Degen Show (1/8/22)
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Max’s Sports Bet Picks for 1/8/22
NFL Week 18
Pittsburgh (3.5) vs. Baltimore (-3.5)
Spread: Bet $50 Baltimore
Total: Lean Over 41
Predicted Score: Pittsburgh 19 – Baltimore 24 (43)
Notes: The last time these teams met, John Harbaugh went for 2 and came up short. Now his team clings on to a playoff spot as they face off against a Steelers team that is also vying for a spot.
The Steelers can make the playoffs if they win this game, Jacksonville beats Indy, and the Raiders/Chargers game does not end in a tie. If the Steelers do not make the playoffs, this will be Big Ben’s final game of his career.
For the Ravens to get in, they need to win this game, have the Chargers and Colts lose and also have the Dolphins lose or tie. The Ravens have lost 5 games in a row after starting the season 8-3 so its astounding to see them in this position.
No matter what happens here, the Steelers will finish .500 or better for the 18th consecutive season. There’s no coincidence that Ben has played 18 seasons.
The Steelers have beaten the Ravens in 3 straight meetings and be taking on a Ravens team that will be without Lamar Jackson for the 4th straight game. Tyler Huntley has been pretty good in his absence and has produced on the ground similarly to how Lamar did it.
The other key factor is Devonta Freeman. The Steelers are the second worst team against the rush this season and Freeman and Huntley should be able to move the ball.
I expect an ugly one here – indicative of a divisional game. Maybe my Excel is like me and hoping that Ben does not get a storybook ending. Because my metrics that the Steelers lose by 5.
So I’ll put a $50 bet on the Ravens.
Tennessee (-10.5) vs. Houston (10.5)
Spread: Bet $50 Tennessee
Total: Lean Under 42.5
Predicted Score: Tennessee 26 – Houston 14 (40)
Notes: Houston is somewhat of a baffling team. At times, Davis Mills and the Texans offense looks pretty good – putting up 30+ points in consecutive games. And then they get blown out by double digits.
So here I am, staring down a double-digit road favorite in a divisional matchup and I start to wonder which Houston team shows up.
The Titans wrap up the top seed and a first round bye with a win this week. It’s a bye week they want in order to give star running back Derek Henry an extra week to get healthy for a playoff run.
Tennessee is coming off a dominant performance over the Dolphins last week. They are third in the league in rushing – despite not having Henry – and put up 198 rushing yards last week. Houston is the worst team in the league against the run.
The last time these teams played, Ryan Tannehill threw 4 interceptions in a 22-13 loss. I don’t expect him to repeat that.
It’s a lot of points. Just last week, 9 teams won by double-digits. Just none of those teams were on the road. Soooooo, yeah.
$50 bet on the Titans.
NY Jets (16.5) vs. Buffalo (-16.5)
Spread: Bet NY Jets
Total: Lean Over 40.5
Predicted Score: NY Jets 18 – Buffalo 31 (49)
Notes: From one chalky mess to another one. The Buffalo Bills are fresh off a 14 point win over the Falcons as they host the Jets this week.
New York had Tampa dead to rights before they got wrapped up in the Antonio Brown drama and let Tom and crew mount a comeback.
With a win, the Bills win the AFC East for consecutive seasons. But this Bills team does not look like the dominant 13 win team from last season.
Josh Allen, as Arch Stanton predicted, has regressed this season and a 9-6 shit game against the Jags is a black mark on their season. But the Bills have won 3 games in a row – beating Tampa and New England in the process.
The Jets have missed the playoffs for 11 straight years. Since then, the Jets have gone through 3 head coaches and hope to find some sense of stability with Robert Saleh. He has this team playing competitively and Zach Wilson has showed some progress.
He’s gone 4 games without throwing a pick which, for a Jets rookie QB, is a fucking miracle. The Bills defense is good and could end that streak.
But I still wonder how Buffalo deals with Josh Allen this week. Devin Singletary was the savior last week after Allen tossed 3 straight picks. And the run game could be featured again against a Jets team that ranks 29th against the run this season.
The Bills should win and clinch the AFC East. But I don’t think they cover.
$50 bet on the Jets.
New England (-6.5) vs. Miami (6.5)
Spread: Bet $50 New England
Total: Lean Over 39.5
Predicted Score: New England 27 – Miami 19 (46)
Notes: New England has a chance to win the AFC East if the Jets can upset the Bills. The Patriots head down to Miami – where they have a bad history against the Dolphins.
