Saturday, November 19, 2022 will go down as the worst day of football in my life.
I normally approach my articles on this site from an unbiased, external viewpoint where I refuse to let my fanatic preferences influence the opinions I give and words I write. But I'm throwing that out the window this week to unleash my pent up anger and frustration from the sequence of events that transpired all day last Saturday.
The gambling powers that be refuse to let me ride too high with my picks. My Week 10 performance came back down to Earth and we finished at 3-4 for the week, which I'm honestly not too disappointed with because it could've easily been even worse. Nonetheless, we remain ahead of the chains at 41-30 for the season, though the weekly Lock fell again for just the fourth time out of 11 total.
I'm keeping this introduction short because I'm eager to right the ship and give out seven heaters for Week 11.
Los Angeles Rams +3.0 at New Orleans Saints
There weren't too many major surprises in Week 11 except for Vanderbilt somehow defeating Kentucky despite the Wildcats having the NFL's top QB prospect and second coming of Peyton Manning, Will Levis. Congrats to the Commodores on ending their 26- conference game losing streak.
Aside from that game, we had Alabama and the referees fending off Ole Miss, LSU surviving a struggle at Arkansas to keep their CFP hopes hanging by a three, Georgia pounding Mississippi State, and Tennessee stomping Missouri up until the final whistle. A moment of silence is necessary for Texas A&M, who will officially miss out on a bowl game after starting the season ranked #6 in the nation. The good news is that there's nowhere to go from here but up for the Aggies in Jimbo Fisher's nine remaining years of his $95 million contract.
Week 9 sent us stepping in the right direction with a 5-2 performance and another successful hit on the Lock of the Week. This is normally the part of the article where I'd complain about the "should'ves" that cost us those two bets we lost, but I've decided I'll change things up and acknowledge the bets I was spot on about in last week's article.
There were four games that I couldn't have predicted more perfectly, which benefitted us greatly financially in Week 9:
Week 9 in the SEC featured the most tightly contested matchups as a whole out of any week thus far. Four of the seven games were decided by less than a touchdown, while the largest margin was Florida's impressive 17-point victory at Texas A&M.
Georgia proved they are college footballs top dogs (or dawgs) on Saturday, dominating the CFP's initial #1 team, Tennessee, in a game that wasn't as close as the 14-point margin suggests. While we were let down a bit by that result, LSU and Alabama made up for it, as LSU converted a two-point conversion on the game's final play in overtime to knock off Bama at home, effectively ending the Tide's chance at a playoff appearance. Is Nick Saban's dynasty on the verge of a downturn? Or, since Alabama is only 2-2 in one-score games, are they simply a victim of bad luck? We'll see how they rebound in 2023.
It took a sneaky backdoor cover from the Packers on Sunday night, but we secured a winning 4-3 week in Week 8 to break out of our short and slight slump. It would have been an even better week had Derek Carr and the rest of the Raider offense actually made the trip to New Orleans and if the Colts hadn't allowed Taylor Heinicke and the Commanders to march down the field in less than two minutes to win that game. The Lock of the Week unfortunately bit the dust as the Jets failed to get anything going on offense until it was too late against the Patriots. (By the way, someone needs to edit the Jets' franchise Owner in Wikipedia to Bill Belichick at this point.)
But that's how betting goes... Sometimes you're on the right side of a wacky result and other times it bites you. We'll take our 33-24 season record and trot into Week 10 hoping for a little better luck this time. You can keep trusting the weekly Locks, which are 6-3 now on the season, until further notice.
Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals Over 42.5
Last week was a bit boring in the SEC, as only one game finished with a margin in single digits. Georgia handled Florida with relative ease in Jacksonville, Tennessee dominated Kentucky 44-6 at home, and Missouri went on the road to knock off then ranked South Carolina in Columbia.
We have the potential for several good games in Week 10 with seven matchups featuring SEC teams across the league, but all eyes will be drawn to the back-to-back contests featuring #1 Tennessee and #3 Georgia at 3:30, followed by #6 Alabama at #10 LSU at 7:00. The Vols obtained the top spot in the initial CFP polls released on Tuesday, marking their first time being ranked #1 overall since their National Championship season in 1998. The winner of this game will essentially be a lock for a playoff bid assuming they take care of business in the final three weeks of the season, while the loser will have to hope for a lot of scenarios involving other top teams to go their way in the closing weeks.
We've hit the mediocre portion of my betting performance hear nearing the midway point of the NFL season. I've now suffered back-to-back 3-4 weeks to bring my total season record to 29-21. While I'm still comfortably above .500 on the year, I'm looking to break back into the positive in Week 8 with some of my favorite picks I've made in recent weeks. The good news is you'd be up by quite a bit if you had tailed my weekly Locks, which are 6-2 after last week's win.
Week 7 was a bit strange, as I won all my bets against the spread but lost every pick I made on the point total. I contribute that to being more of an anomaly than anything, so I'm not going to abandon the overs or unders completely. But I did try to focus my efforts more on the spreads this week to build on my strong suit of last week. Regardless, let's try to go 7-0 this time around.
Las Vegas Raiders at New Orleans Saints Over 49.5
Tennessee is in the midst of their best season since 1998 - the year they won a national championship under Phillip Fulmer. The program endured two decades of futility, but this season, 24 years later, the Vols have the best offense in the country and the Heisman trophy frontrunner at quarterback. But what if I told you that the success of this year's Tennessee team has hinged on one man? And what if that one man was not even a member of Tennessee's football roster, coaching staff, or athletic department, but was instead one of our own BSSR experts? That man is named Alex Hill, and he has been a walking betting curse for years on end.
While Tennessee's players and coaches were exerting themselves in the scorching summer heat to prepare themselves mentally and physically for the upcoming 2022 season, Alex was also making his own preparations to solidify the team's success. Alex has endured every single miserable coaching hire, pathetic performance, and egregious officiating that the Volunteers have been a part of in the current century, and he finally decided that it was time to make a change.
The betting gods giveth. The betting gods taketh away. We followed up our impressive 6-1 heater with our first losing week of the season. Fortunately, it wasn't a significant loss, as our picks went 3-4 in Week 6. We did miss the Lock of the Week this time, as the Indianapolis Colts finally erupted for 34 points against the Jags. I should've trusted my gut feeling about the Bills-Chiefs matchup and taken the under, and I'm still annoyed that Cooper Rush missed a wide open CeeDee Lamb for a deep TD late in their Sunday night game against the Eagles, ruining their chance to cover.
Regardless of how last week went, we now sit at a solid 26-17 record for the season. I still have faith in the Lock of the Week, staying strong at 5-2 through six weeks. Let's get back on the winning track in Week 7 of this already turbulent NFL season.
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys Over 49.0