Well, Bokolis scrounged out a winning week, splitting the matchups and picking up the over on the Seahawks. The 3-2 week leaves it at 4-5 for the playoffs. The trends I offered went 7-1, including all four totals...16 of those plus signs up, 3 down.
The plays Bokolis settled on with the lads are not exactly the same- and sometimes contrary- from what gets listed here. As with last week, the in-game action helps tell the story of the weekend.
Right off, the Seattle play hurt a bit, as the line ran all the way to 6.5 and we bought two points to run it to 8.5. Bokolis expected a tight game, but it totally changed on that bullshit penalty that nullified the massive return by Devin Hester, who nonetheless blessed us with one more- possibly his last- show of brilliance. To call a penalty when two guys are on the ground tugging at each other as the ball is being kicked smacks of over-regulation...that's the nice way of putting it. This is the playoffs!
That said, the Seahawks secondary was lost. Bokolis must say that Atlanta did an excellent job of wearing and breaking them down, getting better as the game went on. How much of that was because of a momentum change after the penalty, we'll never know.
The saving grace was that the over hit- Bokolis cheekily told the lads beforehand that, while I didn't expect them to get to 60, I was certain they'd get to 54 (the number was 51.5). We had designs on taking the Falcons -1.5 for the second half. However, with the Falcons already up 9 points, that would've exposed us to getting fucked both ways if the game fell on 9 or 10. That was enough to ditch the idea. The over was the bigger play, which was virtually washed out by the odds on the Seahawks play.
When the Texans were down 14-3 and failed to convert that 3rd & 1, Bokolis was just about checked out. I was thinking, call me later with the 35-6 result. Then, a bunch of nonsense happened, and the Pats were held on a goal to go situation, so it was a scramble to get to the half up by 4. Nonetheless, I cheekily told the lads that the Pats would still cover. Though I didn't cosign it, I suspect they cheekily took the Pats in the second half. One of my guys took the Texans/under reverse for both the first half and the game. I tried to get him to hedge after he hit the first one, but he has some serious ADD and hedging would've played games with his central nervous system, especially when he's not following the rest.
Again, Bokolis got -15, but told y'all -16 and the line ran to -17 as the late money scrambled to the home side after the fifth convincing home victory of the playoffs. Order was restored in the second half, but the Pats needed that last field goal to cover- that incongruous noise level you heard as the ball went through the upright is known as the gambler's cheer.
This GB-Dal line settled on 5 so, despite Bokolis giving y'all the Cowboys, we grabbed the Packers at +7 (buying two points at a cost of -150) and took the Cowboys ML at -220. The late switch-up was the expectation of mean reversion from the home teams being 6-0 against the spread to that point.
The amount of Cowboys fandom/sentiment in the inner group and their connections also spooked Bokolis- I didn't have much conviction in them anyway- but this play was the only happy medium I could achieve with these guys. Not surprisingly, there was way more money laid on the Cowboys ML than the Packers at +7.
There was plenty of time to hedge in-game, but we took the over (53.5, Bokolis instructs never to buy points on combined totals) as a semi-hedge because I expected a Packers cover/victory to be accompanied by them scoring over 30 points. After the Cowboys early field goal, we grabbed the Packers at +7.5 without having to lay further odds. aside- I always raise a people's eyebrow when the first score is a field goal...it may not mean much, but I always see it as a sign of weakness. After the Packers scored on their opening possession, we grabbed them again at +3.5. Seeing poor body language on the Cowboys during their second possession, we grabbed the Packers one last time after the next change of possession at +1.5. Again, I'm dealing with Cowboys fans, so this is NOT an easy thing to do.
Despite what Bokolis saw and thought, the Cowboys managed to drag themselves level at 28. Despite being soft most of the day, they toughened up in a few key moments, and the referees, who let the Green Bay offensive line hold with impunity, let the Cowboys defensive backs off on a few holds of their own. At this point, the lads are texting, they're gonna win! we should've never did that last one...I knew they'd come back. It's called hedging for a reason, you muppets.
They called a pass interference on the Cowboys on a foul that clearly occurred before the pass. Given the leeway typically afforded in those situations, that was another brutal call. The Packers banged home a long field goal after being held, so those extra yards gave them just enough to poke their noses out front...sort of a big deal.
Leaving everything aside, the Cowboys biggest mistake on their last drive was spiking the ball on first down from the 40. There was not so much urgency that, with a timeout remaining they needed to burn a down in that situation. As it turned out, they were held on downs and banged home a long field goal of their own to tie at 31, but they left Rodgers time.
