Welcome back to The Degenerates Gambit! Once again, please remember 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.
It’s really hard to believe that by the end of this week’s games, we will be a third of the way through the season. Truly a time for us to sit back and think about the passage of time in a deep, existentialist way: why are we here? Will Marvin Mims get a decent snap share, or is he stuck in a No Exit style cycle of eternal punishment? Would the Broncos be better if Sean Payton awoke one morning from uneasy dreams to find himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect?
We went 2-2 last week. Lovecraft couldn’t have written a more drab gameplan than Frank Reich, but then again both Lovecraft stories and the Panthers passing attack tend to fetishize slow, old white men, so I shouldn’t be surprised. Let’s get to the picks!
New England Patriots/Las Vegas Raiders UNDER 41.5 (-115)
New England just looks completely lost on offense, while at the same time, any Josh McDaniels team has the ability to just fall apart at the drop of a hat. While Bill Belichick has had his hands full, he knows the McDaniels scheme from their time together, and we both know Josh hasn’t changed anything in years. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jakobi Meyers was a secret double agent and returned the favor by throwing a backward pass for the Patriots to return for a touchdown, but I don’t think it’ll matter. Take the under!
Philadelphia Eagles -6.5 (-110)
Philly is a team with a weakness: the defensive backfield. They can stop the run (even with Jalen Carter out), but the Jets struggle to push the ball downfield with any consistency (and a banged-up offensive line). The Jets’ defense has been incredibly successful at limiting opponents’ passing attacks, but the Eagles have been running incredibly effectively. Last week was a close game, but Zach Wilson isn’t Sam Howell, and oh boy is that a low bar to clear. The Eagles should win this one handily.
Minnesota Vikings -3 (-110)
The over in this one is tempting, but I’m staying away for a myriad of reasons, mainly the Bears and Vikings having the ability to completely collapse offensively for long periods of time. Let’s focus instead on how future trade bait Kirk Cousins absolutely shreds the Bears’ soft zone defense. Last year when they played, he threw 61 passes, completing 49 of them. Justin Jefferson or not, when a QB can just sit in the pocket and pick apart DBs that are 9 yards off the line of scrimmage, things don’t look good. The Bears have no healthy running backs to help keep the defense off the field, so I’m taking Minnesota to win by more than a field goal.
Long Shot Play of the Week: Seattle Moneyline (+128)
Vegas really seems to think the Bengals figured it all out last week, huh? From cellar dwellers to home favorites against a team that really has been playing well since an Opening Day defeat, I think Seattle is in a spot here to upset whatever is left of this Bengals team. If the Seahawks can force the Bengals into a one-dimensional gameplan, this game is theirs. Joe Mixon hasn’t done anything, and while I think Chase erupts again this week, Seattle goes from the West Coast to the Midwest and picks up a win here.
Last Week: 2-2
Season Total: 13-7 (1-4 on Long Shot Plays)