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Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 10

Cook has a pretty good week to start trending the correct way! Does he continue this wave of correct picks? Gamble to your hearts content!

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Hi, hello & welcome to Week 10 of the National Football League! Week 9 was one of those weeks where you’re reminded that you really don’t know anything about this league. Teams that were supposedly in turmoil and on the verge of ruin came back strong & showed themselves to be contenders. Teams that were considered contenders screwed the pooch. Quarterbacks that typically give you tons of fantasy points didn’t give you anything. Lots of crazy things happened, which is exactly why we come back every week looking for more.

Somehow, after the dust settled, we had a winning record here last week. Not getting far enough above .500 on these winning weeks though, which is making it tougher to get back to .500 overall. Lots of work to do, so let’s get to it.

Thursday, November 11

Baltimore (-7.5) at Miami

The Ravens are a much better team on paper than the Dolphins in any area one could possibly think of. I mean, if you can come up with an advantage for Miami here, I’d like to hear it. Cause I got nothing. There is no reason why this shouldn’t be a lopsided game in favor of the Ravens.

Other than it’s Thursday night and weird things happen. I’m sticking with the better team, but we can’t completely rule out some foolishness.

Sunday, November 14

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-10.5)

Congratulations to the Jags on winning last week. I know we’re all feeling the urge to buy some Jacksonville stock now and act like they’re a halfway decent football team. Tempting, I know. Let’s not get crazy though. The Colts are still the smart pick here, no need to over-react due to one result. Now, if Urban Meyer’s bunch of miscreants do something this week, then we can re-assess things.

Cleveland at New England (-2.5)

The Patriots have not signed Odell Beckham as of my writing this, which would have made things much more interesting. The Browns showed a lot against Cincinnati in a game they needed to win to keep things afloat. It’s tempting to over-react and crown the Browns as the same playoff favorite they were in the pre-season, but I’m here to tell you to pump the brakes. The Patriots are made of sterner stuff than the Bengals, and there’s no rivalry aspect here other than Bill Belichick getting a kick out of beating the team that fired him so long ago.

Atlanta at Dallas (-9.5)

Dallas fans definitely shouldn’t over-react to what we saw last week. They laid an egg against the Broncos. It happens. They’re still the best team in the NFC East and have an easy path to the playoffs barring an insane amount of injuries like they had in 2020. Atlanta fans probably shouldn’t over-react to their team’s comeback win over the Saints…but they’re better than what they showed the first few weeks of the season. I don’t think the Falcons win, but they should keep it close.

Buffalo (-12.5) at NY Jets

Sometimes, a team needs a ridiculously bad loss to get their heads right. The Buffalo Bills have had things too easy here in 2021. They’ve had the opportunity to play some weak teams and run up their win count. At some point, they needed to face some adversity. We didn’t know it would come from the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that’s a thing that happened. They lost, 6-9. Nice. That seems like the punch in the face this team needed, and now they go to New Jersey to face a Jets team that…well, has actually looked good on offense since Mike White took over.

Bills win, but Jets cover. We need this Mike White thing to keep going so Jets fans in the media lose their minds over Zach Wilson being forced to sit on the bench when he’s healthy.

New Orleans at Tennessee (-3)

Would Titans fans be over-reacting if they thought their team was the best in the AFC right now? Maybe not! You’d prefer them to have Derrick Henry at their disposal, but the Titans still got the job done against the Rams. It’s tempting to think they’ll regress this week, and the Saints definitely will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to the Falcons. I think we need to give the Titans their proper respect and assume they’ll get things done against Trevor Siemian.

Tampa Bay (-9.5) at Washington

I totally forgot that the Washington Football Team made the playoffs last year. What a world, huh? Tom Brady lost a football game and will have two weeks to think about it. The Buccaneers will make the Football Team pay for others’ sins.

Detroit at Pittsburgh (-9)

The best thing about Monday night’s game? Chicago fans (and fans all across the nation) finally saw what I’ve been saying about the Steelers all these years on full display. They finally get it. The NFL is in Pittsburgh’s back pocket and always has been. People want to tell me I’m wrong, but Monday night we saw referees hip-checking Chicago Bears and calling penalties to benefit the Steelers. What else do you need?

The Steelers won’t need that kind of help this week.

Minnesota at LA Chargers (-3)

We know this is going to be close, because all these teams ever do is play in close games. A push seems like the right call to me, but we’re going to roll with the Chargers simply because they have more talent. 4-5 points seems about right.

Carolina at Arizona (-10.5)

Speaking of teams that deserve our respect, the Cardinals have only lost to Aaron Rodgers. They’ve taken care of everybody else. The Panthers have been brutal since Week 3, and there’s no reason to think that Matt Barkley or PJ Walker will change that.

Seattle at Green Bay (-3)

Is Aaron Rodgers playing? That’s what you need to know when picking this game. If so, the Packers will win handily. If not, you need to pick the Seahawks. For the purposes of the overall record, I’ll go with the Packers since it seems more likely that Rodgers will play.

