Each week our resident gambling degenerate will select his best lock, surprise, and over/under bets in weekend action across a number of leagues. Get a second-mortgage, pawn your Pogs collection, or get a payday loan- just go place these bets immediately!
As a warm weather bettor (which is the reason Vegas was invented by the Eskimos) I fared a dismal 2 of 6 in guiding you to riches last week. Although you probably lost your boat, you can’t use it on a frozen lake anyway…. time to fish for value in these weekend matchups:
Lock: Pittsburgh (-3.5) over Cincy
Roethlisberger and Co have won 4 straight, by an average margin of 13 per game (and a low of 7). Meanwhile, the Bengals have preyed on crappy teams the last two weeks and boast a 2-game winning streak. Look for the Steelers to continue their playoff push and win by double-digits against an overvalued Cincy side.
Surprise: New York Jets (+3) over Miami
Panthers fans, remember Matt Moore? Last time he started was on Jan 1, 2012, but he gets the start this week for the Dolphins in New Jersey. This is definitely the first time I will put money on the Jets this year, but I can’t resist betting a +3 line against a visiting QB that hasn’t played in 5 years.
Over/Under: Chicago at Green Bay (39 points)
My eyes popped out at basically all the over/under lines this week (many sub-40, likely due to the weather) but this was certainly the most appealing of them all. Aaron Rodgers is not injured (just hurt) and basically has to win out to make the playoffs; meanwhile his defense consists of practice squad players. Lots of points on both sides, with the crappy Bears running the ball effectively and often in what is likely snowy conditions at Soldier Field.
Lock: Manchester City (pick’em) over Arsenal
For the second straight week I will predict Guardiola’s side to recover from poor form, suspensions and dumb mistakes in a home matchup against an Arsenal side also reeling from a crushing loss mid-week. In a two-way pick’em (meaning tie gives you your money back), the home side should prevail and avoid potentially dropping out of the Top 4.
Longshot: Burnley ties Tottenham (+575 on 3-way moneyline)
When Burnley goes on the road against a superior opponent, they pull a Mourinho x 10- park the bus, settle for 20% possession, and nip a goal on the counter. I can see them frustrating Spurs, who have perfected “The Art of the Tie” this year, with this boring style, and maybe a 1-1 draw. Worth throwing a couple dollars at for the +575 odds line.
Over/Under: Everton/ Liverpool OVER 2.5 Goals
Full disclosure- I support the Reds, but they have been scoring goals in droves (and conceding them too!) and thus my weekly over picks on them have really been paying off this season. In a Monday primetime Merseyside Darby matchup on the blue side of town, expect a tight one that really opens up in the second half. I predict 5+ total goals and a thrilling finish.