I wish I had some sort of flowery, romantic way of framing Sunday's game Bengals game. It could be, and should be, the finale for Andy Dalton, and perhaps (ideally) the same for Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap. Beating the Browns, and seeing some positive performances by guys who've meant a lot to this franchise would be a nice way for this otherwise miserable season to end, but frankly, I moved on from the 2019 Bengals too long ago to really work myself into giving you much of anything.
This has been a purely miserable season, one that will only prove to be worth it if Joe Burrow is anywhere close to as good as I hope he is.
The main thing I'm rooting for on Sunday is a quick game, because the sooner we collectively turn the page to 2020, the better.
Cincinnati (+3) over Cleveland. I have two other thoughts...
1) It is almost impossible to tank in the NFL because the players care too much, Last weekend's fun in Miami is exhibit A.
2) Watching the Browns continue to be the Browns has been the only true enjoyment I've gotten from this season.
Bengals 28 Browns 24
Seattle (+3.5) over San Francisco. I know the Seahawks are pulling guys out of storage facilities to play running back for them, but Russell Wilson is 6-1 ATS as a home underdog, and Vegas is all but taunting me with that extra half a point. Ready for a hot take that's not all that hot? The winner of this game will end up winning the NFC? Feel good about either one of these teams? Start shopping for playoff futures now.
Baltimore (+2) over Pittsburgh. Yes, the Ravens are resting everyone, but in RGIII they'll still have a quarterback who's better than anyone the Steelers can run out there, and John Harbaugh is the master of winning games that don't matter, with a 17-game preseason game winning streak heading into a season finale that, for Baltimore, is pretty much a preseason tilt.
Washington (+11) over Dallas. The Redskins have been decent on offense, and my money is on the Cowboys looking comatose.
Jets (+1.5) over Buffalo. Does anything scream the early wild card game on Saturday more than Texans/Bills?
Bowl games worth investing in this weekend....
Iowa (-2) over USC in the Holiday Bowl. I'll take the team that's had a definitive practice schedule and carries with it an offense that doesn't give up big plays.
North Carolina (-5.5) in the Military Bowl. I've been to two Military Bowls. I hope to never see a third.
Washington State/Air Force over 68.5 in the Cheez-It Bowl. I got in on this early...the number currently sits at 70.5, but when you have air raid vs. triple option and bad defenses, the number could be in the 80s and I'd go over.
Penn State (-6.5) in the Cotton Bowl. Cincy 3:60 listeners know the luck we've bad betting on and against the Tigers. If this ends up climbing to 7.5, I'm going the other way, which means we'll be doing some work in the morning.
LSU/Oklahoma under 76 in the Peach Bowl. I'll go LSU moneyline, just because it feels like free money, but the number is a bit high. I do think these defenses are just decent enough to keep the number under the posted total, but let's honest, I'll be watching this game like a nervous parent. I need to officials to do their jobs here and keep the Sooners away from Joe Burrow.
Ohio State/Clemson over 63 in the Fiesta Bowl. If you put a gun to my head, I'd take the Buckeyes, but why would you put a gun to my head? I don't like picking against either of these teams, so I won't. Given the offensive explosiveness though, the posted total seems a tad low to not put a small wager on the over.
Have a pleasant weekend.
NFL Mark ATS in 2019: 48-31-3
College Mark ATS in 2019: 43-37-1