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Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 6

The only thing worse than Cook’s string of picks, would be certain head coaches life choices. Some people will never change, but will Cook’s luck?

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Hi, hello & welcome to Week 6 of the National Football League! It’s definitely been an up & down season over here. We narrowly had a winning record last week, but still sit below .500 overall. If previous years are any indication, we’ll be under .500 for awhile, make a classic comeback in the second half of the season, go up & down like a yo-yo and finish just over .500. What I’m saying is that y’all better stick around, because things are about to get interesting.

Speaking of things getting interesting, we have to talk about Jon Gruden, don’t we? I would have put a lot of money on Urban Meyer being the first head coach to get replaced this season, turns out he’s going to out-last at least one guy. Gruden joins an ever-growing list of people ruined by their e-mails, as messages he sent to Bruce Allen were uncovered as part of an investigation into misconduct by Allen while he was president of the Washington Football Team. Gruden being the first domino to fall as a result of an investigation into Washington seems a bit odd, though it’s hard for me to argue he doesn’t deserve the backlash he’s getting. Can’t feel bad for the guy, but the whole situation feels kinda weird. The fact that the first e-mail made public was a racist insult about NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and the fact it got released just prior to a vote on Smith’s future with the NFLPA, seemed awfully fishy.

It makes one wonder how deep this thing is going to go. Who else in the NFL was exchanging e-mails containing opinions best kept out of the public eye with Bruce Allen or other people in the WFT front office? How many people employed by NFL teams are deleting all of their e-mails? Something tells me we’ll never know the answer to any of these questions, but we’ll find out what somebody wants us to find out about.

I’m not sure I’d call Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders a disappointment, since most of us expected it to not go particularly well. He ended up going 22-31 during his 3.25 season stint with the Raiders, and early returns seemed to show that this season’s Raiders team wasn’t going to improve that winning percentage too much. Especially if their showing against the Bears on Sunday was any indication. Looking back, it seems like a sign that the team had given up on him. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant at this point. Gruden’s out of Las Vegas, and I wouldn’t count on him being back anywhere too soon.

Heck, Tampa Bay booted him out of their Ring of Honor! I wonder if they’ll have a ceremony for that on Thursday night…

Thursday, October 14

Tampa Bay (-7) at Philadelphia

Tom Brady allegedly has some kind of hand injury. Does anybody really think it’s going to hamper him in this game? Even on a Thursday night? Come on, that’d be betting against greatness, and you know darn well we don’t do that around here. Seven points is a tricky number, especially in Philadelphia, but the Eagles have yet to win a home game this season and the slimmest margin is six.

Sure, they’ve only played at home twice, but doesn’t that sound like a good stat? We riding with the Buccaneers, it’s not like anyone there has any reason to be distracted with this Gruden stuff. Unless they sent some sketchy e-mails to Bruce Allen…

Sunday, October 17

Miami (-3.5) vs. Jacksonville

I mean…Jets vs. Falcons was at least somewhat entertaining when the Jets tried to make it a game in the second half. The Falcons also had some real nice looking uniforms. I’m struggling to find anything positive to say about this one. You got a sorry, no account Dolphin team that have gotten their doors blown off most of the season after somehow winning in Foxboro by a point, then there’s a sorry, no account Jaguar team with a coach that is bound to either quit or get fired or have a mutual parting of ways during the bye week after this game. I’d be shocked if Urban Meyer is still coaching the Jags when they go to Seattle on Halloween. Tony Khan & the rest of the Jags brass better hope the Dolphins cover here, it’ll make their job much easier.

Houston at Indianapolis (-10)

I mean, we knew the AFC South was going to be pathetic, but this is somewhat ridiculous. People will want to sell me on the Titans, and they probably end up “winning” this division, but it’s a pretty sorry collection of teams. The Texans are absolutely brutal, and the Colts aren’t a whole lot better. My honest recommendation to you would be to avoid watching this game or having any kind of association with it.

