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Friday Four-Pack 9.8.23
The NFL is back. A Belichick break-up. The Belmont at Saratoga. Bets!
I mean…there’s no way Bill gets asked about this right?
OK, I could see a random showing up and asking about it on Friday. Maybe on Sunday after the showdown with the Eagles. But no one on the Pats beat. And that’s not my way of calling them soft or anything: it’s not worth it for any of them in the long run I guess.
Sounds more like a job for Dan Hausle from Channel 7. Or some sort of online gossip reporter.
From some people I texted Thursday, there’s thought this has been a LONG breakup, dating back to last year. Why it’s just coming up now with this line from Page 6, I don’t know.
Now we’re told the team bigs are nervously wondering what Holliday might choose to muse about online next, now they’ve split.
My friend Kirk Minihane, formerly of WEEI and now with Barstool Sports, did dozens of weekly interviews with Tom Brady. At the peak of Brady Hype.
I asked him Friday before his show if would he have asked Bill Belichick about the report that says some team executives are on edge about what might be next.
“There’s a way to do it. Like, ‘There are reports out there that there is stuff going on in your personal life and these reports say that it’s causing tension in the front office. Is there any truth to that? Anything you can say about that?’ You don’t have to be like ‘Hey, you’ve broken up with Linda Holliday.’
“On our end with Brady, we were never, ever, ever told we couldn't ask Brady anything. I don’t know if they’ll say that to Greg and those guys…I kind of doubt it because I don’t think Belichick even thinks about it, really.”
Belichick is a weekly guest on WEEI’s Greg Hill Show.
“The truth is you don’t really have to ask it because he’s not going to answer the question. You’re asking the question only, and I would do this too back in the day, you’re only asking the question to validate yourself as an interviewer. Bill Belichick is not going to answer that question.”
“‘The New York Post is reporting this…forgetting the personal stuff…is this true…is there stuff going on in your personal life that’s causing friction in the front office?’ To me, that’s a totally fair question if there’s a report out there. He could hang up, he could tell you f**k off…I think he’ll just grumble his way through it right?”
That’s probably true. I’m not buying into this having some major impact on the team.
Meanwhile, Asante Samuel...still salty.
Add it to the massive pile of storylines for the Patriots 2023/24 season.
We’ll get to some more in today’s Four-Pack.
On one request for those of you betting on the NFL this season…
Please for the love of God, shop around for the best lines this NFL season.
You will be bombarded with sportsbook ads starting Sunday afternoon. A headline Wednesday From Steve Ruddock at Straight to the Point:
NEWS: If you thought it was over, guess again. Sports betting advertisements will return en masse this NFL season.
He explains why at the link above. You should read it. But know that it’s coming. Again.
If you’re reading this, you likely have multiple sportsbook accounts as it is, so shopping for the best line might be time-consuming, but it’s not hard work.
If you are trying to win seriously this fall, you have to get the best line.
I was recently with someone I consider a diehard sports fan who is new to actually betting on sports, and they assumed the lines were the same at all the sportsbooks.
They are definitely not.
As a general example, the Pats/Eagles game is anywhere from Eagles -3.5 to Eagles -5 depending on where you look as of Thursday. To be honest, you can get in a lot less trouble not shopping for the best price on game sides and totals… they won’t be THAT far off from book to book.
Player props…forget it. You have to shop around. As one of a million examples I could give, here are Falcons RB Bijian Robinson’s anytime TD prop odds at four different books in Massachusetts as of Thursday
Book 1: -125
Book 2: +115
Book 3: +100
Book 4: NOT LISTED (I checked three times, not among the guys you can bet)
These books know you want player props so they try to list as many as they can, at least the big guys. But it’s hard to price out hundreds and hundreds of props, so sometimes there are mistakes. Other times, there’s just much better ‘value’ at a different book. If you’re into same-game parlays, same thing. Shop around while building.
There are products that do this for you if you’re really serious about it, but it can be as simple as just opening a few apps on your phone and finding the best price before firing off a few $10 props or a single-game parlay.
As recreational bettors, we’re all trying to avoid that next click of the deposit button as long as possible. Finding the best lines will help you in that quest both short and long-term.
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On a mountain of Patriots thoughts…
I am 100%, all in on Mac Jones for 2023. He has been handcuffed by a below-average offensive coaching staff, along with just average offensive weaponry, for the last two years. I think his ranking at #23 in both The Athletic and Ringer QB power rankings is too low. He’s a Top 15 QB. Has only shown flashes of it, but he’ll be much closer to that number than #23 when the dust settles this season. #TeamMac
A lot of the above has to do with the upgrade from Matt Patricia to Bill O’Brien. There’s an argument there’s as much pressure on the coordinator to fix this offense as there is on the QB. There’s an adult running the Patriots offense again.
What could derail all of this is a shitty offensive line. I’ll let Gresh break down the specifics, but the guys on the beat have all warned about this the entire preseason.
