by John Fredericks, Jack Fredericks and Nate Perry
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John: It’s great to get my cohorts – Jack and Nate- back in the saddle this week after they spent week five licking their silly millennial wounds. Perhaps they needed a “safe space” last week from the micro-aggressions of Godzilla picking too many winners. I remind my sons all time: I’m the Silverback of this family until further notice! Get over it.
I went 8-6 last week ATS, taking my record to 33-28. Now we get to week six, and I feel a 10-0 burst coming on.
So let’s get right to it: stop whining and start winning!
Jack: Things are not going well for me mentally, emotionally, physically, or football-ly. I received another shellacking two weeks ago after picking what I figured was a 5-5 day. I took a week off to reevaluate my life’s choices, brainstorm a new strategy, and come back with some real winners. It’s clear to all of my fans that the strategy of lefty logic is not a guaranteed ticket to the hall of fame for picking spreads. However, after spending the week reflecting with some unaffordable avocado toast and crippling student loan debt, I realized I’m actually not using the lefty logic enough. So get ready for some sizzling takes on infrastructure, voting rights, anti-war, and the Bengals. The Mississippi Marxist is ready to break out.
Nate: We took the week off like classic millennials to worry about climate change and the growing wage-gap in this country, but we’re here again. My picks have been solid and I’ve been trying to branch out a little bit more to educate folks on some different types of bets they can make. I don’t have a ton that I love this week, but to humor Godzilla, I’ll make a few picks that I like or lean towards in order to get those numbers up for #NoPickNate.
Miami Dolphins (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars
John: Tua is back for the fins, and not a moment too soon after four fish-fries in a row. The game is across the pond, and the question is: will Coach Myer go home after the game, or slam a few at the local pub? He’ll need more than a few pints to drown out another stink-ball fest from his hapless club. These games should be designated as cruel and unusual punishment for Londoners and Boris Johnson should file an international complaint with the United-Nations. But he never combs his hair, so his citizenry is obviously fine with messy hair-don’t care. Everyone gets bombed out of their minds by halftime anyway. This game is a Halloween horror show. Pick: Fish -3
Jack: I hate the AFC South and I love the Dolphins. Jon Gruden hijacked the Urban Meyer sideshow this week, which might actually work in Jacksonville’s favor. I think I’ve picked the Fish every week. While I am worried about the rising income gap in Miami, where billionaires are flocking in order to avoid pesky vaccine mandates and income taxes, I think I’ll go with Jags here, right? At some point, they have to win a football game. Jags +3
Nate: This feels like a little bit of a square play, but I think you gotta take the Fish here. Urban Meyer looks like he’s toast after barely getting his NFL coaching career going. Jags are 1-4 against the spread and having injury issues. Tua is back, so look for the Fish to get it done here. Fish -3
Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) at Washington Football Team
John: This is a must win game for the Chiefs in week six? Who would have predicted that? The WFT’s defense is a major disappointment. They’ve gone from Purple People Eater wannabes to an old AFL throw back where everybody gave up 400 yards a game. This is no different. America’s quarterback, Tyler H., is lovable, but not winnable. The Chiefs are not a happy bunch. All the emails in the world to Bruce Allen’s server can’t save this sinking franchise. It’s a blow-out of huge proportions. The line is a joke. Should be 13.5. Pick: Chiefs -6.5
Jack: The Chiefs defense is bad. Historically bad. Dan Snyder’s emails are probably just as bad, even though we’ll never see them. I love the Washington Football Team. They’re always covering the spread for me. Plus, all my heroes work in D.C., like Adam Schiff and Stephen Strasburg. Go Football Team! Pick: WFT +6.5
Nate: The Chiefs are a complete liability on defense, we know this. The good news for them this week is that Washington is terrible defensively, as well. -6.5 is a good number that is just under a key number of 7. Lay the points with Mahomes to light up a vulnerable football team. God, I hate agreeing with John. Chiefs -6.5
John to Nate: You sound like mom. It’s a Godzilla thing. It’s tough to be me.
Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3.5)
John: Yikes! If you think I am going to lay 3.5 points with a Raven’s team that wins all their games in the final seconds on 80 yard field goals you’ve lost your mind. Here is what we have learned in five weeks: Baltimore is not that good, and the Chargers are really good. The Bolt’s come from behind win last week against a solid Browns defense reminded me of the old John Hadl-Sid Gilliam days. This team is for real, their sophomore Cajun quarterback has no fear and they play with reckless abandon. It’s an early east coast game and a long flight from Lefty land but this Chargers team is very confident right now. I’m taking the points. The Ravens only win by 3 anyway so how can I lose? Pick: Bolts + 3.5
Jack: I really hate picking games that involve the Baltimore Ravens. John picks against them every week because he inexplicably hates them. The Chargers could win a Super Bowl one day, or they could go .500 for ten years. Neither would surprise me. I recommend teasing the Chargers here with the Vikings. That gets the line up to +9.5. Pick: Chargers +9.5 teaser w/ Vikings +7.5
Nate: All right, Baltimore had a wild one on Monday and they’re back again against a quality opponent. Chargers have been in battles for about a month now, and it has to be wearing on them. I suspect they might have trouble containing Lamar Jackson. Cross-country trip against a QB who is hotter than a house afire. Give me the Ravens. Ravens -3.5
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (-1.5)
John: No McCaffrey. Again. At some point in our lifetime, the Vikes and Kirk Cousins have to go on the road and win a tough game. Is this it? The Cats are not the same team without their star RB (also the highest paid RB in NFL history), losing two of three without him.
The Panthers were devastated to have let the game against the Eagles slip way last week. The Nordics could be 0-5 if two field goals had gone awry. Hey Kirk, are you really a franchise QB? We’ll find out in Charlotte. Pick: Vikes + 1.5
Jack: As Nate has mentioned before, a lot of people like to use teasers to get the favorite’s point spread down from, say -8.5 to -1.5. Vegas also likes this because it’s rare all these favorites cash out. Nate and I both like to use teasers in the opposite direction. We try to find value in underdogs that we can tease up to get a point spread we like. I love teasing the Vikings up here from +1.5 to +7.5. I think the Vikings will win the game outright and so I like having the extra points in a cushion just in case, like usual, I’m wrong. Pick: Chargers +9.5 teaser w/ Vikings +7.5
Nate: Love that we got Jack on board the teaser train. Not only is he using them, he’s using them well. We love to see it. Vikings +1.5 is a gift here, and the line may have moved quite a bit between this article coming out. Vikings seem to be attracting some bets and they may be a small favorite by the time we publish. Based on how the action is going and the line we’re using, you gotta take the Vikings. I’d bet them as a small favorite, but don’t lay more than a field goal for sure, and shop around to get the best number as it seems to be different everywhere. Vikings +1.5
John to Jack and Nate: What’s a teaser? Is it more millennial nonsense, like vaping or something? Is it like Instagram? I don’t do that either. Bet the game. Geeze.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) at Chicago Bears
John: The Bears beat the Black Hole’s last week and Chucky got his walking papers over the email scandal. Were the Raiders distracted a little? Here’s the bottom-line: Aaron Rodgers is on fire. I am betting the Pack is Back until someone cools him off. It won’t be the Bears. They’re offense with a rookie quarterback is pitiful, and if the cheese heasds gets up by 14, they have no capacity to mount a comeback. Aaron in a landslide. Also, doesn’t Rodgers look like he’s having fun again? Like in his State Farm ads? And does Bears coach Nagy ever have fun? Mr. Scowl face is going have a lot to snarl about after this game. Pick: Pack -4.5
Jack: These inter-divisional games are always difficult to pick the favorite, since it always seems like the games are tight. This seems especially true in the NFC North. I also think you’d be lucky to get -4.5 with the Pack. I’m seeing the line more like -6. Again, we’re looking for value. The Bears can’t score, so I like the under here at 44. Pick: Under 44
Nate: I don’t love betting on games featuring the mercurial A-Rod, but I think you have to lay the points here. He absolutely OWNS the Bears. He’s 19-3 against the Bears for his career and in those wins, he’s only failed to cover twice. I don’t see how you bet against those trends as Rodgers starts to heat up again. I don’t love it because the Bears aren’t totally helpless, but if you must, lay the points. Pack -4.5
Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
John: It’s Bungles Time! Poor Lions keep losing tough games, it’s tough not to feel empathy. But this is the NFL, and nobody cares what your troubles are. Joe Burrow is back, and Cincinnati is for real. It’s not the Marvin Lewis perennial 8-8 Bengals any more. You’ve got to love the heart and grit of this team. The Lions are becoming your father’s Cleveland Browns. This is statement game: if you are going to run in the tall grass with big dogs, you have to go on the road after a tough overtime loss and beat a winless team. A loss here and the man behind the curtain is revealed. No Toto today. Pick: Bungles -3.5
Jack: I own three shares of General Motors, which has netted me a profit of $1.57 over the last six months. I’ll take that and skip this game. No Pick
Nate: Lions are garbage, and Jared Goff is a complete liability. This feels like the Bungles aren’t getting enough respect against a team that is just not very good. I feel like I’m agreeing with John too much, but hold your nose and lay the points. Bungles -3.5
John to Nate: Next up: voting for Trump in 2024, Nate! Make America Great Again, Again!
