Tag Archives: Packers

BTL Week 10 NFL Picks

Went 7-5 versus the spread last week. Had some hits, had some misses that I didn’t see coming. But ever so slowly I’m inching closer to the right side of above 50%.

I’m going to keep this week’s pick’s post short. There was a lot that went on this past week that was bigger than football and I myself found myself less concerned with the NFL, fantasy football and making picks against the spread than paying attention the bigger issues. So in the spirit of conciseness. On to the picks.

Last Week: 7-5 / To Date: 69-75

Packers -2.5 over TITANS

REDSKINS -1.5 over Vikings

BUCCANEERS +2.5 over Bears

PANTHERS -3 over Chiefs

EAGLES over Falcons

JETS over Rams

SAINTS -3 over Broncos

JAGUARS -2.5 over Texans

CHARGERS -4 over Dolphins

STEELERS -3 over Cowboys

Niners +14 over CARDINALS

PATRIOTS -7.5 over Seahawks

GIANTS +1 over Bengals 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Week 5 NFL Picks

There is a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Walter Donovan tells Indiana Jones before he leaves for Venice to “trust no one”. Indiana never heeded his advice as he fell for the beautiful Fräulein Dr. Elsha Schneider,  who would turn out to be a Nazi spy.

Last week I felt the  same. My motto was,”Trust no one but Belicheck”. And even I found a way to screw that up! An absolute horrid week going 3-13 against the spread. To be fair the football season has been very wonky so far. But I feel a turn around coming this week because it can’t get any worse. I already nailed the Thursday Night Game, something that has eluded for the most part of the season.

I’m also changing the format just for this week. I don’t have enough time to give my thoughts on each pick, so this week, just the pick only will be posted. Be back next week with the old format and hopefully a much better record!

Last Week: 3-13 / To Date: 28-45

 

Cleveland (+10.5) over PATRIOTS

LIONS (+3.5) over Eagles

Bears (+4.5) over COLTS

Titans (+3.5) over DOLPHINS

RAVENS (-3.5) over Redskins

VIKINGS (-7) over Texans

STEELERS (-7) over Jets

Falcons (+4.5) over BRONCOS

Bengals (-2) over COWBOYS

Bills (+1) over RAMS

OAKLAND (-3.5) over Chargers

Giants (+7) over PACKERS

PANTHERS over Buccaneers (no spread because of the Cam Newton concussion)

 

Best Bets:

Bengals (-2) over COWBOYS

Giants (+7) over PACKERS

VIKINGS (-7) over Texans

 

 

-MikeV87

 

 

 

BTL Week 3 NFL Picks

The Spaghetti Vendor struck back in Week 2 going 10-6 against the spread. I was almost unanimous with my early slate in covering seven of the first eight games. Only to trip up in the late afternoon games that featured a little too much of the “everybody believes in us” Kool-Aid; Oakland, Tampa.

Through the first two weeks I stand at 16-16 against the spread; well, 16-17 if you count the “PBS football clinic” Belicheck and company ran for three and half hours Thursday night. I swear, this is the last time I go against Belicheck. Everybody and their grandmother thought surely their was no way for Belicheck to actually pull out a victory against a probable AFC playoff team right? I mean not with Jacoby freaking Brissett?! Done. I’ve learned my lesson, I will never go against God’s gift to football (Belicheck, not Brady). Well……except if Eli is in the way (like really? Eli Manning of all people, is the freaking kryptonite to the greatest coach of all-time? The football gods must have a weird sense of humor). Anyways, I digress, onto my picks.

As I said before, my record is a tick below .500. The season has been pretty wonky so far, most teams haven’t fully revealed their scent yet. But I think I’m pretty close to being on the plus sides of these picks………..or I may just start turning to mush. Gambling is a hell of a drug right?!

(Home team in caps, pick in bold)

Last Week: 10-6 / To Date: 16-17

Week 3:

Cardinals -4 over BILLS

Okay, okay, Let’s get this out of the way first. The Cardinals proved me wrong last week. Doesn’t really change my opinion other then I gave the young Bucs too much credit. I know Arizona looked off against NE in Week 1 but those Pats very well might go 16-0 again. They slammed down the gauntlet in an absolute must win at home. Now they get to travel east for a road date with Buffalo. Rex Ryan just fired his OC, even though the defense has been the bigger problem. I think any road game going across country to play the early game is tough but I trust Arian’s to battle it out and hold the pathetic Bills offense in check while the offense takes care of business. Take AZ laying the four points.

