What an interesting week huh? Bad teams playing worse teams, losing money betting on the Patriots, and Lamar Jackson giving OldTakesExposed work that will last him through the rest of the season. It’s an even more interesting week given that it seems like the Squares have wised up a bit to the fact that maybe betting on every Favorite might not be the best strategy. While normally, there are weeks in which there’s at least one game in which is bet on by 80% or more by the public and a handful of games that are bet on by more than 70%, this week, the Squares either avoided the board all together or they decided to try their hand at being a Sharp. Leading into the Sunday morning games, no team saw an 80%+ Public handle and only one even hit the 75% mark.
DET Lions (-4) @ WAS Redskins: 75% Public Bet
The line for this game opened at -1.5 and eventually closed at -4. No one should be surprised the Lions were heavily bet on against the Redskins even with Jeff Driskel at the helm, and if you bet on the Redskins, you must be sharper than a Great White’s tooth because Dwayne Haskins was bad last week and he was bad again this week. The Redskins’ only touchdown was due to a fluke 91 yard kickoff return; otherwise, the rest of the team was atrocious. Thankfully for Redskins bettors though, the Lions were that much worse. Driskell accompanied his one touchdown with three interceptions, including the one late in the fourth quarter that ultimately led to the game winning field goal. Had that not happened, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this game end up in a tie. Thankfully, the football gods spared us… well except for the ones who bet on the Lions.
BAL Ravens (-3) @ LA Rams – 74% Public Bet
WOOOOOO BOOOYYY THIS GAME! This game opened as a Pick ‘Em… YES AS IN YOU COULD’VE JUST PICKED THE RAVENS TO WIN. Dear lord, I need to repeat myself that I was so wrong about Lamar Jackson. He is so good, and that Rams team is clearly still riding high off last season’s reputation. This team is just not the same. Sean McVay can’t coach, Jared Goff’s contract is about to be an albatross, Todd Gurley is inept (seriously how do I keep getting him on his off years in fantasy?), and the defense is not the same despite equal or better talent in various positions.
In reality the real story is not just Lamar Jackson, but also John Harbaugh, and his ever welcoming embrace of utilizing analytics for in-game decision making. If you haven’t heard, analytics have been growing inside the game, and progressive coaches are taking advantage of old-school coaches who refuse to accept the future (classic case of OK BOOMER). John Harbaugh goes one step further though. Not only does he use analytics to formulate his roster and scheme his game plan, but he has someone in his ear on every play telling him what the analytics say regarding win probability. It’s turned him into one of the most, if not the most aggressive play callers in the league, and has put everyone on notice. At this point, you’re the Square if you bet AGAINST the Ravens.
SEA Seahawks (-1.5) @ PHI Eagles – 73% Public Bet
I’m not going to argue as to whether Seattle can be considered a Sharp/Square bet or a Public Dog because the line opened up at Seahawks +3 and then eventually closed at Seahawks -1.5. Either way the Seahawks ended up being a nice play that didn’t go as smoothly as one might hope (including myself). With the Eagles’ atrocious secondary and the lack of any NFL caliber wide receivers, one would have imagined that Russell Wilson would have torn that team up; instead, we got a pound and ground game with Pete Carroll calling more rushing plays than passing (maybe by just one but still), leading to Wilson accruing a measly 200 passing yards and a 75.4 passer rating. So while this might not have been a great day for those who have Seahawk offensive players on their fantasy team (once again… me), it was a great day who recognize a lock when they see one.
TB Buccaneers (+3.5) @ ATL Falcons – 69% Public Bet
Let me ask you something: Is Dan Quinn the DUMBEST coach on the planet? Seriously though. How can someone be this bad at coaching?
Somehow Dan Quinn figured out a way to not score a billion points on the literal worst passing defense in the league while having Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Calvin Ridley on his team. If you want to talk about a guy who doesn’t understand analytics, Dan Quinn kicked a field goal down by two scores… to be down by two scores. He is a very bad coach who should have been fired weeks ago, and lo and behold here he is not scoring points and allowing the Buccaneers to come into his house and win.
It’s so very clear as to why the Falcons were the Public’s bet: Jameis Winston is a bad quarterback who probably doesn’t even have 20/20 vision; the Falcons were riding high; the Buccaneers have the WORST pass defense in the league; and you could have bought the Falcons at a field goal at one point.
But then you have Dan Quinn. And that’s why we play the game.