Rats in the cellar! The dreaded double deuce! Dot cinco goose-eggs. The worst of it is that I thought we were rolling early on, too. We nailed the Saints v. Dolphins game in London, even predicting the ugly nature of the whole affair. I didn’t see it obviously, because no one not addicted to cocaine is up at 9:30 on a Sunday morning if they don’t have to be, but with multiple sources using the word slog as a descriptor, it doesn’t seem like I missed much. Especially since the one highlight everyone ran was Jay Cutler putting forth the same effort it takes to wash a fat guy hat. Perhaps he stores the numbers in his phone by first name, so when he got the call to come back to the league the first person he called to train with him was Albert Haynesworth.
So there we were, bounding into the afternoon all full of victory dopamine and POW! Derek Carr fractures his spine! But hey, no worries, its a minor spinal fracture. I don’t know whether the minor qualifier was intended to quell the panic of Carr, the fan-base, or both, but it has the same mollifying effect as saying that an AR-15 with a bump stock isn’t technically an automatic weapon. I am only a doctor in the Baptist pastor, haughty academic, and/or formerly-treasured serial rapist comedian sense, but even I can tell you that there are no minor spinal fractures. Selling a franchise QB’s injury as such is like putting ice cubes in castor oil, and Jack Del Rio forecasting a return in two weeks is the type of unfounded optimism usually reserved for the likes of Suge Knights defense counsel. Then again, Del Rio has a lot on his plate right now. And hell, maybe the Generals are due? Even the losers get lucky sometimes.
Carr’s injury was the chin check though. The knockout blow came when E.J. Manuel threw the worlds most foreseeable INT directly to Justin Simmons even as jump ball specialist Amari Cooper had five yards of cushion both in front of and behind him. The thing is, Manuel isn’t even all that bad; he was 11-17 with 104 yards before the pick that sealed the game, having come in with 4:50 left in the third, id. Its just that the drop-off in quality between 11,947 and 3,608 career passing yards was so stark. This wasn’t Hagar subbing for David Lee Roth or even Maniac picking up where Attila left off. Perhaps the best analogy would be when one of the Sneaker Pimps shoe-gazing white male producers gave their quirky Indian female singer the boot and took over the vocal duties himself, as if to hope that no one would notice or mind this subtle difference. You may very well have a chance to see the inverse occur next week, when Goat at long last brings in someone who can write a football gambling column without shoehorning in mid-nineties trip-hop references!
So as aforesaid, I have to eat the 2-2, but for the love of money I hope you all took the unofficial Chiefs pick on Monday night. Unless you are super into watching the world burn chaotically, this has not been a particularly pleasant week. I know all of the garbage tends to run together at this point, so for the sake of reference keep in mind that Monday was the day of the Vegas massacre, the Catalonia riots, the conclusion of an ICE sweep that saw approximately 700 immigrants arrested, the two-week anniversary of Hurricane Maria, and the tweets insulting San Juan’s mayor undermining negotiations with North Korea. Yeah I know me too.
However, around 11:30 p.m. the end of the Washington v. Kansas City game featured a last-second circus play that eventually turned into a fumble, which was recovered by Justin Houston who then ran 13 yards to the end zone to simultaneously cover, hit the over, and end the game. It was incredible. This column is legitimate, as I would never advise anyone to make bets that I wouldn’t place myself, so I had a unit and a half of Kansas City, but I was ready to tap after they kicked the game winner. It was then that the Great Kansas City Chiefs Festivus Miracle Backdoor Cover of 2017 took place. It came out of nowhere, it was wild to watch, and it spurred one of my favorite things in sports, that being when the announcers are forced to acknowledge a point spread. To their credit, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have a long leash in that regard during their NBC broadcasts, and they will openly laugh about odd occurrences that matter to degenerates like us. They even seem to discuss their own gaming on occasion. However, ESPN announcers rarely if ever reference handicapping, so it was that much more fun when Sean McDonough said this might be meaningful to some! as Houston crossed the goal line. Between the athleticism, the crowd, the call, and the win, it was incredibly fun and for a moment served as a beacon for all that is awesome and decent. With respect to gambling on football. Speaking of which
Patriots -5 at Tampa Bay
This is yet another one of those situations where the line just doesn’t make complete sense to me. I understand that the Bucs are coming off of squeaking out a 23-25 win over the Giants in New Jersey, but they had to rally to do so. Meanwhile, hell hath no fury like a Belichick scored. Bearing in mind that Tampa’s other win came against the Bears in their season opener (following a postponement of a scheduled game in Miami) I will concede that they bear some indicia of a team on the upswing, but I would hate to face a New England squad that just dropped a tight game to Carolina.
