You Should Have…Week 4 football picks
Jim Vallet and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
How people react to my gambling losses has always fascinated me. Some gloat. There are many “I told you so” “friends”. Like the person who knows a great deal after you buy a new car, there are some that tell me I-should-have-talked-to-them-because-they-knew-something. There are some that juxtapose my defeats with their many victories.
But there are two groups of reactions that really gnaw at my craw. The first is the “hindsight is 20/20” people, and the leader of this anti-me movement is none other than my beautiful wife, Melanie. Take last Sunday, for example. As I watched the Raiders imitate the wind outside and blow away my pick, the Steelers, Melanie was not in the least sympathetic. “How could you have picked the Steelers? Didn’t you talk about how tough the Raiders were on Monday night in that game against the Ravens? Didn’t you say that Derek Carr had the look in his eye of the big guy in front of us when you spilled beer on his girlfriend? Didn’t you say this was a different Raider team than the last several years? Didn’t you say…”
“Yes, I said those things.”
“Well then, no wonder you’re losing. You deserve it.”
It was no better on Sunday night. As it became clear the Chiefs would not cover the 3 ½ point spread, Melanie again invoked things I had said only when it was clear I was wrong.
“How could you bet the Chiefs? Didn’t you say that they were over bet and were not doing well against the spread?”
“Didn’t you say they had a completely different offensive line?”
“Didn’t you say they had some bad characters as assistant coaches?”
“Well, then, you can’t cure stupid. You deserve to lose.”
Melanie could write this column for Sunday picks on the Monday after and unashamedly do very well.
The second group is the secret betters. They never tell you on whom they will bet, but they always claim victory after the fact.
A few years ago, my friend, Don and I went on Friday night to make bets for the following Sunday. We discussed the upcoming Cowboys-49ers game.
Me: Who do you like in the Cowboys’ game?”
Don: “That’s a tough one. I can make a case either way. Maybe I’ll bet the total.”
Don never told me who he bet on, at least, not until the following Monday.
Don: “A great weekend for me, and it was the Cowboys who did it.”
Me: “What?! You said it was a tough one, and you were going to go for a total.”
Don: “Well, when I looked at it, I just knew the Cowboys were the pick. It was my game of the week.”
My father in law was also a secret bettor at the race track. I guess he figured my $2 bet would adversely affect his odds. In my mind, you CANNOT claim victory in the brag game unless you let me know your pick ahead of time.
Not related to football betting, I also hate the people who claim they never lose at slots and the little old lady that somehow is always behind me at every grocery store machine I have ever played. Worse yet, this old lady announces to the store every mistake or controversial play I make, “He’s going for an inside straight”, or “He threw away a pair of KIngs”. Although throwing away the Kings was a mess up by me, I had a great comeback, “I was going for something better.” If you like it or not, it got me a free beer from the biker guy.
No rewards of any kind for my picks last week, going 3-3, which anyone could do with a set of darts. Here are this week’s picks against the spread. Lines are from vegasinsider.com on Tuesday, Sept. 21.
NO PICK BUT ALERT: The line on the Texans-Panthers game has moved from Panthers -4 ½ to Panthers -7 ½ because of the news that Tyrod Taylor would not play. Not THE Tyrod Taylor!! He moved the line 3 points by himself??!! That being said, I’m not betting it nor picking it here because the backup QB is none other than David Mills!
ANOTHER ALERT BUT NO PICK: The line on the Cardinals-Jaguars game has moved from Arizona -9 1/2 , to Arizona -7, because of..well, I don’t know. Again, no prediction from me on this one because, well, the Jags stink. Wonder how long until Urban Meyer is off again.
New England Patriots (-3) vs. New Orleans Saints. If pressured, Jameis Winston turns back from superman into Jameis Winston. Look for the Pats to do just that.
Los Angeles Chargers (+6 ½) at Kansas City Chiefs. See what my wife reminded me about the Chiefs, plus the Chargers will have (I hope) a different crew of referees this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3 ½) vs the Cincinnati Bengals. This line opened at Steelers – 6 ½ and I do have the courage to go with the books on this one.
LA Rams (+1) vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wrong team favored here. This line opened at Rams -1.
San Francisco 49ers (-3 ½) vs. the Green Bay Packers. 49ers look tough, Green Bay is not playing the Lions this week.
Last week 3-3
Kansas St. (+5 ½) at Oklahoma St.: Both of these teams introduced a pair of Mountain West teams to big boy football, dominating Nevada and Boise St. at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball last week. But Kansas St.’s win was the more impressive of the two, considering Oklahoma St. left Boise with a win only because first, the officials mistakenly blew a play dead on which Boise returned a fumble for what could have been the winning touchdown, then Boise St. missed the game-winning field goal on the last play.
LSU (-2 ½) at Mississippi St.: LSU is a far cry from the 2019 edition, but they were completely unprepared for the Mike Leach Experience last year, and suffered an upset loss as a result. LSU quarterback Max Johnson seems to have stabilized a position that LSU has struggled to fill since Joe Burrow left, and Mike Leach’s teams have not fared well against the spread lately.
Cardinals (-7) at Jaguars: I believe Urban Meyer is a poor fit for the NFL, and as such, I believe he is unfit to develop Trevor Lawrence as an NFL quarterback. I’m no fan of laying a touchdown on the road with teams that haven’t displayed the maturity to go on the road and take care of business, but I’ll bet against Meyer until it either stops being profitable, or until he’s gone. I’m guessing the latter will happen first.
Patriots (-3) vs. Saints: Maybe this is the week the Saints get Alvin Kamara back on track. More likely, though, is that Bill Belichick finds a way to torment Jameis Winston into some more interceptions.
Falcons/NY Giants over (47 ½) : The Falcons aren’t good, but they fought hard against the Buccs and only trailed 28-25 until Matt Ryan threw two pick-sixes in the fourth quarter. The Giants aren’t good, but they took the Football Team to the wire last week. Now they’re both 0-2 and desperate for a win, and desperation games tend to go over.