If you insist on involving yourself in this type of filth…well, you probably need to call one of those hotlines for people with gambling problems. I do have the feeling the Texans will come within 10, but it’s a disgusting situation all around that I would want no part of.

Green Bay (-4.5) at Chicago

This is certainly the most historical rivalry in the NFL. It isn’t the most competitive. The Packers have had a 44-15 edge since 1992, when Brett Favre became the team’s QB1. And, to be honest, it wasn’t really competitive for most decades. The Bears dominated from the 1920s-1950s. The Packers dominated during the 1960s when Vince Lombardi came along. Then the Bears dominated from Lombardi’s leaving the Packers until Favre’s emergence. It’s been a rare occasion where both of these teams are good at the same time, and this isn’t one of those occasions.

That all being said, I’m leaning Bears based off that spread. The Packers have some defensive weaknesses that can be exploited.

Kansas City (-7) at Washington

I’ve been giving the Chiefs the benefit of the doubt so far, and they’ve been doing all they can to convince me they don’t deserve it. Then they go to Washington to face a Football Team that just lost to the Saints by 11. What am I supposed to do with this? By all rights, the Chiefs should be able to take care of this, and that’ll be my pick. Will I be shocked if it doesn’t work out? Absolutely not, even if a team QBed by Patrick Mahomes should easily take care of a team QBed by Taylor…good lord, I can’t even remember. Hendrix? She used to be around. Was nice for a second.

Minnesota (-1) at Carolina

I’ve arrived at this conclusion about the Panthers: If Christian McCaffrey can play, the Panthers can win. If McCaffrey can’t play, they can’t win. I mean, if Panthers fans want to correct me on this they can, but I’m pretty certain this is the deal. Assuming he actually plays, I have to roll with the Panthers, especially if Dalvin Cook’s status is also up in the air. This game could either feature two of the best RBs in the league or be absolutely not worth watching.

LA Chargers at Baltimore (-3)

That’s what I was thinking. This seems like a perfect fit for SUNDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT, doesn’t it? The Chargers have charged their way to the top of power rankings while the Ravens have kept doing their thing. They had one of the craziest comebacks in recent memory while we were all figuring out that Jon Gruden nonsense. While that whole news story was happening, we assumed the Colts had somehow blown out the Ravens in Baltimore. That didn’t happen, thanks to Lamar Jackson being an absolute freak of nature. Some people forgot. Lamar wasn’t MVP for a season, and some people forgot. That man gonna be a problem for people for at least the next few years. Probably longer.

Winning here would be a big deal for the Chargers. That would be their official coronation as the top AFC team for this 2021 season. I realize that betting against Justin Herbert might be betting against greatness one of these days…but so would betting against Lamar Jackson. I’m taking the Ravens, though this feels like a push kinda game. Especially when Justin Tucker is kicking for the favorite.

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Detroit

I’d like to tell y’all to predict the Bengals running over the Lions like in that clip up above, but things have me a bit concerned. Like the whole Joe Burrow throat contusion thing. If the guy can’t talk to much leading up to the game, he’s going to have problems screaming. Which he’ll need to do whilst running the Bengals offense in a loud Ford Field. I’ve been under-selling the Bengals all season, and people say I’m over-selling the Lions…but that team tends to keep things close. If the Bengals actually do win this game, it’ll be one of those field goal differential games.

LA Rams (-10.5) at NY Giants

Well, reports say that Daniel Jones is working out, and that’s reason for Giants fans to be optimistic. No, there’s actually no earthly reason I’ve seen to not take the Rams, as everybody involved with their passing game & defense appear to be healthy. Sometimes these things aren’t hard.

Arizona at Cleveland (-2.5)

I’m a big fan of what Arizona has been doing early. Not so much of Cleveland. So that means the Browns are the team to pick here. I know that sounds strange, but trust me.

Jake Roberts voice: Trust me.

I know how these things work. You’ll see the Browns blow the Cardinals out here…it doesn’t mean Arizona is screwed going forward, it just means they got woke up.