They get to 3rd & 20 with like 12 seconds left. On the prior play, Rodgers gets sacked on a clean hit from behind, which left everyone surprised that Rodgers didn't fumble. Bokolis' instant analysis was that he didn't fumble because the white boy that sacked him didn't go for the strip sack, because white boys don't go for the strip sack.
Rodgers leaves the pocket and rolls left. Because these guys have no game awareness, they always fail to realize that, when a QB breaks the pocket, you are allowed to check the receivers for loose change. It is imperative that you throw them off their routes because you are not going to be able to mark them for the extra time that Rodgers has bought. Guys closer to the line of scrimmage have a dilemma, because they will have to choose whether to leave coverage to tackle the QB.
But, DBs 25 yards down the field are committed to coverage. They have to latch on to a receiver and throw him off his balance so that he cannot roll with the QB. Rodgers has been regularly doing this for...all of his career, really, but with regularity in the last month, for all of the NFL universe to see because he's been the standalone game. He flicks his wrist and shoots the ball 30-40 yards; it's uncanny.
The Cowboys failed to tend to this, Rodgers burned them for 35 yards and the kicker banged home another long one at the gun.
At least we hit on all those hedge plays. No muthafuckas, at least you had Bokolis to save you from yourselves. I didn't count on winning, nor want to win, the last one. For all they dumped onto the Cowboys, all those hedges didn't even get them even.
One of Bokolis' homeboys is on vacation in Mexico- it IS MLK weekend- and sent me a picture of the people in the room next to him. They are Chiefs fans, and they decorated their room- and left the room open- for the game. They actually hung a lighting fixture that lit up "KC" on their balcony. Don't worry, it's a resort; the pirates aren't coming to get them.
Since he was complaining all through the Cowboys game about having to listen to the Spanish broadcast, Bokolis told him to ask those people about an English broadcast...because those muthafuckas don't look like they speak Spanish.
Silliness aside, this line went off at Steelers +2. Bokolis caught all sorts of flak about having these guys piece in at -1. The action is also in on the ML (+110), +2 and +3.5 (-140). There was no hedging here, as I took a stand against the Chiefs. That I had these guys in 7 days ahead of time should have made this abundantly clear.
Of course, we had the under, for both the half (22.5) and the game (45). Despite Pittsburgh racking up yards only to settle for field goals, the aberration of a quick strike by the Chiefs had Bokolis thinking trouble. I thought it was done for when the Steelers were on the 5 at 9-7, but Ruthlessbuggerer matched Alex Smith's interception with one of his own. Still, since the Chiefs went 3-and-out, I had to keep the Steelers at bay. Thankfully, they took their sweet-assed time. Not only did they take a delay of game penalty, they ran the clock when the play clock restarted, which the Steelers ran down to :05 before running the next play.
The Steelers did get into field goal territory by the 2-minute warning. But, they then pulled out some playbook they must have found after Herm Edwards left it behind years ago. They got conservative and settled for another field goal. With 55 seconds left, keeping the Chiefs out of the endzone was never going to be an issue. But, the cunts go and fumble the ball with :03 left. Pittsburgh lined up for a 58-yard field goal attempt, which had Bokolis thinking of a Kick Six by the always dangerous Tyreek Hill. Not only did the Steelers come to their senses but, instead of a hail mary, they simply dumped it off to Antonio Brown, who ran for 20 yards before running into a checkpoint of Chiefs.
Bokolis gave the best stripper Thank you I could muster. I packed it in on the in-game action at that point. Picking up the first half under gave enough of a buffer and there was no hedging to do. I was certain the Steelers had this, and the lads were pot-committed enough.
As far as the larger game, Bokolis was not worried about the quick strike on the Chiefs first drive, even though, as you heard Al Michaels say, almost on cue, that the Steelers hadn't allowed a touchdown on their first defensive series all season. It is not all that uncommon for any shit team to look great on its first drive, especially when the plays are scripted, which Andy Reid usually does. The Chiefs walked to the locker room with just those seven.
Just like Bokolis told y'all, the Chiefs were good for 17 points. With the Steelers trying to get to 21 the hard way, 17 points wasn't going to cut it. So the Chiefs had to go for one extra and missed. Thank you.
Early lines for the conference championships are Falcons -4 (60) and Patriots -6 (51). Not feeling anything just yet.
That's all the fuck I've got.