Of course its also worth noting that Cam Newton finally looked like he returned to form last weekend, going 22 of 29 with 316 yards and a 3:1 split. Incidentally, I don’t think hes the type of guy who will get sidetracked just because he carelessly verbalized an internal monologue during a press conference yesterday. It is entirely possible that Cam Newton has never had a woman ask him about pass routes before, and thus it probably does sound funny, or weird, or unique, or [PLACE CHOSEN WORD HERE]. How the medias lag in hiring female sports reporters, or allowing them to ask specific questions regarding game-play, is his fault as opposed to that same media which is now lining up to take swings at him is beyond me.
I actually like Doug Martin, if for no other reason than his disproportionately angry response to a chuckle-worthy, innocuous nickname. However, I don’t see him being the difference maker here. I’m also stuck on the fact that Tampa had to rally to catch up to and beat the then 0-3 Giants, and even though Winston looked good in doing so, he also threw three interceptions to the Minnesota secondary the week before.
I liked New England giving four, and I would still go steady with them giving five as they are at present. Let me also include an off-the-record recommendation for the over because both teams have crossed the threshold in all but one of their games this season, and neither defense has been impressive thus far. 55 is the cap though, and no more than a unit at most.
Tennessee -3 at Miami
Please know that this comes with a caveat. Hold onto your money until at least Saturday and make sure that Marcus Mariota is going to start before you put any major money down. In light of the fact that this is in nearly-equal measure both a bet on Tennessee and against Miami, the Titans would probably survive with Matt Cassel as a starter. However, what was initially reported to be a minor hamstring injury looks a lot more dubious with the signing of Brandon Weeden on Monday. On a personal note, we at Ruthless send our hearts out to all of the bridge, canasta, and bocce teams and leagues that were on the receiving end of a serious monkey wrench with Mr. Weeden’s reintroduction to professional football.
The game is currently off the board at several books, but there is action at 5 Dimes, Sportsbetting AG, BetOnline, and CG technology in Vegas. However imagine the worst case scenario in which Matt Cassel is the Titans starter. He is still facing a team that is average 8.3 points per game and rushed For an average of 66.3 yards. Conversely, like the Pats, the Titans may have revenge on their mind coming off of their most lopsided defeat in five years against a Texans team that exhibits a greater week-to-week variant then the quality of guests on OverTime with Bill Maher. Milo Yiannapoulous, ladies and gentlemen. Join us next week when we will be speaking to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama!
Again, I would pay close attention to the injury reports and the lines as the weekend approaches. However, I am safe with recommending The Titans giving anything under 7.5
Chargers at New York Giants
If you enjoyed seeing the Saints and Dolphins personally insult the people of Great Britain by playing bad football on a soccer field in front of a good amount of people who had at least a passive understanding of how bad the game that they were watching really was, then strap in for a battle of two 0-4 teams with franchise quarterbacks that can’t seem to get out of their own way
All kidding aside, both teams are bad but the Chargers are demonstrably better from a stats perspective. Melvin Gordon has 54 carries for a 168 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 3.1 yards per carry. That doesn’t exactly indicate that he is the lost bastard son of Tony Dorsett and Jim Brown, except when compared to Paul Perkins who has 32 rushes for 61 yards, 1.9 YPC and zero TDs in the same amount of games. I also read as much of the New York Post as I could stomach yesterday, which is to say that I glanced at the back page while briskly walking past the newsstand. The literal worst paper in New York said that both Jason Pierre Paul and Olivier Vernon were unable to participate in practice on Wednesday, as JPP has knee and shoulder issues and Vernon is hobbled on one ankle. I don’t think Gordon should stay up all night pacing the floor and worrying about the placement of his bust in Canton, but under the circumstances he is poised to have an outlier game on Sunday that will make it look unsportsmanlike to use him in Tecmo Bowl or whatever the kids play now.
Gordon also has one more receiving touchdown than Odell Beckham Jr., who still seems to be stumbling out of the gate. Receiving wise, Keenan Allen has more receptions, more yards, and a higher average than Sterling Shepard, though both have one touchdown.
And to top all of that off, the Giants have to deal with Joey Bosa. Eli has only been sacked eight times this year, but five of those came in a game against the Lions, with Ziggy Ansah abusing J.T. Flowers, and I don’t see how hes going to fare any better.
Finally, I will again recommend the Kansas City Chiefs -1.5 In Houston on Sunday night, and will continue to do so until they stop generating a profit.
My alumni club sought out volunteers for an event called Strut Your Mutt put on by the Best Friends Animal Society this coming Saturday at – God help me – 9:00 a.m. Animals are much cooler than people, so the wife and I were happy to do it. However, apparently we are so unlikable and/or devoid of useful skills, e.g. nun-chucks, bow hunting, computer hacking, and so forth, that we were assigned to be dog cheerleaders who are tasked with the responsibility of rooting for dogs in a parade environment. I have to admit that I am out of my element here. In the privacy of my own home, my dog and I only speak Portuguese (pare de fod minha me!). Thus, if you can figure many great motivational tactics that I can pass on to dogs marching in a parade beyond, for example, Go Dog! then by all means let me know. Otherwise I’m just going to wind up blathering on and on about gambling on pro football, and Lord knows no one needs to hear that!