An Autopsy of the Denver Bronco’s 2018 Season

Roughly three years ago, you probably could have floated a ballot initiative in Colorado about renaming Denver International Airport after John Elway. After wining the Superbowl with a crippled Peyton Manning and one of the most historically lethal defenses ever seen in the NFL, Elway was riding high, going on to sign long-term deals for Von Miller, maybe the best pass-rusher since Lawrence Taylor, and Emmanuel Sanders, the league’s most underrated and consistently productive wide receiver.

That goodwill is long, long squandered.

Today, Elway finds himself without a head coach, having fired Vance Joseph after months of presumptive anticipation. There was some speculation last night, after losing to division rivals the LA (SAN DIEGO) Chargers by a score of 23-9, that because Joseph was allowed to speak to the press and state that he wanted to return next year to “make things right,” that Elway might hold off on his termination after all. The logic behind this is actually pretty sound and definitely what was parroted by a lot of people last year after calls for heads to roll went unheeded: it’s very difficult to attract coaching talent to a franchise if the GM could throw you out after a single losing season. Nobody wants to relocate their family, teach their playbook, and develop a staff if you’re a few bad games away from the chopping block without being given any real time to gel within a franchise.

That said, Joseph was proven to be absolutely abysmal at clock management, timeout strategics, and calling for challenges. Basic game management skills eluded him and penalty flags were called constantly based on his ineptitude. Vance, despite being a basically affable guy, well liked in the locker room, that seemed willing enough to take risks and had a playbook that seemed to work for a Broncos team shedding veterans and rudderless without a stable quarterback situation into at least losing games by a closer margin that the blowouts of 2017. After a short winning streak, it even looked like he might have locked down the job for next year, but then they lose to both of the Bay Area’s sorry offerings and shut down by Phillip Rivers, villainized by Bronco fans everywhere. Vance had to go. It’s the third non-interim head coach in eight years, but he had to go. That’s not great for any franchise.

Continue reading →

Golden Boy Promotions MMA Kicks Off Shamefully

Right off the bat, I want to go on record saying that I suspect Oscar De La Hoya is a cocaine addict, which might explain why tonight’s old-timers’ card in Inglewood, California featuring a grudge match main event between eight-years-retired Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and 43-year-old Tito Ortiz was even happening in the first place. Besides being an obvious cash grab by a boxing promoter obviously tired of playing second fiddle to MMA cards as the sport fades in relevancy and recognition, there’s no other explanation to hold a PPV event for two fighters this far out of their prime years, especially when one has obvious CTE issues and is 48. This was like watching The Wrestler for just under five minutes. It’s something the California State Athletic Commission shouldn’t have even sanctioned.

To see one of the first breakthrough, household name stars of the UFC of yesteryear trotted out with abs toned by insulin shots and HGH, his trademark mohawk thinning in the front and trunks I’m sure were retrieved from a long-forgotten storage unit in the Inland Empire is depressing. Chuck Liddell helped turn MMA into the premiere combat sport internationally, and to watch him hardly recognize where he was during the weigh-ins only to briefly light up again once he heard his name called and got to make what is hopefully his last walk up to a ring is so unfathomably cruel. Maybe he needed the payday, pocketing more than $200,000 to fight Tito Ortiz, his arch-rival whom he beat twice in their heyday.

It was a bloodthirsty time for America, when Ortiz and Liddell’s seething hatred for each other helped drive PPV numbers towards the newly-legitimized UFC. Nu-metal and an aggressive, “kill ’em all” kind of patriotism helped color that whole era of fight sports and masculinity in the US and I think collectively we can agree that it’s a culture that’s aged poorly. Seeing that decay, some fifteen years later, in a first-round knockout that Liddell hardly looked present for is something that might stick with purist elements of the sport’s fanbase, people that have harped for years that this is a legitimate test of athletic skills and not a bloodsport. Continue reading →

Week 5 NFL Picks

NFL Record 7-8-3 -1.5U

Parlay Record 0-2 -2U

Scraping back! Pats covered on Thursday against Indy, Browns pushed, Broncos covered. My week was better, basically broke even. Let’s see if we can make some money this week. Unit bets are a little lower to play it safe, not that it matters to you.

WEEK 5 NFL PICKS

Denver Broncos @ NYJ -1 1U – This opened up at +2.5 for Denver, which I placed for a friend as a side bet after losing fantasy last week (KAMERAAAA!!!!), and I tailed it at -1 for Denver after the line movement during the week. I’m not really sure why even on the road, the Broncos weren’t heavy favorites against Bradford. There’s an understanding that Denver plays poorly on the east coast, but it’s the fucking New York Jets. As a Bronco homer, I want to say Keenum is overpaid and Vance Joseph’s days are numbered as head coach. They need to dispatch the Jets handily to buy some time on decisions related to those conclusions and after blowing a ten point lead and ruining the game winning play against KC, desperately need this road win to remain remotely optimistic about the rest of the season.

