NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Divisional Round Edition

Jake Benaquisto with his NFL Divisional Round weekend picks…

Wildcard Weekend was unpredictable, but I still managed to break even and go 2-2 against the spread. Before I give my picks for the divisional round games, here is my rant on the Jets hiring Adam Gase to be their Head Coach:

While I was on the record of disliking Gase, I do think there has been an unreasonable amount of anger from fans reacting to this hire. Anyone who thinks this coach is automatically going to succeed or fail in New York needs to a take a deep breath.

The HC is obviously important, but winning in the NFL ultimately comes down to talent. The Jets are a team who has lacked talent at key positions for a long time, which is why they have not made the playoffs since 2010. They have some exciting building blocks for the future, specifically Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams, but it won’t matter who the HC of this team is if the front office cannot acquire more blue chip players.

As for Adam Gase, it’s hard to get excited about a head coach who just flamed out in your own division. You can make the case that he never had the right QB, but there is no doubt that Gase was a massive disappointment in Miami. However, when you think about what the Jets wanted in an HC, the hire makes more sense. Gase has experience in the position, is widely known for running a creative offense, and has a history of developing quarterbacks. With Sam Darnold, the Jets wanted a coach who could get the most out of a young QB, and Gase might be that guy.

Like I said, it’s way too early to determine whether this hire is a home run or a ‘Same Old Jets’ disaster waiting to happen. There are many valid concerns about Gase as a coach, but there was never a perfect candidate on the market to begin with. It’s now up to the Jets’ front office to build the team around Sam Darnold and get Gase the players he needs for his system. If Mike Maccagnan’s draft record and free agent spending does not improve, the Jets will be be looking to fully clean house once again by 2020.

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Wild Card Weekend Edition

Jake Benaquisto with his Best Bets for NFL Wild Card Weekend

My regular season was very disappointing, as I finished with a record of 40-44-1 against the spread. Luckily, I still have a few more weeks to lose money as we approach Wild Card Weekend.

PLAYOFF FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Seventeen

Jake Benaquisto with his week 17 NFL Best Bets…

My thoughts on the Jim Harbaugh / Jets rumors: 

If I had to wager on it, I think Harbaugh ultimately stays at Michigan, especially now that Urban Meyer will no longer coaching. But let’s say the Jets offer him $10 million per year to be their Head Coach with control over player personnel. He has to at least think about it, right?

Sam Darnold, Robby Anderson, and Chris Herndon are making this job look more attractive with each passing week. With their young core on offense, a top five draft pick, and a ton of cap space, Jim Harbaugh could reasonably be the coach that brings this team back to the playoffs.

Again, I’m not necessarily optimistic about it, but I’d be thrilled if the Jets made this happen. Harbaugh would be the disciplinarian that this team has lacked for years and is a lot more intriguing than taking some offensive coordinator without any HC experience. It’s an aggressive move that comes with a lot of risk, but has the potential to be just what this franchise needs.

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Sixteen

Jake Benaquistio with his NFL Best Bets for week 16…

Before I give my picks for week sixteen, allow me to gush about the Jets’ franchise quarterback real quick:

  1. After throwing for two touchdowns, 253 yards, and no interceptions against Houston last Saturday, Sam Darnold continued to look like the special player he was projected to become out of USC. His accuracy, especially with throws on the run, was about as good as you can ask for against a talented Texans’ defense. Seeing Darnold play to this level against a top defense really makes you wonder how high his ceiling is if the Jets build an offensive line and get some more quality weapons around him.

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Fifteen

My picks finally got back on track last week, as I went 4-1 against the spread. With only three weeks left in the regular season, I’m looking to finish strong with a winning streak. Here are a few NFL thoughts before I give my best bets:

  1. I’m actually really excited to watch the Texans / Jets game. Even though the Jets are probably better off losing for a top draft pick, I want to see Darnold continue to develop and play like he did in Buffalo. 
  2. You could reasonably argue that the Kirk Cousins contract has already become one of the worst in the NFL. We’ll see if the John DeFilippo firing makes any difference, but it’s starting to look like the Vikings made an enormous mistake with that signing. 

