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NFL worst bet Week 18: Lovie Smith screwed everyone over

It was funny watching Lovie Smith screw over the Texans out of spite. That is unless you bet big on the Colts to win, in which case it was a disaster.

I had high hopes for my Week 18 NFL betting card with several well-thought-out plays across the weekend. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. 

I was way off on two games that messed up my margins and soured my results in Week 18. I overlooked critical aspects of a meaningless game, and then I put too much trust in a team playing a game that meant everything. 

Like the teams I bet on, I did not end the regular season in the best spot. However, unlike them, I can continue trying in the playoffs. Let me share my biggest oopsies from Week 18 in the NFL with no further ado. 

Lovie Smith screwed the Texans (and me)

I spent the better part of last week going back and forth on how much effort the Houston Texans would put into their season finale against the Indianapolis Colts. I thought better about betting on the Colts to cover “just in case,” but I convinced myself there was no way the Texans would go all out on Sunday. 

That was time wasted, and I could not have been more wrong about how this game would go. 

As I’m sure many of you did, I assumed the Texans would not go balls to the wall to win. Why? Because the Texans would be guaranteed the number one pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if they lost to or tied the Colts. And considering the Texans were 1-10 in their previous eleven games, I felt good about them getting their teeth kicked in again. 

But Lovie Smith and quarterback David Mills had other plans that did not include me cashing in on the Colts’ moneyline. Mills had a career game with 298 yards and three touchdowns, finishing with a passer rating of 87.4. Smith called a smart, aggressive game, and the score was tight. 

However, despite the big game from Mills, the Texans were down 28-24 in the fourth quarter and looked defeated. Perhaps knowing he was already getting fired, Smith decided that the franchise’s future was less important than winning a meaningless game. So he went ahead and not only won, but made some wild calls to get there. 

The two-point conversion was pure spite

In a postgame interview, Smith claimed that the team “all the way down the organization” plays to win games. Find a shot of the Texans’ owner Cal McNair in the closing seconds of the game, and you will see that Smith is slinging some potent BS. 

The “organization” responded by firing him this morning. If they weren’t planning to nix him before Sunday, he earned those walking papers in my mind. 

I appreciate that the idea of sports is to win. I didn’t expect teams to throw games yesterday or the Texans to tank on purpose. But the Texans went way above and beyond to win this game. 

Mills hit Jordan Akins with a Hail Mary pass on 4th and 20 with 0:58 seconds left to pull within one. Most coaches would have kicked the field goal, went to overtime and taken their chances. But not Lovie. Smith called for a two-point conversion to go for the win. Mills hit Akins again, and the Texans took the lead with 50 seconds left. I could not believe what I was watching.

It was the best move for Smith

The good news is I think I’ve figured out my misstep, and it’s all about Smith. 

I assumed that the Texans knew they sucked and would hold onto Smith past this season despite an awful record. They showed some fight late in the year, and while his job was far from secure, I thought Smith would return in 2023 to helm this team.

I had not considered the possibility that Smith knew he was getting the ax and just did what was best for him. It was an impressive win, and Smith coached very well. Too bad he and Mills couldn’t play that way when it mattered earlier in the year. 

The No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft now belongs to the Chicago Bears, a team Smith coached from 2004 to 2012. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories too often, but I am entertained by the idea that Smith, knowing he was getting fired, threw his old team a bone on his way out the door. 

Either way, it was a very well-coached game. I’m just pissed it cost me a few hours and dollars. 

Honorable Mention: A-Aron blew it

As I sat watching the end of the Green Bay Packers game, I couldn’t help but hear the voice of Adam Sandler playing on a loop in my head, screaming “you blew it,” from Billy Madison. I had blown it along with the Packers by betting on them not once, but twice. 

I thought that one of the greatest quarterbacks in history would be able to will this team to one more win and earn a spot in the playoffs, especially against the garbage franchise that is the Detroit Lions. I trusted Rodgers so much that I also added him as a prop bet to go over 1.5 touchdowns. For the second time on Sunday, I could not have read the situation more wrong. 

Now that the regular season is over, there are fewer games to focus on, so hopefully these missteps will dry up and I’ll have less to write about next week. But if my betting history is any indication, the questionable decisions will only get more mind-numbing as we head into the playoffs.