GB @ Detroit Lions +1 1U – I still don’t trust that Rodgers knee, even after last week’s domination against the abysmal Bills, and Detroit is at home. GB has the 7th ranked pass defense, which I expect the Lions to light up being that they’re not great on the rush. I like Tate and Marvin Jones Jr is still a WR people sleep on. This is the game I feel like is most likely not going my way, but I have some confidence in Stafford and crew wanting to prove a point in what’s being framed as a struggle this season between coach and team. Smart bet, Coops, bet on the team with a lot of internal strife.

OAK @ Los Angeles Chargers -5 1U – Fade the fucking Raiders all season. Vegas called in a favor in overtime last week against Mayfield and the Browns. That call was bullshit and everybody knows it. While a LA game for either the Rams or the Chargers is still basically a Raider home game, and LAC fucked me by not covering a foolish 10.5 line I bet on last Sunday against the crippled 49ers, I still think Rivers smells blood in the west, especially with KC being a bit exposed by Denver’s defense in week 4.

NYG @ Carolina Panthers -6.5 1U – I’m trying to swallow my second guessing that Carolina doesn’t cover this line, especially because my logic here is the Giants suck, Carolina is coming off of a bye week and they’re at home. I still think some of my theory about disasters influencing sports holds some water, pardon the pun, so perhaps the waterlogged and devastated Carolina shows up rinsed of coal ash and pig shit to show Big Blue that Florence didn’t cow them from rooting on an increasingly irrelevant Cam Newton. I miss Greg Olsen.

Parlay:

DET +1

LAC -5

CAR -6.5

1U to win 5.8U.

Week 4 NFL Picks

NFL Record 5-7-2  -3U

Parlay Record 0-1

Jesus Christ what a shitty couple of weeks. Vikings pushed Thursday. Here’s this week’s picks, because I’m consistent and show my losses. Let’s hopefully dig out of this hole. Unit bets have been a little higher, thus why my losses seem a little minimized. Still up overall on my account if this week clears.

WEEK 4 NFL PICKS

Cleveland Browns @ OAK +3 1U – Fade the shitty 0-3 Raiders even at home, Baker Mayfield is rookie Jesus and will feed off the negative energy of the Black Hole.

KC @ Denver Broncos +5 1U – WHEN WILL I LEARN. Denver 0-2-1 ATS but I think this is a trap I’m navigating correctly. +5 at home is pretty good, and the KC defense is absolutely shit. This is the Monday Night Football game and I always like the Broncos in primetime. Homer fucking idiot.

SF @ Los Angeles Chargers +10.5 1U – Jimmy G likely out for a year and Rivers smells blood in the West at “home.” Probably should’ve bought the point.

Parlayed all three at 1U for a gain of 5.61U on the hit.

 

Week 3 NFL Picks

This is for posterity. I’ve been sour all week because betting +3 Jets against the Tyrod Taylor Browns didn’t pan out on TNF when Baker Mayfield had to come in just before halftime, demonstrating he is in fact The Truth. Fucked my whole parlay up. Last weekend sucked too.

NFL Record +1U

4-4-1

Parlay

0-1

WEEK 3 NFL Picks

PIT @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1 1U – Buccs at home getting a point with redhot journeyman Fitzy against a wounded Big Ben? Probably a trap but I’m taking it.

Green Bay Packers @ WASH -3 1U – It’s Green Bay. Rodgers has something to prove but is nursing a knee injury. I have Davonte Adams on my fantasy team. This made sense when I had a four-team parlay.

DAL @ Seattle Seahawks -1 1U – Can Seattle beat a completely floundering Cowboys by a point? Yes.

LATE EDIT: Denver Broncos @ BAL +6 3U – Hammering this even though the Broncos are 0-2 ATS. 6 points is ridiculous and Flacco has been struggling. Good luck to me.

Week 2 NFL Picks

NFL Season Record

3-1-1 +1U

My dumbass didn’t know how to stay away from the Thursday night game and I lost 2U on Baltimore at -1.5 against my better judgment. The Broncos pushed last weekend but otherwise everything else covered. That’s a lovely way to start the season! Need a book? Come on down and play with me at Bovada!

