I was in Atlantic City this past weekend, and it reminded me of something disappointing: despite the progress that has been made, sports gambling is still not legal in New Jersey. It doesn’t make sense to me, especially given the appeal that the NFL and Roger Goodell made against it, saying it would hurt the integrity of the sport. Um…how? The only way it would hurt the integrity of the sport is if players begin to gamble, and I doubt that would happen. (And if it did, that would be something that’s not the fault of the public or legality of the situation.)
Of course, it’s no surprise Goodell feels this way because he’s clearly an idiot. He’s managed to botch both the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson situations multiple times with incompetency and overcorrecting. Rice hit his fiancee, and Goodell gave him a slap on the wrist, claiming he didn’t see it. That’s either a lie or a huge lack of responsibility on the part of the commissioner. Then, after Rice served his time, similarly to the way Peterson has, he won his appeal based on what the NFL’s personal conduct policy deemed was his punishment.
Peterson, however, did not fare so well. Both of these acts were awful, but there must be due process and a consistent punishment throughout all cases, which is why it baffles me that Rice is eligible to play in the NFL right now and Peterson isn’t. It seems that Goodell’s biggest reason for this is that Rice showed remorse while AP didn’t. Let’s all keep that childish logic in mind next time we do something wrong and see if it works.
But at this point, all of this doesn’t surprise me. There’s one thing you can consistently count on Roger Goodell for: being inconsistent.
Five Star Bets
REDSKINS (+3) over Rams, Confidence Rating: 4.5/5
If you’ve already listened to the triumphant return of The Brunch, you’ll know that my partner Joe Caputo and I are all over the Redskins for this week, and potentially for the rest of the season. That’s because you’ll be getting good value from the team in D.C. that has some talent on both sides of the ball to go with a QB that finally fits in Jay Gruden’s system. The public still hates Washington because of RG3, but he’s on his way out. Also, the Rams just won a game 52-0. Don’t you think there’s a letdown coming? St. Louis is a pretty average team despite their recent surge because they’re playing Shaun Hill under center. It also doesn’t hurt that they’ve got a Thursday home date against Arizona to look forward to. Bet Washington and keep an eye on them for the final few weeks of the season.
Bet $20, win $17.39; Bet $100, win $86.95
Ravens (+3) over DOLPHINS, Confidence Rating: 4/5
The Dolphins are coming off an emotional victory that they absolutely had to have against a division rival. The Ravens are coming off a heartbreaking loss, and I’m sure a coach like John Harbaugh has instilled it in his players that for the rest of the season, they’re in must-win mode. Next week, Miami travels to New England while Baltimore hosts the Jags. And it’s no secret that the Dolphins’ homefield advantage is one of the worst in the NFL. Talk about being in the right spot, huh? These teams are pretty much dead even so the line makes sense. But when you account for the spot, you’ll know to take the boys in purple and black.
Bet $20, win $16; Bet $100, win $80
CHARGERS (+9.5) over Patriots, Confidence Rating: 4.5/5
The public will be pounding the Pats (alliteration rocks!) coming off a loss, but this is a little disrespectful to the Chargers. San Diego just won a huge game in Baltimore and showed they’re a real player in the AFC playoff race. I’m not sure why this line is so high. They’re saying that if this game was in New England, the Patriots would be nearly a double-digit favorite. Vegas had to make this line high because everyone would be all over New England. And it’s definitely frightening to bet against them coming off the loss. But I like being able to go against the public here, so I’ll tease the line and ease my mind (rhyming!).
Bills (+16) over BRONCOS, Confidence Rating: 4/5
A big-time sandwich/trap game for Denver (they just beat Kansas City and get San Diego next week), so this game doesn’t mean a ton for them. It does for the Bills, however, and I feel like this defense has the ability to make Peyton Manning uncomfortable and make this a game. However, I still feel a little burned by Denver last week when I put so much stock into the Chiefs. It reminded me how dangerous going against them is. So I would tease the line here, just to be safe.
LIONS (-3) over Buccaneers, Confidence Rating: 4/5
I mentioned on The Brunch that Tampa Bay has become the anti-Florida State, meaning they always cover but never win. After the stupidity and ridiculousness of last week’s game against Cincinnati where they couldn’t beat Andy Dalton throwing three picks on the road, I think I’ve given up on them. Surely they’ll cover this week then, but we’ll see. Detroit had some extra time to prepare for this and they need the game a lot more. I would be a little surprised if they couldn’t come out and cover this teased line.
Two-team teaser: Bet $20, win $18.18; Bet $100, win $90.90
Three-team teaser: Bet $20, win $32; Bet $100, win $160
CHARGERS over Patriots, Ravens over DOLPHINS, Steelers over BENGALS, RAIDERS over 49ers
I know it’s unfathomable to think the Patriots could lose two straight games, but despite how good they are, everyone needs to keep one thing in mind: they’re not invincible. Elite teams do drop tough regular season road games from time to time, ya know…This is a huge game for both teams, but the spot and coaching wins out. It’ll be a crushing blow for whoever loses and I think that will be Miami…The Steelers have been the Roger Goodell of the NFL this year (they’ve been inconsistent). On paper, they probably shouldn’t win in Cincinnati. But with a high-powered offense against the Bengals’ overrated defense, doesn’t it seem like the opposite will happen ? With Pittsburgh, you just have to go against your gut…I could have been boring here and picked Washington, but I decided to go out on a limb and take Oakland. The Raiders are bad, but they’re not 52-0 bad. They came out flat after their first win. Meanwhile, the 49ers look to be in complete disarray, especially coach-wise and in the front office. That spells trouble in the Battle of the Bay where the Black Hole will be going crazy, and the Raiders just might pull off the upset.
Bet $5, win $299.56; Bet $10, win $599.13; Bet $20, win $1,198.26