelce have not given up a sack since Week 6 of the 2021 season. It’s 2023! Philly’s defensive line is also a top 3 unit in football after registering 70 (!) sacks in the regular season. Plus, Get Up had a stat this morning – Philly’s 3rd-down sack percentage is 18.2%. The league average is 9.6 %.
All signs point to Philly, but I’m siding with San Francisco’s all-star roster with a rookie QB. Last week was Brock Purdy’s worst start of his career with 214 yards passing and a QBR of 87.4. Yet, he didn’t turn the ball over and made the necessary plays to win against a stout Cowboys defense. The 49ers defense is ranked first overall in DVOA. I also prefer the 49ers playmakers (non QB) – CMC, Deebo, Kittle, Aiyuk – over the Eagles skill guys – AJB, Sanders, DeVonta, Goedert. When push comes to shove, I trust Kyle Shanahan, even with his clock management deficienes, more than Nick Sirianni. Shanny is 7-1 ATS in the playoffs. Hopefully, it’s 8-1 after Sunday.
Bengals +1.5 vs. Chiefs
Is Joe Burrow “him?” He might be! Since his historic season in 2019, Burrow has shown up in big game after big game. In six playoff games, Burrow has thrown for over 1500 yards with eight touchdowns, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 98.4. Cincy’s confidence is skyhigh, considering they’ve beaten the Chiefs in three-straight games, including last year’s AFC Championship. In those three wins, the Bengals have outscored the Chiefs 47-20 in the second half. Lou Anarumo’s ability to adjust the Cincy defense in the second half has been the difference.
All that being said, this game comes down to Patrick Mahomes and his ankle. Mahomes has been tremendous in 12 playoff games – 3500 yards, 30 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and a passer rating of 106.2. However, the high ankle sprain scares me. Mahomes will be shot up with god knows what in his ankle to play on Sunday. I’m sure he’ll be effective at times, but the typical recovery for this injury is 4-6 weeks. He’s playing on this ankle 8 days after the injury. I don’t trust his ankle to hold up. Therefore, Cincy gets to their second-straight Super Bowl.
NFL Conference Championship Teaser
6 POINTS: 49ers +2.5>+8.5, Bengals +1.5>+7.5
The teasers have not been kind to me this postseason. I can’t say that I’m thrilled to be trusting two underdogs to cover the tease. However, I’m expecting two close games, which is perfect for a teaser.
Everyone and their mother will be throwing the Chiefs in a teaser this weekend. Why? For starters, Patrick Mahomes is undefeated in the Divisional Round (4-0). In Mahomes’s four Divisional games, the Chiefs have scored 36.5 points per game with an average margin of victory of 12.25 points. Not too shabby! Andy Reid is also dominant off a bye week as his teams are 27-4 (including the regular season). I love where the Jaguars are heading. Last week’s comeback victory over the Chargers set this franchise in the right direction. The Jags are on a six-game winning streak with a 5-1 ATS record in that timeframe. Jacksonville needs to get off to a fast start for them to have any chance at winning. However, #15 in red loves fast starts as the catalyst to the third-highest scoring first-half offense in the league on a per-game average (15.6). It’s a close game at the half, but the Chiefs pull away to cover.
Giants vs. Eagles over 48.5
As I mentioned last week, I am a diehard Giants fan, so I’m rooting for the Giants. I also don’t put any money down on the Giants because of my poor record betting on the teams I love. If I were to bet on this game, the over is the play. The Eagles are the highest-scoring first half team in the league (17.4 points). During the season, the over was 10-7 in Eagles games. Do you know which team has been one of the hottest over teams in the second half? The New York Football Giants, with the over hitting in seven of their last nine games. Go Giants, but the safer play is to root for points.
Bengals +5.5 vs Bills
The hardest game to handicap is the contest between the Bengals and the Bills. It’s an overused phrase, but I truly believe whoever has the ball last will win the game. Both teams were not particularly impressive in their wins during Wild Card Weekend. The Bengals needed a miraculous defensive touchdown to beat Tyler Huntley, and the Bills needed to come from behind to defeat third-string quarterback Skylar Thompson. The Bengals missing three starting offensive linemen shouldn’t be swept to the side. Josh Allen committing the most turnover at the QB position is something that also shouldn’t be taken lightly. Both teams should be able to score, so the over is a solid play. Because I think this will be a close game, the Bills will win by a field goal so take the Bengals and the points.