Las Vegas at Denver (-3.5)

Raiders fans already reaching for explanations when they lose…I mean, as much as I’d love for that team to be good due to a historical fetish I have, they really haven’t been in a long time, and we can’t blame referees for it. The Broncos have gotten owned the last two weeks like I figured they would, but now they have an inferior team to feast on at home again.

Dallas (-4) at New England

America’s Team vs. The Team That Wants To Be America’s Team So Badly They Called Themselves “Patriots”. If the Patriots are looking for a silver lining, it’s that all the asskickings the Cowboys have dished out lately took place in JerryWorld. Their two road games were much closer affairs. That being said, we’re talking about a team that barely beat the Texans after the national media told us how great they were since Tom Brady took mercy on them. The Cowboys take no mercy. Just ask-you know what, I better calm down right now before people start asking questions.

Seattle at Pittsburgh (-5)

Yeah, this thing won’t be worth staying up for. Alls I’m saying is that y’all shouldn’t keep under-selling the Steelers. That’s when they’re at their most dangerous. You let them slide under the radar while the national media goes gaga over Lamar, the Browns and even the Bengals for some reason…Pittsburgh loves that shit. They thrive off of it. They want you to keep doing it. I don’t, so I give the Steelers their proper respect and say they’ll win this game easily.

Monday, October 18

Buffalo (-5.5) at Tennessee

Last week we had a lot of people telling us how the Bills would get exposed in Kansas City. Pretty sure some FS1 geek staked his career on it. His reasoning was how the Chiefs had embarrassed the Bills in previous meetings. Well, that didn’t hold up. This week, the reasoning for picking the Titans would be that they embarrassed the Bills last season. Pretty sure the Bills remember that, and that’ll be a reason they don’t sleep on an AFC South team.

The Titans do have Derrick Henry…but not much else. I lean towards the Bills handling their business.

Week 5 Record: 8-7-1

Overall Record: 36-42-2


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Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 12

Cook had a better week last week, but still not great. Thanksgiving seems to be similar; but a few winning picks can change rough games! Give the spread a look!

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Hi, hello & welcome to Week 12 of the National Football League! It’s Thanksgiving, so we’re getting three big games on Thursday along with the usual Sunday/Monday fare. It’s also a very interesting week schedule-wise, as the slate is littered with games featuring teams in playoff contention. The flip side of that: there’s also a ton of games with bad teams going against each other. These games either look awesome or terrible, there’s no middle ground.

Before we get started, I must wish the people a Happy Thanksgiving. One of the main things I’m thankful for: the people that have stuck with me through what hasn’t been one of my best overall years content-wise. One look at my picks record at the bottom of the column will tell you how this particular experiment is going. I appreciate you all for hanging on this ride, even though jumping off might be the easier thing to do.

Lines provided by Vegas Insider

Thursday, November 25

Chicago (-3) at Detroit

Ah yes, it’s that time again. Every single year, NFL fans join together at Thanksgiving in a display of unity that’s rarely seen in this day & age. We disagree on pretty much everything, but there are a few things that most Americans can still agree on. One of them is our annual dismay over being forced to sit through a Detroit Lions game on Thanksgiving. Nothing against the Lions personally, it’s just that they’re almost never good. It’s more often that they’re awful, and this is one of those awful years for the Lions. Their opponent, the Bears, seem on the verge of firing their head coach no matter what happens in this game. Smell the excitement!

If you must gamble on this thing, go ahead and pick the Lions. The Lions are the worse team here, but at least we know they’ll be trying. The Bears have a lame duck coach and winning by a large amount of points would just make things complicated.

Las Vegas at Dallas (-7.5)

The Raiders are heading down the tubes, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering everything that’s happened in Las Vegas this season. There’s only so much a team can handle before going off the rails, and the Raiders have gone through much more than their limit. Dallas needs a win since the Eagles & Washingtons are starting to look like they might contend for that division title. If the Cowboys keep messing around like they’ve been doing, they won’t like the results.

