Disclaimer: Welcome back to week 4 of The Degenerate’s Gambit! Before we get too far, I wanted to once again re-establish that these articles are for fun, and while I love writing them and gambling on football, if you or someone you know is addicted and needs help, please get help or get help for them. The national helpline number is 1-800-522-4700.
Woof. Week three was an absolute ass-beating for me in almost every imaginable way. Our bets went one for five, with the only hit being a thrashing from the Eagles on the hapless Washington Commanders. We were pretty close on our LSPOTW, but when it comes to the Lions, no lead is safe. Damn you, Kirk Cousins, damn you! Since I am a true believer in the Cousins Curse (no team defeated by Kirk Cousins in the regular season has gone on to play in the Super Bowl that year), we can cross the Pack and the Lions off as potential champs.
If there’s one positive thing to take away from the thrashing I took last week, it’s that the more data we have in play going forward, the better we get at finding exploitable numbers and cashing. So, let’s take a look at this week’s action and see if our research has found spots we should be attacking.
Minnesota (-2.5) vs New Orleans (-112)
As of this writing, there is uncertainty about who exactly is starting for New Orleans in London this Sunday. Bollocks. Whether Jameis Winston or Andy Dalton takes snaps for the Saints early on Sunday morning, I expect an ass beating so thoroughly dominant it changes history- we’re talking a repeat of the Battle of Hastings. Unlike 1066, Fanduel exists in 2022 so we’re gonna bet on it. Crazy how the Norman moneyline was +240, when you consider William of Normandy was the favorite to win it all, innit? Sorry for the British jokes, I’m just trying to not think about the fact that I’m betting on Kirk Cousins for a second straight week.
Cleveland vs. Atlanta OVER 47.5 (-114)
I think this is a sneaky track meet in the making. Both defenses hemorrhage production to the other team’s strengths. If player props were already listed, I’d be looking at Amari Cooper’s receiving yardage over, as well as the lines on receiving yardage for Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Brissett and Mariota should be in consideration for season-long and (more likely) DFS usage this week as well. I know betting on a Browns over is nuts, but the defenses here are held together by paperclips and duct tape that’s already been used once before.
Dallas (-3) vs. Washington (-108)
I am not a Cooper Rush believer. Hell, I’m not a believer in very much when it comes to Dallas, other than hilarious late-season collapses and a tendency towards morally questionable signings that become even more dubious in hindsight when it becomes clear those players never made Dallas a consistent playoff winner. Mike McCarthy must have blackmail on Jerry Jones to still have a job. It takes a special breed of incompetence for me to take Dallas over anyone right now, but I truly believe Washington has what it takes to be a bottom 5 team by the end of the season. Carson Wentz is up to his old tricks, the coaching staff hates Terry McLaurin AFTER paying him (88% snap share and a 16.7% target share), and the defense has been giving up chunk plays every week. Micah Parsons is going to be a monster this week, book it.
Kansas City Moneyline vs. Tampa Bay (-102)
I think this is the most reactionary line of the week, and it’s a play I’m glad to make. As of this writing, the line is Tampa Bay -1, but the moneyline odds are better so that’s the move. Tampa Bay’s offense is broken without multiple WR options for Brady, who looks a little more irritated and desperate in the pocket with no Rob Gronkowski. I expect Gronk will be back around the playoffs when his USAA insurance scam is discovered, but for now, Brady is stuck throwing to Russell Gage like Matt Ryan was in his darkest moments. Kansas City’s defense is getting better every week as some of the new pieces gel together, and I think Mahomes wants revenge for his Super Bowl defeat from a couple of years ago.
Long Shot Play of the Week: Seattle Moneyline vs. Detroit (+176)
This one broke my heart to type. I’m a Bears fan that loves the Lions; Detroit has a team that’s so unbelievably easy to root for that putting units down on Pete Carroll (and by extension his lobster-loving/transphobic friend Jordan Peterson) feels dirty. Almost like, 9/11 conspiracy theorist levels of dirty. However, there has to be a limit to this upward momentum in Detroit, right? Last week’s last-minute loss was especially deflating, and while it seems like they could be a sneaky wildcard pick if things break right, their inability to stop the run to any consistent level feels like it works perfectly for Carroll’s offensive game plan, which reads more like a Q Drop than a series of alignments and plays that could help a football team win a game. My prediction is that Alex Jones puts chemicals in the water that turns Jared Goff impotent, and the game is determined by a blown pass interference call late in the 4th quarter. Call it a false flag operation.