Lions +7 over PACKERS

My instincts were right Sunday night about my Green Bay Packers. Starting out with two straight road games in tough for any team. But given the current level or should I say, offensive ineptitude the Packers and particularly, Aaron Rodgers, is playing at, Green Bay can’t be trust to lay 7 points to anyone except maybe the Browns. Now Rodgers could snap out of it and Lions aren’t world beaters. I just don’t think that Green Bay can get to 27 points with ease anymore, it may take more time for this group to step up. I like the Lions to keep it competitive throughout, they have a good shot to win if the GB offense/Arod have a repeat of last week and Demarious Randall gets no safety help again. Take the Lions and the points.

Raiders +1 over TITANS

The Raiders bandwagon got a little lighter last week. The darlings of the AFC got a rude awakening when they let Atlanta run them up and down the field. Which may happen from time to time with this YOUNG of a roster. Stacking success, I said it last week, it is the last thing that a team like the Raiders need to learn. To be playing at their potential week in and week out. Through two weeks the Raiders set the defensive record for most yards allowed. Not good at all. Now Tennessee played a very good Vikings team to a draw until their defense took over and played well enough at Detroit to squeak out a win. The Titans defense looks dependable, their running game is solid, so I expect them to put points up on Oakland. But, I just like the overall talent edge the Raiders possess to win on the road. Oakland is the better team, it’s games like these where they need to show it. Oakland and the point in a close one.

DOLPHINS -10 over Browns

The Dolphins are another team that started out with two very tough road games; in Seattle and in Foxborough. With hopes for some home cooking, they couldn’t have drawn a better opponent to get them back into the win column, the Browns! Cleveland gave Baltimore a run last week but Baltimore may be the “good bad team” this year. Ten is a lot for a team like the Dolphins to be swallowing at home but the Browns are injury-riddled, talent-less and are tanking. Go with the team that needs a win desperately. The Browns are just desperate to get the season over with.

Ravens -1 over JAGUARS

The Jags had everybody nearly fooled about being a possible playoff contender, turns out they may just suck at the first 30 mins of football. The Ravens also got down big to the Browns (which worries me, really? Down 20-2 to the freaking Browns!!) but rallied late. I’m really torn on this game, on one hand I down trust either team too much after the first two weeks but I surely trust Jon Harbaugh more than Gus Bradley. Take the Ravens laying one, but be cautious of a Bortles comeback.

Broncos +3.5 over BENGALS

Home team usually gets 3 points, so the line here says that the Bengals are a half point better than the defending SB champs. After last week’s dismantling of Indy and the way this defense CONTINUES to play as if it’s the 2015 Playoffs all over again, I can’t swallow the 3.5 points when Denver just needs to get to 17-20 points because I do not see Andy Dalton and his limited offense so far being able the score 20 plus points. Trevor Siemian is the perfect quarterback for this team and after going into Carolina and handling that stage, I think he has more than enough to win this game. Take Denver and the 3.5, they are as dependable as its gets (until next week when Cincy plays out of its mind on Sunday).

PANTHERS -6.5 over Vikings

This one is a tough spot for the Vikings. Fresh off a two game winning streak and fresh off losing their franchise running back for the year most likely. Minnesota has to travel to Carolina and this has all the makings of a let down game. The Vikings defense is legit and I look for them to keep Cam Newton in check, but I’m just not sure they’re ready to play lights out again for the second week in a row. The Panthers got their swagger back last week but also showed they can’t be trusted to put opponents away for good as the Niners made attempts time and again to back door cover. But I’m going with the Panthers being a touchdown better than Minnesota. Take the Panthers laying 6.5.

GIANTS -3.5 over Redskins

This has all the makings of that “Eli shits his pants game” that happens a couple times a year. The Giants look to be markedly better than the Washington professional football team (nod to Joe House), they have the skill players and the quarterback to hang thirty on this team. So why am I so nervous? Well, because Eli could throw 4 touchdowns or 4 picks in this game and neither would surprise me. So why am I picking them? Kirk Cousins sucks, thats why. He duped all of us into thinking he was a franchise quarterback, hell he even duped the Redskins front office (should’ve signed that extension Kirk). This team is not particularly good on either side of the ball and at home, I like the Giants to make an early statement for the NFC East (until they blow this game and remind all of us that gambling on them is basically waterboarding yourself). Take the Giants and pray for some good signs early from Eli.

