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NFL Picks: The Degenerate Gambler Steels a Win

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Good morning, ladies and degenerates!

As you know, our favorite rascal, the Degenerate Gambler, enjoys putting $100 on various Chargers-themed bets each week. He is terribly addicted, we’re sorry to say, but we can rest easy knowing that he doesn’t really have to worry about collectors at the moment, as he’s been on a good winning streak for the last few weeks. Let’s see how he’s done to this point, shall we?

LAST WEEK:

Week 12: Cardinals @ Chargers

Wager 1 - Cardinals spread (+14): $35.00 [-115] L

Wager 2 - Total points (over 44.0): $50.00 [-105] W $47.62

Wager 3 - First half total (>20.5): $15.00 [-155] W $9.68

Week 12 Totals: +$22.30

2018 Total: +$98.54

Another good week for the Gambler, but that’s largely because he figured that there would be a bit of a shootout. As things would happen, there was no shootout at all. The Cardinals simply got decimated, and the Chargers put up an incredible number of points in the second quarter, helping the Gambler elevate two of his bets and destroying the first. He is okay with this situation!

But what about today’s events?

Week 13: Chargers @ Steelers

Wager 1 - Total Points (Under 52.5): $45.00 [-110]

Wager 2 - Total receiving yards - Antonio Brown (<84.5): $10 [-110]

Wager 3 - Total receiving yards - A. Ekeler (>28.5): $15 [-110]

Wager 4 - Total passing yards - Big Ben (>301.5): $15 [-115]

Wager 5 - No team scores 3 consecutive times: $15 [+200]

Total potential win: $106.28

Total potential loss: Everything again!

So, diving in here, we can try and see what it is the Gambler envisions for this tough-to-figure-out matchup. The Steelers historically play pretty well on their home turf, but the problem with both teams is that this is not a must-win game. Yes, the winner almost assuredly stamps their postseason ticket on account of this win. However, there are clear and easy paths to the postseason for each team with a loss today. Expect a surprisingly sloppy game. If any team takes over, it’s the Chargers because they might suddenly smell that the Chiefs are vulnerable.

Everyone is expecting an offensive explosion, and for good reason. But 52.5 is just a really, really high point total. The Gambler honestly wanted the Chargers spread to be 3.5, because he has this game marked as a Chargers loss by 3 (on the final play of the game, no surprise). Without a decent kick-back for taking the Chargers moneyline (a paltry +155), the Degenerate Gambler went on the game-day individual bets.

JuJu Smith-Schuster has been the Pittsburgh #1 lately in everything but the public consciousness. For that reason, expect him to flourish and Antonio Brown to be limited to low yardage (and 2 TDs in crazy situations). The Gambler was most unsure about that bet, but pretty sure that Big Ben throws for more than 301.5. He’s done that the majority of the season. After last week, many people are starting to notice Philip Rivers, but don’t let his accuracy distract you from a terrible bet: Over 290.1 is a bad bet for Rivers, because he’s only done that a few times this season, with 259 on last week’s record day. Roethlisberger is good for high yardage whether he’s got a good game or a bad one.

The Gambler feels that the betting world hasn’t caught on to Ekeler being much of a factor, so he’s quite happy with a [-110] return on what should be an easy mark: catch 28.5 or more yards. Ekeler has averaged 32.2 per game, and Gordon clocked in at 45.3. Great bet!

Finally, it’s another great week for the Gambler because he gets to take his FAVORITE bet! He wanted to go hard on ‘No team scores 3 consecutive times,’ but it’s a positive return because it doesn’t hit all that often. Still, the key to winning that bet is to take it when two strong teams meet. When he saw +200 on the return, this is one of the juiciest times to take a long-shot bet this year. He’s not ready to mortgage the week on that high return, but there could be worse choices for a Degenerate Gambler.

Good luck this week!

-Jason ”Steel My Heart” Michaels