Degen Show (1/3/22)
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Max’s Sports Bet Picks for 1/3/22
Max’s Week 17 Touchdown
Point 1: The Kings of the North
The Cincinnati Bengals are the AFC North champions.
As Andy Dalton limp dicked his way to a win in Chicago over a hapless Giants team, his former squad came from behind to beat the Chiefs 34-31 – securing the AFC North for the first time since 2015.
The Bengals have not won an actual playoff game in over 30 years but this is the first time they have a truly special QB. Joe Burrow followed up last week’s amazing performance by throwing for 446 yards, 4 TDs and no INTs.
Ja’Marr Chase has 3 of those TDs and 266 of those yards as the Bengals moved the ball with ease after solving Spags’ gameplan in the second quarter.
In the loss, the Chiefs lost the top AFC seed to the Titans – who crushed the Dolphins 34-3. If the Chiefs beat the Broncos next week they have a shot to regain the top seed.
If the Titans lose to the Texans.
So yeah, get ready to gameplan for the first round Coach Reid.
Point 2: Though we don’t know who that will be just yet
Five spots have been claimed in the AFC. As mentioned, Tennessee, KC and Cincinnati have spots. Added to the mix now ae the Bills – who beat the Falcons by 14, not 14.5 – and the Patriots, who dropped a half dollar on the Jaguars.
The two remaining spots will be up for grabs to the Colts, Chargers, Raiders and shockingly, the Ravens.
While Miami was eliminated with their loss, the Ravens – also 8-8 – can still make it in with a win and a bunch of losses.
The Ravens started the season 8-3 and looked like a lock to make the playoffs. Five consecutive losses – including four by a combined 5 points – have Baltimore grasping at straws to make it in as the 7th seed.
The Raiders helped their cause by beating the Colts on a game-winning field goal. But don’t cry for Indy just yet as they get the Jags to close out the season next week.
The Chargers whooped up on the Broncos – improving to 9-7. But a loss next week to the Raiders would knock them out and send Las Vegas in.
So yeah, next week will be fun in the AFC for sure.
Point 3: The NFC still has a little fun left
The Packers secured the top seed by dominating the Kirk Cousin-less Vikings. Maybe Minnesota doesn’t lose by 27 if Kirk is out there.
Probably more like 20.
The Eagles ended up with a playoff spot once the Vikings lost. Philly took care of business by coming from behind and beating the Football Collective.
That means only 1 spot remains as the Niners beat the Texans and the Saints beat the Panthers yesterday.
Rookie Trey Lance looked pretty good out there standing in for the injured Jimmy G. But 249 yards and 2 TDs against the Texans really doesn’t tell too much of a QB’s future.
For the Saints, I mean, their defense looked pretty good.
Essentially, the playoffs start early for these two teams. The Niners can clinch with a win. The Saints get in if they win and the Niners lose.
The Saints have the easier route as they play the Falcons next week. The Niners get the Rams – who will still be fighting for the NFC West title.
Point 4: Because Kyler Murray is 8-0 at the AT&T Center
And he could get a chance at being 9-0 if the Cardinals don’t win the West. That’s because Dallas would end up hosting the Cardinals in the first round.
Both QBs performed really well in this game but the Cardinals defense shutdown the Dallas running game. Add in a missed fumble call at the end, a successful fake punt and some other wackiness and you have yourself a typical Cardinals football game.
Dallas can afford to have a bye week next week should they want. They already have the NFC East clinched and with the top seed out of the picture, there is no need to push the starters next week.
The Cardinals can try to win the West by facing Seattle. But they might be better served staying on the road where they improved to 8-1.
Point 5: So Long Seattle?
Could that have been the last time that Russell Wilson and Pete Carroll worked together in front of the home crowd in Seattle?
Wilson appeared to make that seem so as he stayed on the field longer than any player, waving to fans and signing autographs.
Wilson had himself a very good day – throwing for 236 yards and 4 TDs. Rashaad Penny had a career day rushing for a career high 170 yards as the Seahawks beat the Lions 51-29.
It was a meaningless game for both teams in regards to playoff hopes but maybe more meaningful if it was indeed Wilson’s last stand. It was certainly a hell of an audition for the Giants or maybe the Saints.
Point 6: Let’s talk about those Giants
Man they suck. I thought “surely they can keep it close with the shitty ass Bears with stupid fucking Andy Dalton as their QB.” But nope!
The Giants suck even worse – losing 29-3 and producing 24 yards in the air. Technically -10 yards passing once you factor in the -34 yards lost from 2 sacks.
This Giants team is going to go nuclear in the offseason. Joe Judge is another failed Patriots head coach but I can’t fully blame him.
Dave Gettleman has said from day 1 that the offensive line needs to be addressed. And each season he does a bunch of other stuff first and then tries to patchwork an o-line with whatever cap space and scraps he has left.
Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley will never be successful if they have to play behind that o-line. Perhaps they will never be successful in this league.
But I have seen enough glimmers of hope from both of them that seems to indicate that when healthy, and with a good o-line, and with a coach who isn’t a complete fucking tool, then maybe they can make it in the NFL.
Extra Point: Mr. Brown is out of Town
Losing to the Jets can be stressful. Just as Antonio Brown. His Bucs were down 24-10 to the lowly Jets and he just wasn’t feeling the game anymore.