Continue reading “2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Fifteen”

2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Thirteen

I went 1-4 against the spread last week, which is honestly what I deserve for betting on the Raiders. With five weeks left in the regular season, I need to get my act together and pick some winners. Here are some NFL takes before I give my bets:

  1. The Cowboys are… pretty good? Their win over New Orleans last Thursday was really impressive and I especially loved what I saw from Dallas’ front seven. Leighton Vander Esch has been fantastic and should be the front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. 
  2. I think Mike McCarthy is already a goner at this point, but the Packers’ front office deserves criticism, too. This team has Aaron Rodgers in his prime and his only weapon of note is Davante Adams. Green Bay has to be aggressive in free agency this offseason and get some playmakers for their quarterback. 

Continue reading “2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Thirteen”

2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Twelve

Jake Benaquisto with his weekly NFL Best Bets…

Some thoughts on Week 11 of the NFL:

  1. I think we’re going to be talking about that Chiefs / Rams game for a long time. It was easily the best game of the season, and those young quarterbacks both looked like superstars. I wanted the Chiefs to win, but was happy that they were still able to cover the 3.5 points. 
  2. Pittsburgh didn’t cover, but their comeback win over the Jaguars was impressive. They came out flat and somehow were able to steal the game in the fourth quarter.
  3. The Colts are starting to become one of my favorite ‘NFL Sunday Ticket’ teams to watch. Andrew Luck finally has a strong offensive line in front of him and he’s been playing lights out. 

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Eleven

Jake Benaquisto with his weekly NFL Best Bets…

My picks last week were very mediocre. I went 2-3 against the spread and only felt confident about one or two of the games. I like the lines much better this week and can feel another win streak coming. Here are a couple quick takes before I give my best bets:

  1. I wasn’t even surprised or upset that the Jets got embarrassed by the Bills at home. The Jets inexplicably haven’t fired him yet, but it’s clear that Todd Bowles is in over his head at this point and should not be a head coach in the NFL. 
  2. What happened to the Eagles? I thought for sure they’d win comfortably against Dallas last week and instead they got pushed around all game. I never expected their Super Bowl hangover to last this long, and now Washington is starting to run away with that division. 

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Ten

Jake Benaquisto with his week 10 NFL Best Bets…

If I ever bet on Todd Bowles and the Jets in any way again this season, please come to my house and punch me in the forehead. Despite that horrific game, I still managed to go 3-2 last week. Before I give my picks, here are a few thoughts on the NFL as we go into week 10. 

  1. It’s no guarantee, but if the Steelers ever get back Le’Veon Bell, I think they’re the favorites to win the AFC. That offense was an absolute machine against the Panthers on Thursday. 
  2. I’ve already reached the point of the season where I’m just rooting for the Jets to lose. As sad as it is, I don’t want there to be any reason for this front office and coaching staff to return. The Darnold injury is frustrating and I’ll root for him when he comes back, but wins do absolutely nothing for this team. It’s time to clean house and build a contender around your franchise QB. 

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Nine

Jake Benaquisto with his weekly NFL Best Bets for week 9…

I don’t know how I keep getting lucky with these backdoor covers, but I can’t complain. Thanks to a late pick six by the Patriots on Monday night, I went 4-1 against the spread for week eight. That’s three weeks in a row above .500 now to put my season record at 20-20. Before I give my picks for week nine, here are some random NFL thoughts:

  1. Is it too early to call the Jon Gruden experiment an absolute failure? The fact that the Raiders’ organization is trusting this guy to rebuild the franchise actually makes me feel sorry for Oakland fans.
  2. I can’t get a good feel for the Steelers / Ravens game this week. Pittsburgh seems to be building some momentum and they’re getting three points, so if I had to, I’d probably bet on them. 

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