Tag Archives: Arizona Cardinals

Beating Vegas: Pile It On

In football, every team has a window.  These windows come and go, but usually once it comes and goes, it’s gone forever.  Some of these teams have “trap” games, or “let down” games.  This week, there are certain teams that need to separate themselves from the pack.  It’s a time to slay their opponent in such fashion that it was an insult to have to play them in the first place. . .

New York Giants +11.5 at Denver Broncos

There are still three win-less teams in the NFL this season.  The first two were predictable: the Browns and the 49ers.  The third is the team from New York. . . no not that one, the other one – the New York Giants.  Before the season started, the Giants were looked upon by many to be a division winner, or a Super Bowl contender.  “Not I,” said the Rabbit.  I couldn’t see how a one dimensional offense with a bottom tier offensive line would survive in today’s NFL.  After last week’s loss to the Chargers, those lofty dreams died, and so did the season for the Giants.  They lost their number one and two receivers for the rest of the season (Beckham and Marshall) and are now clearly the worst in the NFC East.  Eli Manning has been on a downward spiral his last three or four seasons and it’s safe to say the coach, Ben McAdoo has lost his team. On the flip side, the Denver Broncos are 3-1 and have one of the league’s best defenses.  The Broncos are  allowing 260 yards a game, (approximately, 50 rushing yards a game and 210 passing yards a game).  Offensively, this team was supposed to be horrible, but they’ve actually shown a nice balance between the pass and run game. Surprisingly, the rushing pair of CJ Anderson and Jamaal Charles (4.5 and 5.3 yards per rush respectively) have helped give quarterback Trevor Simien something to fall back on.  Truth is, 11.5 is a big number and might just get bigger, but the Giants might not put up more than 2 field goals in this game.  Denver wins because of field positions and Eli Manning turnovers.

The Pick: Denver -11.5

Cleveland Browns +9.5 at Houston Texans

Much like the Giants lost their best player in Odell Beckham Jr, the Texans lost their best player in J.J. Watt.  Unlike the Giants though, the Texans still have a chance to win their division, have a lot of upside and aren’t a plague within their community. Bill O’Brien’s Texans are 2-3 but have found some new life with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson.  He’s been improving on his completion percentage (now 62%), has thrown 12 touchdowns to his 4 interceptions and is leading the team in rushing with 331 yards.  The Texans defense has been stout but losing JJ Watt and now Whitney Mercilus for the whole season will be huge.  You can’t just say “next man up” when those are the two pairs of shoes to fill.  The Cleveland Browns continue to be the a joke who’s punchline has lost its luster in the league, and it seems that Deshone Kizer project is (mercifully) over in Cleveland, so one would assume that Kevin Hogan will get the nod.  And deservedly so, he has looked better than Kizer whenever given the opportunity.  The Browns rush defense is holding opponents to less than 3 yards a rush, but they also haven’t played against any prolific offenses or seen a QB as athletically versatile as Watson.  Houston has the third most rushing yards in the league, but expect them to take advantage of this horrible pass defense.  Its unfortunate for the Texans, but they know how to play defense without Watt.  Also, if we’re looking at really simple arithmetic-esque patterns, the Texans lost, then won, then lost, then won, then lost. . .guess what’s next?

The Pick: Houston Texas -9.5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5 at Arizona Cardinals

The Bucs are 2-2 this year and their best performance was a 5 point LOSS to New England.  This is a team that came into the season with a lot of hype and are now in the reality of “we need to fight every week.”  This week they are playing an Arizona Cardinals team that isn’t very good at all.  We here at Beating Vegas have drank the Kool Aid offered to us by Arizona, not once, but twice and it tasted like trash.  This time, we learned our lesson at Beating Vegas – hopefully.  Carson Palmer is pretty much, literally on his last leg. And although the Cards are second in the league when in comes to passing yards, the average yard per completion is less than 7 and they are completing passes at a rate of 59%.   The rushing game doesn’t help much either considering it is the worst in the league at 2.9 yards a rush.  We all knew losing David Johnson would hurt but not THIS much.  The Cardinals are so desperate they traded for washed up Adrian Peterson.  This is a complete desperation move as Peterson does not fit the Cardinals mold of a back who can catch passes and line up as a wide out so maybe they are looking to go more smash-mouth.  Maybe?  If that’s so, Peterson’s average the last year and a half is somewhere around 3 yards a carry so don’t expect much.  The Tampa Bay Bucs have the talent on both sides of the ball.  There really should be no excuse. I don’t even care that they have to fly from Florida to Arizona.  I’m sure me and my friends from New York could fly out to Arizona on Saturday night and hang about 30 on this Cardinals team.

The Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.5

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Entry Eighteen

Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread.  The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.

Judging Last Week: If not for a backdoor touchdown scored by Clemson, we would’ve split the games last week.  Instead we got our first losing week in about a month and a half.  Although, I will say this: The playoffs will not count against my winnings for the entire football season.  There was a healthy plethora of games to pick from week to week, and now with the NFL playoffs, it’s slim pickings on how you want to wager your money. . .

 

Green Bay Packers (+7) at the Arizona Cardinals

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Last week, the Packers made fools of everyone who believed that the Washington Redskins would skate away with a convincing win.  Now a Packers team that feels good about itself is going back to a place where they felt their worst all season long.  Back in week 16 of the season, the Packers visited Arizona and were destroyed by the  Cardinals 38-8.  The Packers were sacked 9 times in the meeting and to say their offense was suffocated by the Cardinals defense is an understatement.  Carson Palmer and the Cardinals offense found themselves in prime field position for most of the game.  It was 31-0 in the third quarter and the game was over.  This time around, Green Bay’s offensive line has a renewed brand of confidence after handling the Redksins defensive front (albeit after giving up a safety) and revenge will be key for the Packers in this one.   The thing about the Cardinals is that they are coached by a man who some say is the smartest/best coach in the NFL in Bruce Arians.  Arians saw how his defense dominated in that last meeting and will find different ways to attack.  Green Bay’s quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has abandoned the pocket frequently this season and one should expect that trend to continue.  Green Bay will stick around in this one with Arizona pulling it off in the end.

The Pick: Arizona -7

Kansas City Chiefs (+4.5) at the New England Patriots

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Kansas City pretty much had an unofficial bye-week in the first round of the playoffs and now they go against Tom Brady and the Patriots.  The Patriots and the NFL Playoffs go together like Bill Cosby and . . . nah, I won’t go there – The Patriots and the NFL Playoffs go together like peanut butter and jelly (boring, yet safe).  New England has an ambiance about them which many perceive as arrogance but if you’re the Patriots, you’ve earned the right to be arrogant . . . and hated.  The Kansas City Chiefs are allergic to losing as they have knocked out 11 straight victories since last losing to the Vikings on October 18th.  The Patriots needed the bye-week in the Playoffs after suffering back to back loses to division rivals the Jets and the Dolphins.  Both of those games should raise flags for the New England faithful because both of those teams they lost to, play a physical brand of defense  – and one team, in the Dolphins, doesn’t blow you away offensively and against the Pats, they seemed to do enough to win.   The Patriots are hurting offensively, with an offensive line that is underwhelming and outside of Rob Gronkowski, no real threat to worry about for an opposing secondary.   Tom Brady is a legend and it’s hard to count against him, especially in the playoffs – but the Chiefs are on a tremendous winning streak and are getting points against a New England team that is favored because of their legacy and not of what they presently represent.

The Pick: Kansas City +4.5

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers (+7) at the Denver Broncos

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It was only four weeks ago, that the Steelers were a seven point dog to the Broncos, except last time it was the Steelers that were home, and it was the Steelers who not only covered the spread but won the game outright (as predicted by yours truly here).  Things are different this time around.  Steelers’ running back Deangelo Williams is highly unlikely to play due to injury, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is day-to-day with a shoulder injury and wide receiver Antonio Brown is under the NFL’s concussion protocol.  With those three weapons in doubt, things look very grim for the Steelers.  The Steelers’ best-case-scenario would be Brown being cleared to play, Roethlisberger playing through discomfort and Williams still being sidelined.  That even seems tough to swallow, especially when going against this Denver Broncos defense.  The offense of the Broncos will be led by Peyton Manning, but this isn’t the Manning we’re used to seeing, this version of Manning still spends a half hour calling audibles at the line of scrimmage, but to ultimately throw a duck towards the sideline or check it down to the nearest receiver.   Safe to say, Rothlisberger  will force himself out on that field and he may not look much better than the previously mentioned Manning.  .  .  this is how we’re doing the pick for this one:

The Pick(s):  If Antonio Brown and Rothlisberger play, take the Steelers +7; If either one of them are not available, they won’t move the ball against Denver, so take Denver -7.

Hope you guys got that!  And as always, Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio