2018 Blazing Five (Week 8)
3-2 last week on the B5, still wandering around .500 in this contest. Killing it on top bets, but losing on lesser confident B5’s. If I can get a 4-1 or 5-0 week, I can get back into the hunt here. I don’t love this week’s games to do it, but I do like (not love) my first two/best two picks.
Blazing Five Through Week 7:
20-13-2 = Katz
20-12-3 = Savage
20-14-1 = Colin Cowherd
18-16-1 = Skolman
16-17-2 = RC
14-19-2 = Rabbitt
*10-5-0 when 3 or more in group agree on a B5…
DEN at KC (-9.5)
The Computer Says: KC by 24.5 (15.0 point spread differential)
As I suspected, as I thought in this week’s video Q&A…this line would drop under 10.0 and now I really like it. Not as much as last week’s KC-Cincy game, but I’ll play this one a bit. Denver has no real‘quality’ wins and I still don’t think the Chiefs are getting enough Vegas credit for how devastating they are. They can cover 10 points no problem. Every home win they have this season is by 11+.
IND (-3.0) at OAK
The Computer Says: IND by 13.5 (10.5 point spread differential)
I wish the Texans would have lost TNF to make this game more urgent for the Colts, but now it’s a different kind of urgent – a ‘must win’ to stay alive in the winnable for them AFC South. Jon Gruden has lost the Raiders soul, they’re prime to ‘quit’ on him now…I like the energy for the Colts and energy against the Raiders here.
NYJ at CHI (-8.0)
The Computer Says: CHI by 14.3 (6.3 point spread differential)
The weather could be a factor, the scenario keeps changing –and if the weather is not rainy/wet…the Bears should put 27-30+ on the Jets,and I don’t think the Jets with all their offensive injuries can keep pace within 8. I don’t love this game because of the ever changing lake effect weather. Just a B5 pick, nothing more really.
SF at ARI (+1)
The Computer Says: ARI by 4.7 (5.7 point spread differential)
Byron Leftwich has spoken his first words on what to expect from him…no detail, just saying the ‘right’ things about DJ (in general). This could be a Cardinals blowout of SF.
CLE at PIT (-8.0)
The Computer Says: PIT by 14.0 (6.0 point spread differential)
Everything about this game points to the Steelers, except Baker Mayfield can be a miracle worker…but even he cannot easily overcome a bad O-Line, terrible coaching, sloppy WRs, and home field for Pitt. The Browns have played down in most games…always on the wrong end of every fumble, tipped pass,dropped pass, etc. They have no room for error at Pittsburgh. This is a B5 pick, not one I would bet. Weather might be an issue here too.
Big week as I try to break free of the .500 mark and if the Nor’Easter doesn’t compromise my flight tomorrow I’ll be in Vegas for Sunday NFL!
JAX +3...The best QB in the league is not Aaron Rodgers...it’s London Bortles. Jaguars had a players only meeting...hoping they follow that with their usual big European effort.
DEN +10...There is no good reason to bet against these Chiefs...this is just old fashioned taking a division dog of double digits. For the record this would be the most rewarding game to cover but also the most annoying to lose.
ARI +1...All of the love in this terrible game seems to be with the Niners. I get that the Cardinals won the last matchup with 5 turnovers but I don’t think that automatically puts me on the other side here. I’ll take the home team with the worse coach and their best defensive player wanting out...what could go wrong?
GB +9.5...I don’t love the Packers D but the 2nd best QB in the league getting +9.5 is too much to pass up for me.
NO +1...I really like the Saints here, don’t love that they are being steamed up to -1.5 in real life. Revenge is grabbing the headlines, and I think that is relevant, but it’s the incredible number of significant injuries to the Vikings that would make beating the Saints a tall order.
Cardinals +1 - Every week I look for opportunities to bet on a team that has the better QB and the better defense, without laying too many points. Despite what happened on TNF 10 days ago, I think Arizona qualifies. They've had 10 days to prepare after being embarrassed in primetime, and new O-C Byron Leftwich can only help matters.
Steelers -8 - The defenses in this game are trending in opposite directions since early in the year, when the Browns were borderline dominant and the Steelers couldn't stop anyone. The Browns have shown a lack of creativity on offense and an inability to protect the QB the last few weeks, so I think the Steelers pass rush will be effective here. Hue Jackson threw Todd Haley under the bus after last week's loss and took over playcalling. If there's any justice in this world, the offense will sputter again and Hue will finally get the ax.
Giants pk - This is not a bet on the Giants as much as it is a bet against the Redskins and the public. Washington is 4-2 but has only played two road games so far, and one of those was essentially a free win in week 1 against Arizona. They've been somewhat fortunate to win the last two weeks, and I don't think they'll get a 3rd in a row. The Giants motivation is a concern, but I'm going to assume they're motivated for a divisional matchup.
Seahawks +3 - It doesn't feel great to take Seattle, but this is another situation where you can get the better QB, the better defense, and points. Seattle off the bye, Detroit potentially looking ahead to back-to-back road games with the Vikings and Bears. I think this will be close, with Seattle possibly stealing a win.
Vikings pk - The Vikings have played sloppy for the last few weeks, but keep finding ways to win and seem to be getting better every week. The Saints revenge angle is an obvious storyline, but I think the Vikings will be motivated to prove that they can beat the Saints without any divine intervention.
DET -3.0 best bet
I saw a really cool stat the other day. As we should be well aware of by now, teams should run the ball on 2nd and 10 roughly 0% of the time. The Seahawks run the ball on 2nd and 10 following a first down incompletion a whopping 85% of the time. Their success rate on those plays is 18%. Seattle is actively doing the exact opposite of what teams are supposed to. They are horribly coached to the point where the talent on the team doesn't matter. Detroit wins this game easily.
In Lord Byron we trust! I am drinking the kool aid. David Johnson is going to see 10 targets. The offense is going to open up. Also, what has San Francisco done to warrant being favored on the road over anyone?
Also buying the revenge game narrative. Drew Brees is playing like it's 2009. He hasn't thrown a pick yet. The Vikings are also quite overrated. Brees will be comfortable in the dome. And let's be honest, the Saints won that playoff game.
This is such a trap spot and I'm falling right into it. I just have to jump at any opportunity to bet against Jon Gruden. The Raiders are so clearly tanking. They just traded away Amari Cooper. Derek Carr is one of the worst QBs in the league and, if not for Sam Darnold, would be a favorite to lead the league in picks. He will be throwing to 33 year old Jordy Nelson and...gulp...Martavis Bryant. The Colts are sneaky good as "THE COMPUTER" says. Sign me up.
I can't quit the Giants. You would think I actually like this team. The Redskins are coming off a huge divisional win, while the Giants are coming off a narrow defeat. Giants are now at home. Great double narrative spot here for the Redskins to have a let down while the Giants pick up a rare win.