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.
I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes: we did watch football during my wedding. In fact, as I was giving my vows, I dedicated them to Michael Pittman, who heroically laid out to make a catch and got rocked. I hope to be as willing to sacrifice my health and safety for my loved ones in the future, but let’s not bank on that. I’m much more of a “live to fight another day” type of dude, and I know my wife loves my cost/benefit analysis mindset. It’s why I make for a piss poor bettor, and why I suck at being spontaneous. Anyways, enough about me. Let’s ball.
Detroit Lions -3 (-104)
Many bones have been made about late season Jared Goff on the road, but in a dome Goff is still lights out. Minnesota’s defense has made great strides from a statistical output over the past 10 weeks, but games against backup QBs in 5 of those doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence in those numbers. I think there’s a chance this game goes into a full on shootout, but regardless of game script, I think this one is a Lions win by more than a field goal. Take the Lions and the points.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3 (-104)
Full disclosure: in my league of record, I lost Justin Herbert and had Kyler as my fill in. This week, however, I’m rolling with Baker Mayfield to help take me to the championship; needless to say I’m a little biased. The Jacksonville pass defense is atrocious (285 pass yards per game allowed since week 12), and Trevor Lawrence is (as of this writing) not going to suit up due to a concussion. There’s a chance that this Bucs team that everyone considered a top suitor for the first overall pick way back in August is going to have multiple league winners on it. Ain’t football crazy
Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 (-120)
Jake Browning… legit? He’s come in and staved off the predicted downfall of the Cincinnati offense, while the defense isn’t giving them much help at the same time. Browning’s ascendency has also boosted the production of Tee Higgins (an average of 4.4/70/0.4 over the last five games). Cincy can’t stop the run, but the Steelers offense is on their 3rd quarterback of the year, and they can’t move the ball with any of them.
Long Shot Play of the Week: New England Patriots Moneyline (+270)
I’m picking this as a fan of chaos. New England’s defense has been quietly strong when it comes to limiting explosive plays through the air and on the ground. Denver’s defense can’t tackle to save their lives (105 missed tackles against running backs this year, which leads the league), and their weaknesses on defense actually play to the Patriots’ strengths (the running game and the tight ends). I love to rip on Sean Payton, and a Denver loss here is not only objectively hilarious, but would harm the first potential pick slot for next year. I believe Bill Belichick is the type of dude to get his team fired up to screw over the next guy, and I’m here for it.