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.
We’re here early this week, as I’m trying to get all my writing, podcasting, and picks in before MY WEDDING on Saturday. The powers behind Big Wedding have conspired to have my nuptials in the first week of the fantasy playoffs, so while I’ll be tying the knot with the love of my life, it’s also a great excuse to not have to sit through the Bengals and Vikings fumble their way around lost seasons. Truly a galaxy-brain decision on my fiancee’s part.
Selflessly, I’ve decided that I’m giving you a wedding gift for being a loyal degenerate: 4 banger picks for this weekend’s upcoming games.
Indianapolis Colts -1.5
The Colts rank incredibly high on Walker Kelly’s patented “Chaosmeter.” I’m not sure of the statistical implications, but I do know that it’s incredibly easy to beat any team with Mitchell Trubisky under center. George Pickens is having a Stevie Johnson-level existential crisis every time he runs a route, the team is still determined to run Najee into dust, and they can’t stop opposing offenses. A big Michael Pittman week awaits us, and the Colts walk away with a win.
Atlanta Falcons -3
Carolina is a bad football team, who could’ve seen that one coming? At the same time, Arthur Smith is learning that maybe leading with a scheme that gets his best players the ball is worth running. Atlanta runs zone the most in the league, and Carolina gives up the second most yards to zone runs. Atlanta is a top 3 offense in red zone rush rate, and Carolina gives up the most rushes inside the 5 this season. Smash the Falcons -3, and take as many Bijan overs as you possibly can.
Baltimore Ravens -3
Baltimore should be the number-one seed in a fraudulent AFC this year when all is said and done. With that in mind, they tend to play down to the quality of their opponents. I think this can bite them in the ass and cost them that top seed, but I don’t think that letdown happens in this game. Jacksonville is far from a complete team, and Trevor Lawrence at full health covers up a lot of shitty Press Taylor schematic issues. That said, TLaw isn’t at full health and the Ravens defense is going to turn up the pressure. Baltimore should win this game handily.
Long Shot Play of the Week: Chicago Bears Moneyline
It’s my wedding weekend and I can bet on the Bears if I want to, so I will. The Joe Flacco story is truly one to behold, but at the same time this Browns defense is getting absolutely rocked with injuries and I believe in the Justin Fields/DJ Moore connection against the man coverage scheme that Cleveland utilizes extensively (the numbers agree with me). Injuries on the Bears defensive line are also not ideal, but the addition of Montez Sweat has completely turned this defense around. Joe Flacco should be under pressure all game, and the secondary has the ability to smother Amari Cooper. I’m taking the Bears on the road, and hoping the win streak extends to 3.
Last Week: 1-2-1
Year to Date: 30-25-1 (3-11 Long Shot Plays)