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Cook’s 2021-22 NFL Gambling Picks: Conference Championship Weekend

How does the NFL follow-up the greatest weekend in the history of our sport? With a loaded Conference Championship Weekend. And Cook has your picks!



NFL Conference Championship Weekend

How does the NFL follow-up the greatest weekend in the history of our sport? With a loaded Conference Championship Weekend. And Cook has your picks!

If you had any doubt that the National Football League is the pre-eminent form of sport in America, and will continue to be for as long as we’re all here, that surely went away after this past weekend. I mentioned last week how the Divisional Weekend is traditionally the best weekend of each NFL season. This season’s offering topped all expectations people had, which were high to begin with because it’s the NFL.

The Bengals & Titans got things off to a roaring start, with the upstart Cincinnati club getting through to the AFC Championship Game on a field goal in the dying seconds. Heady stuff for a franchise that was widely expected to be among the bottom five this season. This would usually have been the biggest upset of a given day, but the 49ers outdid them by knocking the Packers & their nationally despised quarterback out with a field goal in the dying seconds. Both #1 seeds were one and done in one night. The kind of drama the NCAA wishes they could manufacture every year in their men’s basketball tournament.

You thought there was no way that the Sunday games could have topped that, and the day was destined to be a letdown. Especially after the Rams got out to a 27-3 lead in the first game of the day. You were wrong. Tom Brady led the Buccaneers back to a tie because that’s the sort of thing he does, and the only surprising thing about it was the Rams managed to kick a field goal in the dying seconds. Then Patrick Mahomes & Josh Allen put on a show the likes of which we haven’t seen since ever. The Chiefs ended up winning in overtime (without the Bills getting a possession, which led to all sorts of talk), but the fans were the biggest winners of all.

Well, maybe second-biggest. The National Football League was probably an even bigger winner than the fans. I’d go as far to say that their #1 status in American sports is even stronger than WWE’s #1 status in American sports entertainment. Not only is the NFL the most established brand by a mile, it’s also the most entertaining by a mile. No matter what problems we might have with rules or executives or whatever, it’s tough to argue that they aren’t doing everything right.

Of course, it’s going to be tough to top last weekend. At best, you can only have two instant classic games instead of four. However, we do have four teams that know each other very well, have met very recently, and will do their best to establish their dominance.

Sunday, January 30

Cincinnati at Kansas City (-7)

The Bengals don’t like being thought of as underdogs. Joe Burrow & C.J. Uzomah have been very adamant about that. As far as the team is concerned, they are that good, and they deserve to be in the spot they’re in right now. Which is an awesome mindset. However, from outside the locker room, the simple fact is that nobody in the world expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be in the AFC Championship Game five months ago. Not many more people expected them to be here at the end of the regular season, and not many more people expected them to be here last week.

Hell, I’ve been picking against them all this time. My blood is Bengals orange & black during football season, but with that comes the knowledge of what’s happened before. Thirty-one years without a playoff win. Zero road playoff wins prior to 2022. When your chosen team is constantly playing the role of Charlie Brown to Lucy, you get used to the outcome and don’t even entertain the idea of something else happening. Getting calloused to failure means it doesn’t hurt as much when it happens.

The fact the Bengals have gotten this far puts this team on a level most Bengals teams haven’t reached. As much as we loved the Marvin Lewis teams with Carson Palmer, Chad & Rudi Johnson, Willie Anderson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Andrew Whitworth & the various cast of weird characters on defense, they never accomplished as much as this team did. Those folks couldn’t win one playoff game, let alone two.

The Kansas City Chiefs were supposed to be here. There was a brief period of time early in the season where their defense was the drizzling shits & Patrick Mahomes wasn’t quite the Mahomes of previous years where people wondered. I figured they would get back to form, and they did just that. The defense drastically improved, and the offense got back to being the Kansas City offense from the past few years. Given what’s happened on the NFC side of the bracket, it’s tough to bet against the Chiefs hoisting another Lombardi Trophy and Pat Mahomes adding another title to his record.

Yeah, the Bengals did win the Week 17 game, and it’s not like the Chiefs were disinterested and started a bunch of back-ups or anything like that. They were trying to win that game. It’s definitely something that’s been overlooked by Vegas & the media, where one wonders if the smart bet is against the spread.

The one drawback the Bengals have had this postseason is fair to bring up against a Chiefs team that scores so many points. Evan McPherson has been the Bengals MVP so far, and has been lights out from 50+ yards this season. He’s a great weapon to have, but everybody in the world knows that the Bengals won’t go to the Super Bowl if he’s kicking four field goals. The Bengals need to be scoring touchdowns against this Kansas City Chiefs team that will be cited as one of the great offenses of all time twenty years from now.

