Crazy upsets putting the “Madness” in “Madden Madness”

What in the name of Vince Lombardi is going on in Bet Online’s Madden Madness sim football tournament? With half the “Sweet 16” round complete, we’re guaranteed an “Elite 8” with at least four teams which didn’t actually make the playoffs and are guaranteed only two such teams. The New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers are already out, eliminated by Washington, the Carolina Panthers (Madden Cam Newton is awesome) and “Los Angeles” Chargers, respectively.

While some of the topsy-turvy results are down to teams looking better on paper than their 2020 performance would indicate (again, Madden Cam Newton is awesome), but much of the blame can be bestowed on the AI coaches. Particularly egregious was AI John Harbaugh. The scenario: In the Sweet 16 round against the Bears, immediately after the 2-minute warning, down 24-21, 4th down and 3. So naturally, the Ravens call for ... a run by FB Patrick Ricard, who *hasn't had a single carry in three NFL seasons*. We can't imagine why Baltimore lost this game to Mitch Trubisky & Co....

And so went the Sweet 16 round:

• East: New York Jets (5) 30, Washington (8) 24
• South: Carolina Panthers (8) 20 at Atlanta Falcons (4) 13
• North: Chicago Bears (4) 31 at Baltimore Ravens (1) 24
• West: Los Angeles Rams (4) 39, “Los Angeles” Chargers (8) 16

The second round of Sweet 16 games runs today, May 28. Pointspreads and over/unders are as follows.

• West: Las Vegas Raiders (6) +7½ at Kansas City Chiefs (2), over/under 52 points
• North: Cleveland Browns (6) +4½ at Green Bay Packers (2), over/under 46 points
• South: Tennessee Titans (3) +1½ at Houston Texans (2), over/under 47 points
• East: Philadelphia Eagles (3) -3 at Buffalo Bills (2), over/under 44 points

Three of the first four Sweet 16 games in the tournament went for 54 points or more and 50+ point games are commonplace – perhaps due to the mostly neutral field conditions in the game. Plus, with the built-in favoritism to the offense in today’s NFL rulebook, if inferior AI coaches face off, the better offense wins. So we’re saying take the over on any or all of these games.

As for winners ATS, the only opportunity we really like is to take the sim Texans -1½ vs the Titans. Houston’s roster looks great in terms of metrics, and the comedown from Mike Vrabel to AI Mike Vrabel is significant. Also: Newton vs Watson in the Elite 8!

Beyond that, we believe that given how this tournament’s gone thus far, the Chiefs and Packers can’t possibly both survive this round. All of a sudden, the 2019 Cleveland Browns feel just perfect for this tourney as a tremendously underachieving team that has screwed NFL bettors one way or another for two real-life seasons straight – and Freddie Kitchens to AI Freddie Kitchens is a step up.

Bet Online is setting everything up for a Browns vs Pantehrs Madden Sim Bowl, we can feel it…

–written by Os Davis

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