Welcome to the Thirty Team Parlay, a weekly column on Football Absurdity that focuses on the week in football gambling advice. We’ll bring you the best bets, biggest longshots, and try to make some damn money.
Everyone has that one cousin. You know who i’m referring to. I didn’t even have to explain it any further. You immediately thought of that cousin. The one that still owes you money You lent them your car one time. One time, and the car came back on it’s spare tire, smelling of Axe Body Spray and dead raccoon. You are pretty sure the floor mat is stained with bong resin, and there is a pair of underwear that definitely isn’t yours in the backseat.
The rest of the family talks about this cousin in hushed tones. It’s always a question on whether the cousin will show up to Thanksgiving, and if they do, are they just gonna end up at the kids table talking about prostitutes and why Paw Patrol is just an elaborate Illuminati false flag?
The AFC South is the black sheep cousin of the NFL, whenit comes to football gambling advice. Just when you think they are about to turn their life around, BAM! Andrew Luck’s arm falls off and then is put back on using Elmer’s Glue and Scotch tape. Hey, did you hear, your cousin is taking classes at the local junior college to get his criminal justice degree? BOOM! BLAKE BORTLES AFC CHAMPIONSHIP RUN!
There is the saying “one step forward, two steps back.” But with the AFC South, it’s one step forward, directly down a manhole into a sewer. This division is like the bizarro version of the NFC South, because, let’s face it, would you trust any of these quarterbacks to make a run to the Super Bowl?
Deshaun Watson is one of the most fun quarterbacks in the NFL last year. Then he tore his ACL, and everyone is wondering with bated breath to see if he comes back as the quarterback he is, or if he is going to come back as Robert Griffin III Part Two: Electric Boogaloo.
Is anyone even remotely sure that Marcus Mariota is a good quarterback? Cam Newton is the only QB who still has a starting job in the NFL who threw interceptions at a higher rate last season. Eli Manning had a higher QB rating, and Eli Manning is a functioning mannequin with a Tamagotchi for a brain.
Blake Bortles is the closest thing to consistency in this godforsaken division, and Jacksonville fans have been ready to fire him out of a cannon for the first competent quarterback they can find…or I mean, they would be if Jacksonville wasn’t filled with casually racist burnouts who can’t decide whether their favorite band is Jimmy Buffett or Saliva. Jacksonville exists to make sure Tom Hardy stays in business.
And poor, poor Andrew Luck. The team has been owned by a human Pez dispenser filled with Vicodin and coached by a guy who looks more comfortable being an exasperated Golden Corral manager. The coach is gone, but not before Luck’s arm was injected with gangrene then surgically attached by a doctor that makes Nick Riviera look like James Andrews.
What I’m saying is, in terms of football gambling advice: Don’t give the AFC South your money! The AFC South is just gonna spend it on cocaine and Chinese food and you will never see it again!
Houston Texans Football Gambling Advice
2017 Win Total: 4
2018 Under/Over: 8.5
Are the Texans probably gonna be a bounce back team this season? Probably? Are they the favorites to win the division? Possibly? Do they, when healthy, have some of the most exciting players in football with JJ Watt, Deshaun Watson, and Deandre Hopkins? Most definitely. Do they deserve any of it? NOPE. Why? Because the Texans are owned by Bob McNair, the NFL’s platonic ideal of an old school racist owner. This is a guy who you absolutely know used the term “colored” in private company. If The Onion created a fake NFL owner that represented everything that is wrong with the NFL, it would be a paint by numbers representation of the person McNair is.
For those who don’t remember, Mcnair is the owner who, when presented with a roundtable discussion over player protests, said that the NFL couldn’t let the “inmates run the prison.” He then apologized for it, but, emboldened by the fact that most of Texas is a desert that cultivates an idiot factor higher than the temperature itself, un-apologized. Large swaths of the Texans fan base applauded McNair for rescinding his apology in between getting heart disease and stomping on minority rights.
The team itself is good. It could be very good if Watson returns from his injury and JJ Watt gets his body Robocop’d. They also got Tyron Matthieu on a one year prove-it deal. The team wasn’t able to improve much through the draft because they traded their first round pick last year to move up for Deshaun Watson(SMART!) and traded their second round pick to get out from under Brock Osweiler’s contract(Y U SO STOOPID!).
There should be some living museum for bad football contracts. It’s like a living area that people can visit, like a zoo, where Osweiler, Scott Mitchell, Daunte Culpepper, Stan Humphries, and Jeff Hostetler’s awful mustache can hang out and discuss shaking down teams for contracts, eating habits after they got paid(looking in your direction, Culpepper), and make fun of Jeff George behind his back. Much like everywhere else, Jeff George isn’t welcome at the bad QB contract museum.
