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The Thirsty Three – Week 18 NFL Playoffs Edition

Action Never Sleeps

The Thirsty Three

NFL Playoffs action is the best action. The NFL in their infinite wisdom has upgraded the 2021 NFL playoffs experience. I’m a Bears fan, always have been and always will be. Even though I think the Saints deserve a bye more than the Bears deserve to be in the NFL playoffs. The NFL loves action.  The NFL gets it.  They give us more games, more content and more action.  They give me more fantasy and more gambling. I give you more information. Just more!  That’s the NFL’s motto. So as we blast into the new year lets sit back, sip on what we sip on, and devour The Thirsty Three.  It’s time to set the new year right for your pocketbook.

Last week for week 17. I was 3-0. The week before 0-3. It goes that way sometimes. I had the Packers, Rams, and Saints all covering. Sometimes you have to play the long game.

Season Total 28-20-3 

58% win percentage 

I made some money last year and if you followed along with The Thirsty Three, so did you.  The NFL playoffs are a different animal, but I found the first week of action gives you some layups. This year is no different.

Game 1: Bears vs. Saints (-9.5)

The Nickelodeon game will be just that cartoonish comedy. The Bears do not belong in the NFL playoffs. All NFL fans know that. Of the 14 teams the Bears are the thing that least belongs, but they will head down South to take on a Saints team with true Lombardi Trophy ambitions.  

Across the board the Saints are the better team with Coaching, Quarterback, Receivers, Running Backs, and Total Defense. I don’t see one area where the Bears line up well. Now, the Bears in October with Nick Foles under center did fight their way to an overtime loss against the Saints. This time the Saints get the Mighty Mitch Trubisky to feast on and feast they will.  

Don’t let the high number scare you. The Saints are better. Brees has come alive while the defense will devour little Mitchy. You will make bank. I’d put 60% of your payroll on this game. Just take home the easy money. Here is to Spongebob splattering slime all over Bears defenders trying to hold back the ready to rock Saints.  

Score:  Saints 37 – Bears 10

Saints easily cover in this game

Game 2: Colts vs Bills (-7)

The Bills come into this game on fire. They just destroyed their hated AFC East rival Dolphins in a game that meant little to the Bills. It meant a NFL playoffs appearance for the Dolphins. The Bills went up 28-3 at halftime. Tua time became Not Gonna Dua Time. The Bills went on to put a 56 burger on the Fins to bounce them from the playoffs. Next up for slaughter…the Indianapolis Colts.  

As my guy Lee Corso says…not so fast, my friend. The NFL is all about matchups. Betting the NFL is all about the number. The number here is just too high for me. I understand it. The Colts have the old man Phillip Rivers on a bad foot with one last chance at glory. They were an up and down team. They lost both to the Jaguars for the Jags only win on the year and beat the Packers for only one of three Pack losses on the year.  This team can hang with the Bills. The Colts have the formula. They can run the rock as Jonathon Taylor displayed his talent going off for 256 rushing yards in week 17. (He’s my Running Back 3 in fantasy football next year) They can play just enough defense to slow down MVP Allen for one week.  

In the end, I believe the Colts come close, but no cigar.  They challenge a Bills team that I see going to the AFC championship game. The Bills lose a close one to the Chiefs. I like the Bills but not by 7. 

Score: Bills 27 – Colts 24

Colts cover the 7 points.  

Game 3: Browns vs. Steelers (-4.5)

Rounding out the NFL weekend action has two teams very familiar with one another. By familiar I mean hate one another. The Steelers have bullied the poor Browns for the better part of two decades. I know past teams have no standing on current teams. There is often something psychological when your franchise continues to get malayed by another squad. See Bears vs. Packers. Often this comes down the quarterback and although the feisty Browns are well deserved of a playoff appearance. (We’re happy for you!) I believe they can hang with their big brother when I see it.  

I think this number is a sucker bet.The public saw the Browns win against the Steelers to clinch a NFL playoffs birth last week. They are thinking they can hang, but I’m not seeing it.I understand the Steelers limped into the NFL playoffs after starting the season 11-0. This was a Steelers team that caught some bad Covid-19 luck. It wasn’t of their own doing, but from other squads.

Pittsburgh Outlook

The Steelers were the only team to not have a true bye during the 2020 season. They were playing on an empty tank for the most part of December. I think the comeback victory over the Colts in week 16 that clinched the AFC North was the wakeup call they needed. That game allowed the Steelers to rest nine starters vs the Browns. However, the Browns still had to fight for every inch to win that much needed game against the Steelers.  

I believe we will see the Steelers team that looked like the best overall team in the NFL for 11 weeks during playoff time. The Browns may be without their head coach Kevin Stefanski because of Covid-19. No one knows who else may not be able to play or coach. The Browns have had a bad Covid-19 outbreak after traveling to New York and being embarrassed by the lowly Jets in week 16.  

To me this game isn’t even close. I think the Browns keep it close for a while. Where the Steelers are great are using their Hall of Fame QB to deliver the ball to their butterfinger receivers. I think the receivers and the Steelers hang on in this one and win by two scores.  

Score: Steelers 34 – Browns 24

Steelers cover the 4.5 spread

I stopped drinking alcohol on December 25th, 2019. (Again, we’re happy for ya!) I’m not going back because I feel great, but hey that’s me. As a guy that has spilled more booze on my shoes than most normal people will drink in a lifetime. I don’t judge. In fact I’m all for folks getting boozy if that their thing.  The Thirsty Three to me is about relaxing, taking your bookie’s money, finding what you thirst on and enjoying the satisfaction of using the NFL to prop up your pocketbook. Get after it folks. Make that money!  

I’ll see you here same time, same place next week.  

Written by Keith James

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