• Max Carlson

Max Against the Spread | Week 7: Finally Out of the Undertow

If gambling were easy, I’d be drinking rum on a boat somewhere off the coast of Cozumel. But alas, here we are. Although, despite the rough start to the season, I found some kind of temporary sanity in this rabbit hole last week, when I finally had my first .500 performance, going 7-7 against the spread. Let’s try to get over that mark with this week’s slate.

Last week’s record: 7-7

Season record: 23-39


Broncos (+1) @ Cardinals (-1)

There are a few teams in the league that I have a hard time betting on, regardless of the spread. Right now, Arizona is one of them. Their lone (ugly) win against a bad 49ers team a couple weeks back is not enough to earn my confidence in them.

My pick: Broncos (+1) (EVEN)


Titans (+6.5) @ Chargers (-6.5)

The Chargers are broke, and the Titans are terrible. This measly spread is an insult to how well the broke chargers play football, as well as to how poorly the financially stable Titans play football. No-brainer here.

My pick: Chargers (-6.5) (-110)

Browns (+3.5) @ Buccaneers (-3.5)

I like the Browns to cover in this one, and maybe even on the money line at +160. But the reality is Tampa has been so up and down, that it’s really difficult to predict which version of them will show up on Sunday. Avoid betting on this one.

My pick: Browns (+3.5) (-110)

Panthers (+4.5) @ Eagles (-4.5)

Neither of these teams jump out at me as clear favorites, on the money line or the spread. I’m predicting a close game in this one, so I’m going with Carolina to cover and keep it within 4.

My pick: Panthers (+4.5) (-110)

Vikings (-3.5) @ Jets (+3.5)

Jets QB Sam Darnold continues to impress, but he’ll face an intimidating defense this week. The Vikings are 1-1 against rookie quarterbacks this year, and I’m putting my money on them improving to 2-1 in that regard, and covering the spread in the process.

My pick: Vikings (-3.5) (-110)

Lions (-3) @ Dolphins (+3)

All signs point to undefeated Dolphins legend Brock Osweiler making another start this week in place of injured QB Ryan Tannehill. While his one game undefeated streak has been a joy to watch, I’m afraid all good things must come to an end. I’m taking Detroit to leave Miami with the win and the cover.

My pick: Lions (-3) (-110)

Patriots (-3) @ Bears (+3) [SLAM DUNK OF THE WEEK]

After losing in heartbreaking fashion to undefeated Dolphins legend Brock Osweiler last week, the Chicago Bears now have to try and right the ship against Tom Brady and the Patriots. I’m not betting against Tom Brady in small spread games against teams who happen to have Mitchell Trubisky as their starting Quarterback. If the Bears were to make a last minute trade for undefeated Dolphins legend Brock Osweiler, I may reconsider… But I don’t see that happening.

Also, Westgate currently has the vig set at +105 for a Patriots cover. That appears to be an error, as you’ll rarely see vigs better than even money on point spread bets. Jump on this one.

My pick: Patriots (-3) (+105)

Bills (+7.5) @ Colts (-7.5)

It’s been fun cashing in on the Bills covering huge underdog spreads this year, but this week I’m finally taking the favorite. Without Josh Allen, I don’t see Buffalo keeping up with Andrew Luck and the Colts, especially with T.Y. Hilton likely coming back this week.

My pick: Colts (-7.5) (-110)

Texans (+5) @ Jaguars (-5)

After getting absolutely embarrassed in Dallas last week, the Jaguars come home to take on the Texans. The Texans are on a nice three-game win streak right now, and with Blake Bortles likely throwing ducks all afternoon, I’m predicting the upset and subsequent cover for the Texans. It’ll be a nice healing moment for the city of Houston, since their Astros are going to get eliminated from the playoffs tonight against the Boston Red Sox. David Price is due.

My pick: Texans (-1) (EVEN)

Bonus Baseball Picks: Boston on the Game 5 Money Line (+170), UNDER 8 runs total (EVEN)

Saints (+2.5) @ Ravens (-2.5)

I like this Ravens defense, but I like Drew Brees a lot more, especially when he’s a rare underdog. It isn’t too often where you can bet on Brees and get points spotted to you. Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. has been placed on IR, but look for Cameron Meredith and Tre’Quan Smith to step up in the supporting roles behind star WR Michael Thomas. Add in Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, and there is simply too much firepower on this Saints offense for Baltimore to deal with.

My pick: Saints (+2.5) (EVEN)

Cowboys (+2) @ Washington (-2) [FADE OF THE WEEK]

Despite their convincing win over the heavily favored Jags last week, Dallas has been a bad football team this year and last week was surely an anomaly. I’m taking Washington in this one, but due to the unpredictability of NFC matchups, I’m not confident in the pick. Fade this game.

My pick: Redskins (-2) (-110)

Rams (-9.5) @ 49ers (+9.5)

This isn’t the quarterback matchup everyone was hoping for in the latest installment of the Kyle Shanahan/Sean McVay coaching rivalry, and as a result, the game was flexed out of primetime. The league may be regretting that decision now, after the 49ers nearly took down Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau Field on Monday Night behind a really strong offensive performance by QB C.J. Beathard. The 49ers nearly beat the Rams in a home primetime game last year with Brian Hoyer at the helm. I’m expecting the team to be playing pissed off due to the primetime snub, and while they likely won’t beat the mighty Rams, it’ll be much closer than the bookies think.

My pick: 49ers (+9.5) (-110)

Bengals (+6) @ Chiefs (-6)

There’s an old proverb I read years ago, and it instantly became somewhat of a motto for me that I still try and live by to this day:

“Always bet on Patrick Mahomes to cover the spread, no matter what it is.” - Unknown

My pick: Chiefs (-6) (-110)


Giants (+4.5) @ Falcons (-4.5)

I’m expecting a high scoring game in this one, as this injury riddled Falcons defense provides a great opportunity for Giants QB Eli Manning to possibly put up a decent week. Between Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Matt Ryan, there’s scoring potential everywhere you look. The over/under is set at 52 and I’d hammer the over in this one. As for the spread, I’m taking Matty Ice and the Falcons to win by 5 or more.

My pick: Falcons (-4.5) (-110)

Parlay of the week:

Falcons (-4.5)

Saints (+2.5)

Patriots (-3)

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