HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!
NFL WEEK SEVENTEEN ATS 2021
2020 NFL TALLY SHEET – WEEK SIXTEEN
Week Sixteen Tally: 13 – 3 2021 Overall Tally: 123 – 117 .513
Week Sixteen Totals 5 – 2 Cumulative Totals: 62 – 36 .633
Weekly Specials 2 – 2 Cumulative Specials: 35 – 29 = .547
GAME OF THE WEEK 7 – 9 LOCK OF THE WEEK 7 – 9
UPSET SPECIAL 12 – 4 O/U OF THE WEEK 9 – 7
PREMIUM PICK CUMULATIVE 97 – 65 .599 PARLAYS 2
MY BEST WEEK OF THE YEAR!!!
With a huge 13-win in Week 16, The Gairzo has a legit shot to beat all the “experts” over at CBSSports.com. I’m a couple games behind two of the guys, eight short of another and am ahead of everyone else.
But I need to keep up in these last two weeks, because given Covid wreaking roster havoc, a three win week is just as likely as a 13-3 week.
My serious advice is not to bet ATS, as long as Covid factors in the analysis. To be honest I got lucky last week; I was due for a monster week. I’ll be trying to save some money because the playing field tilts too steeply towards Vegas.
RIP John Madden…
I’m not going to sugar coat my opinion because a beloved celebrity died this week. But, I was closer to shedding tears for Betty White than I was for John Madden.
The former Raiders coach who won 112 games against only 39 losses (playoffs included) and won a Super Bowl in 1977, stands with Vince Lombardi as the only two coaches with more than a 100 wins to win 70%+ of their games. He had to wait until 2006 to get the call from Canton—and “BOOM”—he was in the HOF.
As a Steelers fan I thought Madden repeating the story about the Immaculate Reception compelling a phone call from New York to rule it a catch for fear of some kind of riot did a disservice to the game and was a slight to Pittsburgh.
(Now, I hear my older sister’s voice starting in my head, “What are you doing? The man just died, give the fan rant a rest, brother dear.”…Sorry sis, I have to finish the narrative.)
Even in his second and third careers as a booth analysis and video game mogul I thought Madden never gave Chuck Noll’s Steelers their due respect as the team of the ‘70s. Madden never credited the coaching and talent it took for Franco to stay in the play and make the shoe-top Immaculate Reception, and inexplicably questioned whether the Oakland player or Frenchy Fuqua hit the ball last.
Watch the play, specifically the reaction of players on the field. After Tatum’s cheap shot to Fuqua’s head, the ball, as if shot from a cannon, flies toward the Steelers end zone. Every single player reacted as if Franco made a clean catch; Steelers started blocking, Raiders immediately pursued.
When Coach Madden began his color analyst career, I admit, I rooted for his failure—but like the rest of America…
I learned to love the guy…
He was the Da Vinci of the telestrator—whether it was explaining the anatomy of a “Turducken” or Troy Aikman’s lack of facial hair, Coach Madden was as funny as any stand up act. His greatest trait being—there wasn’t a phony bone in his body—and he could explain the intricacies of football with the simplicity and clarity of—well, a Hall of Fame coach.
When Santa brought my kids Coach Madden’s video game and his voiced boomed through the speakers, I had to admit, the guy deserved both respect for his contributions to American football and admiration for putting a unique and brilliant stamp on a great game.
When I heard of his passing this week, his former partner, Al Michaels spoke of Coach Madden as the only individual to link the game’s past—before the merger, have a successful coaching career after the merger, become the greatest color analyst in broadcasting history, and pioneer the video game that set the standard for all other sports video games.
John Madden had three Hall of Fame careers.
It was a privilege watching them unfold.
GAME OF THE WEEK (7 – 9)
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (+5, 49) GW [O]
Couple weeks back, your resident die-hard Steelers fan was touting the present and future of Joe Burrow and how his Bengals would be a major AFC North contender for the next decade and a half.
Cincy proceeded to lose their next two games; the Chargers outright trounced them and the Niners won an overtime tussle—both in the Queen City.
Don’t care. Joe Burrow is the most talented quarterback since Tom Brady ascended in New England—and that’s according to KC DC, Steve Spagnulo.
Spag’s much improved Arrowheads defense better bring it Sunday—Burrow sure as hell will.
Expect this one to be a high scoring romp, not because KC’s defense hasn’t been a big part of their eight game winning streak, it has. But the Striped Cats field the fourth best rushing defense in the NFL.
That leaves us with Burrow and Mahomes in an early window shoot out.
BTW, the Chiefs new and improved defense had to step up the last eight weeks because Patrick Mahomes might be paying too much attention to his insurance coverage instead of his opponents’ coverages. He’s thrown 13 picks so far in 2021, most in his five-year NFL career.
