Here's your hard-luck NFL gambling guide for this weekend

Do the opposite! Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images.

Recently a new neighbor asked me, "You're in the lame street media (here we go), you got any picks for the games this week?"

You came to the right guy. I work down the hall from the ESPN 97.5 guys. I hear things. You want games? I got games.

I told him: take Alabama (-18.5) over Notre Dame, Clemson (-7.5) over Ohio State, and just because you seem like a good person, here's a third one, the Titans (-7 over Texans). The numbers are too low. These games are guaranteed wipeouts.

Three for three, baby. All losers. Alabama and the Titans didn't cover and Clemson lost outright. I'm good like that. I don't bet because, borrowing from Michael Corleone in Godfather II, the greatest movie ever made, if history has taught me anything, it's that I stink at betting on sports.

I used to work in Phoenix – the boys and me, we all got pretty heavy into sports betting. There was a shuttle flight to Las Vegas. We'd go up after work, sometimes during lunch. Been there, done that, lost my paycheck. True story, swear: I once bet a six-team parlay, all favorites. If they all hit, that's 45 to 1 odds. That's some sweet action. I lost all six games. That's just as hard as winning all six.

If I bet $20 on the Harlem Globetrotters, that would be the night the Washington Generals won, which they haven't done since 1972. If I bet on a 5th grade production of Moby Dick, Ahab would catch the whale and buy drinks for everybody at the Krusty Krab.

When it comes to sports betting, I am George Costanza: "Every decision I've ever made in my entire life has been wrong, be it something to wear, something to eat, it's all been wrong."

So in the spirit of Bizarro World, where "us do opposite of all Earthly things! Us hate beauty. Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect," here are my "guaranteed loser" picks for this weekend's NFL Divisional Round playoff games. You know what to do.

Remember, the winners of this weekend's games advance to their respective Conference Championship game.

For Houston Texans fans, let me explain what a Conference Championship game is, because your team has never gotten that far. Conference Championship games are reserved for teams that go deep in the playoffs, with the winners advancing to the Super Bowl. Now, the Super Bowl is a game…

Kansas City Chiefs (-8) vs. Cleveland Browns: Don't be fooled by the Browns' destruction of the Steelers last weekend. The Steelers were sitting ducks, the most overrated, under-achieving team in the league down the stretch. Security guards at his home stadium think Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield's first name is "Parker." The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes romp, 45-18. Take the Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills (-2) vs. Baltimore Ravens: The Bills are my favorite team to watch this season. Quarterback Josh Allen is the real deal, cannon arm, can run, team believes in him. The Ravens were impressive last week against Tennessee (I lost that one, too), but they have a running back playing quarterback. All in on the Bills, 35-31.

Green Bay Packers (-6.5) vs. Los Angeles Rams: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is this year's MVP. Every team should draft a quarterback just to rile up their guy. The team with the better quarterback and better receivers wins in the NFL. That's Green Bay. Although Jake from State Farm says there is no Rodgers Rate, back the Pack, 42-17.

New Orleans Saints (-4) vs. Tampa Bay Bucs: a few years ago, I asked a former NFL quarterback who used to work with me for his Super Bowl pick. He said, "Never bet against Tom Brady in a big game." I took his advice. Ouch! These teams have played twice this year with the Saints winning both times. They say it's hard to beat a team three times, but it's really not. One team is clearly better, and it's the Saints, 27-16.

There you go, four guaranteed losers. See you at your inbox.

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The losing streak continues

Mariners get walk-off win over short-staffed Astros

Alex De Goti had an impressive debut. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

After a brutal homestand capped off by losing five players to the IL for health and safety protocols, the once 5-1 Astros brought their now 6-6 record to T-Mobile park in Seattle to try and right the ship. They'd have to do it with new and young players in the lineup using the "next man up" mentality to get some wins against the first-place Mariners.

Though the young bats would work themselves into a lead most of the night, Houston's bullpen wouldn't be able to hold the Mariners down, with Seattle ultimately walking things off in the ninth.

Final Score: Mariners 6, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 6-7, fourth in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Anthony Misiewicz (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (0-1)

After a quiet start, Houston gets three in the fifth

After cruising through the Astros through the first four innings, allowing only a walk over that span, Houston was able to put up a big inning against Yusei Kikuchi in the top of the fifth. Carlos Correa notched the first hit of the night, followed by a walk by Taylor Jones to put two on base.

That brought Alex De Goti, making his major-league debut, to the plate and, in his second career at-bat, would get his first hit and RBI, bringing in Correa from second on a single. A second run would come on the same play on a throwing error, then Chaz McCormick made it a three-run inning with an RBI-double, putting Houston out front 3-0.

Urquidy comes an out shy of a quality start

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was doing well through five innings. On track for a much-needed quality start, the Mariners would tag him in the bottom of the sixth, getting three-straight hits to bring in two runs to lead off the frame and leaving a runner on second base with no outs.

Urquidy would rebound to get the next two batters on strikeouts, but at 90 pitches and with a left-handed hitter up next, Dusty Baker would bring in lefty Brooks Raley to try and get out of the inning with the one-run lead intact. Raley would do his job, putting Uruidy's line final: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 90 P.

Teams trade two-run seventh innings

The young bats for Houston struck again in the top of the seventh, with Jones and De Goti leading it off with back-to-back singles before Jason Castro would load the bases with a walk. With two outs, Aledmys Diaz would push the lead back to three with a two-RBI single, making it 5-2.

With Raley out after facing his one batter, next out of Houston's bullpen was Bryan Abreu to help maintain Houston's lead. Instead, he would give up two runs on two hits and a walk while getting just two outs before Baker moved on to Blake Taylor, who would get the last out of the seventh with Houston hanging on to a one-run lead at 5-4.

Mariners get the walk-off win

Taylor remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth, and after getting an out, would allow a game-tying solo home run to Evan White before injuring himself trying to field an infield single. Ryne Stanek entered and finished off the eighth, sending the tie game to the ninth.

After Houston came up empty in the top half, Stanek remained in the game in the bottom of the ninth, attempting to force extras. Back-to-back walks ended Stanek's night, with the Astros hoping Ryan Pressly could bail them out. He couldn't, though, giving up the walk-off hit as the Mariners would take the opener, 6-5.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set will start an hour earlier on Saturday, with first pitch at 8:10 PM Central. Zack Greinke (1-1, 4.08 ERA) will try to rebound from a poor start his last time out for the Astros, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Chris Flexen (1-0, 4.50 ERA).

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