BUCCANEERS -5 over Rams

Yep, taking the home favorites a lot this week. This one is a rather easy call. The Rams have yet to score a touchdown this year. I’m still buying Tampa and Jameis stock by the handfuls even in the wake of last week’s beatdown. Jameis will bounce back at home (as most young QBs do) and the young Bucs have enough firepower to score at least 17 on LA. As for the Rams, i don’t care how good your defense is, I see no possible way the offense gets to double digits on the scoreboard. One of my best bets of the week, Tampa giving 5.

Niners +10 over SEAHAWKS

I have said before that I don’t like swallowing double digit points often, and especially this early in the season. The Seahawks have scored one more offensive touchdown than the Rams have this season and that came on a two minute drill in Week 1. Their offensive line might be bottom 5 in football. Russell Wilson is already hurt and the Seattle offense suddenly is lacking elite playmakers on the outside. As for San Francisco, they are flawed, but but some reason I like them this year. Being that it is a division game, and yes on the road, I just haven’t seen enough from Wilson and company to really play downhill and make this a blowout. The only that happens is if Gabbert makes some crucial turnovers to the Seahawks elite defense. That is a very real possibility, but i’m still grabbing the points, SF to cover.

CHIEFS -3 over Jets

This one was another tough one to call. The Jets are dealing with some injuries with their WRs. Brandon Marshall may not play. Meanwhile, the Chiefs look to welcome back Jammal Charles, albeit in very limited action. Since the Chiefs are getting healthy and the Jets may not be fully 100% at receiver, I like KC to take this game. Not much else to say here, go with the home team.

COLTS -2.5 over Chargers

I’m convinced that outside of Andrew Luck, the Colts are absolutely terrible at football. It’s like those years when the Mariners had Griffey or ARod, hell even Felix Hernandez and for the love of god they could never muster enough talent around them, and they wasted some of their best years. So why am I picking the Colts when the Chargers have looked far better in the first two weeks. Self preservation. Indy NEEDS this win. Start 0-3 and could can almost write them off. It might not be pretty but Andrew Luck will put this team on his back to notch the Colts first victory this year. Colts at home because their playoff lives depend on it.

Steelers -3.5 over EAGLES

Probably the lock of the week along with Tampa over LA. The Steelers look to be the second best team in the NFL so far. They have elite talent at every level on offense and Le’Veon Bell isn’t even back yet! Carson Wentz and his merry band of birds have looked good so far…..against Cleveland and Chicago, probably two of the bottom 5 teams in the NFL. Here they get to play with the big boys. I don’t see things going smoothly for Wentz once he gets down 10 in the first half. The Steelers are as dependable (health permitting) as it gets.

Bears +7 over COWBOYS

Risky play here going with Brian Hoyer here but a few things stand out to me. The Dallas Cowboys have not shown me enough to be favored by 7 at home. If they hung 27 plus on NYG and WAS to start then yes, you deserve the -7. Second, it’s Sunday Night Football, these Dallas games are always close. I look for a high scoring affair, taking the over (44) in this game is another savvy bet. But I like for the Bears to hang with the Boys long enough to make it interesting. I like Dallas to win but not by more than a score.

SAINTS -2.5 over Falcons

Drew Brees gets to come home to his fortress of solitude. Now the dome hasn’t been as untouchable recently as you might believe, but, Atlanta’s defense is pretty shoddy and I see another Saints v. Raiders Week 1 affair in store for MNF. If this was in Atlanta, I’d give the nod to them, but it is not. I’m taking the better coach, better offense and better quarterback in this one. Saints laying 2.5

 

Best Bets:

Steelers -3.5 over EAGLES

BUCCANEERS -5 over Rams

DOLPHINS -10 over Browns

 

-MikeV87

 

 

BTL Week 2 NFL Picks

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

Week 2:

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.

Best Bets:

Jags +3 over CHARGERS

Ravens -6 over BROWNS

STEELERS -3.5 over Bengals

-MikeV87

 

 

BTL Week 1 NFL Picks

Got a gambling problem? Tired of getting beat in Fanduel? Need to throw more money away on reckless parlays and 6-team teasers?