Miami’s playoff hopes are over after a loss to the Titans last week. But you know Brian Flores wants to play hard against his former boss.
The Dolphins look to win their 3rd straight game against the Patriots after getting a close win in September to kick off the season. In the Bill Belichick era, the Pats are 9-12 when playing in Miami.
Including the playoffs, the only other teams that have bested Bill on the road in that time span are Pittsburgh, Denver, KC, Seattle and for some fucking reason, Detroit.
Mac Jones will face off against his Alabama predecessor in this one. Tua is coming off a bit of a stinker and plays a rough Pats’ secondary. But he’s had a pretty damn good season and his connection with Jaylen Waddle could be something we see a lot in the future.
Jones, of course, is familiar with this stadium. He tossed 5 TDs and no INTs in the National Championship game last year as Alabama beat Ohio State. It will be interesting to see if the Pats o-line – which has been very good this year – can handle the brutal pass rush of the Dolphins.
Bill is a type of coach that gameplans to win. I don’t think revenge or beating Flores has entered his mind. But it has entered my mind!
And I think New England takes it to Miami while not looking at the scoreboard for the Bills and Jets.
$50 bet on the Patriots.
LA Chargers (-3) vs. Las Vegas (3)
Spread: Bet $50 LA Chargers
Total: Lean Over 49
Predicted Score: LA Chargers 28 – Las Vegas 22 (50)
Notes: Possibly the game of the day. Depending on the outcome of today’s Indy/Houston game.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers head to Las Vegas with a chance to make the playoffs. Standing in their way is a Raiders team who also wants to punch a ticket into the playoffs.
Now if Indy loses, it’s true that these teams can just kneel on every play and end in a tie. But after winning 3 games in a row to keep their playoff hopes alive, you have to expect the Raiders to go out and try to get a win no matter what.
Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said “I don’t think I ever passed math, so I don’t even know what the hell you just talked about,” when he was told about the possibility.
The Raiders have some momentum on their side after besting Cleveland, Denver and Indy. But only one of those games was at home. The Raiders have struggled this year in Vegas – going just 4-4 with losses to the Washington Admirals, Bengals, Chiefs, and Bears.
Side note – it does seem like the Football Club will be named the Admirals after a website for the Washington Admirals was redirected to the Football Club’s website briefly last week. That and the military stars on the uniform sneak peak they gave last week is an indication of the direction they plan to go.
Anyway, back to this game. Sure, the Raiders have momentum but they are also the Raiders. But the Chargers also like to Charger things up.
So what to do here?
I back the coach I trust more. I back the QB I trust more. I back the team that has a winning road record against the home team that has yet to feel like home in Vegas. Much like the Chargers have not felt like home in LA.
Maybe they should just switch?
I like the Chargers here to get the win and cover this one.
$50 bet on LA.
Cincinnati (6) vs. Cleveland (-6)
Spread: Lean Cincinnati
Total: Lean Over 37
Predicted Score: Cincinnati 27 – Cleveland 20 (47)
Washington (-7) vs. NY Giants (7)
Spread: Lean NY Giants
Total: Lean Under 37.5
Predicted Score: Washington 21 – NY Giants 15 (36)
Chicago (5.5) vs. Minnesota (-5.5)
Spread: Lean Minnesota
Total: Lean Under 44
Predicted Score: Chicago 19 – Minnesota 25 (44)
Indianapolis (-15) vs. Jacksonville (15)
Spread: Lean Indianapolis
Total: Lean Under 43
Predicted Score: Indianapolis 30 – Jacksonville 13 (43)
Green Bay (-3.5) vs. Detroit (3.5)
Spread: Lean Green Bay
Total: Lean Under 45
Predicted Score: Green Bay 27 – Detroit 16 (43)
San Francisco (4.5) vs. LA Rams (-4.5)
Spread: Lean San Francisco
Total: Lean Over 44.5
Predicted Score: San Francisco 26 – LA Rams 27 (53)
New Orleans (-3.5) vs. Atlanta (3.5)
Spread: Lean New Orleans
Total: Lean Over 39.5
Predicted Score: New Orleans 22 – Atlanta 18 (40)
Seattle (6) vs. Arizona (-6)
Spread: Lean Arizona
Total: Lean Over 48.5
Predicted Score: Seattle 21 – Arizona 30 (51)
Carolina (8) vs. Tampa Bay (-8)
Spread: Lean Tampa Bay
Total: Lean Over 41.5
Predicted Score: Carolina 18 – Tampa Bay 29 (47)