6-10 against the spread last week. OUCH!!! Thats almost as bad as the beating our native Rams took!
I’m not going to sugar coat it, I fell behind the eight-ball faster with my picks than Andrew Luck and the Colts did against the Cooter led Lions last week. But in the world of gambling, there is always tomorrow! There is always another game and so far in Week 2 I am 1-0 with my pick of the Jets +1 over BILLS. Here are my picks (I can’t get any worse right)
(Home team in caps, pick in bold)
Last Week: 6-10 / To Date: 7-10
STEELERS -3.5 over Bengals
The NFL Game of the Week is first up on the docket. The Steelers had as an impressive win as anyone did last week with Big Ben in mid-season form, Antonio Brown un-guardable and being able to run the ball at will. Then again it was against the Redskins, are they really that good? As for the Bengals, they squeaked out a win versus a quality team in the Jets. This screams that old talking head reference, “you know, you can throw records out the window when these two teams matchup” Phil Simms-esque type of line. Bengals are a good team, but can they put up 30 plus points on the road, i doubt it. Only thing that stops this Steelers team is health and Belicheck, and the Bengals can’t count on either on Sunday.
Titans +6 over LIONS
I believe in a Cooter led Lion’s offense. I love their addition of Marvin Jones, the “Catch Brothers” Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah and Matthew “I may finally be putting it all together” Stafford. They hung 39 on the road versus the Colts. Two problems though, the Colts might really, really suck at football (sans Luck), and the Lions are still the Lions. Do they really deserve to be getting 6 points at home? I still believe that the Titans were victimized by a top 5 NFL defense that once of couple of balls bounced the wrong way, their fate was sealed against the Vikings. The Lions don’t own anything close to that defense. If the line was -3 or lower, I’d grab the Lions. For now I’m gonna need one more week to see if Jim Bob Cooter is the next Mike Martz. Take the Titans and the points.
Ravens -6 over BROWNS
The experts are talking a lot of Ravens playoff sleeper buzz, and I’m buying. They had the injury-season from hell last year. A coach named Harbaugh still calls the shots and they get to face the ass crack of the NFL in their old ancestral home. Don’t over think this one, the Browns are tanking and the Ravens know what a 2-0 start usually means in the Harbaugh era.
Cowboys +3 over REDSKINS
Yep, get use to it, taking another road dog. This one can really go either way, but gun to my head, I like Dallas to control the clock and the game with their elite rushing attack. I know Zeke Elliot got off to a slow start last game but I look for that to be corrected this week. Cousins really disappointed me on Monday night, I’ve already dropped him from my fantasy team. Too many missed throws that could’ve been had. Division games are always close, it could be a loser leaves town match. I like the Cowboys to keep hope alive and I’m getting points.
Saints +5 over GIANTS
I didn’t get to watch last week’s game for the Giants (too busy crushing beers at the river), so I can’t tell you if their off-season makeover on the defensive side of the ball is completely legit. It is not like the Giants lit up a hapless Dallas D either. They’re home so I expect for them to play better against possibly even worse defense in New Orleans. So why am I going with the Saints as the road dog? I just can’t get past the 5 points, -3 then yes, I’d take the G-Men. 5 seems a little much with the firepower the Saints have to make it interesting, despite Brees’ road struggles. I like the Giants to win a close shootout, but the Saints to cover.
PANTHERS -13.5 over Niners
I am usually not one to take the home favorite with this high of a spread (especially my misfire w/Seattle last week). The Niners looked very good against possibly the worst NFL offense in quite a while. I was listening to Michael Lombardi this week on BSPN (Bill Simmons Podcast Network), he had some pretty interesting facts on the Niners offense. Most revealing was that Gabbert’s yard/completion was below 6 yards. If the Niners can’t stretch the field vertically, you can forget about running on the Panthers (despite last week vs DEN). You have an angry Panthers team that absolutely cannot start 0-2. If the Panthers start out fast, like they did all of last year, I don’t see the Niners making comeback. Despite my fears of a late backdoor cover, this is a statement game for Carolina.
Dolphins +6.5 over PATRIOTS
Gronk is very iffy to play. The Dolphins defense played fantastic in Seattle last weekend and the Patriots may be due for a let down game. I always have faith in Belicheck but for the Pats to be giving 6.5 with Garoppolo, just seems a little high for me. I think the mantra of the Brady-less Pats during these four games is to just win, no matter the fashion. I like the Pats to win but my gut says watch out for the Dolphins to make things interesting. Especially without Gronk.
HOUSTON -2.5 over Chiefs
That was not a pretty win by KC last weekend to let a weaker Chargers team hang with them blow for blow until the end. Houston has all the right things in place to make a unabated run for the AFC South crown, but it all comes down to the health of J.J. Watt and the arm of Brock Osweiler. With the plethora of skill players now at his disposal, Brock has the ability to play any way they want. Ground and pound with Lamar Miller, outside the hashes with the human highlight reel DeAndre Hopkins and a suitable running mate in Will Fuller. If Watt and his talented defensive mates play up to par, I don’t think KC can keep up. Take Houston.
