Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas my dear party people. ‘Tis the time to be jolly…and profitable as we look to keep going with our current winning streak.
Last week we went 3-0 and that puts us at 5-1 for the season. Since I love to spoil rotten my fellow bettors, this week we are picking the two games on Saturday and we saved the last one for Sunday so, without further ado, let’s break down some NFL odds.
Cleveland Browns vs. Green Bay Packers
Saturday, December 25, 2021, 4:30 PM EST at Lambeau Field
Despite Green Bay's meltdown in Baltimore, John Harbaugh was in the holiday spirit and gifted us, Packers fans, a win. From a betting perspective, the Packers shouldn't have been favored by more than a field goal and I would have still taken the Ravens, regardless of Lamar Jackson or Tyler Huntley under center.
Now, they get another AFC North rival when a feisty, 7-7, Browns team comes to visit Lambeau Field on Christmas day. Luckily for the green and gold, this one should turn out to be a less complicated affair.
The Browns are traveling to Green Bay on a short week after their game vs. the Raiders was postponed and played on Monday. QB Baker Mayfield missed that contest because he was on the COVID/Reserve list (at the time of press), although head coach Kevin Stefanski (who was just cleared) expects him to start. And, as of Friday afternoon, he was activated by the team.
Still, the Packers should cover the 7 point spread as they can move the ball against this defense, especially through the air. Their secondary isn't that great. Cleveland could have beaten the Raiders had this unit managed to make a play when it mattered.
Also, Myles Garrett will play despite what seems to be a pulled groin. Even if he does end up suiting up, he might find it hard to get a decent grip on a slippery Lambeau Field. This situation plus no Jadeveon Clowney.
Still, I'm more interested in the fact that LT Jedrick Wills Jr. won't be able to play as he is also on the list. So is their starting center, JC Tretter, who won't be able to clear the protocols in time. The Browns could keep it close if RBs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt have a great game, and they could against this team. Then again, can Mayfield really keep this defense honest?
There's a reason why Green Bay is undefeated this season, have only lost two games in the last three years and are 16-6 ATS during that span.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals
Saturday, December 25, 2021 – 08:15 PM EST at State Farm Stadium
At first, I had my doubts about going back to the same well from last week after we backed the Colts to defeat the Patriots. Thing is we don't know where we'll find value and frankly we don't care. If it's a favorable line we'll take it and that's what we're doing this Saturday with the Colts.
I do take into consideration that G Quenton Nelson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday but I do believe RB Jonathan Taylor is a generational talent and will still be able to find success against the Cards.
The whole season boils down to this game for Arizona. After going 7-0 to start the year, the Cardinals lost DE JJ Watt and are 3-4 since. QB Kyler Murray hasn't looked the same since returning from injury. This reminds me a lot of their fallout from last season when they finished 3-6.
If they want to win, they're going to need a good game from Murray. Not only is he running with the ball around 50% less, compared to last season, but he's gone from rushing north of 6.0 yards per attempt to an average of 3.9 yards.
Their offense depends a lot on his ability to make plays with his feet and if that's not an option then it will be problematic. With no DeAndre Hopkins and against this pass rush defense from Indy, I'll take the free points.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday, December 26, 2021- 4:25 PM EST at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
Well, for this one we are switching up the approach. It's the holidays so let's wrap it up early! (No pun intended)
Jokes aside, I'm looking at the first half for this matchup for two reasons, in particular. The first one, Kansas City was hit hard in the last couple of days with up to 14 players being placed on the COVID/reserve list. Among those were DT Chris Jones (who missed last game) and newly added stars, TE Travis Kelce and WR Tyreek Hill.
The other reason is that this Pittsburgh team, as bad as they've looked all season long, has some pretty amazing 2nd half stats. I was surprised when fellow bettor and Pittsburgh die-hard fan, Tone Digs, mentioned this week on the Pat McAfee Show that the Steelers have scored about the same amount of points in the 4th quarter as they have in all other three combined.
Also, rumor on the street is that Tomlin is one win away from achieving his 15th consecutive year without a losing season. Surely Pittsburgh will be more motivated than the Chiefs... or at least the public seems to think so.
Despite beating the Chargers in Week 15, to tighten their grip on the AFC West, the Chiefs can't slow down now given the fluctuating state that has been the playoff seeding in the last couple of weeks. KC is 5-0 ATS in their last five so look for Andy Reid and QB Patrick Mahomes to make a statement, early.
Given the late-scoring nature of the Steelers, I feel more confident in backing the Chiefs in the first half and then just kick back and enjoy the rest of my afternoon, lighting up a stogie and drinking some whiskey to celebrate.
NFL Pick: Chiefs 1st Half -4.5 (-111) at Heritage Sports
- Jobu's Record: 1-1
Jobu, the Guru didn't take his defeat well last week and disappeared into the mountains with his rage. Nonetheless, before departing he did leave a note that said: "Take the Rams".
I decided to ignore him and next thing you know the Vikings place RB Dalvin Cook on the COVID/reserve list. At the same time, the Rams got back a bunch of their players from said list and RB Cam Akers seems to be ahead in his recovery process. I feel Jobu's dark magic is behind this.
NFL Pick: Rams -3.5 (-103) at Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.