NFL Bets of 2018: Conference Championship

We regret to inform our loyal viewers that Sports Betting Nicolas Cage has been missing since Wild Card Weekend. In any event, the show must go on, so here are our NFL Conference Championship bets.

What happened to Sports Betting Nicolas Cage? We honestly wish we knew. We thought Mr. Cage has a good gig here. Maybe he’s on the hunt for blood since he went 1-3 during the Wild Card weekend.

Even with the 1-3 record, the legend himself still owned a 23-14 on the season. Thus, we can’t rule out the possibility that a pagan group whose main economy is honey production captured Mr. Cage. All of StakeHaul is hoping for a safe return of our betting guru.

In any event, we still made a couple bets last weekend. We ended up going 2-0, bringing the cumulative record up to 25-14 on the season.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

NFC: Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints (-3, 56.5) 
Pick: Under

Call us crazy, but we don’t see this game being a shootout like their regular season clash. Since then, both teams placed an emphasis on running the ball and defense. The Saints defense has allowed opposing offenses to average only 16.9 points per game since Week 7. Also, in that span, Sean Payton’s defense has collected 28 sacks. 

On the other side, the Rams have #1 CB Aqib Talib back and ready to face off against Michael Thomas. Thomas decimated the Rams in Week 9, catching 12 of 15 targets for 211 yards and one score. However, Talib did not play in that game. In the eight games without Talib, the Rams passing defense allowed 300 yards, 2.88 touchdowns, and 0.75 interceptions per game. In the nine games with Talib, they’ve allowed 184-of-286 passing (64.3 percent) with an average of 215.8 yards, 0.89 touchdowns, and 1.33 interceptions. 

Finally, with the emergence of C.J. Anderson as a second rushing option for L.A., both teams will pound the ball early and often. Despite the loss of Sheldon Rankins on the Saints D-line, we think this game has all the elements of a slow, grind-it-out game that won’t look anything like their first matchup.

AFC: New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs (-3, 56.5)
Pick: Under

Yes, we’ve gone full Cage crazy in thinking both games will be relatively low-scoring compared to their regular season matchups. Or have we?

The temperature for tonight’s game will be in the high teens. We think this is the single greatest element for the outcome of the game. According to Pro Football Reference, the average number of turnovers in a game is about 3.5 in all games above freezing temperature. However, for all games under 20 degrees, that number jumps up to over five a game. Also, you should a 5-10% dip in total yardage for cold weather games.

Now here’s where you may say that New England plays in cold weather so they shouldn’t be affected. However, the Patriots have already placed an emphasis on running the ball, as evident by Sony Michel’s 100 yard game last weekend. We don’t see this as a game where New England will have to air it out since we believe it will be tight all the way.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will be playing in his coldest game ever today. The coldest game he started this season was a 23-20 overtime win over the Ravens in Kansas City on Dec. 9, when the temperature was 27 degrees (he completed 35 of 53 passes for 377 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception). We expect a similar type of game scoring wise, hence our Under pick.

Best of luck! And pray for the safety of Sports Betting Nicolas Cage.

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Nicolas Cage NFL Bets of 2018: Wildcard Weekend

Sports Betting Nicolas Cage went full Cage Rage after a rogue StakeHaul employee made poor picks for him in Week 17.

All I wanted to do was relax in one of my many mansions overseas over Christmas and New Years. I come back to the States after the New Year to find out an imposter went 0-3 in Week 17.

Anger Level: 100

The manhunt is on for this rogue employee. I would never go 0-3 in a weekend, you guys. Trust Sports Betting Nicolas Cage to guide you in the right path. I’m still 22-11 on the season, so kindly shut up and follow my picks for this Wildcard Weekend.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1.5, 47.5)
Pick: Over

Neither team has run the ball well as of late, but both teams have passed the ball well. Also, both teams employ defenses that stop the run well (top 10 in rushing defense DVOA) but are bottom 10 in passing defense DVOA. Thus, both teams should air it out, and I can see both DeAndre Hopkins and TY Hilton going over 100 yards receiving.

Note: This O/U has gone up to 49 since placing my bet.

Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys (-2, 42.5)
Pick: Over

The Over has hit in seven of the Seahawks’ last eight games (average combined score of 53.8 ppg). Seattle has given up 26, 31, and 24 to SF, KC, and Arizona respectively over their final three games. For those that don’t watch NFL, Arizona and SF had two of the worst overall season records in all of the NFL in 2018. Seattle is in the bottom half of the league in rushing defense DVOA, so I see Zeke running for over 100 yards in this game.

The Over has also hit in five of the Cowboys’ last seven games at home (average combined score of 45.2 ppg). Diving deeper into Dallas stats at home, they average 8 ppg more at home than away, and Dak Prescott has thrown 14 TDs to only 3 INTs at home. On the defensive side of the ball, Dallas has a top 10 rushing defense DVOA, but their pass defense DVOA is in the bottom half of the league.

At the end of the day, I see both teams scoring at least 3 TDs in a tight game. In a game where neither defense has looked strong these past three weeks, the Over should cover.

Los Angeles Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 41.5)
Pick: Over

I think the fact these two teams played three weeks ago will help the Chargers scheme against the Baltimore D better. Chargers only scored 10 pts that game (in LA), but it was their lowest total all season, and they play much better on the road than at home. The average combined score in Ravens games this season is 42.2 ppg (Chargers games are 47.4 ppg). Baltimore has scored 20 or more points in all seven games Lamar Jackson has started. At that low of a O/U, I like the Over more than the spread.

Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-5.5, 41.5)
Pick: Bears

The Eagles do not run the ball well against strong defenses, and Nick Foles aggravated a Week 16 chest injury in Week 17. Even though Foles was moved off the injury report, one hit could knock him out of the game again. If any team can get after the QB, it’s the Bears. Their defensive DVOA is far and away the rest in the league, and I just can’t bet against the Bears at home. Also, I wouldn’t be too surprised if they made it to the Super Bowl.

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Nicolas Cage NFL Bets of 2018: Week 16

Well how do you like that? The self-proclaimed greatest actor of this generation is also on a sports betting roll! 6-0 from Week 13 and Week 15 and 18-8 on the season for best bets.

Also, if you fellow degenerates decided to bet on every recommendation of mine, you’d be 9-6-1 from last weekend.

Since I’m in the holiday spirit, good ol Santa Cage will gift you his favorite bets for Week 16, as well as predictions on all the games.

Also, while you’re at it, go watch The Family Man during your break. I just happen to show my soft side in this Christmas romantic comedy.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans (-10, 37.5)

Pick: Under

Question #1, what’s more exciting, having sex or boosting cars? The answer is, of course, having sex while boosting cars.

Question #2, what’s more exciting, watching a Skins game or a Titans game? The answer is, of course, watching Gone In Sixty Seconds.

Baltimore Ravens at Los Angeles Chargers (-4, 43) 
Pick: Chargers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-7, 48) 
Pick: Under

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-13.5, 44.5)
Pick: Under

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (+3, 43.5) 
Pick: Atlanta

Cam Newton is out for the year. His replacement is some dude named Taylor Heinicke. He has never thrown a pass in a regular season NFL game. If only I was by a casino when the line was Panthers -3 before the Panthers announced putting Cam on IR. I’d drop all the profits from that stolen Ferarri on this.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins (-3.5, 38) 
Pick: Jaguars

New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (-9, 47) 
Pick: Colts

Houston Texans at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5, 45.5) 
Pick: Over

Houston should hang minimum three TDs on that injury ravaged Eagles secondary. The weather in Philly this upcoming weekend looks to be very similar to when Watson played at MetLife against the Jets last weekend, and he played well. He threw for 294 yards and 2 TDs with a 134 passer rating. 

On the other end, Houston can defend the run, but they struggle against the pass, and especially against #1 WRs, according to defensive DVOA splits. Nick Foles peppered Alshon Jeffery with targets in their surprise win last week against the Rams. Philly should also hang minimum three TDs against the Houston secondary.

In a game likely to be filled with big plays, I see a lot of scoring here.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (+5.5, 42.5) 
Pick: Vikings

Detroit’s Weighted Defense DVOA is second worst in the NFL. It weighs the most recent games more heavily than games at the beginning of the year.

Detroit’s run defense slightly improved with the acquisition of Damon Harrison from the Giants, but they get murdered through the air. In fact, the Lions D is deal last in the NFL against #2 WR, and by a wide margin too. Going up against arguably the best 1/2 WR combo (Diggs/Thielen) in the NFL, that’s a recipe for disaster.

Also, have you seen Detroit’s injury report lately? Kerryon Johnson (#1 RB) sent to IR. Bruce Ellington (#2 WR signed on emergency after losing Marvin Jones and trading Golden Tate) should miss this Sunday. Da’Shawn Hand, an important piece of their D-line, sent to IR. No Ziggy Ansah. Matthew Stafford dealing with a bad back. I could go on…

In regards to the Vikings, I saw a whole new offense against Miami. As you may all know, the Vikings fired their OC and replaced him with their QBs coach. Many people in the organization thought the QBs coach should have gotten the OC job to begin with. And with the Vikings having playoffs to play for, but not the Lions, I’m going for the Vikings here.