Hey, the guy might have proven to be somewhat questionable off the field. Unless he forgot how to play football since that win in Arizona, we can’t question him on the field. At least not until the playoffs…

Philadelphia at Denver (-2.5)

Every week there’s at least one game with two teams I don’t know what to make of. This would be this week’s edition of that game. I have no idea whether the Eagles are bad or somewhat good. Same with Denver. I don’t think either of these teams are really good, but they might be somewhat good. Maybe. Tough to say.

We’ll pick the Broncos because their defense seems to be effective. At least this week. We’ll see what happens next week.

Kansas City (-2.5) at Las Vegas

Two teams that have never liked each other as far back as I can remember. You gotta love some good ol’ fashioned hate. As up & down as the Raiders have been, I hate the idea of trusting the Chiefs at this point. Bad defense, not very good offense, you can’t expect me to pick them on the road against a halfway decent team. The Raiders should be motivated on SUNDAY NIGHT IS FOOTBALL NIGHT.

Monday, November 15

LA Rams (-4) at San Francisco

The Rams got a pretty good buttkicking last Sunday night. They’ll give one this Monday night. Good teams rebound from adversity and take it out on their opponents. The 49ers are not a good team and I’m throwing in the towel for those people that had Super Bowl aspirations for them. We all make mistakes, it’s ok.

Last Week’s Results: 8-6
Overall Results: 61-72-3


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Cook: Super Bowl LVI Final Thoughts

The Super Bowl worked for Cook’s betting picks, but not his fandom. He unfurls some feelings and thoughts about the Super Bowl, and the season that was.

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As a fan of the team that lost Super Bowl LVI, I should probably feel disappointed. Distressed. Discouraged. Disgruntled. Disenchanted. Despondent. Disconcerted. Dissatisfied. Depressed. Dejected. Despondent. Down. Downcast. Downhearted. Lots of D words, basically.

Don’t get me wrong. A sports fan’s favorite team losing any type of game comes with a bit of a sting. You want your team to win. Even those mid-September baseball games where your team has already been mathematically eliminated come with a little sting upon defeat. So yeah, I won’t deny that the Bengals coming up a little short at the end of the game stung a bit. It wasn’t the optimal result.

With that being said…I’m not disappointed or distressed or discouraged or disgruntled or disenchanted or any of those other D words I mentioned earlier. There were plenty of Bengals seasons that left me in that state of mind. Most of the pre-Marvin Lewis seasons. A lot of those Marvin Lewis seasons did, even the ones where they made the playoffs.

The 2021 version of the Cincinnati Bengals gave me nothing to be ashamed of. There were certainly some ups & downs in the regular season, but we all know that the postseason is what matters in football & every other sport. The postseason was the downfall of the Marvin Lewis Era of the Bengals. They could make it there. They just couldn’t win a game. Against anybody. I’m pretty sure I could have found 22 people on the street and beat the Marvin Lewis Bengals in a postseason game.

These Bengals made us forget about the past. Three decades of not winning in the playoffs came to an end. They were favored against the Raiders, but not really favored because they were the Bengals. It was a big hump for fans to get over. I was more gobsmacked after that win than what followed.

I could barely even text people afterward. It was unreal. Once that happened, things got more real. There was this Tennessee Titans team that was the #1 seed but was doubted because of their quarterback and injuries that happened but still got the #1 seed. (Those fans are still very bitter towards Bengal folks, btw.) The Titans even sacked Joe Burrow 9 times and still managed to lose because their offense couldn’t take advantage. But their coach won an award so everything’s ok.

The Chiefs, now there’s a beast I still can’t believe the Bengals managed to beat twice somehow. They’re cutthroat sumbitches just like Dustin James, and have the best quarterback of modern times in Patrick Mahomes. We know they’ll be one of the top teams in the AFC for years to come. Beating them in Week 17 in Cincinnati was one thing. Beating them in the AFC Championship Game in Arrowhead Stadium? Another thing entirely. Crazy stuff, unimaginable before it happened.

The Super Bowl didn’t end well, obviously. There were still moments that Bengals fans wouldn’t have believed before they happened. Joe Mixon throwing a touchdown pass, for one. The experts expected the Rams to blow the Bengals out of the water, and that isn’t quite what happened.

So what did happen?

The Rams’ stars rose to the top, as cream always does eventually. The Bengals could keep Cooper Kupp & Aaron Donald down for so long. You can’t keep the cream down forever. The Bengals’ offensive line could hold the Rams back for 2.5 quarters. They hit a wall eventually. The Rams ran out of weapons other than Cooper Kupp. Odell Beckham had a good game early, got hurt. Kupp was their last option after that, and the Bengals could shut him down for a minute, but not forever. When it was the end of the game and time for stars to step up to the plate, Cooper Kupp got the ball. You have to tip your hat to him.

The Bengals didn’t capitalize off of certain opportunities. As much as we love Evan McPherson, an extra touchdown instead of a field goal would have helped. That early 4th down call that led to a Rams touchdown didn’t help. Why was Samaje Perine in & having the ball directed towards him during the last two Bengals offensive plays of the game instead of Joe Mixon?