Buffalo (-6.5) at New Orleans

Gonna be an emotional night for Saints fans as they get to honor their franchise’s GOAT. If they’re not crying over that, they might be crying over the state of their team. Alvin Kamara won’t be playing, Mark Ingram is questionable, Trevor Siemian is still the quarterback…we’re going with the Bills here due to the Saints’ myriad of issues.

Sunday, November 28

Tennessee at New England (-7)

The Titans are near the top of everybody’s NFL Power Rankings, yet they’re rolling into Foxboro as the decided underdogs. It’s easy to see why: The Patriots are looking like the Patriots again. We all knew it was coming, there was no chance in hell that Bill Belichick’s guys were going to be mediocre forever. Now they’re great again, and we figure they will beat everybody.

It’s also tempting to pick against the Titans because they somehow lost to the Texans last week. I think they rebound this week, and at least beat the spread.

NY Jets at Houston (-2.5)

The sad thing is this isn’t even the worst game of the week. The Texans might be able to pull something together for at least one more week.

Philadelphia (-3.5) at NY Giants

Two teams headed in opposite directions here. The Eagles seem to be making a run towards playoff contention, and will keep that going against a Giants team that seems headed towards big changes this off-season. What they’ve been doing hasn’t been cutting it.

Tampa Bay (-3) at Indianapolis

I was concerned about Jonathan Taylor’s matchup against a stout Bills rushing defense last week. I’m not concerned about Jonathan Taylor’s matchup against anybody now. I still like the Buccaneers here because Tom Brady does pretty well in Indianapolis.

Atlanta (-2.5) at Jacksonville

I told you we had some rough games on the docket this weekend. I guess take the Jaguars at home as a dog? Maybe? I dunno man, both these teams stink out loud.

Carolina (-2) at Miami

Cam Newton looked good in his comeback, but not good enough to lead the Panthers over the Washington Football Team. I think the Dolphins win here and continue sneaking their way into playoff contention by virtue of defeating miserable teams. Not their fault, they didn’t make the schedule.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-4.5)

I know how this movie ends. A dominant showing for the Steelers that sends them up the rankings & the Bengals back to their customary spot at the bottom. I’ve seen this play out too many times, and as much as I’d like to think things could change with a new cast of characters, I doubt it.

LA Chargers (-2.5) at Denver

I don’t know how the Broncos are still in the playoff hunt, but it’s a thing that’s going on. They got a couple of tough weeks coming up, and this is part one. Justin Herbert & Austin Ekeler should be able to get things done for the Chargers in Denver.

Minnesota at San Francisco (-3)

You know we have to pick the Vikings as an underdog no matter what the number is. They always keep it close, and this week will be no exception even if Jimmy G is revitalizing his career with his recent play.

LA Rams (-1) at Green Bay

I’m supposed to pick a an LA team on the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field in late November? What am I, insane? Have I been taking some of that medicine Aaron Rodgers recommends? I have not, so I’m picking the Packers. A loss in Minnesota is just what that team needs to get their heads right for the last part of the regular season.

Cleveland at Baltimore (-3.5)

Lamar Jackson is over his illness, and Hollywood Brown seems to be on his way back too. On the Browns side of things, Kareem Hunt might be back this week. That would help a great deal, but Baker Mayfield is still held together by duct tape & spit. The Ravens defend their home turf.

Monday, November 29

Seattle at Washington (-1.5)

It’s probably time for all of us to admit that the Seattle Seahawks just aren’t any good. You guys probably realized that before me, to be fair. I kept buying in because of the whole Russell Wilson thing and the fact that they usually end up figuring things out, but it’s time to face facts. Seattle isn’t good. The Football Team is at least feisty, and should be able to take care of business at home.

Week 11 Results: 6-9

Overall Results: 69-93-3


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Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 11

Cook’s better record looks as bad as the Jets record this year. Our main man may have just had his hopes for a positive record dashed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to make some money! Plus you could always just bet against him like I suggested a few weeks ago…

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It’s Week 11 in the National Football League! Last week at this time, we had a little hope. Your humble correspondent had managed a winning record during a week where a lot of crazy stuff happened, and the road to .500 & beyond was starting to look feasible. Then Week 10 happened, and just when I thought I had hit rock bottom, I found a level below that.