49ers -3.5 vs. Cowboys
The two most impressive teams in the Wild Card Round will now face off in the last game of Divisional Weekend. You know where I stand on the Niners. If I wasn’t a Giants fan, I would be a Niners fan. This roster is stacked beyond belief. During this 11-game winning streak, the Niners offense is second in EPA per play. As long as Brock Purdy doesn’t turn the ball over, the Niners can win the Super Bowl. However, the Cowboys are pretty damn good as well. Dak Prescott played the game of his life against Tampa, throwing for 305 yards and four touchdowns. The Niners offense will also play the best defense they’ve seen in months, but that works both ways as the Niners are the best defense in football, surrounding the fewest yards per game (300.6). I liked the Niners to win the game before they knew their opponent. After seeing Brett Maher miss four extra points, I feel better that the Niners will cover the three and change.
NFL Divisional Round Teaser
6 POINTS: Chiefs -8.5>-2.5, Bengals/Bills Over 49.5>Over 43.5
As I stated at the beginning of the article, the entire world will tease the Chiefs to under three points. The question lies with who (or what) to tease them with. Honestly, it’s not a week for teasers. However, getting the total to 43.5 in the Bengals-Bills seems to be the best option. The Bengals haven’t scored under 20 points since October 9, and the Bills haven’t scored under 20 points since November 6. Both teams average over 25 points per game. That’s good enough for the over.
And with that, the 2022 NFL regular season comes to an end. For my gambling stats, I started hot, nose-dived in the middle, and regained my composure at the end. The final record was 34-29-1, which comes out to approximately 53%. I’ll take it after the 1-4 weeks I was putting up in the middle of the season. Now, it’s a new season as we head into NFL Wild Card Weekend. With only six games, I will share my predictions for every game. Spoiler alert: I LOVE my teaser the most.
In the preseason, my Super Bowl prediction was the Bills over the Niners. People jumped off the bandwagon when James G was ruled out for the season, but I trusted Kyle Shanahan to right the ship and bring this team to the playoffs. 10 straight wins later, the Niners are primed for a big postseason run. During this winning streak, the offense has averaged over 30 points per game while their defense surrenders the least amount of yards per game. Rain is expected in Santa Clara so it will be a wet one, which helps Seattle. Is it hard to beat a team three times in a season? Yes. However, the Niners are much better than a Seattle team who probably shouldn’t be in the playoffs. Niners will run away with this game in the second half.
Jaguars +2.5 vs. Chargers
Are you ready to Jag off? Because I am! The Jaguars ripped off five straight wins to make the playoffs, capped off by an ugly 20-16 win over the Titans to win the AFC South. As a Trevor Lawrence believer, the young QB played poorly last week. I don’t expect that to happen two weeks in a row. The Chargers want teams to run on them (145.8 yards per game), so if you want a prop bet, Travis Etienne over 78.5 yards rushing looks good. The main reason I like the Jags is the coaching advantage they possess. I trust Doug Pederson more than Brandon Staley. Mike Williams should not have been playing last week. One back injury later and the Chargers best WR is out for the playoffs. That’s indefensible, and the Chargers’ offense will suffer. Jags pull out a close win on Wild Card Weekend.
Bills -13.5 vs. Dolphins
I don’t want to waste too much time on this game. If Tua was playing, this would’ve been a good game. If Teddy Bridgewater was playing, it would be less fun but still manageable. I have zero faith in Skylar Thompson. The Bills should blow the Fins out of the water.
Giants +3 vs. Vikings
*BIAS ALERT* I am a diehard Giants fan, so I will keep this short and sweet. I actually don’t put money on the Giants because I’m afraid I will jinx them. Yes, I’m an 8-year-old with that mindset. However, I’m also 0 for 253 when betting on the Giants, so I stopped doing it a few years ago. That being said, this matchup will be a one-score game either way. By all stats, the Vikings might be the luckiest team ever. They’re still good, but 13 wins and a -3 point differential is as lucky as it gets. I’m scared that everyone loves the Giants, too, but the Giants will show up and deliver. (Please)
Ravens +8.5 vs. Bengals
The Bengals are going to win this game. I wanted to get that out of the way first. However, I like the Ravens to cover because of one man and one man only, Roquan Smith. The entire defense changed when Smith became a Raven. The First-Team All-Pro linebacker has anchored a Ravens defense that has allowed the NFL’s second-fewest points, 14.7 points per game, since his arrival. In that same span, the Ravens are third in defense DVOA, 10th against the pass, and 2nd against the run. Smith earned that contract extension. Even with Lamar Jackson out, Tyler Huntley should do enough to make this a 13-9 game going into the fourth quarter. Once again, Burrow finds a way to win, but the Ravens keep it close (and ugly).
Bucs +2.5 vs. Cowboys
The Cowboys stunk up the joint a week ago, losing to the Commanders 26-6. Dak Prescott played arguably the worst game of his career, completing 14 of 37 passes for 128 yards, one touchdown, and one pick-six. Do you trust the Cowboys, a team with three playoff wins since 1997, to bounce back against Tom Brady in the biggest game of the season? I don’t! It’s Tom Brady. The Bucs offense unlocked something two weeks ago in the fourth quarter of the Panthers game. They let Tommy sling it and opened up the field, which resulted in 20 points. The Cowboys will probably go into the half with the lead, and they might have it heading into the fourth quarter, but when it comes time for Brady to make a comeback, he’ll deliver in crunch time. Not for nothing, these two teams played in Week 1, and the Bucs won 19-3. I’m just saying…
Why will this lose? I keep asking myself that question, and I don’t have an answer. The Jaguars would be the team to ruin the teaser, but I don’t see the Chargers winning on the road by more than a touchdown. If you swap out the Jags for the Bengals, I wouldn’t blame you at all. In fact, I’m going to make another teaser with Niners-Bills-Bengals.
Do the Golden Globes still matter? We’re about to find out when the 2023 Golden Globes return to television on Tuesday night. After the HFPA was criticized for its lack of diversity within the organization, much of Hollywood boycotted the ceremony entirely in 2022, including NBC, when they declined to air the show. In 2023, the Globes return to NBC on a new night with a new host, Jerrod Carmichael.
Once again, do the Globes matter? Did last year’s ceremony influence the Oscars? 11 of the 14 winners at the Golden Globes went on to win at the Oscars, so as much as people want to say the Globes don’t matter, the data doesn’t reflect that sentiment. Will the HFPA’s restructuring affect which types of movies get rewarded? We’ll soon find out.
Below are predictions for who should win and who will win at the 2023 Golden Globes.
2023 Golden Globes – FILM
BEST MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA
Avatar: The Way of Water
Top Gun: Maverick
Who Should Win: Top Gun: Maverick. From reigniting the box office to being a kickass movie, Maverick was the MVP of 2022. Who Will Win:The Fabelmans. I truly believe that flopping at the box office crushed its Oscar chances. However, voters will still reward Steven Spielberg’s coming-of-age drama with the top prize of the night.
BEST MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL or COMEDY
The Banshees of Inisherin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Triangle of Sadness
Who Should Win: Everything Everywhere All at Once. EEAAO can win the damn Oscar, and that’s exciting news. However, Banshees received the most nominations of the night, so I think that wins. Who Will Win: The Banshees of Inisherin
BEST ACTOR — DRAMA
Austin Butler – Elvis
Brendan Fraser – The Whale
Hugh Jackman – The Son
Bill Nighy – Living
Jeremy Pope – The Inspection
Who Should Win: Brendan Fraser – The Whale. Will the HFPA award Fraser best actor, an award he deserves to win, despite Fraser alleging that a high-ranking HFPA member sexually assaulted him? I don’t know. Fraser will not be in attendance on Tuesday night. Who Will Win: Austin Butler. Hollywood is desperate to crown the next movie star. Butler became a movie star in Elvis.
BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA
Cate Blanchett – Tár
Olivia Colman – Empire of Light
Viola Davis – The Woman King
Ana de Armas – Blonde
Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: Cate Blanchett – Tár. Some people think Lydia Tár is a real person. Cate Blanchett is an icon.
