NFL: This Weekend's Best Bets
Last weekend was an amazing bounce back weekend for me.
After back to back 2-4 stinkers, the doubters began creeping out of the woodwork again. Actually, to say they crept out of the woodwork would imply they were hiding and then being somewhat subtle about their lack of faith in my prognosticating skills.
It was actually the opposite of that.
They've been pretty much taunting me all season long, reminding me that I barely cracked the 40 percent mark last season, and telling me about the wings they added to their respective homes by going against me from October on last year. There was even a hashtag of #FadeSean making the rounds on Twitter.
So how did I respond? Like a goddamn CHAMP, that's how! 5-1, bitches! FIVE AND ONE. And there's a whole lot more where that came from. I could go on and on about how proud I am, but I'm going to let high school football star and future inspirational speaker Apollos Hester speak for me...
(NOTE: Just replace any reference to the actual playing of football with references to wagering on football, and this video expresses exactly how I felt on Monday.)
That kid has a future, either inspiring youngsters to chase their dreams or as an overly goody goody WWE heel, like an African American football-playing version of Bo Dallas...
Now it's time for six more winners! And, all you got to do...is APOLL-IEVE!!
LOUISVILLE -21 over Wake Forest It's hard to believe there was a time, not all that long ago, that Wake Forest was a spunky ACC stalwart, the proverbial try-hard squad who could beat anybody on any given day. Now, they're the worst rushing team in FBS (42 yards per game) and the 112th team in scoring in FBS against a schedule that goes like this -- UL-Monroe, Gardner-Webb, Utah State, and Army. They're also 5-14 ATS in their last 19 road games. Louisville, on the other hand, is 3-1 on the season and set to attack the ACC portion of the schedule in their first season as a conference member, having gone 21-4 ATS in their last 25 games against opponents from the ACC. Oh, also Bobby Petrino is a ruthless bastard. He's the Cardinals head coach now.
Duke +7 over MIAMI If you root for a particular college football team, and that team is perennially pretty good, then this selection should serve as a reminder that nothing is forever. There was a time not all that long ago that you would have been drug tested for taking Duke getting single digits in Miami. Now, it's the smart play. Duke is 6-2 ATS in its last eight road games, they're an offensive juggernaut (43.5 points per game), and Miami is a shaky at home (1-4 ATS in last five home games). I hate Duke basketball, but I don't feel dirty betting on Duke football. There are lots of families where you despise one sibling, but think the other is pretty cool. That's Duke.
Arkansas +9.5 over Texas A&M (in Dallas) I'm probably going all contrarian against myself here, because I think Texas A&M might be the best team in the country, but I also think we've learned a lot about Arkansas in the first month of the season. After finishing the 2013 season as a laughing stick, the seeds of Bret Bielema's power running game seem to be taking root in Fayetteville, as we saw in their 49-28 win over Texas Tech a couple weeks ago. Also, don't sleep on their 52-14 win over Northern Illinois last weekend either. Arkansas has seen two different spread offenses this season (Auburn in the opener, Tech two weeks ago), and they have the potential against A&M's defense to possess the ball, churn clock, and keep Kenny Hill on the sidelines. I think A&M wins, but I'll gladly take two scores here.
Raiders +4 over Dolphins (in London) How bad is Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin? Well, he publicly has his quarterback calling him out for mishandling the quarterback situation, Philbin having unnecessarily gone ambiguous on who his starter will be when everyone knows it's going to be Tannehill. Seriously, I'm all for healthy competition, but that charade served literally no purpose. No chance anyone but Tannehill was starting in Week 4, after a transatlantic flight to London cutting down prep time and Matt Moore as the backup. I guess there's no greater commentary about Philbin I can make than backing the Raiders, and not even feeling all that worried about it. That might be the worst insult you can slap on a head coach -- you make me comfortable taking the Raiders!
Jaguars +13.5 over CHARGERS Did I just take the two worst teams in football this weekend, Oakland and Jacksonville? I believe I did! Yes, the Jags have been outscored 109-27 since jumping out to a 17-0 lead over Philadelphia in the opener. Yes, their quarterback is a rookie making his first start. And yes, this looks eerily like a crappier version of the Jags from last September. Wait....why am I taking the Jags again? Oh yeah...I like Blake Bortles in his first start as a "sugar high injection" play, and I just don't believe the Chargers are a dominant enough team to lay double figures against anybody yet. That's why. (I just took three shots of whiskey after typing that.)
Saints/COWBOYS OVER 53.5 The Saints are in the top six in the league in both rushing and passing, so I have no doubt they will hang at least 30 on a Cowboys defense that saw Mo Claiborne walk out of practice this week because he was benched. So yeah, at least 30 points. If Claiborne returns? Well, then at least 35! As for the Cowboys, they're going up against their former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, whose Saints defense is 29th in the league against the pass. Too much stupid going on with both of these teams to have to pick a side, I'd rather just assume that both defenses will suck, and be able to turn the game off around 9:30, if I have to.
Last week: 5-1 Season total: 13-11