In what may be a sign of the future, welcome to the shortest, most concise Best Bets of all time!
The goal here is to let you know what I’ve been betting and get these on paper before the holiday.
Enjoy the lack of flowery language and the almost militant, sparse analysis because next week we’re back to 10,000 words.
Here are the Week 13 Best Bets:
NE -3.5 @ HOU 4.5 Hoots WORMS Delta: 12 for HOU
This one is easy for me to disagree with WORMS on.
Houston is not a very good football team and their strengths align perfectly with the Patriots’ strengths.
Good receivers can be neutralized by the New England cornerbacks.
Aaaaand that’s the only strength of the Houston Texans. Yes, Deshaun Watson is a good quarterback, but he plays behind a bad offensive line without a running game and with a coach who has never beaten the Patriots.
WORMS may be knocking the Patriots for their performances on the field, but as the Night Owl pointed out, Bill Belichick wins on the margins. He has the ability to play games in the style that will be most successful and this shape shifting is hard to capture in an algorithm.
Let’s lock this in and move on.
TB to win @ JAX (-105) 4 Hoots WORMS Delta: 10 for TB
Wow our first moneyline Best Bet!
Given the shrinking line here, taking the moneyline is the best way to earn value.
And there is value to be had when playing Jacksonville. Over the last month they have been a dumpster fire. They have the worst point differential in the league over the past three games at -21.7 and haven’t been competitive in a game since October.
The Bucs, on the other hand, have been playing competitive football all season and could easily have a couple more wins were it not for missed kicks and coin flips (definitely the title of the 2019 Bucs mixtape).
They’ve scored 30+ in three of their last four, and despite their defense being the butt of many jokes, they have also played a murder’s row of offenses.
The bottom line is that Jacksonville is playing like one of the worst teams in the league while Tampa Bay has been battling against tough teams all year. Let’s take a team fighting against one the seems to have given up.
TEN +2.5 @ IND 4 Hoots WORMS Delta: 29.5 for TEN
A lot has been written about the advantage of dividing up the NFL season into quarters. This helps to focus in on a team’s current identity and better accounts for injuries, suspensions, scheme changes, etc.
If that is the case, then we are entering the fourth quarter of the season. And the two teams of the third quarter were Baltimore and Tennessee.
The Titans are 4-1 since Ryan Tannehill took over and the one loss was to a Panthers team that got a ridiculous game from Christian McCaffrey. But you know all this because I have loved the Titans the past couple of weeks.
What you may not know is how much Indy is struggling. They exploded for 33 a couple of weeks ago, but that was against the aforementioned Jags team that is falling apart. Besides that their past four point totals have been 17, 15, 24, and 12.
It has been an admirable season from the Colts, but the wheels might be coming off at just the wrong time.
If you like this bet, I might also suggest the Titans to win the AFC South at +400. If they win today and Houston loses to New England, they will be tied. They have two games remaining and that could end up making Tennessee a team of the fourth quarter as well.
But if that is too much for you, just take the Titans against a team that hasn’t been playing well for a while.
NYJ -3.5 @ CIN 3.5 Hoots WORMS Delta: 15 for NYJ
This is the scariest bet of the week by far.
A suspiciously small spread coupled with a Cincinnati team that is returning to a veteran quarterback it benched to start a rookie means this game is a little unpredictable.
What makes this a Best Bet still, though, is the fact that the Bengals do not want to win games and the Jets need to win games to save jobs and their season.
It isn’t mathematical, but it is real and with a spread at just over a field goal, it is hard to fully imagine the Jets not holding a touchdown lead for much of this contest. After all, their season margin of victory of -12.3 (31st in the NFL) isn’t that much better than their last three weeks margin of victory of -16.3 (31st in the NFL). The point being Andy Dalton is not the savior of this team.
It’s always a scary proposition to bet on the Jets, and Cincinnati is acting so erratically they just add to the uncertainty. At the end of the day, though, a mediocre team should beat the worst team in the NFL by more than a field goal.
NO -7 @ ATL 3 Hoots WORMS Delta: 0
WORMS doesn’t like this game because these two teams played a couple of weeks ago and Atlanta shocked the world.
What WORMS can’t account for though is the anomaly that was that game.
Since then, it has become clear that any renaissance by this Falcons defense was smoke and mirrors, and their offense has reestablished itself as a disaster. On the season, Atlanta has given up more points than the Bengals, despite their two great performances.
Meanwhile, New Orleans badly needs a get right game, and on national television on Thanksgiving, they should be trotting out their best game plan. There aren’t a lot of numbers here, but there is a strong feeling. Atlanta is more the team we saw the first half of the season and New Orleans isn’t about to give up ground in a race for a first round bye.
Saints by double-digits, Atlanta moving closer to double-digit losses.
The Big Money Makers
Old parlay fingers (I have no idea why but I can’t stop calling myself this) hit one last week! And a Detroit Lions win would have given us another and set us up really nicely for this week.
But I suppose the one will have to do, and this week we will take a shot at getting another couple.
We aren’t going with six again, but let’s try and get good value in the few we do pick.
Here are the Week 13 Big Money Parlays:
PARLAY 1 - The 3 Hooter
TB to win (-105)
TEN +2.5 (-110)
NE -3.5 (-110)
NYJ -3.5 (-110)
MIN +3 (-105)
$25 to win $638.05
PARLAY 2 - The WORMS
ARI to win (+140)
CLE to win (-135)
NYJ to win (-170)
TEN to win (+120)
$20 to win $271.95
PARLAY 3 - The Turkey Day Parlay
DET to win (+155)
BUF to win (+245)
NO -7 (-110)
$25 to win $394.88
PARLAY 4 - The I don’t give a Hoot
TEN +2.5 (-110)
TB to win (-105)
NYJ -3.5 (-110)
NE -3.5 (-110)
MIN to win (+140)
WAS +10 (-115)
MIA +9.5 (-110)
$10 to win $1153.65