Green Bay Packers at New York Jets (+3, 47) 
Pick: Under

Even though Aaron Rodgers is playing, the Packers are still winless on the road, and they lost #1 RB Aaron Jones to IR. The Jets are a steaming pile of garbage on offense, as well. Pick the Under and don’t watch this game.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-9.5, 44) 
Pick: Over

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals (+14.5, 44.5) 
Pick: Over

Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers (+4, 43) 
Pick: Bears

You have the #1 defense (by a wide margin in total DVOA and first in both rushing and passing defense DVOA) versus a bottom 5 offense in San Fran.

These past two weeks, everyone was either asking how would the Bears stop the Rams offense, or how would they stop Aaron Rodgers, someone that consistently destroyed them in the past. I think the Bears did more than enough to silence the doubters (man I hate saying this as a Packers fan).

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky put in a fine performance last week after injury, completing 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The SF defense is equivalently ranked to the Packers D in DVOA, so I think Trubisky will have a similar performance.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (-6, 53) 
Pick: Under

Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks (+2.5, 54.5) 
Pick: Seahawks

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+3, 43) 
Pick: Broncos

“So Sports Betting Nicolas Cage, if you had to pick three to bet on, which ones would they be?”

  1. Minnesota -5.5
  2. Bears -4
  3. Over in Texans/Eagles

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Nicolas Cage NFL Bets of 2018: Week 15

Sports Betting Nicolas Cage went 3-0 in Week 13 in his NFL bets. After a long two weeks of partying, he’s back with NFL bets for Week 15 on every weekend game.

Finally, I went undefeated in my NFL bets for a weekend. So you’re probably wondering, how did I celebrate?

This, for starters. Lots of booze.

Also, I partied like I did after winning the Academy Award for my role in Leaving Las Vegas.

I’m 15-8 in my NFL bets over the NFL season. This week’s picks will continue the theme of Leaving Las Vegas.

In fact, since I partied too hard and missed giving picks last week, I’ll pick every game this weekend! You’re welcome.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

Houston Texans at New York Jets (+6, 42.5)
Pick: Over

Rooting for the Jets is like rooting for the drunkest guy at the bar to successfully take a girl home. You just feel bad for them.

That being said, I’m not eager to beat on the Texans considering this is their first road game in four weeks. I think the Texans will jump to an early lead due to their significant rushing advantage over the Jets run defense. Then the Jets will have to pass to catch up. I think both teams can hang 20 points on one another, hence my Over bet.

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos (-3, 45.5)
Pick: Under

The Browns are 1-24 SU in the last 25 road games. That one win came this season against a Bengals team missing a number of key players. Denver is missing a number of key players, including but not limited to their #1 WR Emmanuel Sanders.

As I’m sure you all know, Mile High Stadium is notoriously tough for the road team to win in December. I feel that Vance Joseph is coaching for his job in this game and has all the motivation to win.

Speaking of Mile High, that reminds me of that one time I joined the Mile High club…

Yes, I know that this scene is from Face/Off and not from Leaving Las Vegas. It’s my column. Wanna test me?

Anyways, I can’t see either offense performing well here. I’m more confident in the Under than Denver winning by more than three points.

Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings (-7, 44)
Pick: Vikings

This is one of my favorite bets this weekend. Minnesota, fresh off firing their offensive coordinator, switch to a new OC many thought should have been the hire in the first place.

I don’t care that Miami pulled off one of the plays of the year and beat the Patriots. The Dolphins are in the bottom five in most offensive categories on the road.

Dallas Cowboys at Indianapolis Colts (-3, 47)
Pick: Cowboys

Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills (-2.5, 38.5)
Pick: Lions

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (-3, 45.5)
Pick: Bengals

I’d rather have three hours of anger and depression than watch this game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Baltimore Ravens (-8, 46.5)
Pick: Ravens

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-5.5, 45)
Pick: Bears

This is all of Green Bay after how this season turned out:

Thankfully, it’s almost over for them. They walk into Soldier Field against a team desperately trying to secure a first round bye. Combine that with how the Bears lost to an injured Rodgers in Week 1, and the Bears have all the motivation to win.

The Bears’ impressive success at home and the Packers’ inability to both win and cover on the road makes for a juicy bet on the Bears.

Tennessee Titans at New York Giants (-2.5, 43.5)
Pick: Titans

Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7, 36)
Pick: Under

This O/U is lower than critic ratings for The Wicker Man. Whatever, those same blowhards obviously don’t appreciate good acting.

Anyways, any football fan with a pair of eyes can see that both these teams quit on the year. Washington is showing how much they care by starting a QB making his first start in seven years. On the flip side, Jacksonville is showing how much they care by starting some guy named Cody Kessler.

