Bleed the Bookie Week 12
Mike McKittrick (@McKittrickM)
Week 11 is in the books, and there's a lot of big storylines going on in the NFL right now. Lamar Jackson vs. Russell Wilson for MVP. Just how good are the 49ers? And will the Bengals go winless this season? However, the biggest storyline could have been how much money you made off the bookie this past weekend if you followed my advice.
Patriots -4 (-110) for 2 units (win)
Jets ML (+118) for a unit (win)
Chiefs -4 (-110) for a unit (win)
**To be determined** Michael Thomas to finish the season with the most receiving yards (+100) for 4 units
On the week: 3-0, +4.2 units
On the season: 4-3, +3 units
We had a pretty nice weekend, all things considered. Not only did we go 3-0 in our picks, but there was never a real point in any of these games where I thought the picks wouldn't cover, especially not the second half. The Jets looked dominant (for the first and last time this season), the Patriots defense proved why they're tops in the NFL in points allowed per game, and Patrick Mahomes looked like himself in the second half of that MNF win.
The People's MVP: there are some good options here, but I'm going with New England's defense. A far cry from the Super Bowl shootout the last time these two met. This time, the defense was the name of the game, and New England didn't allow a point in the last 42 minutes of the game. This included a big stop while the Eagles were driving late in the 4th quarter to tie the game. As a Giants fan, we know a thing or two about defenses winning championships, and this defense showed up to play and is a driving force behind the team's 9-1 record.
The Bookie's Bailout: although we didn't bet this game, talk about a bailout for the bookie in San Francisco. A defensive touchdown as time expires to push in a game where Arizona looked poised to cover all night. That hurt somebody's heart.
After having the week off to lick their wounds, the New York Giants travel to Chicago to face the Bears in an effort to rebound from two weeks ago. The Bears are coming off of a low-scoring affair against the Los Angeles Rams, losing 17-7. There's almost too many question marks around this Bears offense. They have their own identity crisis, as Mitch Trubisky isn't emerging as the guy they thought he would be when trading up to draft him second overall a few years back. The Bears run offense is averaging under 80 yards a game, and there hasn't been a true standout talent on the offensive side of the ball. The defense, however, is your typical Bears defense. Top 10 in pass, rush, and total yards allowed, and top 5 in points allowed. This defense shows up week in and week out
The good news is, the Giants had two weeks to gameplan for the Bears. The bad news is, we haven't seen Shurmur gameplan all that well. However, Shurmur has seen a lot of Chicago from his time in Minnesota, and is likely coaching for his job right now. He needs to make use of an excellent opportunity here to prove he can right the ship, even if that means just giving the team a glimmer of hope that the future is bright.
Now let's get into why we're here, the bets. Chicago opens the game as a 6.5 point favorite (-105) and -270 on the ML. While the Giants were (-115) getting 6.5 points and +230 on the ML. However, at the time of this article, the line is moving in favor of the Giants, as they're now +6 and +210 ML while the bears are -6 and -230 ML. Now, Soldier Field is one harsh atmosphere to play in. When the Bears get going, it's like a train going downhill. However, they can't count on Trubisky all game, especially not playing at 100% having a hip pointer. If Trubisky plays, which I expect him to, they'll need to run the ball effectively. They'll need guys like Allen Robinson to step up even more in the receiving game, and I think he'll have a respectable game. The key for the Giants is to play smart football. Control the time of possession and take your points where you can against a tough defense. The main question mark surrounding the Giants is which Saquon Barkley shows up? He's had two weeks to rest and was not on the injury report to start the week. I think Barkley will need to be a guy that can chew up clock and steal them yards when needed. Do I think the Giants win this football game? No. Do I think they cover if they limit mistakes? Yes. Giants +6
I mentioned Allen Robinson earlier, and for good reason. The guy can still play. He may have bounced around a couple teams over the last few years, but still has talent. He's only been held under five catches on three occasions this season. Take Allen Robinson for o4.5 catches at -140.
The Look Around the League:
I don't want to say the bookmakers confuse me... but the bookmakers confuse me. A team like Seattle, who just had a week off to come back to Earth from an emotional win in San Francisco, are underdogs against a Philly team that has a 1-3 record against its last 4 opponent's above .500? Yes, they played well against New England. But that game and team takes a lot out of you. Meanwhile, the Seahawks spent the week getting healthy. Both teams need this game to stay in the playoff race, but it's tough to think Philly wins this game. Seahawks -102 ML, lock it in.
Don't look now, but the Tennessee Titans actually have something to play for. Winners of 3 of their last 4, and only a game out of a wild card spot in a weak AFC conference, Tennessee has been playing good football as of late. They have had an extra week to gameplan and are at home as only 3 point favorites against Jacksonville. If Tennessee gets disciplined, watch out for them to potentially sneak into the playoffs as a 6 seed, or even win the division. A win on Sunday puts them a game out of the division lead. I'm a firm believer in "one moment can change the direction of your season," and that moment may have been a two minute drill against Kansas City to win the game. Tannehill looks good, Derrick Henry looks like the guy he was in Alabama, I look like I'm betting on Tennessee -3.5
My pick recap:
Giants +6 (-115) for one unit
Allen Robinson o4.5 receptions (-140) for one unit
Seattle ML (-102) for two units
Tennessee -3.5 (-110) for one unit
(All lines and movements as given by Fanduel Sportsbook as of 3pm EST. Lines and prices are subject to change at the discretion of the sportsbook)