Did we just witness the beginning of an all-time NFL redemption story?
A better question: Did you witness it, because I was fully asleep in — to borrow from noted fantasy analyst JJ Zachariason — East Coast Dad mode.
Of course, I’m talking about Baker Mayfield, who became the first quarterback in 45 years to lead his team on a game-winning touchdown drive of 98 or more yards with less than two minutes to play. He did it with no timeouts. He did it after getting cut by the Panthers on Monday, flying out to Los Angeles on Tuesday, and learning the Rams’ playbook — or at least enough of it — in those 72 hours.
Baker Mayfield learning the Rams playbook pic.twitter.com/zkyr6hd5K7
— David Jones (@tenaciousDJONES) December 9, 2022
I mean, come on — that’s incredible. If America’s sportsbooks were offering that same-game (same-Baker Mayfield?) parlay a week ago — cut, signed, game-winning touchdown all within three days — they would’ve priced it at like … well, probably at like +700, because America’s sportsbooks will never pass up an opportunity to give us a haircut on same-game parlay odds. But still: This is the stuff of Hollywood. Can’t make it up.
Come for the Victory Speech, stay for @bakermayfield getting a game ball. 💙 pic.twitter.com/tRwmm7ioTk
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 9, 2022
I mean, look at the last 10 months of Mayfield’s life. The Browns sign Deshaun Watson, Mayfield asks for a trade, he gets sent to Carolina, beats out Sam Darnold for the job, pretty much sucks, gets hurt, gets benched, asks to be released, gets released, signs with the Rams, and leads them to a last-second victory.
Is it so far-fetched to see Matthew Stafford retire in the offseason, Mayfield take the reins of the Rams, and spend the next 10 years as a top-level NFL quarterback? The guy was a former number one pick, a former Heisman winner. I’d take a stab at that futures bet if someone wants to offer it. After all, the guy probably has designs on a post-NFL career in Hollywood anyway. Maybe he just wants to be in L.A.
Anyway, I know this is supposed to be a gambling column, but as you’re about to read, I am the worst NFL gambler on the planet (at least this year, as last year I wasn’t terrible, and crushed on player props, which of course I didn’t write about this year).
So I needed a break. Or maybe if Baker Mayfield can turn it around, so can I. Maybe this isn’t his redemption story; maybe it’s actually mine.
How’s that for a Hollywood twist?
The +1000 or more parlay of the week
Guess what?! We lost again last week. But that’s OK! Just like Baker, we needed to hit bottom. We’ve run the record to a perfect 0-13.
But as I say every single week, we really just need one big one to come out ahead on this silliness, so let’s go big this week, m’kay?
Over at DraftKings, give me the Jets +9.5 at Buffalo, the Bengals -6 at home against the Browns, the Ravens moneyline at +120 over the Steelers, the Eagles moneyline at -295 over the Giants, the Lions giving 2.5 points to the Vikings, and the Titans -200 moneyline over the Jaguars.
Yes, that’s a six-team parlay, with +2971 odds. I love those odds, because I’ll be turning 1,000 years old in the year 2971, which is approximately how long I expect it to take to win one of these stupid parlays.
As for my #analysis, the Bills haven’t been blowing anyone out lately and this is the second time these teams will be playing this year, so 9.5 points seems like a lot; the Bengals are going to mash the Browns; the Ravens aren’t a much different team with Tyler Huntley instead of Lamar Jackson, so sure, why not; the Eagles will of course beat the Giants; I’ve been on the Lions train since preseason, why stop now; and the Titans will simply do what they have to do to win.
This will be my redemption!
The on-paper, no doubt, three-team teaser that’s bound to lose
Speaking of those Ravens – they failed me last week, not covering the 2.5 points against the Broncos. Sheesh, oh man, we’re 3-10.
This week, back to Caesars, +160, Bengals at even odds, the Eagles giving a point, and the Titans getting two points.
This will be my redemption, the sequel.
This one is looking fishy
Again, the Ravens killed me here, bringing me down to 4-8-1 on my fishy-looking games. Fishiest line this week? I think it’s those Bengals again. Really think they’re going to destroy the Browns, so there you go.
Redemption Part III, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t get Bob Marley out of my head, so let’s just do that now.
Did I win the DraftKings Milly Maker?
I’m getting tired of this bit. NO, I DID NOT WIN THE MILLY MAKER.
DraftKings plays of the week
Well, it’s an interesting week. The Lions-Vikings pieces are going to be chalky, and with good reason. But I love the Hurts-Brown stack one more time, and I think the 49ers — despite being down to Brock Purdy — offer a ton of value on this slate. George Kittle at $4.3K? Come on. And Christian McCaffrey might see 15 targets. Now that I think about it, starting your team Hurts-McCaffrey-Brown and going with some of the less chalky, inexpensive pieces in Vikings-Lions feels like I might turn my all-caps off next week when you ask me if I won the Milly.
My mortal lock five star only for my best customers can’t lose guaranteed best bet of the week
I’m 3-10. Legitimately having my worst year betting. It’s been positively Mayfieldian. Sigh. Bengals, giving the six points. We can do this!