So Coach Arians asked him to leave. And leave he did.
He took off his pads and jersey, waved goodbye to the crowd and disappeared into the tunnel.
It reminds me of the first time Charles Manson was up for parole. They asked the famous serial killer, “What would you do if you got out?”
He replied, “I go poof.”
And just like that, AB went poof.
Now, listen. We can’t sit back here and act shocked. His past few years have shown us that nothing is a surprise.
But it looked like his heart was in the game last season. Maybe winning the Super Bowl was all he had left mentally in the tank.
Physically, he still could produce when he wanted to. But without the focus and without whatever strands of fragile mental capacity he has left to tie himself to the game – physical capabilities are worthless.
I really doubt another team gives him a shot. So his last time on the field was shirtless and waving bye to the crowd.
Seems like how AB would have wanted to go out.
And that is Max’s Week 17 touchdown.
Monday Night Football
Cleveland (2) vs. Pittsburgh (-2)
Spread: Bet $50 Cleveland
Total: Lean Under 42.5
Predicted Score: Cleveland 22 – Pittsburgh 19 (41)
Notes: Big Ben has come out and said this might be his last game at Heinz Field. His 18th season has been a bit of a rollercoaster – mostly steep declines – but some upward moments as well.
Shockingly, the Steelers still have a chance to make the playoffs. The Browns will look to end those hopes tonight.
Baker Mayfield is coming off a 4 INT performance that caused a bunch of Browns fans to declare that Baker time is over in Cleveland. Maybe they are right that he’s done in Cleveland. I’m just not sure if they are right that he’s done as a QB in this league.
When healthy, Baker has shown enough promise to get another chance. No, he’s not a star QB in this league and no, he’s not playing at the level indicative of being the top drafted QB.
I mean, how do you compete against such as Trevor Lawrence, Jared Goff and Jameis Winston?
Of course I am being cheeky here. The first picks also produced Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, and Andrew Luck in recent years.
And Baker is somewhere in between those two extreme groups. Definitely more towards the Lawrence/Goff/Jameis group – but with enough big moments that you can see the potential that the Browns saw in him.
For this game, you would expect the Browns to protect Baker and just hand the ball off to Nick Chubb. I’d do the opposite. Protect Chubb for the remainder of this pointless season and tell Baker to win some games.
If he steps up and does it, maybe you don’t jettison him. If he dies? Then he dies.
I think he can get the win today and end the small chance of the Steelers making the playoffs.
They don’t deserve to be there and it would be fitting for the Browns – who Big Ben has tormented for 18 fucking years – to be the team to do it.
$50 bet on the Browns.
MEM (7.5) at BKN (-7.5)
Pick: Bet $10 MEM ML
Total: 228 (Lean Under – 218)
Predicted Score: MEM 111 – BKN 107
Notes: Fairly unbettable NBA day for me today. The only game I could find implied probability value on was the Grizzlies upsetting the Nets.
Which, I know, seems crazy on the surface. Brooklyn has Durant back and Harden is playing better basketball than he was earlier in the season.
But Memphis has been a pretty damn good road team this season and they are riding a 4-game winning streak.
The Nets have lost 2 in row and while it seems unlikely it gets to 3 – I need to play the odds here and chase a bigger payout.
$10 moneyline bet on the Grizzlies.
HOU (13) at PHI (-13)
Pick: Lean HOU
Total: 221 (Lean Under – 217)
Predicted Score: HOU 105 – PHI 112
CHA (2) at WAS (-2)
Pick: Lean WAS
Total: 229 (Lean Under – 223)
Predicted Score: CHA 110 – WAS 113
ORL (13) at CHI (-13)
Pick: Lean ORL
Total: 223 (Lean Under – 221)
Predicted Score: ORL 107 – CHI 114
DET (16) at MIL (-16)
Pick: Lean DET
Total: 226 (Lean Under – 225)
Predicted Score: DET 108 – MIL 117
UTA (-11) at NOP (11)
Pick: Lean NOP
Total: 226.5 (Lean Under – 220)
Predicted Score: UTA 111 – NOP 109
DEN (3.5) at DAL (-3.5)
Pick: Lean DEN
Total: 213 (Lean Under – 207)
Predicted Score: DEN 103 – DAL 104
MIA (8.5) at GSW (-8.5)
Pick: Lean MIA
Total: 219 (Lean Under – 211)
Predicted Score: MIA 105 – GSW 106
ATL (-5) at POR (5)
Pick: Lean ATL
Total: 226 (Lean Under – 225)
Predicted Score: ATL 115 – POR 110
MIN (2.5) at LAC (-2.5)
Pick: Lean MIN
Total: 219 (Lean Under – 216)
Predicted Score: MIN 108 – LAC 108
Edmonton Oilers (105) at New York Rangers (-125)
Pick: Lean Edmonton
Notes: This one seems too obvious. Edmonton has lost 3 in a row and enter their 4th straight road game. The Rangers just beat the Lightning two games in a row and are 9-3-2 at home.
So why is this line so low and why has it gotten better for the Rangers with the majority of money on them?
I just don’t like it. This has the potential for the Oilers to steal a win and show they still have some offense left in the tank from earlier in the season.