NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Super Bowl 53 Edition

I went 0-2 against the spread for the Conference Championship games, as my awful gambling season continues. Not only was it painful to lose on one of the worst missed penalties in sports history, but it was immediately followed by another gut-wrenching loss for the Chiefs. I should probably just quit gambling forever at this point, but where is the fun in that? 

To celebrate Super Bowl Sunday, I’ll be giving my three favorite prop bets for the game, as well as my pick against the spread. Shoutout to all the readers who followed along this season, despite my losing record. 

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NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Conference Championship Edition

Jake Benaquistio with his NFL picks for Championship Weekend…

The depressing fact that we only have two more football Sundays left is starting to set in. If you need to gamble as a way of managing this pain like I do, here are my picks for the Conference Championship games: 


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.


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.



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.


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.


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. 

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2018 NFL Best Bets Against the Spread – Week Fourteen

My week thirteen picks went 2-3 against the spread, as I continue to lose money this season. It was nice to see Mark Sanchez play football again, but it’s not as fun when you bet on the team he is playing quarterback for. Before I give my picks for week fourteen, here’s my take on the current state of the New York Jets:

  1. With the latest reports of friction between Bowles and Maccagnan, this Jets team is becoming more of a circus every week. I don’t think anything is set in stone yet, but the fact that ownership will potentially keep this GM to hire his own head coach just proves why this team is dysfunctional. As much as I want to see Sam Darnold prosper, I think the Jets are better off losing out the rest of this season and completely cleaning house. 

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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. 

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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.