Then I have you covered! Welcome to my weekly edition of making picks versus the NFL spread. And I am already off to a roaring start with picking Carolina last night (really Denver? We really going with the “QB does just enough to not lose this game” plan for a second year in a row……sigh). On to the picks:

(Home team in caps, pick in bold)

To Date: 0-1

WEEK 1-

Packers (-5.5) over JAGUARS

My team up first. I was tempted to have the Jags cover here. The Packers are notorious for starting out slow. A hot, muggy and hellacious afternoon bodes well for the Jaguars. But Aaron Rodgers is on a mission this year, he has all his weapons fully healthy, and as much as it would be a hot take to pick the Jags, I’m not taking Bortles over Rodgers. Packers roll in the second half and hold off a late Jags rally to cover the spread.

RAVENS (-3) over Bills

I think everyone is sleeping on the Ravens this year. After one year of subpar football, everyone thinks this is the reincarnation of the Browns. The Bills are decent but in my opinion over-hyped because of their coach. I think Baltimore surprises people with a solid home opener win this weekend.

Bears (+6) over TEXANS

I was iffy on this. With the recent wave of health news, J.J. Watt cleared to play, and potentially Kevin White a no-go on Sunday, everything is trending towards a comfortable home win for Houston. But I can’t fully trust Osweiler in start one with all the weapons that has to jell. I look for Chicago to keep it close late and come through on the backdoor cover. Texans are better, but 6 points points better with all these questions?

EAGLES (-3) over Browns

Not a lot to go on here. Philly gets the nod just because they are home. It is a pretty terrible matchup to watch when you considered the quarterbacks playing. I have no interest in this game, neither should you unless you are a degenerate gambler (you’re reading this so…..).

FALCONS (-2.5) over Buccaneers

I really like the burgeoning Bucs offense. In shape year 2 Jameis. The Mike Evans rebound, the Dougernaut rolling like its 2015 and Charles Sims becoming Dion Lewis 2.0. So why did I go with Hotlanta?! History. The history bodes well for Matty Ice and his team when it comes to home openers (7-0). Julio Jones continues his historic year from ’15 and the dirty birds start 1-0.

TITANS (+2.5) over Vikings

Again, another game I’m torn on. The Vikings with Bridgewater would’ve been 5 point favorites, without they still get a respectable 2.5. But I just gotta give the young Titans team a little more credit than Vegas is. I think it comes down to both defenses playing to a draw and I like Mariota to make a late drive when it counts. Shaun Hill to do the same thing? Not so much.

Bengals (-2.5) over JETS

Pound for pound, Cincinnati might have the best talent spread over their 53 man roster than anyone else in the league. If Dalton can remain at that 2015 level, this is a scary team. The Jets at home versus a tough conference opponent spells trouble for them. I think they slightly over-achieved last year and reality will hit them square in the jaw on Sunday. They have a ways to go to compete with the AFC upper-echelon.

Raiders (+1.5) over SAINTS

The sleeper darlings of the 2016 off-season, everybody loves the Raiders. It has almost gotten to the point where the love may have gone too far. ……Almost…… I’m still buying stock in Carr, Cooper and most importantly, Khalil Mack. He has the chance to jump to that mid-2000s Demarcus Ware level. Both teams have solid QBs, both teams have awesome skill position players. But only the Raiders have a pass rusher who shifts the balance of power. Raiders to cover and win.

CHIEFS (-6.5) over Chargers

I feel two ways about this game. It’s either a blowout (see above pick), or Rivers does one of his annoying backdoor covers. I don’t know why but I feel a blowout here. The Chiefs are home, their defense is legit. Their running certainly didn’t miss Charles last year (4th in Running DVOA) and I think Kelce breakouts in a big way in Week 1, just like last year. Chiefs in a romp.

SEAHAWKS (-10.5) over Dolphins

Very few teams are as good as Seattle in coming through on that double digit spread and not letting up on the backdoor cover. Seattle is my pick for the NFC’s top dog. With Green Bay and Arizona following close by. Miami has a new offensive minded guru in Adam Gase, but Century Link Field is not going to be their coming out party. The Ryan Tannehill break through will have to wait one more week.

COLTS (-3) over Lions

Reality tells me that not much has really changed for the Colts. It is the same team with older vets, no offensive line and a so-so defense. The Lions meanwhile look to give Offensive Coordinator Jim Bob Cooter the easy job of replacing Calvin Johnson. The Lions have weapons; Golden Tate, newly acquired Marvin Jones and PPR machine Theo Riddick. So why am I picking Indy? Yeah, you guessed it, Andrew Luck. When Luck is on, his ceiling is higher than Stafford’s even with a healthy Megatron out there. I’m betting like its 2014, lets see if 2015 doesn’t rear its ugly head.

Giants over COWBOYS

The award for the most interesting game of the week goes to these guys. I’m surprised it wasn’t already flexed into Sunday night (do we really need 3 more hours of Garoppolo-Deflategate-Gronk-Deflategate-Spygate-Deflategate talk from Collinsworth). This game pits Eli-Odell versus the future of Dallas with Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliot and Dez. How one handed cacthes is Odell going to make? Does Ezekiel go for 200 yards in his rookie debut? Is Dak the new coming of Jameis Winston with a 4th round price? I don’t know which one comes true but I trust Eli more in Week 1 than the young Cowboy rookies. Either way, it should be an entertaining game.

CARDINALS (-7) over Patriots

I don’t like the Cardinals as much as everybody else does. Maybe I’m still bitter about that 2016 Divisional Playoff loss. And you’re probably right, but as talented as their roster and coach are, I think Carson Palmer is in for a major regression. I think the 2016 Playoffs showed his true colors………So why am I picking Cards over Pats. Because the Pats have no Brady (4 games), no Gronk and Jimmy Garoppolo in start one. I don’t think Belicheck even cares about this game. It’s going to be a Cardinals blowout but some how Belicheck takes things from slaughter and uses them to win the AFC East and a playoff bye down the road, but he doesn’t give a shit about this game. The Cardinals do.

Steelers (-3) over REDSKINS

I really think the Skins are going to put up a good fight in this one, but I think the Steelers offense will be too much for the Redskins to keep up with. Even with the newly acquired Josh Norman. Should be an offensive show, but look for Ben to crack 30 points first and not look back.

NINERS (+2.5) over Rams

I think the Rams are over-hyped. As dominating as their defensive line is and their commitment to ball control and slow pace on offense. They have absolutely no quarterback. Now to be fair, neither do the Niners. But some part of me feels Chip will call plays to quickly get the ball out of Gabbert’s hands, maybe even Kaepernick’s too. Don’t put it past him to shuffle in the backup QB for some read option packages. Something about this game just screams to take the home dog and the points. It’s probably just Case Keenum.

 

BEST BET(s):

Cincinnati (-2.5)  over JETS

Giants over COWBOYS

CARDINALS (-7) over Patriots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BTL Top 5 Friday: Top NFL What If’s

What if? Every sport fan has uttered that phrase. What if we would’ve went for it on fourth down? What if the coach would’ve challenged that play? What if we would’ve drafted player A over player B? It gives us both a false sense of satisfaction but also drives us completely insane at the same time. In this edition of BTL Top 5 Friday, I’m going to look at the Top NFL What If’s. Here are 5 of MY what if’s. Yes I could do what if the AFL failed to merge with the NFL in 1970 or what if Vince Lombardi had decided to wait for the New York Giants job opening? These will mostly focus on the past 20 years I have watched football, enjoy:

#5 – What if Sean Taylor was never murdered?

  • Washington Redskin physically imposing and ridiculously gifted safety was murdered in November 2007. He died just a few days short of my 20th birthday. No other athlete’s death has resonated so much with me than his.
  • Standing 6’3″ and weighing nearly 230lbs, he was built like a linebacker but ran a blistering 4.30 40-yard dash. Just combine Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor’s abilities into one player and you had Sean Taylor.
  • In 2007 (drafted in 2004) he had just started to put together all his attributes into the most lethal all-around secondary defender in the NFL.
  • If he had lived, he was on pace for one of the single-greatest seasons put together by a safety in 2007…ever.
  • He would’ve gone on to have his name placed among the likes of Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu for best safety of the 2000s.
  • He could’ve anchored a Washington Redskin defense and team that would’ve made deep playoff runs from 2007-2010.

#4 – What if the Packers pulled off the 2007 Randy Moss trade?

  • Green Bay and New England were the clear front runners for Moss in the spring of 2007. Moss wanted to play with Favre more than anything.
  • On Draft weekend ’07, the Pats pulled the coup for Randy with a 4th round pick to Oakland and guaranteeing his second year (something Ted Thompson would not do).
  • If Green Bay had not ruffled his feathers beforehand and guaranteed the 2nd year, Moss would’ve been a Packer.
  • Green Bay most likely goes to the Super Bowl that year and wins, probably beating New England. Green Bay even had a chance to run the table that year too (went 13-3 without Moss).
  • Brett Favre most likely retires after riding off into the sunset, only for Moss to talk him out of it (don’t think he’d have to push Brett too hard though).
  • The Rodgers vs Favre drama still happens, with Randy taking Favre’s side. Both are traded out of town, probably both to the the Jets.
  • Favre returns to the Vikings with Moss in 2009, both hell bent on beating the Packers after getting jettisoned after the 2007 SB win.
  • With pissed off Favre and Moss, THE VIKINGS WIN THE SUPER BOWL IN 2009!! They already should’ve that year anyways…….. Or Favre throws that same pick again and Paul Allen goes nuts….

#3 – What if the San Francisco 49ers drafted Aaron Rodgers over Alex Smith?

  •  In the 2005 Draft, Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith were the presumptive #1 picks. The Niners went with Smith and Rodgers slid all the way to #24 to the Green Bay Packers (cut to me silently fist pumping).
  • Now if the Niners had drafted Rodgers, would they still had enjoyed all the same success that Green Bay did?
  • Alex Smith falls to #24 and is picked by the Green Bay Packers because GM Ted Thompson believes in BPA (best player available) and well, it doesn’t get any easier than that for Teddy.
  • Mike Nolan turns the tutelage of Aaron Rodgers over to guess who? Offensive Coordinator Mike McCarthy (Packers current HC since 2006). He begins to immediately revamping Rodgers’ flawed quarterback mechanics.
  • Let’s say for the sake of argument that Rodgers’ overall talent wins the Niners a few more games in 2005. But, Ted Thompson hires away OC McCarthy in 2006 anyways because HC money is better than coordinator money and he gets to develop Alex Smith in Green Bay.
  • Rodgers continues to struggle but improve in San Fran. Everything turns around when a former quarterback named Jim Harbaugh takes the reigns in 2011.
  • Rodgers flourishes under Harbaugh when he is handed an elite defense and running game and Harbaugh has a quarterback who no only limits the turnovers but can and will make every throw on the football field.
  • The Niners win back-to-back Super Bowls in both 2011 and 2012. The Niners lead the NFL with 7 SB titles and Harbaugh/Rodgers are the taste of the town.
  • Meanwhile in Green Bay, MM develops Smith into the ultimate West Coast quarterback. There is still the power struggle in 2008 with Favre but what there isn’t is a Super Bowl title in 2010.
  • Alex Smith fails to put a Packers team on his back time and again in the playoffs and subsequently runs out of chances, leading to the president cleaning house in 2013.
  •  As a Packers fan myself, I’m so glad I don’t live in this universe…..

#2 – What if Eli Manning stays with the Chargers in the 2004 Draft?

  • Archie Manning got his son Eli traded on draft day 2004 to the New York Giants because San Diego was basically New Orleans West except they had better weather. Philip Rivers ended up getting traded from NYG to SD in the process.
  • With Eli manning (pun intended) the Chargers from 2004-present, we have a couple things that would go different for both quarterbacks.
  • Eli will still have the Patriot/Belicheck krytonite gene and he takes care of them in the 2006 Divisional Round. Eli has the far superior team, playing at home and even Pats fans will tell you that they had no business winning two playoff games that year.
  • Which sets up the first major “Manning Bowl” in the 2006 AFCCG. Which Eli would win (giving the nod to home field). Which would put his brother Peyton into a near manic depression.
  • Eli and the 2006 Chargers win Super Bowl XLI because can Rex Grossman really be allowed to have a Super Bowl ring?
  • Eli also has a very decent shot to repeat the following year in 2007. He wouldn’t be hurt in to AFCCG (no dis at Rivers but has Eli ever been hurt, like ever?!), he already beat Brady/Belicheck the previous year and oh yes, he’s Eli-freaking-Manning who owns the Pats. Which would set up…..
  • Eli’s Chargers vs Rivers’ Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Rivers may have a chip on his shoulder since he may believe that SD should’ve taken him #1 in ’04 but I can’t be too sure. I want to give the game to the Giants since nothing about that pass rush would change but I don’t know, I feel Eli does Eli things in the final minute and wins back-to-back.
  • Going forward, not much would change outside of Eli being a pain in Tom Brady’s backside and the NFL getting a Manning Bowl every two years.

#1 – What if the “Tuck Rule” was never created?

  • NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2: The Tuck Rule.
  • In the 2001 AFC Championship Game, Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson had what looked like the game sealing strip-sack on Patriots Tom Brady. The “Tuck Rule” overturned the fumble as an incomplete pass. You know the rest.
  • But what if the rule never existed? Would Brady and Belicheck still have four Super Bowl rings and countless AFC titles?
  • One thing is for certain, the Patriots certainly don’t win Super Bowl XXXVI. It would be 2001 Rams up against the 2001 Raiders. Given that Belicheck had a penchant for defensive game-planning, I don’t think Jon Gruden and company hold the Rams down to 17 points like the Pats did. Rams win SB XXXVI, there second in three years.
  • New England doesn’t have the shine that it would’ve, Tom Brady still isn’t Tom Brady yet. It’d be tough to think Brady preforms as well as he did in SB XXXVIII without his experience two years earlier, specifically as well as he did in the fourth quarter with his duel with Jake Delhome. I’ll give the slight nod to the Panthers in the 2003 Super Bowl.
  • I’ll still give the Pats the Super Bowl in 2004. They were by far an elite team and no other team was really that close to them that year. After 2004, Brady/Belicheck 1-1 in Super Bowls, a far cry from a dynasty.
  • The rest pretty much goes as chalk, they may just pull off one of the two Giants losses in 2007 or 2011. They still probably win in 2014. But 2-3 or 3-2 in Super Bowls is a far different narrative then we have currently. Brady’s and Belicheck’s legacy are both shaped irrevocably by that fateful play in January 2002.

 

-MikeV87

Week 14 NFL Picks

Last Week: 8-8

This Week: 0-1

-Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers / Line: CAR -9

Superman keeps rolling against one of the biggest early season frauds this year.

CAR -9

-Buffalo Bills @ Philadelphia Eagles / Line: BUF -1

Don’t be fooled by last weeks unsustainable special teams performance by the Eagles, going with the better quarterback and team…… and coach.

BUF -1

-Detroit Lions @ St. Louis Rams / Line: DET -3

St. Louis Rams are the new Detroit Lions, they look to have quit on Jeff Fisher. New city and coach coming soon.

DET -3

-Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars / Line: Pick Em

The Jags are more talented and have the weapons to play downhill as evidence from last week. The Colts don’t.

JAX

-New Orleans  Saints @ Tampa Bay  Buccaneers / Line: TB -4.5

The Saints have the worst defense in the league and Jameis is coming into his own.

TB -4.5

-Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengal / Line: CIN -3

The Steelers are the hottest offense in football, they are playing for their playoff lives, take Ben and the points.

PIT +3

-San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs / Line: KC -10

The hottest all round team in the NFL, the Chargers are in the cellar. This could get ugly and quick.

KC -10

-San Francisco 49ers @ Cleveland Browns / Line: CLE -1.5

Johnny Football strikes back. Just don’t count me as a believer. As crazy as it sounds, I have more faith in Blaine Gabbert, yeah, I just said that.

SF +1.5

-Seattle Seahawks @ Baltimore Ravens / Line: SEA -13

Does Seattle repeat last weeks road ass kicking? Can Matt Schaub score 20 points? 17 points? I don’t think so.

SEA -13

-Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets / Line: NYJ -7

Mariota had his breakout game last week with four total touchdowns. I think he keeps rolling enough to cover the spread this week.

TEN +7

-Washington Redskins @ Chicago Bears / Line: CHI -3.5

The Bears loss to the Nines last week was inexcusable. The DC Grudens (<-Joe House) are always frisky, Chicago has no business being favored by more than 3 points.

WAS +3.5

-Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos / Line: DEN -7

The Osweiler-led Broncos have a higher ceiling than they ever did with Peyton. Oakland is still learning how to make the next jump.

DEN -7  TEASER

-Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers / Line: GB -7

While the Hail Mary may have saved the season for Green Bay, the flaws are still there. Dallas is still alive for the playoffs, it will rain on Sunday (GB has already played poorly in one rain game this year), take the Cowboys and the points.

DAL +7  LOCK

-New England @ Houston Texans / Line: NE -4

Last time Belicheck and Brady lost three in a row? 2002. Brady > Hoyer. Enough said.

NE -4  LOCK

-New York Giants @ Miami Dolphins / Line: NYG -1.5

Time for the real Eli to stand up. There are still in contention for he playoffs in December and that is always dangerous while Tom Coughlin is still alive.

NYG -1.5