RAMS +6.5 over Seahawks
I am very torn on this game. In my opinion it goes either of two ways, a Seahawks blowout (w/possible Jeff Fisher firing, I don’t care if he just signed an extension!!) or a an ugly knock em out street fight like last week with the Dolphins. The Rams have always had the Seahawks number, including two wins against them last year. The Seahawks offensive line is an absolute disaster, the Rams boast probably the best front four in the business. I just can’t see Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn being quite for two weeks in a row. Especially with the first regular season game in LA in over 20 years, I know my So Cal faithful will be boozed up like Eagles fans at The Vet back in the 80s! I still believe the Seahawks squeak this one out but Donald and Quinn will make Russell Wilson’s life a living hell while doing so. Rams to cover.
Buccaneers +7 over CARDINALS
I was literally just about to put Cards -7 up there and then I realized that my instincts about them being frauds (more specifically Carson Palmer, the rest of the team may be legit) after last years playoff run maybe right. The only reason I picked the Cards to cover last weekend was because I thought Belicheck was throwing away this game when Gronkowski was ruled out. I think the Cardinals are really talented but I am not sold on Carson Palmer. I think he’s hit his regression this year and I think Jameis and his Bucs have enough spunk to really make things interesting in this game. The Buccaneers have all the weapons to go blow for blow with the Cards. “In Shape James” (nod to Bill Simmons), is athletically gifted enough to evade the Cards pass rush and make plays downfield. The only caveat is that the Bucs played a horrid Atlanta team that may be bottom 5. I’m sticking with my gut, the Cards are not for real and 7 is too much to be laying with this talented of a team coming to town.
Jaguars +3 over CHARGERS
I cannot for the life of me figure out why the Chargers are getting -3 in this game, even with the home field advantage (which they don’t have if you’ve ever been to a game there). The Jags played my Packers down to the wire in Week 1. I knew the game was going to be tough but the heat was way more of a factor than i thought it would be. The Chargers played great in KC, recent history has shown us that they are a far better away team than home team. I just don’t see a Bolts win here in the wake of Keenan Allen being done for the year. I think the Jags, especially defensively are good enough take get the to job done. Take the Jags and the points.
RAIDERS -4.5 over Falcons
Momentum is a real thing, despite what Bill Barnwell may tell you. The Raiders have plenty of it after Jack Del Rio just beat Sean Payton in a nut-sack game to see whose balls were bigger. The Raiders have the makings of elite talent everywhere you look. And now they get to come home and face an abominable Falcons team that just got shellacked by Jameis and his Bucs? The only thing that worries me is this is a young team and the ability to repeat success and stack quality wins without getting too ahead of themselves is the last thing a good team needs to do to before becoming a legit contender. We’ll find out this weekend.
Colts +6 over Broncos
The Colts maybe in there first steps to going 6-10 and getting Pagano fired, or they maybe be stepping into their first upset victory of a 10-6 playoff season. I have no clue, this team is so jekell and hyde it could be anywhere in between. I do know this, the Broncos, until I see Trevor Siemian take some major strides in pushing the ball downfield, should never be favored by more than 4 against anyone with the offensive firepower of Andrew Luck. I don’t care how good your defense is, I don’t see you blowing out the Colts and holding a double digit lead without him mounting a comeback. It’s in their DNA, they get down and then they rally. Plus the Colts always play Denver well. Something tells me that the Colts can more than cover, and maybe even win. The first one to 20 points takes this game.
VIKINGS +2.5 over Packers
If you have ever listened to me on the BTL Packers Podcast, you know me as the pessimistic Packers fan. I prefer the term realist but call it what you want. I was very concerned about the first two games. I foresaw the tough game with the Jags in the heat. I am even more wary of the Vikings game in their new dome, AP coming off a bad game looking to make amends and that crazy talented Zimmer-coached Vikings defense who has always kept Rodgers under wraps. It is going to be a close game either way. I don’t see the Packers being able to pull away even if they play well. I like Rodgers with all his receiving weapons and I like the GB secondary. Thats about it. I am very worried about the middle of the Packers defense against the run, I am worried about a new addition to the offensive line playing his first nationally televised game in a dome that may or may not have crowd noise piped in. I think Eddie Lacy is still one more off-season away from fully getting back into shape. And I am worried about the most annoying trend ithat is happening in big Packer games lately; someone vital to the defense/offense ends up out for the game or worse sometime in the mid-first quarter. I think the Vikings knew they could squeak past the Titans, not show any relevant film of a Bradford led offense. I expect the Vikings best shot, because I know Zimmer has them convinced they can still win the division. I don’t like picking against my team, but take the Vikings to cover and possibly win.
Eagles +3 over BEARS
Not an entertaining matchup, I don’t have a whole lot to say here. I like the talent on the Eagles slightly better than the Bears. It will be Carson Wentz’s first road game and a nationally televised one at that. I was impressed by what some football experts had to say about his first start. I’ll take Philly and the points.
Jags +3 over CHARGERS
Ravens -6 over BROWNS
STEELERS -3.5 over Bengals