WEEK 2 NFL PICKS

LA Chargers @ BUF -7.5 2U – Bought this early in the week because Buffalo shit the bed so badly against Baltimore in the opener I didn’t think there’d be any way they’d be able to cover against a competitive Chargers team. Crybaby Phillip Rivers should stomp the shit out of the Bills, this is barely worth analyzing at a statistical level. It looks like the Bills are going to start Josh Allen, the first-rounder out of Wyoming, which should at least make for a more interesting game than the massacre last Sunday. Chargers cover, I’m guessing by 10.

OAK @ Denver Broncos -6 2U – Homer betting again. Oakland has no offensive weapons, collapsed in the 2nd half Sunday against the Rams, and Denver looks great against the run which should render an aging Marshawn Lynch totally irrelevant. I expect a steadier outing from Keenum, who I don’t blame at all for 2/3 interceptions in the opener against Seattle, and I expect Sanders to open up again and Phillip Lindsay to shred in front of the home crowd. The spread has gone up a half point on most books, but I still think that has a lot of value depending on the juice.

New England Patriots @ JAX -1.5 1.5U – I don’t know what planet we’re on. I stayed away from NE last weekend and they covered the spread by a half point, so I don’t regret that decision, however this line seems unreasonably low against a Jaguars team that struggled to contain the abysmal New York Giants last weekend. Bortles I think is starting out a little rattled being so focused on after last season, and although I don’t think it will be more than a 7 point game, I’m legitimately shocked that even a little neutered, a BB/Tom Brady Pats is this undervalued. Slam it.

MNF looks kind of sketchy, the Seahawks looked better than I thought in Denver but the Bears covered against the comeback Packers. If it stays at -3.5 through tomorrow I might jump on it, especially if the juice stays even for Chicago. I’m also hammering the Yankees against Toronto through this whole three-game series, at least 1U each. I’m running about even on MLB.

NFL Week 1 Picks

For the last couple of years, in addition to playing fantasy football for a little scratch among friends, I’ve thrown some money around betting spreads/futures on the NFL and gradually expanded to homer baseball wagers, the World Cup and a little on fights I’m interested in. During the 2018 NFL season on Saturdays (or Wednesday depending if I’m into the TNF game) I’ll be having a little Degenerate Gambler’s Column where I show you my picks and you can tail or fade at your own risk. If you’re not familiar with the unit betting concept, 1 unit (1U) is generally between 1-10% of your bankroll. If you want to bet but don’t have an online book, I can’t say enough nice things about Bovada and you get some nice bonuses if you use my referral code. Without further ado, here’s my picks for NFL Week 1, along with my logic behind them.

NFL Week 1 Picks

NFL Season Record: 0-0

Minnesota Vikings -6.5 1U – At home against the 49ers and I think Kirk Cousins has something to prove. The Vikings are a little banged up or else I think this line would be substantially higher. Even seeing Jimmy G go on a tear at the end of last year, I don’t see the weapons that can take on a formidable Minnesota. The Elo has this for the Vikings at -8, so I think a -6.5 is a bargain.

Jacksonville Jaguars -3 1U – A road favorite but playing in a house divided, JAX has arguably one of the best defenses in the league and should keep this pretty low scoring against the Giants. It’s going to be tight and competitive in regards to covering, but the Jaguar offense is being a little underestimated as an anemic unit and against a dysfunctional Giants team, I think this might be easier than how murky it looks.

Denver Broncos -3 1.5U – Kind of a homer bet, but an opener at Mile High is like getting balls off the table. Seattle is a straight up shell of itself, losing so much veteran talent in the offseason that I can’t believe the juice is as good as it is and that there’s been little-to-no line movement since I bought this last week. I wish I got it at -2.5, but I think the Donkeys are going to dominate.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 1U – Fade the Gruden Raiders all day long, doesn’t matter if they’re at home. It’s a coach that hasn’t been in the league for fifteen years on a team with more internal strife and drama than probably any other team in the league. The Rams franchise turnaround since moving to LA is insane.

I’m staying away from the Pats until some of their injury problems work themselves out. Brady is sorely lacking targets against a Houston team with offensive and defensive assets that I think are going to trouble them with -6.5 points to cover. I also put 1U on Colorado +4 against Nebraska just for rivalry funsies, and with the weather apparently looking terrible for the Steelers v. Browns, it might be a little interesting to throw money on the under, although the books are already adjusting downwards from a o/u of 44 so it might be too late. Lots of tight lines opening week, and obvious stuff like Detroit -7 against the Jets or the Packers -7.5 against Chicago seems a little trappy to me. A virtual pick ’em in Miami, with the Titans -1 is something else I’m staying away from, despite some confidence Tennessee walks away with it handily.

Good luck!