The Texans have the added perk of getting to play in the AFC South. The South is occupied by:
2018 Strength of Schedule: 32nd!!!!
My Football Gambling Advice Pick: Over
There is no reason that the Texans won’t go 4-2 in their division, meaning that they only have to go 5-5 in their non-division schedule. They get to play the Giants, Bills, Dolphins, Jets, and Browns!!! As long as Watson is healthy, this is at least a 9 win team. That said, god help this team if Watson gets hurt, because they obviously aren’t big on learning from their mistakes even though they cratered last year following the Watson injury. But here is Brandon Weeden to handle this team. All bets are off if that apple cheeked goon gets to start for the team.
Indianapolis Colts Football Gamblin Advice
2017 Win Total: 4
2018 Under/Over: 6.5
Look at this boner brigade! The coaching debacle they went through in the offseason is so perfectly Colts that it might as well have been written in a John Mellencamp song.
There’s a coach man with a coach hat
Coaching in a New England neighborhood
He’s got a Belichek running’ through his playbook
You know, he thinks, he’s got it so good
And there’s a team in the midwest cleaning’ up last years slop
And he looks at her and says:
“Hey Josh, would you like to make this your head coaching spot”
Oh but ain’t that America, for you and me
Ain’t that America, we’re something to see baby
Ain’t that America, home of the free, yeah
Josh spurned us, so we got Frank Reich baby
As noted already, Andrew Luck basically has a threadbare arm socket at this point. His arm might not actually exist. Has anyone actually seen Andrew Luck and Craig Krenzel’s arm in the same place at the same time?
To help complete their offensive woes, they are claiming to be setting out with a running back by committee, which always just works so so so so well. They are trying to recreate the Eagles’ backfield of last season. The problem was, the Eagles had a veteran touchdown machine in LaGarrette Blount, a game breaker in Jay Ajayi, and a shifty pass catcher in Corey Clement.
The Colts have….not those things. Everyone regrets drafting Marlon Mack in fantasy football at some point. Christine Michael and Robert Turbin couldn’t latch onto the perpetual taffy pull that was the Seahawks backfield, and their big hope is 4th round pick Nyheim Hines, who I might very well have made up and you can’t even tell the difference.
Their wide receiving staff consists of TY Hilton, the ghost of the guy Marvin Harrison killed, me, and Air Bud’s grandson.
The Colts defense managed to finish consistently miserably, finishing 30th in yards allowed, and 30th in points allowed. 26th in rushing yards per game. 28th in passing yards per game. Spoiler alert, this was not fixed appreciably enough for anyone to feel even remotely good that this team isn’t gonna give up a million points per game.
2018 Strength of Schedule: 22nd, but really irrelevant
My Football Gambling Advice Pick: Under
There is enough disaster inevitability with this team that there is no way to feel good about the Colts winning more than a handful of games this season. It actually feels like safe money to bet the under on this team, even with 16 “healthy” games out of Andrew Luck. Too many things would have to break in the right direction for even a .500 season out of the Colts. But, since the Colts have all the roster integrity of a Jim Irsay sobriety run, the odds are heavily in favor of the Colts drafting in the top 3 next year.
Jacksonville Jaguars Football Gambling Advice
2017 Win Total: 10
2018 Under/Over: 9
I know a lot of people talk about the Rams as the archetype for teams that can make a turnaround from season to season, but in reality, it’s the Jaguars that are the turnaround most in line with what happens in the NFL. Every year or two, a team is able to jump out of nowhere and make a playoff run. But the Jaguars managed to do it last year against a dog shit AFC before meeting their maker against the Death Star known as the Patriots. The game actually pissed me off more at the Patriots than the actual result, because by being on the field, I was forced to root for the Jaguars. Do you think I want to root for that post modern dumpster fire of a town? It’s like an entire strip club from the mid 90’s built an entire town. It’s a city made from the song Tubthumping by Chumbawumba.
And that makes Blake Bortles the Closing Time of quarterbacks. Because up until the playoff game against the Steelers, the chuds that make up the Jaguars fanbase were ready to tell Bortles that “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” Seriously, they were ready to ride this guy on the town tied to the nearest cigarette boat until he went all Dan Marino for a couple weeks. Florida is just a black hole for quarterbacking. It’s like a sea of mediocrity. Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Blake Bortles. That is practically a Mt. Rushmore of 79 passer rating.
Every year, some dickbag will write a “think” football gambling advice piece about how all of these guys are actually good at football and it’s the numbers that lie. I can assure you that whoever writes this article every year is so firmly entrenched in his own ass that he doesn’t have time to actually watch these guys suck in football games. He’s too busy Human Centipeding himself.
Defensively, this team is still freaking stacked. Remember last year when the Bills traded the Jags Marcell Dareus for what ended up being a 5th round pick because they didn’t feel like paying him and then he went to the Jaguars and solidified the front 7 along with Calais Campbell? Yea, that’s why the Bills suck, in perpetuity.
The Jalen Ramsey bandwagon is traveling out of control down the tracks at 110 mph and will kill us all.
