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Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 7

Cook’s pick record is looking as bad as Romeo Crennel’s NFL head coaching record. Maybe he gets the ball rolling? Take a look for the gambling picks!

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Hi, hello & welcome to Week 7 of the National Football League! I’m Steve Cook, and last week’s football couldn’t have gone worse for my picks and my fantasy teams if I tried. I had the worst pick week that I can remember, and most my fantasy teams ended up in high scoring matchups that ended in defeat. Those are always the worst, when you’re looking at your league standings and seeing your high point total next to a crappy record because you get everybody else’s best week somehow.

It’s funny, I started doing all this stuff back in the day because the Bengals were completely useless and stuff like fantasy football was the only way to really keep interested. Now the Bengals look like they might be good and it’s all the ancillary nonsense I do that’s making those grey hairs pop up. Strange how life works out, isn’t it? All we can do is move on to the next one and not dwell on the past. So we try once again, hoping that we’ve already hit rock bottom and there’s nowhere to go but up.

Thursday, October 21

Denver at Cleveland (-3)

Say what you will about Baker Mayfield’s playing ability and whether or not he deserves to get the fat payday that every NFL starting quarterback gets at some point or another. What we know for sure is that the guy will go out there and play through any injury. It might not be the most intelligent thing in the world, but Mayfield has earned the respect of Browns fans with the fortitude he’s shown since donning the uniform. Granted, it’s a shared characteristic with most football players, but many of them haven’t been injured as often as Mayfield has been.

As it turns out, Case Keenum will be playing this week, as Sunday-Thursday wasn’t enough time for the Browns to justify running an injured Baker out there. Most of the Browns are fighting off some type of injury at this point, and this is one of those weeks where you really don’t want a Thursday night game right after your Sunday offering. The Broncos have issues of their own, but not quite as many.

Sunday, October 24

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-6)

OK, so even I have to admit that the Bengals are looking different this season. After Zac Taylor’s first two seasons ended with two & four wins respectively, year three sees the Bengals sitting at four wins after six games. Last week’s showing was impressive even if it was against the awful Lions, as that’s the type of game in previous years where the Bengals would screw around and either lose or win very narrowly. The connection between Joe Burrow & Ja’Marr Chase has been tremendous. Chase is making better blocks than Penei Sewell. Joe Mixon is on point. The defense has been tremendous. There’s a lot to like.

There’s one thing I don’t like for the Bengals this week: They’re going to Baltimore. Up to this point in his career, Lamar Jackson has proven unstoppable against these guys. I know I’m supposed to dislike Lamar Jackson for exactly that reason, but he went to my alma mater and was the most exciting college football player I’ve ever seen. This goes against many of my fellow football fans’ belief that you have to hate everybody that plays against your favorite team, but that’s not how I roll. Lamar’s a good kid that’s very fun to watch, and I’m happy that Louisville is retiring his number. (I just hope things stay that way, and we don’t have a Jon Gruden/Tampa Ring of Honor situation in the future. Jackson is a solid character & a credit to Louisville & the Ravens’ organization, but if any school would have something like that happen it would be Louisville.)

The Ravens are on a roll right now and I see it continuing against Cincinnati.

Carolina (-3) at NY Giants

Sam Darnold returns to Metlife Stadium! Woop Woop! This is me trying to gin up some excitement for a game featuring a team falling off a cliff against a team that’s already at the bottom of the cliff. The Giants are obviously not very good, but I don’t have much faith in Carolina as a road favorite.

Washington at Green Bay (-9.5)

I’m pretty sure that fans of the Washington Football Team would rather have Aaron Rodgers as the team’s owner than Dan Snyder. It’s gotta be tough to defend that guy, even tougher than playing defense against NFL teams has been for the WFT in recent weeks. Washington has gotten trucked in three of their last four games, and I suspect the Packers will continue that trend this week.

