The Dumb Brain — CFB & NFL Best Bets

Sam Murphy
Editor in Chief

Welcome, one and all, into Season 2 of ‘The Dumb Brain’! I believe the title speaks for itself. For the last few years, I have been unable to follow hard data and analytics backing a gambling pick for one simple reason — my dumb brain gets in the way.

I’ve never been able to follow the advice of “gambling experts” and their data simply because this is gambling. If you don’t feel a pick in your gut or believe in it, why take it?

Each week for the rest of the season, I’ll give you my card for the upcoming Saturday, and occasionally Sunday, slate and my dumb brain’s reasoning behind each pick. If you feel these picks too, follow them with me, or fade me if you’d like *hint* there’s a reason this is called the dumb brain.

These picks will generally cover the bigger games of the weekend because, quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn about the irrelevant teams of the CFB world. However, we won’t be too picky with everything going on this year.

Week 15 Recap (5-4-1)

We’ve done it again folks! Yet another winning week to bring us to three-straight and helping us close out the season on a strong note. I’d hate to be greedy, but let’s go get another one to give the Brainiacs a fourth-straight and a great Christmas gift.


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Season 2, Week 16 (Dumb Brain To Date: 165-147-2, +4.1 units)

Bowl SZN is finally upon us just as the NFL season is dwindling down to a close. I won’t ramble on too much this week, but I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a weekend full of winners. So, without further adieu, let’s get into the card. **Lines and games subject to change after publication.

Vikings (+7) at Saints O/U 50.5, Friday 4:30 EST, FOX

The Pick: Vikings +7. The Saints played pretty well against the Chiefs last week, but the offense has been inconsistent at times without Michael Thomas in the lineup. I expect the Saints to win on a short week, but think the Vikings have enough firepower to keep it within a touchdown.

Buccaneers (-9.5) at Lions O/U 54, Saturday 1:00 EST, NFL Network

The Pick: OVER 54. Anyone is going to score against this Lions defense. The main concern in this one is if the Bucs defense shows up and allows the Lions to score as well. I could see this ending in the 38-17 range, but hoping for a closer shootout on a fast track.

Dolphins (-3) at Raiders O/U 47.5, Saturday 8:15 EST, NFL Network

The Pick: Dolphins -3. I keep waiting for the glass slipper to fall off this Dolphins, but they keep proving they belong week after week. I think they virtually eliminate the Raiders from playoff contention and keep soaring up the “In the Hunt” graphic.

Colts (-1.5) at Steelers O/U 44.5, 1:00 EST, CBS

The Pick: Steelers +1.5. As a lifelong Colts fan, this feels very much like a game the Colts will lose 100/100 times. Even more so now with Philip Rivers at the helm. Rivers doesn’t win big games like this and as bad as Big Ben looked Monday night, he’s certainly better than Rivers.

Broncos (+3) at Chargers O/U 48.5, 4:05 EST, CBS

The Pick: OVER 48.5. Last time these two met, the Chargers blew a 24-3 lead to lose 30-31 in Denver. Neither team looks competent or capable of stopping the other, so I expect another shootout between young quarterbacks.

Rams (+1.5) at Seahawks O/U 47.5, 4:25 EST, FOX

The Pick: Seahawks -1.5. The Seahawks could be favored by 30 this week and I might take it. The Rams losing to the Jets has probably left a sour taste in America’s mouth — Jets fans most of all. The division is on the line in this one and I like Russell Wilson over Jared Goff in a pivotal game.

Titans (+3.5) at Packers O/U 56, 8:20 EST, NBC

The Pick: Titans +3.5. The Titans defense has been suspect this season so I’m a little skeptical of them being able to stop Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau in primetime. Some say the Packers are a soft team, and they’ll be put to the test with Derrick Henry coming to town. Henry is a different animal as the season goes on and I expect him to see at least 35 carries in this one.

Bowl SZN

Cheez-It Bowl: #21 Oklahoma State (-2.5) vs. #18 Miami O/U 58.5, Dec. 29 5:30 EST, ESPN

The Pick: Miami +2.5. I can’t quite put my finger on which of these teams truly has the edge in this matchup. Last time we saw Miami, they were being buried in the turf by North Carolina. Oklahoma State has been up and down all year on the offensive side but their defense has looked legit outside of the Oklahoma game. In a matchup like this, I tend to go with the better quarterback and I like D’Eriq King much more than Spencer Sanders here.

Cotton Bowl: #7 Florida (+3.5) vs. #10 Oklahoma O/U 71.5, Dec. 30 8:00 EST, ESPN

The Picks: Florida +3.5 and OVER 71.5. This is probably the most entertaining matchup of the NY6 games. Everyone is going to scream and tell you Oklahoma’s defense is different this year, but I’ll wait until I see them face some actual competition before I hop on that bandwagon. Even without Kyle Pitts, Florida’s offense is going to be able to score with Spencer Rattler and co.

That will complete the card for this week. May the odds be ever in your favor, and let’s go win some money folks. See y’all next week.

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