BEST ACTOR – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Diego Calva – Babylon
Daniel Craig – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Adam Driver – White Noise
Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Ralph Fiennes – The Menu
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
BEST ACTRESS – COMEDY/MUSICAL
Lesley Manville – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Margot Robbie – Babylon
Anya Taylor-Joy – The Menu
Emma Thompson – Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Who Should And Will Win: Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
Brad Pitt – Babylon
Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Eddie Redmayne – The Good Nurse
Who Should Win: Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin. One of the most versatile actors working today. Who Will Win: Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Comeback Story of the Year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Dolly de Leon – Triangle of Sadness
Carey Mulligan – She Said
Who Should Win: Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin. Stacey Ehrmantraut finally brings some hardware home for Better Call Saul fans. Condon is going to win the Oscar in this category. She’s that good. Who Will Win: Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once. I hope Curtis wears hot dog hands to accept the award.
James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Baz Luhrmann – Elvis
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans
Who Should Win: James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water. Big Jim still has his 99mph fastball. The Way of Water is a technical achievement and then some. Who Will Win: Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans. That Spielberg guy can still direct, ay.
Todd Field – Tár
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
Sarah Polley – Women Talking
Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner – The Fabelmans
Who Should Win: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once. The Daniels wrote the most original story of the last five years. Who Will Win: Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin. This man is an icon for writing a movie about the death of male friendship.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Carolina” (Taylor Swift) – Where the Crawdads Sing
“Ciao Papa” (Alexandre Desplat, Roeban Katz, and Guillermo del Toro) – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
“Hold My Hand” (Lady Gaga, BloodPop, and Benjamin Rice) – Top Gun: Maverick
“Lift Me Up” (Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Göransson) – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
“Naatu Naatu” (M. M. Keeravani, Kaala Bhairava, and Rahul Sipligunj) – RRR
Who Should Win: No idea. These songs are OK. No standouts, unfortunately. Who Will Win: “Hold My Hand” (Lady Gaga, BloodPop, and Benjamin Rice) – Top Gun: Maverick. Gaga is the safe pick.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin
Alexandre Desplat – Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Women Talking
Justin Hurwitz – Babylon
John Williams – The Fabelmans
Who Should Win: Where the fuck is Michael Giacchino’s score for The Batman? Who Will Win: John Williams – The Fabelmans
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
Decision to Leave (South Korea)
Who Should Win: I could see All Quiet on the Western Front, Decision to Leave, and RRR winning this award. Who Will Win:All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany). RRR is the favorite, but I’m going with the upset as All Quiet starts its campaign to sneak into Best Picture at the Oscars with a win at the Globes.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Who Should Win:Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. I love this damn cat. Who Will Win:Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio. Netflix will be going all out for GDT to win the Oscar in this category. The campaign will receive a boost with this win.
2023 Golden Globes – TELEVISION
BEST TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA
Better Call Saul
House of the Dragon
Who Should Win: Severance. The best show of 2022 with the best episode of 2022 deserves to win best drama. Who Will Win: House of the Dragon. The Globes loves buzz, and no show had more of it than House of the Dragon.
BEST TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL or COMEDY
Only Murders in the Building
Who Should Win: The Bear. Episode 7 should be the featured clip when The Bear is mentioned in this category. Who Will Win:Abbott Elementary. The best network show on television brings home Best Comedy.
BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES OR TV MOVIE
Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Pam & Tommy
The White Lotus
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: The White Lotus. HIT THE MUSIC!
LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Jeff Bridges – The Old Man
Kevin Costner – Yellowstone
Diego Luna – Andor
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Adam Scott – Severance
Who Should Win: Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul. Bob Odenkirk has never been rewarded at the major awards shows for his performance as Saul Goodman. Why should I trust these voting bodies to do the right thing now? Who Will Win: Jeff Bridges – The Old Man. Legendary star giving a movie star performance. This is the definition of a Golden Globe winner.
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA
Emma D’Arcy – House of the Dragon
Laura Linney – Ozark
Imelda Staunton – The Crown
Hilary Swank – Alaska Daily
Zendaya – Euphoria
Who Should Win: Emma D’Arcy – House of the Dragon. Behind Paddy Considine, D’Arcy is in the running for the second-best performer on the show. Who Will Win: Zendaya – Euphoria. Season 2 Episode 5. Yup, that’s the one.
LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Donald Glover – Atlanta
Bill Hader – Barry
Steve Martin – Only Murders in the Building
Martin Short – Only Murders in the Building
Jeremy Allen White – The Bear
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: Jeremy Allen White – The Bear. Yes, chef!
LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION COMEDY
Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary
Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant
Selena Gomez – Only Murders in the Building
Jenna Ortega – Wednesday
Jean Smart – Hacks
Who Should Win and Who Will Win: Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary. Here’s to Quinta making TV shows for a long time.
LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Taron Egerton – Black Bird
Colin Firth – The Staircase
Andrew Garfield – Under the Banner of Heaven
Evan Peters – Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Sebastian Stan – Pam & Tommy
Who Should Win: Taron Egerton – Black Bird. Taron Egerton is making fascinating choices in his career. I am here for it. He’s excellent in Black Bird. Who Will Win: Evan Peters – Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. Evan Peters is a fantastic actor. However, did Tiktok help win this award?
LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM
Jessica Chastain – George & Tammy
Julia Garner – Inventing Anna
Lily James – Pam & Tommy
Julia Roberts – Gaslit
Amanda Seyfried – The Dropout
Who Should And Will Win: Amanda Seyfried – The Dropout
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY/MUSICAL/DRAMA
John Lithgow – The Old Man
Jonathan Pryce – The Crown
John Turturro – Severance
Tyler James Williams – Abbott Elementary
Henry Winkler – Barry
Who Should Win: John Turturro – Severance. Just let him hang out with Burt. Is that too much to ask? Who Will Win: Tyler James Williams – Abbott Elementary. If you think it’s Abbott’s night, Tyler James Williams walks away with the prize.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY/MUSICAL/DRAMA
Elizabeth Debicki – The Crown
Hannah Einbinder – Hacks
Julia Garner – Ozark
Janelle James – Abbott Elementary
Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary
Who Should Win: Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary. Ralph’s speech at the Emmys >>>. I would let Ralph have a 60-minute acceptance speech. Who Will Win: Julia Garner – Ozark. Garner has three Emmy wins in this category but zero Golden Globes. That changes tonight.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES/ANTHOLOGY/TV MOVIE
F. Murray Abraham – The White Lotus
Domhnall Gleeson – The Patient
Paul Walter Hauser – Black Bird
Richard Jenkins – Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Seth Rogen – Pam & Tommy
Who Should Win: Paul Walter Hauser – Black Bird. The best performance of Hauser’s career. Who Will Win: F. Murray Abraham – The White Lotus. The Achilles Cock.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES/ANTHOLOGY/TV MOVIE
Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus
Claire Danes – Fleishman Is in Trouble
Daisy Edgar-Jones – Under the Banner of Heaven
Niecy Nash – Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story
Aubrey Plaza – The White Lotus
Who Should Win: Aubrey Plaza – The White Lotus. Between The White Lotus and Emily the Criminal, Plaza had a fantastic 2022. Who Will Win: Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus.
Who do you believe should win at the Golden Globes? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, at @unafraidshow.
We have reached the end of the NFL regular season. Where did the time go? This weekend is the last full slate of games until September. Savor every moment. Watch every snap. Hell, bet every game (responsibly). After a 1-3 record in Week 17, I’m going out on top in Week 18.
Before you place a bet, check to see if the team is resting any players. Some teams need to win to improve their playoff seeding, and some teams need to lose to receive a better draft pick. Take advantage of these elements.
After getting their doors blown off by the Packers, the Vikings dropped to the 3-seed in the NFC. If the 49ers defeat the Cardinals, the Vikings will be the 3-seed. If the 49ers lose and the Vikings win, Minnesota is the 2-seed. San Fran is a 14.5-point favorite, so the odds of losing are slim to none. What does this mean? The Vikings are going to rest their starters in the second half. Should I be worried? No, because Nathan Peterman is starting for the Bears, not Justin Fields. Yes, the same Peterman with three touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career. If the Bears lose and the Texans win, the Bears get the number-one pick. The Bears are tanking, and the Vikings would like to win. It’s the perfect storm.