I feel like the Chiefs will win by 10 points. On one hand, I’ll be bitter. On the other hand, the Bengals will have had one of the best seasons in the history of the franchise, and it’ll be tough to complain. There’s no guarantee the Bengals will get back to this point with Joe Burrow at the helm, no matter how much we wish it so.

At least my friend Dustin James will be happy. We might part ways after this game, as football’s a serious piece of business worth taking seriously. Should the Bengals somehow win, Dustin James would send a hitman after me. He says he wouldn’t, but I know better. He’s a cutthroat sumbitch that would want my head on a platter if the Chiefs were eliminated here. The difference between somebody happy to be here and somebody that won once and now thinks it’s their birthright.

The Chiefs think it’s their birthright. I think they’ll win, and continue to think they have a birthright to go to Super Bowls and do tomahawk chops.

San Francisco at LA Rams (-3.5)

The 49ers certainly seem to have the Rams’ number. Six straight wins over the Los Angeles Rams, including a win that got them into the playoffs to begin with. Had the Rams taken care of business in Week 18, they might be playing the New Orleans Saints, the Green Bay Packers, basically anybody other than the San Francisco 49ers. It goes to show just how important those final games can be, even if coaches & players want to act like they aren’t.

I know people want to tell me that Matthew Stafford got to the next level once he beat the Bucs, and people want to tell me that Jimmy Garoppolo can’t be trusted. See, this is a tricky thing. I would like to trust Jimmy, but my friend Mina Kimes doesn’t, and now people want to trust Jimmy G because Mina never played football. Well, I didn’t play much football either, so Jeff Garcia wouldn’t trust my opinion either. Unless he knew that I had a penis. An important thing to have when you’re discussing football.

That being said, the Rams have looked as good as anybody else during the playoffs. We have to ignore that bit where the Bucs came back from a 27-3 deficit, because the Rams did end up winning. Cooper Kupp is getting MVP talk again, which is kind of weird because the MVP is only based on regular season activity. We choose to forget that when we need something to talk about. The Rams do have a bunch of star players, who so far have stepped up in big situations like star players tend to do.

It does seem that the 49ers will have the homefield advantage. It also seems like a close game, so even if I think the Rams will win, it could be a three point game. Should the 49ers win, it’ll be because of Deebo Samuel, who I’m not sure anybody has an answer for.

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Down The Wire: No Cap Recap Super Bowl Edition

The Wortz brothers are back one last time this season to review Super Bowl LVII!



The Wortz brothers are back one last time this season to review Super Bowl LVII!

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Cook’s 2022 NFL Gambling Picks: Super Bowl LVII

It’s the Super Bowl, and the world will be watching! See who your resident Chairshot handicapper Steve Cook thinks will win the NFL’s championship!



Super Bowl 2023

It’s the Super Bowl, and the world will be watching! See who your resident Chairshot handicapper Steve Cook thinks will win the NFL’s championship game between the Eagles and the Chiefs.

Hi, hello & welcome to Super Bowl LVII! I’m Steve Cook, and I’m not going to lie to you good & honest Chairshot readers. I have absolutely no interest in writing this column or watching this game. None whatsoever. Those of you that root for NFL teams that have come up short in conference championship games know exactly what I’m talking about. Granted, getting to that position certainly beats a decade of three-win seasons, three decades of not being able to win a single playoff game & most of the states that NFL franchises currently find themselves in, but there is absolutely no fun to be had in a Super Bowl that you think your team should be in.

Our Cincinnati Bengals had a few too many obstacles in front of them. They had to deal with the best quarterback in the league, who allegedly had a high ankle sprain but seemed to be throwing the ball and moving around pretty well. The Bengals quarterback didn’t have his best game, and their offensive line had a little too much to deal with while the Chiefs’ offensive line seemed unbothered. There was all the trash being talked by some of the Bengal players, which while horribly overplayed by the media certainly got under the Chiefs’ skin. Then there were the officials giving the Chiefs extra downs whenever they needed them and popping up with some kind of bogus call whenever the Bengals made a big play.

So the Bengals season is over. Which is fine. Now I have to hear about how it’s such a wonderful story that the Kansas City Chiefs managed to somehow get back to the Super Bowl. I have to hear about Andy Reid, & Patrick Mahomes, & Jackson Mahomes, & how loud it gets in Kansas City, and that goofball from the University of Convicts, Travis Kelce. Oh don’t get me started…ok, I’ll get started.