2018 Strength of Schedule: 25th
My Football Gambling Advice Pick: Over, and I hate myself for it
Honestly, this feels like Vegas nailed it pretty much right on the head. The Jaguars really do feel like a 9 win team. Let me rephrase that, the Jaguars with a mannequin at QB that has just enough electronic gears to receive the ball from the center, turn slightly, and hand the ball to Leonard Fournette 55 times a game feels like an 11 win team. Blake Bortles is gonna cost this team at least 2 wins this year, thus bringing us back to a push. But pushes are for pussies, so i’m gonna hedge that Ramsey is gonna murder at least one opposing quarterback this year(let it be Brady!!!) and swing a win back in their direction.
Tennessee Titans Football Gambling Advice
2017 Win Total: 9
2018 Under/Over: 8
The Tennessee Titans hype train has gone completely off the rails in the leadup to this season. Everyone is talking about how they needed to have their coach fired and that Mike Vrabel is going to be the guy that unlocks the energy of the offense and helps Marcus Mariota get to the next level of quarterbacks. The Titans bandwagon is drinking absinthe and smoking meth.
They will point to the fact that Matt LaFleur, who was with the Rams last year, is the new offensive coordinator and that he will do the same thing for the Titans he did for the Rams, completely glossing over the fact that everything that was put in place for the Rams was done so by new head coach Sean McVay.
They will point to the fact that Mariota was the number one ranked quarterback in play action passing. The Titans ran the fewest play action passes in the NFL last year, so if they run the play action more, Mariota will have a great season. They casually leave out the fact that the reason he was so good in play action was because that they did it so rarely in the first place, that they were actually catching defenses off-balance, and that going it 35 times a game tends to take some of the magic out of the play and defenses are more likely to simply game plan for it.
They will point to the fact that they brought in former Patriots Dion Lewis and Malcolm Butler during free agency. Because, and everyone say it with me, NOTHING EVER GOES WRONG WHEN YOU BRING IN A GUY WHO THE PATRIOTS DEEMED EXPENDABLE,
The team has already lost a safety to a torn ACL and are probably three weeks away from Derrick Henry getting some kind of disease you can only find in that godless hellhole Alabama.
You would think i’m saying something hurtful about the Titans, but it doesn’t matter, because there are no Titans fans. Just drunk bachelorette parties who couldn’t get into the Grand Ol’ Opry and guys hoping they run into Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson or whoever is big in country music these days. Boz Skaggs? Half the time, the stadium is mostly fans of the other team. Downtown Nashville is too close to the stadium. People make a whole weekend out of it. Their schedules always look something like:
*Miscalculate how long the drive is, show up 2 hours late
*Come to the horrifying realization that they got a good value on a hotel because they got one on Church Pike Road and are not only NOT within walking distance of downtown, but have at least a decent chance of getting robbed during their stay.
*Claim you are gonna drink at Printers Row because it’s cooler and less touristy, but end up on Broadway anyway because you saw some cute girls who will never speak to you, so you follow your horrible drunken instincts and chase them.
*Puke on the side of Tequila Cowboys
*Back to Waffle House, horrified to find that you are banned for smearing your poop across the walls while blacked out.
*BYOB Strip Club because you always assumed that the girls who work the afternoon shift at a titty bar are more attainable.
*Broadway St. You buy a pair of cowboy boots even though your fat feet can’t properly fit in them and will have to be cut off you after your borderline diabetic body bloats from more alcohol.
*Realize you can’t walk because of wearing cowboy boots
*Try to drink off the feeling
*Go to tailgate, thinking you can just wander around taking food from everyone else.
*Get beat up, thrown in dumpster
*Make it into the stadium just in time to get to the bathroom during the national anthem.
*Lose interest in the game at halftime
*Return to the strip club, because the chubby but confident stripper from yesterday was giving you “the look.”
Nashville used to be a badass town, but now more or less exists as the Midwest version of Vegas for people who don’t know that it costs like 50 bucks to fly to Vegas.
2018 Strength of Schedule: 31st
My Football Gambling Advice Pick: Under
To say I do not believe in this team would be a mild understatement. I believe the offensive line is due for some regression, which means that the running game will be hurt, which means that Marcus Mariota will have to pass more, and Marcus Mariota shouldn’t be passing more. He threw a bunch of interceptions last year, and it can’t all be blamed on the prior coaching staff. He threw interceptions at the same percentage last year as Jay Cutler, and Cutler at least had the common sense to fuck off over to reality TV.
And if Mariota has time to throw, who the hell is he gonna throw to? Corey Davis had one good game last year and now people are ready to anoint him as the Nashville Jerry Rice. Rishard Matthews is still around to give your fantasy team two good games a year, and never on weeks when you actually start him. Dion Lewis is gonna have to line up at receiver for half the formations, and poor Delanie Walker is gonna get killed at some point on the field.
I’ve been pretty steadfast with my football gambling advice since the numbers first came out that the Titans are the team that is due for the biggest fall, non Bills division, of all 2017 playoff teams, and nothing about this offense has made me feel otherwise.
For more football gambling advice, check out these hilarious and informative articles: