So me and Jon Snow have a few things in common. We both stand under six feet tall (rumors are the King in the North is maybe 5’7″), both of us look good in long hair (see my Dave Grohl phase circa 2012) and WE BOTH KNOW NOTHING!!!
6-10 against the spread in Week 3. Pittsburgh the most reliable thing in the NFL (outside of NE) got lambasted by the second coming of Jesus Christ (Carson Wentz). The Rams somehow scored 37 points. And I forgot the holy grail of gambling rules; never take the West coast team traveling East and playing the morning game! Dammit Arizona, I knew you were frauds!!
I did say last week felt a little wonky. But wow, not even close on some of these. Which goes to show you, making gambling a life choice will land you on the street or in the cross-hairs of some very unsavory characters real quick. BUT, I do this for fun, so no Cousin Vinny looking to break my thumbs. Speaking of cousins, even the untouchable Cousin Sal is off to a slow start this season. Not as bad as me but hey, not everyone is perfect.
So I got a busy week coming up so I’m doing all my picks before the Thursday Night game (TNF), as to usually picking the Thursday game and then coming out with the remaining games Saturday morning.
Here we go, trust nothing except for Belicheck.
Last Week: 6-10 / To Date: 22-32
(Pick in bold, home team in caps)
Dolphins +7.5 over BENGALS
The Bengals could very easily be 0-3 and really should be. Andy Dalton has been running for his life for the majority of the first three games. His offense is deprived of weapons and Miami brings a quality defense to town that should limit Cincinnati’s offensive upside. The Bengals have failed to pull away from anyone lately and I don’t see why the Dolphins can’t stay within a touchdown of them. I like the Bengals to win but the Fins to cover.
COLTS -2.5 over Jaguars
The infamous London Game, this contest has marked the firing point for many coaches and GMs of years past. And it really couldn’t have drawn two better contestants to get possibly axed. The Colts barely escaped with the win last week thanks to a series of fortunate events that turned in their favor. The Jaguars are a dumpster fire and this loss may just put an end to one of the worst tenures by a head coach in NFL history! Now I don’t think either team is good enough to blowout the other and seal the coaching fate for the other side. However, one team has Andrew Luck and the other has Blake “I make my stats in garbage time” Bortles. Take Luck to win.
Titans +5 over TEXANS
It has been a rough week for Houston. First they get waxed on Thursday night by the Patriots. Then, their franchise cornerstone J.J. Watt gets put on IR for the year and his career may be in jeopardy. And now they’re laying 5 points at home? Sorry but I think the mental toll of the Pats ass-whipping combined with the Watt news has this team distracted. And it’s not like the Titans are bad, they hung with a top 5 Minnesota team in Week 1 until a couple of ball bounces didn’t go their way. They hung with Oakland last weekend as well. The Titans can run the ball and play good defense, that is a recipe to keep any game close. Take the points and I like the Titans to win.
Browns +7.5 over REDSKINS
The Browns are 0-3 but they have been more frisky than terrible. They hung with both Baltimore and Miami till the very end and their only no doubt loss came to what may be a top 5-7 Eagles team in Week 1. As for the Redskins, nothing in their first three games leaves me impressed. They look terrible and Cousins is the main reason for that, I just don’t see swallowing 7.5 at home for the Skins when they haven’t been able to separate from anyone of the last three weeks. These are two terrible teams and I expect it to be close. Grab the points and the Browns to cover, Redskins to win though, barely.
JETS + 2.5 over Seattle
This all depends on the health of Russell Wilson. That knee injury looked bad last week, I am surprised that he is even considering playing. With that said, this would’ve been a tough game even with Russell healthy as the Jets pass rush is likely to make life hell for any quarterback and Seattle’s Achilles Heel so far this season has been protecting Wilson. I know Ryan Fitzpatrick looked absolutely terrible last week and there is a strong chance Eric Decker misses this game BUT, I will not fall victim to my golden rule of gambling two weeks in a row! I’m picking against the West coast team traveling across country and playing the early game. This feels like an ugly war of attrition contest, and I like the Jets to cover and possibly win.
PATRIOTS over Bills
The line is even as we do not yet know if Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett or even Julian Edelman will be suiting up for quarterback. And it doesn’t matter, it will never matter because this is Belicheck and 16-0 is not out of the question this year. The Patriots are coming off a mini bye, they’re playing at home and going up against Rex Ryan who Belicheck has owned as of late. The Bills showed some spunk last week but Carson Palmer very well could have pulled a Ryan Fitzpatrick with his interceptions (6 instead of 4). The Pats don’t turn the ball over, their defense is probably the best version we’ve seen in years and Josh McDaniels is offensively light years ahead of whatever Rex might try to dial up. Pats at home to win and start 4-0 without Brady, if you don’t think that means something to Belicheck, then you don’t know him at all (not that I personally do but that sounded like a good line).
Panthers -3 over FALCONS
The Panthers have sputtered to a 1-2 start, eclipsing the total amount of losses they had in the entire 2015 season. But as Ron Rivera said, they haven’t played “a bunch of slappies” either. The Falcons looked good on MNF as they ran through, over and around the hapless Saints defense, then again, I think the local high school team could’ve that night. The Panthers are more talented, they have a legit defense to keep Atlanta’s running game in check and I think Cam breaks out with one of those Cam games. Gun to my head I can’t go with Atlanta as a home dog. Carolina in a touchdown win.
Raiders +3.5 over RAVENS
The Raiders grinded out a tough road win over Tennessee last weekend. Meanwhile, grinding it out seems to be the only thing Jon Harbaugh’s team can do lately. Baltimore is one of five undefeated teams left and they might just be the worst 3-0 team ever with squeakers over the Bills, Browns and Jaguars. Not exactly a murderers row of opponents. This is a game where the Raiders need to win to solidify their place in the upper tier of the AFC. And I think they can, just based on talent alone. But every year there is a team that somehow manages to stay undefeated that no one believes in, and the Ravens smell like that team. But, I just can’t lay the 3.5 points to a team that talent wise, is not on the Raiders level. Baltimore could squeak another one out, but I like the Raiders to cover.
Lions -3 over BEARS
The Bears are the #1 contender for worst team in the NFL. The Lions are not good but they aren’t that bad either. I know the Lions are without some of their biggest names on defense but I just don’t see how Chicago gets to 23 points without some type a day from hell from Matthew Stafford. It is a division game and nothing about Brian Hoyer and Alson “I’m questionable to play this week” Jeffrey scare me, not even with rookie Jordan Howard getting a full workload. Lions to win and win impressively.
Broncos -3 over BUCCANEERS
These are two teams I was completely wrong on entering the season. Most everybody talked themselves out of Denver repeating the same basic formula that led to the SB 50 win, kicking the living shit out of offenses week in and week out. I was on the Tampa hype train early and still think they have strides to make but if I were betting on this game, I’d look at one thing. The defenses. Denver is competing for the leagues best (with Minnesota) and Tampa has allowed nearly 34.0 points/game to start the season. Including letting the punch-less Rams put up 37 on them. I didn’t know that was humanly possible. Defense travels and QB Trevor Siemian might just be the latest in John Elway’s genius decisions that have made Denver’s roster a living nightmare for the rest of the league. Take Denver laying the 3 points.
CARDINALS -8 over Rams
Last week’s performance in Buffalo validates my gut feeling that Carson Palmer is not an elite QB. I think the Cardinals go as he goes and with him getting up there in age, he can’t be trusted week in and week out. I do trust Bruce Arians to have the words needed to get his team right in time for this week’s divisional tilt with the high flying Rams (sarcasm). This feels like a regression towards the mean game. I expect the Cardinals to lock up Gurley and force Case Keenum to beat them with Tavon Austin passes 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage (thats what $30 million guaranteed gets you Rams). Case Keenum forcing passes into that Cardinals secondary? This could get ugly quick. Take Arizona giving the 8.
CHARGERS -4 over Saints
It’s been a wonky year so far and maybe, just maybe the threat of relocation has riled up the SD fan base into making the Chargers a legit home field advantage again. Or maybe the Saints are fielding the worst defense we have ever seen. It’s a tough call. I don’t like the Saints traveling West and playing outdoors. I like the way Philip Rivers has operated the offense this year while losing cornerstones Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead. Despite Brees returning to San Diego for the first time sine he left, sometimes you just can’t outscore a bad defense. And Monday night’s showing has me convinced that the Saints may win maybe 4 games this year? Take the Bolts at home.
NINERS +2 over Cowboys
The Dez Bryant injury news continues to worsen. And after getting burned repeatedly the last two weeks by Carolina and Seattle (both on the road), maybe SF just needs some home cooking to get themselves back on track. Yes the Cowboys looked impressive last Sunday night, against the worst team in the league playing their backup QB, I would hope they played well. Something about this game tells me to go with the Niners. I think it is going to be a close game, I’m banking on Dez Bryant not being a 100% (possibly missing the game), and for Dak Prescott to run into a situation where he has to win a game on his own. Oh, and don’t be surprised if we see Colin Kaepernick make an appearance if Blaine Gabbert struggles again. Niners to cover and possibly win.
STEELERS -4.5 over Chiefs
I should’ve known, never make any statements that say “team such and such is one of the most reliable teams in the NFL” (even though I just did 8 paragraphs up, but different rules apply to Belicheck). This feels like a get right game for Pittsburgh. Le’veon Bell makes his annual return from a September suspension (have him on my fantasy team, fist pump!), the Steelers just got embarrassed by “the pick that saved Philly” and is Kansas City really going to get 6 interceptions from Big Ben? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I like the Steelers to eventually pull away from KC because I just don’t think they can match them point for point. Steelers at home giving 4.5
Giants +5 over MINNESOTA
The surprise of the NFL so far has been that the Vikings haven’t skipped a beat after losing both their starting quarterback and running back. The defense is as good as it gets, and it just may be better than the one in Denver. Zimmer is a great coach who finally got his shot (ala Bruce Arians). Sam Bradford has been the perfect acquisition for a team that relies on not making mistakes. So why am I taking the Giants after last week’s Odell vs. kicking net fiasco pretty much summed up their loss? The Giants live for this game, the Vikings offensive line is banged up and the Giants pass rush is legit. The Giants also have been the second best run defense so far (GB #1) and have suffocated the run game. I see a defensive battle in this game. Eli has been as efficient as any QB in the league and while he can be prone to the dumb turnover, lets not act like Sam Bradford still isn’t Sam Bradford. I like the Vikings to still win but 5 is too much to be laying for a Giant team that usually performs in prime time. The G-Men to cover.
Lions -3 over BEARS
PATRIOTS over Bills
STEELERS -4.5 over Chiefs