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-10)
John: It’s a battle for second place in the AFC South! How low can you go? Texas is train-wreck and the Colts are finally getting the fake news to shut up as they blew a game they should have won last week. Indy is in a must win situation or they’re toast in 2021. The Titans are likely to get pasted by the Bills on Monday, and a win here puts them only one game behind Tennessee, with a home game against them in week eight. Lots of incentive. Mr. double-masker and a face shield virtue signaler Frank Reich doesn’t lose to bad teams. Go-Colts this week. Not so much week eight. Pick: Colts -10
Jack: John loves these huge spreads, because he’s old and thinks if the spread is high it means the favorite is a superior team. He also hates the Texans, because the Titans moved from Houston to Memphis or something. This game is a huge no for me. #1: I don’t want to watch it. #2: The AFC South blows. #3: The spread is too high. #4: Texas is a conservative wasteland where freedom goes to die. No Pick
Nate: Ten points feels like too much in a division game. Indy isn’t doing well on an emotional or physical level, so this looks like a spot where the Texans hang around. These guys tend to play each other pretty close, and I expect that to continue. Take the Texans. Texans +10
John To Jack: Long live my Oilers! Love ya blue!
Los Angeles Rams (-10.5) at New York Giants
John: The Giants are pathetic. Whether Daniel Jones is on the field or not, this should be a game the Rams win in a walk in the swamp-land park. The Giants’ so-called defense just allowed 44 points to the ‘Boys, and the Rams are an offensive juggernaut with a rejuvenated Matthew Stafford on steroids. Turn out the lights, the party’s over. The ghost of Jimmy Hoffa may pop at halftime on the fifty yard-line and haunt the place after this New York team playing in New Jersey debacle. Pick: Rams -10.5
Jack: The Giants aren’t as pathetic as John thinks here. Daniel Jones is showing signs of life and The Saints of Newark came out recently, which means New Jersey is back on top. The Rams don’t feel like a ten-point favorite to me, especially on the road. But I’m not picking the Giants until 2025. No Pick
Nate: The Giants lost basically their whole team last week, and they weren’t very good to begin with. So, unless Daniel Jones has a miracle recovery, we’re looking at Mike Glennon getting the start. Either way, the rest of the offense is horrible and the LA defense should eat against them and the Rams offense should be able to pick their number. Never fun to lay a ton of points for a team traveling across the country, but that’s the only thing to do here. Rams -10.5
John To Nate: You are coming of age, young man! Never, ever fear a 10-point spread! Be bold!
Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns (-3)
John: Nick Chubb is out for the Browns. The half-crazed Cardinals are drawing up plays in the dirt and throwing balls all over the place. Their defense is “harass on grass.” Someone has to beat them for me to stop betting them. They are having fun, they are loose and Murray with that speed at WR is never out of a game.
Brownies come home after a tough loss on the road in a game they led by a lot. Chubb out is huge blow, as he doesn’t get the press of the other elite NFL backs, but he’s key to Baker Mayfield’s play action. Keep doubling down on the nut-balls until they lose. Take the field goal. Pick: Crazies + 3
Jack: Arizona has two democratic senators, so that’s a plus for Kyler Murray. Then again, Ohio has Sherrod Brown, who is actually a progressive, so that’s a plus for Baker. Kyrsten Sinema has really been upsetting me lately. Go Baker. Pick: Browns -3
Nate: This is my favorite play of the day. The wind is going to be howling in Cleveland, and I think that limits both teams’ ability to pass the ball. I suspect the clock will be running all game, and I’d lean towards the Browns under those circumstances, but I think the safer play is to go under the total. Under 48.5
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3)
John: New coach and turmoil for the Black Hole gang. Denver at home is tough, but are they really a favorite here? Too many questions on both sides, too much controversy and too much of a headache to analyze. In the famous word of Tony Soprano: Fuhgeddaboudit. No Pick
Jack: Jon Gruden’s emails were repulsive. I’m glad he resigned. I also canceled him while I was on my couch just for good measure. However, I can’t cancel the Raiders. I think they come out and shock everyone. I’m not convinced that any coach is that important unless you’re the Patriots. Raiders can win this game. Pick: Raiders +3
Nate: See ya later, Chuckie. Jon Gruden wasn’t a great coach, and those emails made it that much easier to move on. Easy call for Mark Davis. This Raider team is tough to figure out and they were trash against the Bears last week. I think this might be a defensive battle, in which case, you have to take the points. I don’t love this, but so it goes when betting the NFL sometimes. Raiders +3
Dallas Cowboys (-4) at New England Patriots
John: OMG, the Pats got so exposed last week on both sides of the ball by a pitiful Houston opponent. Billy B should burn the game film. It was a horrendous mistake-filled abomination of a football game. New England fans are better off watching the Bosox lose to the Astros. At least the games are fun.