Did you know that Travis & Jason Kelce are the first brothers to oppose each other in the Super Bowl? I might have heard that a time or thousand over the past couple of weeks. It’s not accurate. See, Travis is a tight end for the Chiefs, while Jason plays center for the Eagles. They will not be taking the field against each other. Had the Cardinals & Steelers played in this game, and J.J. Watt played linebacker for the Cardinals while Derek Watt was in at fullback for the Steelers, they would have opposed each other in the Super Bowl. That would have been interesting. This isn’t. Let me know if Travis goes in at linebacker, or Jason lines up at defensive end, because that would be interesting. Here, they’ll just stare across the field at each other like a couple of octogenarian politicians.

Chiefs vs. Eagles. I mean, the whole “two Black quarterbacks” thing is pretty cool, and it’s shocking yet not all that shocking that it took so long. Beyond that, I’ve got nothing. I’m still going to be stuck watching this thing, so how does one get excited for the actual game itself?

Prop bets?

Yep, we got prop bets coming out the yin yang for the biggest sports gambling day of the year. You can bet on almost anything going on in this game, though I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have some inside knowledge. How long will the National Anthem take? Bet on it if you know how fast Chris Stapleton sings things. I don’t listen to current hip-hop, so I’m not familiar with his work. Let’s take a look at some of the best and/or most popular…

What will the coin toss land on?

  • Heads: -105
  • Tails: -105

One of the dumbest things to bet on out there, but still one of the most popular. Heads has won four out of the last five Super Bowls. Personally, I always chose Heads on Madden 2002 back in the day, so that would be my pick.

Super Bowl MVP:

  • Patrick Mahomes: +130
  • Jalen Hurts: +140
  • Travis Kelce: +1100
  • AJ Brown: +1400
  • Miles Sanders: +2500
  • Devonta Smith: +3000
  • Haason Reddick: +3000

There’s a long list of other options on BetMGM, but I feel like I’ve already listed too many. A quarterback has won this award thirty-one times. Mahomes is going for his second, and with his “story” going in it’d be an easy call to make if the Chiefs end up winning. Now, we’ve seen a wide receiver win it two out of the last four seasons, this opens the door for the likes of an AJ Brown to slip through. Interesting thing about Kelce: No tight end has ever won Super Bowl MVP. Considering how much media has gassed him up this week with the “brothers” storyline, he’s an interesting choice at +1100. I still think the quarterbacks are the obvious bets, especially if you’re getting them at plus odds. I could see this changing before Sunday.

Color of Gatorade Bath:

  • Orange: +325
  • Yellow/Green: +175
  • Clear/Water: +750
  • Blue: +400
  • Red/Pink: +500
  • Purple: +900
  • No Gatorade Poured: +1400

I’m a Lemon-Lime guy myself, so I would be hoping for some yellow Gatorade on the sideline if I was involved. I am not, so it would behoove those wanting to bet on this to figure out which Gatorade players of both teams prefer. Blue has had a strong run, winning three out of the last four years. It seems relevant to point out that the Chiefs doused Andy Reid with Orange back in 2020. Some have speculated that Reid may opt out of the Gatorade bath now since he’s old…I don’t think he’s quite that grouchy yet, but it’s something to keep in mind.

I’d go Blue or Orange depending on who you think will win.

Sunday, February 12

Kansas City vs. Philadelphia (-1.5)

We’ve already said a lot about the Kansas City Chiefs. While I have my reservations over how they conduct themselves as an organization and over how they got to this particular game, I’m still a bit surprised to see them as an underdog. They’ve been here before, multiple times in recent years. Their recent postseason success would look even more impressive if it’d taken place before Tom Brady and/or the Patriots shifted the paradigm. Five straight AFC Championship Game appearances, three out of four Super Bowl appearances. They’ve dominated the AFC in recent years, and with Pat Mahomes locked up they’ll probably dominate the AFC in future years.

So why are they the underdogs?

While the Chiefs had difficulty dispatching the Jaguars & Bengals in their AFC playoff games, the Eagles ran through their NFC opponents like a hot knife through butter. They had no issue defeating the Giants, then stomped out the hopes & dreams of the quarterback-less 49ers. There’s a knock against the Eagles, which is the idea that they’ve had a relatively easy schedule. It kind of falls apart when you remember they played the Cowboys & Giants twice in the regular season, along with two other playoff teams in the Vikings & Jaguars early in the season. The Packers & Titans are usually playoff teams and both teams nearly made it again. These Eagles have taken care of business so far, and they could very well do it again.

I don’t think they do. Patrick Mahomes may not have had that blow-away Super Bowl performance yet, but it’s coming. If you’re giving me the Chiefs as an underdog, I’m gonna take it.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Super Bowl LVII!

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