Maybe we’ll understand someday. Maybe we won’t. At the end of the day, the result is the same. The loss hurts, but seasons have come to an end in much bitter fashion. The future is still bright. The Cincinnati Bengals may not have shed all of their stereotypes, but few can deny that this isn’t a different team than previous versions. Joe Burrow is still with us, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Ja’Marr Chase is pretty good, along with Tee Higgins. The main thing the Bengals need? Offensive line, which this upcoming draft seems to have a deep pool of.

No, I’m not any of those D words. I’m optimistic about the future of the Cincinnati Bengals. The main thing that worries me? Given how fleeting existence on this mortal coil seems to be these days, I just hope to be around to see that moment where the Bengals finally shut the mouths of those critics. If only for a moment. Critics will always critic, as I well know being one myself.

Who Dey.


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Cook’s 2021-22 NFL Gambling Picks: Super Bowl LVI

Get some of your Gambling Pick insights for the Super Bowl! Cook’s heart may be with the Bengals, but where is his money?

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Hi, hello & welcome to Super Bowl LVI speculation! I’m Steve Cook, and I’m in a bit of an unfamiliar position here. In years past when I’ve done Super Bowl predictions & projections, I haven’t had any skin in the game. My Cincinnati Bengals are typically done for the season long before early February hits. Usually, I’m watching the Super Bowl as an impartial observer that doesn’t really care which team wins. This year, I have some interest.

Before we make the official Super Bowl LVI Against The Spread pick, we’ll look at some of the prop bets. Nothing in the world has more prop bets than the Super Bowl. Most of them are pretty ridiculous. I mean, we’re really betting on whether singers are going to show some cleavage? (Take “Yes” on that one, LA’s going to have some record heat on Sunday.)

Odds via BetOnlineVegas Insider!

Super Bowl MVP:

  • Matthew Stafford: +115
  • Joe Burrow: +225
  • Cooper Kupp: +600
  • Ja’Marr Chase: +1600
  • Aaron Donald: +1600
  • Joe Mixon: +2500
  • Odell Beckham Jr.: +2500
  • Cam Akers: +3000
  • Tee Higgins: +5000
  • Von Miller: +5000
  • Sony Michel: 6600
  • All others: +10000 or above

We all know that quarterbacks are the most likely Super Bowl MVPs, so Stafford & Burrow are the most likely to win it. As far as a less likely option goes? If Jalen Ramsey (+10000) shuts down Ja’Marr Chase and gets an INT in the process? He’d be my pick, and the best pick to get some money on. Von Miller might be a good pick at (+5000) since the voters know who he is.

Will the Super Bowl field goal record of 54 yards be broken?

  • No: -320
  • Yes: +210

Evan McPherson has made four field goals in each of the Bengals’ playoff games. This includes three over fifty yards. His longest field goal during the regular season was 58 yards. It’s definitely within the realm of possibility for him to get it done, so throw some money on Yes.

Largest Lead

  • Over 14.5 (+100)
  • Under 14.5 (-130)

You might think this will be a close game, and it could end up being one. But we’ve seen both the Bengals & Rams come back from double digit deficits during the playoffs. We’ve also seen the Bengals & the Rams have double digit leads, only for their opponents to manage to tie the game. So it wouldn’t surprise me at all if one of these teams got out to a big lead, only to see their opponent come back. Take the over.

Overtime Odds

  • Yes (+950)
  • No (-2000)

We’ve only had two overtime games in these playoffs, both involving the Kansas City Chiefs. One of them also involved the Bengals, so Yes might be worth throwing a few bucks on just in case it happens.

Over/Under: 48.5

I’m liking the under here. We’re talking about two teams without a ton of Super Bowl experience. Will the moment get too big for some of these players? Maybe playing at home helps the Rams like it helped the Bucs last year, but it’s still the Super Bowl.

Sunday, February 13

LA Rams (-4) vs. Cincinnati

The best argument for the Bengals just might be their inexperience. They’re the youngest team on average in Super Bowl history. They don’t know what they don’t know, which can be an advantage in big situations. Of course, Joe Burrow has plenty of experience leading teams in big situations, as we saw him lead LSU to a National Championship just before the pandemic started. His coolness has been a large part of the Bengals’ success so far, no matter what happens he doesn’t seem to get rattled. Of course, if there’s a time where something like that could happen, it might be one’s first Super Bowl.

The Rams defense worries me, as a Bengals fan. They have a couple of top-notch pass rushers in Aaron Donald & Von Miller. Tough to find faults in their games, and everybody else can capitalize off of being unnoticed. Joe Burrow might not mind being blitzed, but we all know that the main Bengals weakness is their offensive line.

Then the Rams have Jalen Ramsey working the cornerback position. He’ll have a lot of receivers to keep track of, but I feel like Ramsey Island is something for the Bengals offense to worry about, like Revis Island back in the day. If Ramsey can shut down Ja’Marr Chase, then Tee Higgins or Tyler Boyd need to take advantage. Maybe they can, but here’s the difference: I don’t doubt that Cooper Kupp or Odell Beckham can take advantage off of whoever’s covered. The Bengals just don’t have that secondary depth.

If the Rams can get the same pressure on Joe Burrow that the Titans did, there’s no reason they shouldn’t win this game by at least a touchdown.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Super Bowl LVI!


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