Dallas and Dak are hot and watch out for a track meet here. The ‘Boys are formidable, Dak is back and Dallas kind of-sort of-maybe-could be has a defense. Best Bet: Pick: Dallas Bigs -4
Jack: I haven’t lost picking the Cowboys this year, so I’ve decided to stop picking them. I think Dallas wins this game, but I don’t like the spread. I want to tease the Pats here with the Seahawks to get a few more points on either game. The tease gets me up to +10 for the Pats, which I love and +11 on the Seahawks. This elaborate plan could fall apart, but I never win more than 30 percent of my picks anyway so who cares! Pick: Patriots +10 teaser with Seahawks +11
Nate: Dallas is good, like actually good. I’m not sure, however, if they are totally healthy. I don’t love this play, and I have trouble recommending it for a variety of reasons related to my unabashed homerism towards the Cowboys and my white-hot hatred of Bill Belichick, but I think this is a spot to grab the points. Pats +4 (if you absolutely must play this game)
John To Nate and Jack: What a loser pick!
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5)
John: Finally, the Curtains got up off the mat and actually ran the football for a change. This allowed Big Ben not to throw 107 passes a game, as he navigates around a six-inch social distancing circle. No Russel Wilson for the first time in like 50 years and the Hawks are in a world of hurt. The Terrible Towels will be waving in full force.
Geno Smith will go on the road looking to bring hope to a sagging Seahawks’ season, which sits at a nervous 2-3. You know Geno Smith, right, of New York Jets fame? Oh. That Geno Smith. Steelers at home playing against the Geno’s. Yeah right. Pick: Terrible Towels -5
Jack: The Seahawks are in shambles, but the Steelers don’t inspire much confidence either. Wilson is out and most bettors are piling on the Steelers. I hate the spread, so I figure I’ll tease it up and get 11 points. It might not matter, but I could also see this game ending at 17-12 or some other stupid score. Pick: Patriots +10 teaser with Seahawks +11
Nate: This one is not going to be a fun game to watch, and I suggest watching or doing almost anything else if this is what’s being broadcast for you locally. That being said, Geno Smith isn’t awful, at least in a matchup with Big Ben who looks like he’s aging before our eyes. I think you need to take the points and hold your nose if you want to bet this. Seahawks +5
Buffalo Bills (-4.5) at Tennessee Titans
John: Oh my. I’m a die-hard Titans fan. Right now, our secondary can’t stop a wounded duck with one wing on Medicaid. Receivers getting big 50-yard plays with not a defender within 10 yards. It’s like watching your backyard Thanksgiving touch-football game. How many touchdowns will Buffalo score?
The Bills roll into Nash-Vegas a really cocky bunch, having just crushed the Chiefs on national TV. However, big statement blow-outs are often followed by the perennial let down game. This is a trap game, it just looks too easy. Who can bet Tennessee with that defensive back calamity they’ve got masquerading as an NFL secondary? Josh Allen should score seven touchdowns and light them up like a pin-ball machine on Christmas Day in the kids playroom. Titans only hope: give it to Derrick Henry 50 times and get six consecutive eight-minute drives. Of course I’m picking my team plus the points. To do otherwise is disloyal, and creates bad Ju-Ju.Pick: Titans (gulp) +4.5
Jack: LOL. Bills win by 100. Pick: Bills -4.5
Nate: Jack’s analysis is sound. Bills roll. Bills -4.5
John to Jack and Nate: Don’t come whining to me when you both go up in smoke Monday night.
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Photo “Kyler Murray” by All-Pro Reels. CC BY-SA 2.0.