Three things you can count on from me during the long holiday weekend: I’m not passing the mashed potatoes on Turkey Day; I’m not leaving the house on Black Friday; and I’m not hitting my “Best Bet.” This just in: I barely missed with last week’s top play on Kentucky over Georgia (and by “barely missed,” I mean Kentucky lost by 42 as a 23½-point underdog).
The good news: I went 4-2 with my other picks, so it was a winning effort overall. In fact, if you took out my 1-11 “Best Bet” record—and, yes, the Jaguars now have twice as many victories as I do top-play winners—my overall mark this season would be 38-36-1. Of course, if my aunt had … well, you know.
Thing is, you see 1-11 and automatically assume I’m a complete buffoon. I’d respectfully disagree with the use of the word “complete”! To wit: Remember Alabama (-7½) at Texas A&M? Alabama blew second-half leads of 42-21 and 49-35 before winning 49-42. By the way, the Crimson Tide have allowed a total of 50 points in nine games since. They’ve also won their other 10 games by an average of nearly 33 points.
And who can forget Ravens-Browns “under” 41 points—the Browns led 21-18 with 14 seconds to go, when they tacked on a 22-yard field goal to make the final 24-18. And then there was Cal (+37) at Oregon; the Bears trailed 55-3 with more than 25 minutes to play, and lost 55-16. And then there was … Hey jackass, quit whining already and give us your “Best Bet” so we can fade it and pocket some holiday-spending cash!
Fair enough. I love the Buffalo Bills this week. I love them because they’re coming off a blowout win (37-14 over the Jets), followed by a bye; because they’re facing a dead Falcons team that’s 2-9 and has lost five in a row, including three road games (Arizona, Carolina and Tampa Bay) by the combined score of 102-51; and because the weather in Buffalo figures to be Siberia-like.
Seriously, who wants to conclude Thanksgiving weekend in a Buffalo blizzard? Certainly not a 2-9, onetime Super Bowl contender that plays home games in a dome …
Lucky Seven: Bills -3½ vs. Falcons (Best Bet); Buccaneers +8½ at Panthers; Seahawks -5½ vs. Saints; Iowa +3 at Nebraska; Missouri -4½ vs. Texas A&M; Colorado State -14½ vs. Air Force; Utah State -20 vs. Wyoming.
Last Week: 4-3 (0-1 Best Bet). Season: 39-47-1 (20-23 college; 19-24-1 NFL; 1-11 Best Bets).
Says RJ Bell (@RJinVegas) from Pregame.com: Agree with laying the points with the Seahawks. Seattle and New Orleans currently have the two biggest home-field advantages in the NFL. Not only is this an edge for the Seahawks, but a team as good at home as the Saints are tends to be overrated overall, because the average bettor underestimates the difference the home-field edge makes in their games.
Matt Jacob appears Wednesdays on Pregame.com’s First Preview, which airs 10-11 a.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1100-AM.