Both teams defenses are still pretty strong, so I feel confident this game will be an ugly shitshow and go Under.

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-9, 44)
Pick: Falcons

Suck vs. Suck. Two more teams waving the white flag on this season.

So why am I picking the Falcons? I may be crazy (ok, yes I am crazy), but did you know the Falcons are 3-10 this season against the spread? If you bet against the Falcons this season, you’d be making a killing. I think if the Falcons had a more even record, Vegas would favor the Falcons by two TDs.

Yes, this is me trying to outsmart Vegas. We’ll see how this plays out.

New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2.5, 49)
Pick: Over

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (+5.5, 44.5)
Pick: Seahawks

Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams (-9, 53.5)
Pick: Rams

I feel like there’s a lot of games this weekend where even the most die hard fans of their teams will not pay attention.

This is a game where even crazed Eagles fans will cease to pay attention by early 2nd half. The Rams are angry after their loss to the Bears last weekend, and need to make a statement here to show they still deserve a 1st round bye. Therefore, they should demolish a patchwork Eagles secondary through the air.

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (+6, 52)
Pick: Saints

I’m picking the Saints out of spite for the Panthers. If you’ve been following my weekly bets, the Panthers screwed me over one too many times this season. Seriously, I’m angry just thinking about that team. I need a drink.

“So Sports Betting Nicolas Cage, if you had to pick three to bet on, which ones would they be?”

  1. Minnesota -7
  2. Bears -5.5
  3. Under in Browns/Broncos

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Nicolas Cage NFL Bets of 2018: Week 13

Sports Betting Nicolas Cage went 3-3 last weekend and has NFL bets for Week 13. However, he first has to unleash hell on the Steelers for losing.

I’m so angry as I’m typing. I’ve been angry all week. That Steelers v. Broncos game should have its own post on its own for a bad sports betting beat.

What a seemingly perfect game to bet on. This Steelers -3 line seduced me faster than that damn vampire in Vampire’s Kiss.

The Steelers outgained the Broncos by more than 200 total yards. That Steelers QB that shall not be named almost threw for 500 yards. So what the hell happened?

Wait a second, the Steelers turned it over not once, but twice at the goal line!?!?!?

And the Broncos blocked a field goal attempt on the Steelers first drive?

I hate life and I hate everyone now.

I’m 12-8 in my NFL bets over the past five weeks, but I don’t care. I’m going to rage about that Steelers bet for a long time.

What’s that, you say? You still want my sports bets for NFL Week 13? Fine, but I still hate everyone.

The home team is always on the right. A minus spread shows that the home team is the favorite, while a + spread shows the home team is the underdog. Remember, my picks always include the spread.

Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions (+10, 54.5)
Pick: Rams

I tell you what, had the Lions scored a touchdown on their final drive to tie it up last week…

Let’s not think about it. I don’t want to think about scaring my family on Thanksgiving. I’m thankful I won that bet.

Anyways, I like the Rams bet here more than my other bets this weekend. The Lions injuries at the offensive skill positions continue to pile up. Marvin Jones is out for the remainder of the year. Kerryon Johnson is likely out this week.

Still worried about the Rams defense allowing points? The return of #1 CB Aqib Talib should help.

Bet on the Rams now. The thought of helping my fans out is the only thing keeping me from driving angry to Pittsburgh and punching a bunch of random yinzers.

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-6, 48)
Pick: Texans

The Texans are riding one of the hottest winning streaks in football right now. Their defense is top five in total scoring allowed, while their offense is riding the hot hand of Lamar Miller.

This is not a knock on Baker Mayfield. Imagine an alternate reality where every NFL player gets placed in a draft pool and all 32 teams had to redraft their teams. If your team had a top 10 pick, wouldn’t you seriously consider Baker Mayfield?

If I lose this bet, I’ll be mad. But not that mad. Baker is my favorite kind of competitor and shit talker, and I hope the Browns don’t ruin him.

San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (-10, 46)
Pick: Seahawks

Normally, I hate being on division games against the spread. I hate it even more when the spread is in double digits.

So why am I loving the Seahawks? For one, I love that they covered for me last weekend.

You want more reasons? Fine, the 49ers have been killed on offense and defense by the injury bug. Nick Mullens has thrown only 2 TDs and 4 INTs in the past two weeks against the Giants and Buccaneers. Would you consider those defenses world beaters? I didn’t think so.

On the other side, Seattle leads the league in rushing yards per game. Also, they top 5 in turnover differential (+8), while the 49ers are second last (-17).

I could go on and on, but writing this column doesn’t make me feel better. I’m driving to Pittsburgh to release my anger.

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