Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 11/26/16
Tulsa was my big game in football on Saturday. As I’m writing this, the Golden Hurricane are getting drilled by a Cincinnati team that looked for all the world like a dead in the water entry. But three takeaways by the Bearcats, an 18-play Tulsa drive that got no points, and well, you get the idea. 24-7 wrong way as of right now, and even if the home team gets its act together after halftime, they’re not covering the big line.
No excuse, the bottom line is all that matters and I got this game as wrong as I can get a game. The team I thought would come out hungry to end their regular season on another high note in what has been a great season showed up fat and happy. The team I thought was toast made a couple of big defensive plays and finally generated some offense as they opened up the playbook.
I can always use the old that’s why they call it gambling rationale, but when I push a game of this magnitude, it’s supposed to win, or at the very least have a good chance to do so. This one didn’t from the outset.
I want to do some kind of make good, so whatever Bowl game ends up being my biggest post-season play will be posted in this blog. Hopefully, I’ll maintain what has been a pretty nice run on that particular play over the last several seasons.
Overall Friday was bad in football and good in hoops. My worst day of the college football season, with a dreadful -4.4. Fortunately, I got a good piece of that back with a +3.3 basketball result. Still a losing day, but at least not a total disaster.
Here’s this week’s NFL comp.
255 JAGUARS at 256 BILLS
Take: BILLS -7.5
Several factors have me siding with the chalk in this game between Jacksonville and Buffalo.
First, and this really sticks out to me, is the overall inefficiency of the Jaguars. They’re a really bad offensive team, in spite of the fact they have a few decent weapons. But quarterback Blake Bortles simply hasn’t gotten any better, and if you put stock into the opinion of former NFL QB’s who’ve weighed in with their assessments, he’s an absolute mess mechanically. Suffice to say Bortles has one of the poorer QB ratings, and it’s even worse when including the fact that a good amount of his production has come in late games once the issue has been settled.
The Bills got a much needed win on the road last week at Cincinnati. I happen to think Buffalo has been a bit of an underachiever this season. They have numbers that suggest they ought to be more than a .500 team, but the Bills are indeed only 5-5. This is must win for Buffalo if they’re to have any chance to snare a wild card.
It does not appear as though the potentially awful late November Buffalo weather will rear its ugly head here, so that’s a bit of a break for the Jaguars. Also, I’ll admit to at least a little concern that the Bills get complacent here. They’re off a big win, this is a soft opponent and the Buffalo has a huge date with the surging Raiders next Sunday.
Laying more than a TD is no cinch to be sure, especially given the fact the Bills are only a .500 team. But the numbers breakdown indicates that like could actually be a bit short. I actually make this Buffalo -9. Given that I sure don’t have a problem trying to beat the Jaguars almost anytime, I’m willing to give the points here with the Bills.