This has been a good learning experience for me. It’s taught me how far below I’m at compared to actual NFL experts. I feel that most fans could benefit from such an experience. Y’all go ahead and try to pick games, and you’ll be at a level near mine. It’s so ridiculous.

I wish I had something better to say about my picks, but I don’t. So let’s hook em up!

Thursday, November 18

New England (-7) at Atlanta

The Patriots are on a four game winning streak, and three of them would be classified as blowouts. They’re a half-game behind those Buffalo Bills, but heading to Atlanta on a short week against a Falcons team that got humiliated in Dallas. The good news for the Falcons is that they didn’t wear themselves out too much in the second half of that game. The bad news: the Patriots are rolling.

Sunday, November 21

Detroit at Cleveland (-10)

There’s one main question we need the answer to here: Is Nick Chubb playing? We’re not certain of that at this moment. We are certain Kareem Hunt won’t play, and we’re also certain that the Browns offense isn’t doing a lot without either man. Say what you will about the Lions, but a lot of their games have been closer than one would expect. I expect this to be one of those games.

San Francisco (-6.5) at Jacksonville

I declared the 49ers dead last week, so of course they stomped all over the Rams on Monday night. Of course their schedule opens up pretty nicely for a stretch run. If there’s one thing we’ve established so far this year it’s that I usually don’t know what I’m talking about.

I’m still pretty sure the Jaguars are bad though, so go with the 49ers.

Indianapolis at Buffalo (-7)

The Colts’ strength has been the running game, as anybody that’s been forced to use Carson Wentz on their fantasy football team can tell you. The Bills boast one of the best rush defenses in the NFL, so much of the Colts’ hopes will rest with Wentz. Relying on the passing game in Buffalo in November isn’t the best route to success. I see the Bills taking care of business here.

Miami (-3) at NY Jets

It’s tough to trust the Dolphins on the road, but it’s the Jets & Joe Flacco. If the Dolphins can make Lamar Jackson look human, surely they can keep Joe Flacco from getting a whole heck of a lot done.

Washington vs. Carolina (-3.5)

Killa Cam is back, and Panthers fans couldn’t be happier. Heck, we’re all pretty happy about it. Cam Newton in a Panthers uniform just looks right. His homecoming this week should be something else, and it’ll be a tough environment for a Washington Football Team that had lost four straight before beating the Buccaneers last week in one of those results that makes one scratch their head.

We’ll ride the emotion this week and go with the Panthers to get the win here & give the fans more hope about what Newton can do in a late-career renaissance. We’ll ignore the fact that he didn’t actually start his first game back for now and enjoy the atmosphere.

Baltimore (-5) at Chicago

The Ravens haven’t looked right since that demolition of the Chargers back in Week 7. A narrow victory over the Vikings has been sandwiched by two butt-kickings by the Bengals & Dolphins. Neither of whom were expected to do such things. The Bears are coming off of a bye week after arguably getting hosed by the officials in Pittsburgh back in Week 9. Defense is their strength, and they should be able to do enough to at least keep the Bears close in this one.

New Orleans at Philadelphia (-1.5)

It’s been a tough stretch for the Saints, with two narrow losses after wins over the Seahawks & the Bucs supposedly put them on the map. They need to score a win here to keep the spiral from getting too downward. The NFC South is pretty close though, so they’re not in as big a pinch as the Eagles are. Philly is 4-6 & looking up at a 7-2 Cowboys team that doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. They also haven’t won a home game since December 13, 2021. The team they beat then? The New Orleans Saints.

I think Jalen Hurts gets it done and the Eagles stay in contention.