Ponder this statistical profile on Mahomes counterpart, The Cincinnati Kid:
· Burrow has belched up14 picks,
· His 0-line has the second worst sack % in the league…
· Unsurprisingly, Burrow leads the NFL in Sack Yards Lost…
· Yet, he is third in Net Passing yards per play...
· His QB rating is second only to Aaron Rodgers.
· Only Tua Tagovailoa has a better Completion%...
· Burrow leads the league in Yards Per Pass Thrown
Hoping to be wrong, we are calling the Bengals to win outright in the biggest statement game in franchise history—Over the Number.
LOCK OF THE WEEK (7 – 9)
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-4, 46) @ WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM
There is not a legitimate lock—given the double-digit point spreads—on this week’s slate and that is unusual for Week 17.
Unfortunately, handicappers are compelled to include Covid casualties in their analysis and this game is a perfect example. Normally, I would think hard before going against a home dog division rival even with a relatively small Spread. But, the Eagles run the ball more consistently and for more yardage than any NFL team. They should dominate the WFT.
ONE MORE TIME
The “Woodchoppers”—my choice for the WFT’s new nickname is perfect on three levels. Wood Chopping is a manly act for manly men; it evokes all kind of neat logos and is a perfect reference to Washington—George, that is—as it conjures up the great American Myth about the six year-old, future, first president cutting down his old man’s favorite cherry tree after receiving an axe for his birthday. The “Cherry” on top, (pun intended), is the underlying, meaning “Wood Choppers” evokes: Old Georgie’s infamous teeth!!!
Now, that’s genius folks. I mean Danny Boy Snyder would have toothpaste companies and oral hygiene makers banging at his door in an open bidding war for naming rights:
· Colgate Arena
· Water Pick Field
· Crest Coliseum
· The Listerine Complex
· Smart Mouth Stadium
Yes, I realize this is the self-indulgent third or fourth time I have brought up this brilliant idea—but that’s just to goddamn bad. If I must forge on without having my genius celebrated, you must endure my banging of the drum until I am rightfully recognized.
OH YEAH, THE GAME…
In their last three contests, the ’Choppers—see, now we attract the Harley people; fans could wear wooden carvings of Choppers on their noggins—CHOPPER HEADS! It’s the marketing gift that keeps on giving!—
Okay, I’ll start the sentence over… In their last three contests, the ’Choppers rush defense has been chewed up for an average of 156 YPG.
Washington has twenty players and three QBs in the Covid protocols—Phillly five. The
Eagles should stomp all over a badly depleted team that was fairly awful when they were healthy.
The Under is our cautious play…
UPSET SPECIAL (12 – 4 )
HOUSTON TEXANS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (-12.5, 44.5) US [U]
I think David Cully has gotten the most from his Texans roster not blessed with exceptional talent, and his patience with Davis Mills is paying off as the Shit Kickers have scored 71 points in their last two games.
Let’s keep it real—the Niners are vastly more talented on offense, but Cully has Rex Burkhead believing he is a talented running back, and his defense is clawing at the door of respectability. Their efforts should pay off against rookie QB Trey Lance who replaces Jimmie Garopollo.
The Gold Miners win big, but fail to cover the spread; I’m taking the Under.
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK (9 - 7)
DENVER BRONCOS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-6, 45.5) O/U
These two teams have a total of 31 players in the Covid mix-master—and Denver has 15 more on IR or questionable on the normal injury list.
This game defies conventional analysis, and we have to wonder how Denver will find 45 players to run out of the tunnel; they may not score a point—but what’s left of the Denver defense should be able to make things difficult for Justin Herbert and a Bolts offense, embarrassingly outgunned by Davis Mills and the Texans last week 41-29.
Denver beat their division rival 28-13 in Week 12.
There won’t be a ton of great offense in this one; the Under is the Premium wager.
The rest of my picks in bold italic…
Atlanta Falcons @ Buffalo Bills (-13.5, 44)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13.5, 45) @ New York Jets
Las Vegas Raiders @ Indianapolis Colts (-7, 44.5)
New York Giants @ Chicago Bears (-5, 38)
Houston Texans @ San Francisco 49ers (-12.5, 44.5) US [U]
Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 46) @ Washington Football Team LW [U]
Kansas City Chiefs (-5, 49) @ Cincinnati Bengals GW [O]
Miami Dolphins @ Tennessee Titans (-3, 41)
Jacksonville Jaguars @ New England Patriots (-15.5, 42)
Denver Broncos @ Los Angeles Chargers (-6, 45.5) O/U
Arizona Cardinals @ Dallas Cowboys (-5.5, 50)
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks (-7, 42)
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5, 48) @ Baltimore Ravens
Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Saints (-7, 38.5)
Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (-6.5, 48) [O]
Cleveland Browns (-3, 41) @ Pittsburgh Steelers [O]