One of the guys on the beat, Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, has said all off-season that the Pats will win over 7.5 games and Hunter Henry is going to have a “big” year. Do with that information what you will. I was a guest on Callahan’s Pats Interference Podcast where we talked about some Pats season-long props. Listen here.
Had a user on Twitter/X point out that rookie Christian Gonzalez was/is about 9-1 and the third choice to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Feels like he’d need about 5+ INTS to get in the conversation, given Will Anderson and Jalen Carter are both likely to put up sack numbers.
Pats fans will get Jim Nantz and Tony Romo Week 1 against the Eagles on Sunday. Then Week 3 against the Jets. And I’d bet we’d see them again Week 6 @ Vegas. A lot of people will claim to have been first in pointing out how overrated Romo is in the booth, but I was first on that scene. Before it was cool to point out that occasionally calling a play before it happened was not that great. And the incoherent yelling gets tiresome. Nationally, we have it ranked
Buck/Aikman No. 1.
Tirico/Collisnworth No. 2.
Michaels/Herbstreit No. 3.
No. 4 Nantz/Romo
Burkhart/Olson No. 5
Belichick Hot Seat Talk! For anyone else, yes, this should be in play. I just…I don’t think Bob Kraft wants to jettison Belichick the way the team did with Brady. Not saying I like it, but now just 19 wins away from passing Don Shula, barring a three or four win season or a team mutiny of some sort…Bill is not going anywhere. But a season like that would get a lot of coaches fired in 2023. Is that really a hot seat?
Brady Day. Owner Bob Kraft is promising a “special and unique” celebration of Tom Brady at halftime Sunday. He also said this spring that Sunday would be the “beginning of many celebrations” for Brady. They could retire his No. 12 on Sunday. I could see a Tom Brady statue of some sort. Don’t know how “special and unique” you can get in a 20-minute halftime presentation.
Brady’s best interviews were those with Kirk and Callahan on WEEI. One of his best appearances was when he got very passionate about junk food. From Brady himself in 2015.
“You’ll probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think ‘Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why? Because they pay lots of money for advertisements to think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living?” he added. “No, I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery.
“And the fact that they can sell that to kids? I mean, that’s poison for kids. But they keep doing it.”
Also Tom Brady in 2023
He’s the greatest football player of all time...but post-football Brady needs to relax.
On my Week 1 NFL Bets…
And so it begins. A couple of bets and their availability Friday morning in Massachusetts. I am not on Betr, Ceasears, or WynnBet. Yet.
Josh Dobbs UNDER 203.5 PASSING YARDS. Only Fanatics even has a line listed. Tanking team, on the road, backup QB, a new coach, and facing a good defense. Sold.
TITANS/STEELERS UNDER 42. DraftKings at 42 -112, everyone else 41.5. Action Network says the money is pretty dead-even on this as of Friday. Saints have a good defense. Titans offense was very slow last year. Their offensive line might stink. Has 20-10 written all over it.
BRANDIN COOKS OVER 44.5 REC YARDS. Best number on FanDuel. I’ve already bet Cooks overs on the season for receptions and yards based on the beat reporters raving about him in Dallas. Giants are going to play (maybe start?) two rookies in the defensive backfield. Dak is going to chuck it this year. Mike McCarthy is on the legit hot seat. OVER.
On the Belmont Stakes being run at Saratoga…
After a summer of handicapping and writing about racing, this was going to be a racing-free Four-Pack but I need to get this on the record: I am all in on the Belmont Stakes at Saratoga.
NYRA is renovating Belmont and would like to run their signature race, and the Third Jewel of the Triple Crown, at Saratoga. From The Daily Racing Form.
“If things go according to how we’re planning, right now that is the plan,” said Dave O’Rourke, NYRA president and CEO. “Ideally, the ’26 Belmont Stakes will be at Belmont. The building might not be completely fitted out, but the tracks will be way ahead of schedule.”
Yes, yes a thousand times yes.
And save me the BUT THE TEST OF CHAMPIONS SHOULD BE A MILE AND HALF.
It’s 2023 - 95% of the horses who go the mile-and-a-half distance are never going to go that distance again. History is not going to condemn a Belmont winner for only going the 1 1/4 miles. Bring me a Belmont Stakes to Saratoga.
Would also be good for the City of Saratoga, too. Asked a local business owner this week if he’d be okay with the Belmont at Saratoga.
“Oh hell yeah!”
BUT…here’s hoping NYRA doesn’t get greedy here. We don’t need more than five extra days at Saratoga for the “Belmont Festival.” Run Wednesday thru Sunday. That’s it. Then come back in July per usual. Please don’t decide to run there for two months.
The great F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
In this case, an extra week of Saratoga, with the Belmont Stakes as the centerpiece, is just right. See you there.
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Good luck with all your NFL bets. Flag football starts tomorrow, need to go draw up some plays.
Thanks for reading.