Las Vegas – One of the things about this contest that I really like is that once the Westgate SuperContest lines are out, they don’t move. It doesn’t matter if there is a major injury or major news about a suspension. Once the line comes out, that’s what we use for picking that week’s games.
So on Thursday afternoon, when Texans starting QB Deshaun Watson tore his ACL and was lost for the rest of the season, nothing could be done about the huge spread for that game. On Wednesday, the line was set at the Colts +13, the biggest margin of the week. The rest of Las Vegas quickly dropped the line down a full touchdown to Houston -6.5, but not the SuperContest. That’s the first time that happened this season and is a big topic we will discuss on the Fade or Follow Podcast tomorrow.
I wonder what the most popular pick this week will be?
However, we weren’t done for crazy news.
We in the media got the Dallas RB Zeke Elliott story really wrong, because we all had sources saying that he would not play against Kansas City on Sunday. Take a look at this graph, though, and you can see why we got it wrong. While Deflategate was wild, this one might even be moreso for the back and forth rulings from the courts.
For those of you keeping score at home…. pic.twitter.com/7L2GegFhgI
— The Front Office (@TheFrontOffice1) November 3, 2017
A judge gave the NFLPA a minor victory on Friday morning, allowing Elliott to play this week. Now, he might serve the six-game suspension soon, but he’s active against a Chief team that has really struggled to stop the run.
Just like the Texans line, the Cowboys went from a +1 to a -3 in Las Vegas as soon as the news of Elliott playing broke. However, the contestants get the benefit of the stagnant line from Wednesday. Unlike the Texans game, however, I’m not changing my pick to reflect the news. I don’t trust the Cowboys’ defense to stop Kansas City, so I passed on that game.
Here are the games I did not pass on for Team Gamenight (17-21-2) for wWeek 9 and boy, do I need a big week; I’ve gone 3-7 the last two.
Rams -3.5 at Giants
The number here isn’t great, and I think the hook will keep a lot of players away from this game. I’m taking it because I think the Giants are cooked. I know they are coming off a bye, but they just suspended their best cornerback, Janoris Jenkins, for this game because he came back late from the bye week. The Giants will only dress four cornerbacks against the Jags. As many as six potential starters, including CB Donte Deayon, are also questionable even after the extra time to heal. That’s really bad news when facing a Los Angeles team who is also coming off a bye and hungry to stay undefeated on the road (3-0). The Rams are second in the league in scoring, and I don’t think Giants are interested in tackling Todd Gurley for four quarters.
Saints -7 vs. Buccaneers
Here I go again with the Saints. I took them -9 last week against the Bears and they won by eight. That L is not going to keep me from taking them again this week because I think Tampa is toast, just like the Giants. The Bucs are 2-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS this season. Tampa is near the bottom of the league in both offense and defense this season, and they will play on the road against one of the hottest teams in the NFL. New Orleans has won five games in a row, and I think they win big on Sunday.
.@NFL Rookie of the Month
and now for the second time this season: NFL Rookie of the Week!
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) November 3, 2017
Jags -5 vs. Bengals
The Bengals were the laughingstock of the NFL trade deadline this week when they failed to execute a deal for their backup QB AJ McCarron. Cincy feels good about their offense now that new offense coordinator Bill Lazor has produced three games where QB Andy Dalton and company are putting up 22.6 points per. However, this is a road trip to face of the one the best defenses in the NFL in Jacksonsville. The Jags can give up yards on the ground this year, but if you try to pass, good luck. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they are only averaging 3.2 yards per rush and under 80 yards per game on the ground. Jacksonville also gets star running back Leonard Fournette back from an ankle injury. The Jags’ D is averaging over two turnovers per game, and I think they get at least that this week. I will lay the points and take Jacksonville.
Colts +13 at Texans
As I documented above, the line for this game is now around Houston -6.5 after the injury to Deshaun Watson. I know the Colts are bad, but so is QB Tom Savage. Houston has now lost three superstars off this year’s roster, and eventually this team is going to run out of playmakers. On the other side, Jacoby Brissett learned that this is his team for the rest of the year, as QB Andrew Luck has been shutdown for the remainder of the season. I like the Colts to keep the game close enough to take the points.
Dolphins +3 vs. Raiders
I like taking underdogs at home in prime time. There is a lot pressure on home teams playing under the bright lights, and the Dolphins have been decent at Hard Rock Stadium (2-1) this season. The Raiders, on the other hand, have lost three of four road games this year, including last week at Buffalo. West Coast teams have lost 11 straight games at Miami, and Oakland’s offense isn’t the same as last year. Miami just traded away starting RB Jay Ajayi to send a message to the locker room, as they were unhappy with his efforts. I expect the Dolphins to come out flying around on Sunday Night Football and win outright.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 3, 2017
Team Bet The Process, our leader in points with 23.5, will take the Broncos (+8.5) to cover against the Eagles on the road, San Francisco (+2) at home against the Cardinals, Dallas (+1) with the use of Elliott to beat the Chiefs, Miami (+3) at home against the Raiders and the Packers (+2.5) to cover at home on Monday Night against the Lions.
(At the time of publication, Team Beatrix Potter, was still determining their picks)
Our computer algorithm, Team Sports Action, likes Denver (+8.5), Rams (-3.5), Bengals (+5), Colts (+13) and the 49ers (+2).
Best of luck to all teams this week. I need it!
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