Houston at Tennessee (-10)

What arguments can we make in favor of the Texans? They’re coming off of a bye. Derrick Henry still isn’t playing. That’s all I got. Houston has only come within one score twice in eight weeks, and the Titans have beat a good number of the teams making mincemeat of the Texans. Maybe there’s a surprise in store for the Titans here, but I don’t see it.

Green Bay (-2.5) at Minnesota

Another thing we already know: this game’s going down to the wire. All Vikings games do, it’s just a fact of life. I know we make the joke every week, but only one Vikings game has been decided by more than one touchdown. If you like watching competitive football, this is the team to watch. The Packers have been on a pretty good roll since Week 2 (not counting the game Aaron Rodgers missed, of course), and I tend to side with them in divisional games. And in most games, to be honest.

Cincinnati (-1) at Las Vegas

People tell me that a bye week is supposed to give a football team a chance to rest & recover so they can come back strong for the rest of the season. As a Cincinnati Bengals fan, I see the bye week as a chance for a football team to mess around and not prepare for their next opponent, as that’s what the Bengals do. A really good way to prove that things have actually changed with Zac Taylor at the helm would be for this team to actually get their poop together & win in Las Vegas.

These teams are in oddly similar positions. The Bengals went to New Jersey and lost to the injury-riddled Jets, then went home to get blown out by the Browns, a bitter division rival. The Raiders went to New Jersey and lost to the injury-riddled Giants, then went home to get blown out by the Chiefs, a bitter division rival. They’re both at 5-4 and could really use a win here to stay in the thick of the playoff chase. I assume the Raiders will win this because the Bengals typically don’t win in these spots. Should the Bengals actually win, the odds of me getting drunk and tweeting embarrassing things at Leigh Mayock are pretty high. (Hell, I’ll probably be doing that either way.)

Arizona (-2.5) at Seattle

The Colt McCoy Era looked pretty good for one week, then came crashing back to reality. Then he got hurt and the Cardinals were stuck with Chris Streveler. Kyler Murray seems to be getting closer to returning, but the conventional wisdom is that Arizona will wait until after their Week 12 bye to bring him back. That would be smart. Especially since it’s going to be cold & rainy in Seattle, and Murray would just end up laying an egg anyway. Like Russell Wilson did last week in Green Bay.

This one’s going to be a low-scoring win for the Seahawks, leading into everybody writing off the Cardinals.

Dallas at Kansas City (-2.5)

“Most anticipated regular season game of the season” seems like a stretch when we treated Brady vs. Belichick like it was the Super Bowl. You’ve got two pretty popular sides here though, and both seem to be on an upward trajectory. We think. Dallas is showing those yo-yo tendencies while Kansas City’s offense finally started looking like itself last weekend against the Raiders. In any event, it’s Patrick Mahomes vs. the Cowboys, and Fox is going to get a pretty huge rating for it.

Dak Prescott apparently needed a week to warm up, along with an inferior defense to take advantage of. He’s got another one of those this week. I think the Cowboys defense has a better chance of making a stop against Kansas City, which seems impossible to believe unless you’ve seen the Chiefs defense.

Pittsburgh at LA Chargers (-5.5)

Theoretically this seemed like a pretty good choice for SUNDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT. Shame everybody’s injured and both teams are coming off of embarrassing showings against NFC North teams. Pittsburgh is especially lacking in star talent on the offensive & defensive sides of the ball this week, so the Chargers look to be the pick here.

Monday, November 22

NY Giants at Tampa Bay (-11)

You know everybody’s jumping on the Tom Brady is PISSED OFF bandwagon. The only problem with that is that I cited Tom Brady being PISSED OFF last week, and he went out there and lost to the Washington Football Team. Does it take longer to get mad when you get older? Given my experience with old people, I kinda doubt it.

That being said, the Buccaneers are 3-0 when favored by double-digits at home. They’ll probably win here, the question is if the defense can keep the Giants from getting too close. It largely depends on whether or not Saquon Barkley is playing or not. As I type this, it looks good for him. That might change, but until then I’m going to roll with the Giants to get within 11.

Last Week’s Results: 2-12

Overall Results: 63-84-3


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