Kansas City (-5.5) at Tennessee

The Chiefs’ offense got back on track in Week 6 against Washington, and if Tennessee’s defensive performance against Buffalo was any indication, they should be fine this week as well. The main problem facing KC: their defense is awful and they’re going against Derrick Henry. Not a great combination for success! Whether the Titans win or not, I think they can hang in there with the Chiefs in a shootout.

Atlanta (-2.5) at Miami

To say things have gone poorly for the Dolphins so far would be quite the understatement. They might have hit rock bottom by losing to the Jaguars in England…or perhaps they have even lower points to reach. Time will tell. I do see this being a high scoring game, as neither defense has shown much of an ability to stop opposing offenses. I also see the Falcons scoring more points.

NY Jets at New England (-7)

Eh…methinks Bill Belichick is going to have something to say about that. The Patriots won 25-6 back in Week 2, and I haven’t seen anything since then that tells me it’ll be much different. We can talk about Bill’s conservative play calling in later weeks, as I don’t think it’ll be much of an issue this week.

Detroit at LA Rams (-15)

Uh huh. Quarterbacks always have to say it’s just like every other game, but we all know the truth. Matt Stafford is looking forward to completely decimating the franchise that squandered the early portion of his career. The Lions are looking forward to the season ending. You couldn’t make this line too high for me, the Rams will take this in a laugher.

Philadelphia at Las Vegas (-3)

After six weeks I don’t really know what to make of either of these teams. Philly has had a bunch of close losses against good teams while the Raiders have resembled a yoyo, changed head coaches and somehow sit at 4-2. They seem to be on an upswing now, so I’m going to suggest rolling with the Raiders. Wouldn’t be shocked if this one ended up as a push though.

Chicago at Tampa Bay (-12.5)

One wonders just how many times Tom Brady is going to break that record. After six weeks he’s leading the NFL in passing yards, is second in touchdowns and fourth in QBR. Just accept the fact he’s playing until he’s 50. Bears fans are hopeful that they’ll have finally found an acceptable quarterback by then, and that it’ll be Justin Fields. Maybe it will be, but right now the Bucs are a pretty wide favorite and have done a good job of taking care of business at home against inferior opposition. It might not be the highest scoring game of the weekend, but I think the Buccaneers win by enough points here.

Houston at Arizona (-18.5)

Yes, the Cardinals are better than previously thought. Certainly better than the Texans here in 2021. But man…that spread is huge and we’re already riding some pretty heavy favorites this week. When you add in the fact that the Cardinals will surely be looking ahead to a Thursday night matchup with the Packers, this thing has “letdown” written all over it. Not saying that I see Tyrod Taylor rising from the ashes and magically leading the Texans to victory. I am saying that he can get the Texans within 18.5 against a team with bigger fish to fry.

Indianapolis at San Francisco (-4)

Sure enough, people are buying into the Colts again after a decisive victory over those Texans. To me, it’s like Matt Sydal piling up wins on AEW Dark & Dark: Elevation before returning to Dynamite or Rampage to lose against an actual wrestler. But then on the other side of things there’s a 49ers team that has lost three straight and are looking for answers coming off of a bye week. Pretty much a must-win game for San Fran if they’re going to contend in the NFC West like people thought they were.

Jimmy G will be back in the saddle and lead the 49ers to a win keeping them in the hunt. I know it seems early to use the phrase “keeping them in the hunt”, but those Cardinals & Rams are off to fast starts. Plus, any excuse to talk about Playoffs & play that Jim Mora video is acceptable.

Monday, October 25

New Orleans (-5) at Seattle

It’s tough to imagine a somewhat mediocre team heading into Seattle as a five point favorite, but that’s where we’re at. It’s also tough to imagine the Saints having a better defense than the Seahawks, but again, that’s where we’re at here in 2021. The Saints are well-rested and have the better defense, but something tells me the Seahawks will keep it close. Mostly because it’s a primetime game and that’s what’s been going on lately.

Week 6 Results: 4-10

Overall Results: 40-52-2


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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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