Steelers -2.5 vs. Browns
Death, taxes, and Mike Tomlin finishing the season over .500. After a disastrous 2-6 start, Pittsburgh has won six of their last eight, including a crucial divisional win over the Ravens a week ago. Is Kenny Pickett knocking my socks off with his three touchdown passes in five games? No, but he’s not turning the ball over (1 INT over that same span), and the Steelers are winning one-score games. For the Steelers to make the playoffs, they need to win, and the Patriots and Dolphins need to lose. That’s not far-fetched. The Browns have nothing to play for, but they also don’t have a first-round pick in 2023, so they will be looking to play the role of spoiler. Give me the Steelers at home by a field goal.
NFL Week 18 Underdog of the Week
Raiders +9.5 vs. Chiefs
The Chiefs are a good team. They have the MVP at quarterback. In all likelihood, Kansas City will make the AFC Championship Game for the fifth straight year. However, Kansas City has a fatal flaw. They don’t cover. The Chiefs’ record ATS is alarmingly bad. The Chiefs are 5-10-1 ATS, second-worst in the NFL. Against AFC opponents, the Chiefs are a league-worse 1-10 ATS. Not good, Mike! Let me lay out the situation. The Chiefs need to win to lock up the one-seed in the playoffs so they will defeat the Raiders. However, the Chiefs are on the road playing a division rival who just scored 34 points on the ‘̶8̶5̶ ̶B̶e̶a̶r̶s̶ 49ers. The chiefs win by a touchdown, but the Raiders cover.
NFL Week 18 Teaser of the Week
7 POINTS: Vikings -6.5>+.5, Bills -7.5>-.5
The entire world will be rooting for the Bills in their first game after the terrifying situation with Damar Hamlin. The medical staff is heroes for saving that young man’s life. It’s a miracle that Hamlin will pull through, and I couldn’t be happier. Emotions will be high in Buffalo as they’re looking to secure the two-seed. Josh Allen owns the Patriots. Since 2020, Allen is 4-1 with ten touchdowns and one interception. The Bills are going to pull this one out.
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.
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.
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:
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
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
I hate betting double-digit lines. However, the Texans are the NFL’s worst team by a country mile. Houston will turn to QB Kyle Allen in this game, which means the fourth-worst offense in terms of rushing yards per game will try to run the ball, run the ball, and run the ball some more. There is the trap game narrative with the Dolphins facing the 49ers this week, but I don’t see the Dolphins’ offense struggling against a Texans defense that allows 389.6 yards per game. Coach Mike McDiesel will have the Fins ready.
49ers -8.5 vs. Saints
Not to be that guy, but I predicted the 49ers to make the Super Bowl before the season began. After last week’s beatdown against the Cardinals, I feel great about my selection. The Niners have arguably the best roster in the NFL, with studs at every key position besides QB. I’m a Jimmy G guy, and I believe he can make the Super Bowl for the second time. Five of the Niners’ six wins have been by double digits, and the injury-riddled Saints could be missing DE Cam Jordan and CB Marshon Lattimore, who hasn’t played since Week 5. I’ll take the Niners to suck the life out of the Saints.
NFL Week 12 Underdog of the Week
Falcons +3.5 vs. Commanders
As someone who has nailed the underdog of the week all season, this is the first week where a game did not jump out to me upon my first viewing of the lines. After perusing the lines, I settled on the Falcons +3.5, who are 7-4 ATS in 2022. The Commies might be the hottest team in football, with a record of 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6. Taylor Heincke is a fun story as the Commies make a play for a wild card. This will come down to the Falcons’ third-best rushing attack (159.4 yards per game) vs. the sixth-best rushing defense (103.1 yards per game). The Falcons might be missing RB Caleb Huntley while the Commies will be without LB Cole Holcomb, and Chase Young will not make his debut. I’ll take the Falcons to cover in a close one.
NFL Week 12 Teaser of the Week
7 POINTS: Dolphins -14 > -7, 49ers -8.5 > -1.5
I have to stop overthinking things. The Dolphins and the 49ers are going to win this week. Why bring other teams into the mix? If the Dolphins win, it’s not going to be close. If the Niners win, recent history says it won’t be close. Don’t let me down, Mike and Kyle.