Week 1 Blazing Five
*Colin Cowherd 3-2
Well, I officially, in our Handicapping Group tracking went 3-2 in my Blazing Five in Week 1. I submitted the Ravens (over Bills) as my last B5, and that was a winner. When I posted my B5 article, I had Arizona as the last one…noting that the Ravens were The Computer’s more favored pick. The computer’s numbers were close between them. I’m not getting in the way of The Computer anymore. It always knows best.
The Computer was 3-2 in the B5 and 8-7-1 on all games ATS and got the winner of Week 2 TNF right as well…so, we’re off and rolling this season.
This week, Week 2, The Computer HATES most everything. No great plays really jumping out besides one. There’s the Eagles and then CAR, WAS, NO, HOU, MIA, DET, OAK all bunched up as ‘OK’ options as the 2nd-best play…and then there’s the Green Bay-Minnesota conundrum…what do you do with it?
OK, The Computer numbers keep changing with the injury info. B5 rules states that I have to pick them midday Friday (per Cowherd rules). I’m going to write the obvious game first and then list The Computer’s #2-5 picks based on today’s info (point spread, injury) and even if a play leads by a 3rd-4th decimal decision…I’m riding with The Computer. Just note any change for the worse on option #2-5 with the point spreads/lines could kick it out as a not a top 5. In general, this is a week I’m going very low key, in reality bets, because nothing is jumping out.
PHI (-3.0) at TB
The Computer says: PHI by 12.3 (9.3 line differential)
You get everything you want here…
The Bucs coming off an impressive victory over the Saints and at home…they feel like they have momentum.
The Eagles coming off a boring win with Nick Foles, who is worth -5 to the line (to the bad) for Philly because everyone hates him.
The Eagles have a better head coach, defense, QB, O-Line and run game. The Bucs have better WRs and no run game and no defense – all their starting CBs are likely out this week.
This should be a slam dunk for a team like the Eagles.
MIN at GB (P)
The Computer says: MIN by ? (? line differential)
The Computer says you have to take this in a basket of games. It’s an easy play today at ‘pick ‘em’.
If Aaron Rodgers were healthy, this is likely Packers by 2-3. Somewhat injured Rodgers, this is a pick ‘em or Minny favored. The Vikings can beat healthy Rodgers and limping Rodgers -- you got a fair shot with the Vikings vs. Rodgers. However, if you get DeShone Kizer to start or in-game – this is a Vikings 10+ point win and free money.
I might get MIN over Rodgers, but I definitely get MIN over Kizer…so, I’ll take the Vikes and take my chances.
OK…now The Computer’s #3-5 among several options very close to one another.
MIA at NYJ (3.0)
The Computer says: MIA by 2.3 (5.3 line differential)
Miami didn’t look all that great Sunday, but they are not terrible. The Jets looked like they stole the Lions playbook 9and they claim they did in a sense) – we have the MNF visual burned into the public’s mind and a hype on Sam Darnold that changed the line by 4.5 points in 24-hours.
The Computer says play against the public hysteria here.
OAK at DEN (-6.0)
The Computer says: DEN by 1.3 (4.7 line differential)
The Computer LOVED this on Tuesday and then slowly downgraded it all week as the bad news on D-Line injuries for the Raiders mounted. The Computer feels this line is waayyy too much and that what the public saw Week 1 is twisting the logic here. Losing to the Rams is not a crime. Beating Seattle isn’t what it used to be.
CLE at NO (-9.0)
The Computer says: NO by 13.4 (4.4 line differential)
I didn’t think this one would make it into the B5, but The Computer is charging hard on it. The Browns were terrible for most of the Steelers game Week 1, but the media sees ‘tie’ and thinks the Browns had a breakout. The Saints played terrible, but we know (assume) they are better than what they did Week 1. The Saints tighten up the ship and pour it on helpless to stop them Cleveland at New Orleans.
Steelers -4.5 (best bet) - The public is all over KC after the Mahomes/Tyreek show debuted last week. KC was lucky to win that game so easily, and now has to play a 2nd straight road game against a better team. Pittsburgh should be focused after tying the Browns, in one of the sloppiest games I've ever seen.
Dolphins +3 - We've seen this "we knew all their plays" storyline before, and things typically go the opposite way the next week. I think Darnold struggles here.
Titans +2.5 - Teams with bad offensive lines should not be road favorites, and Houston’s line is pretty bad. Even with Mariota and Lewan potentially out, I think Tennessee is undervalued.
Bills +7.5 - Same old Chargers. Josh Allen looked ok in garbage time last week, which should be enough to cover this number at home.
Jaguars +1 - Brady struggled a bit in week 1. If Ramsey is going to cover Gronk, I don’t know if the Pats have the skill players to move the ball against this D, especially in the Florida heat.
ATL (-5.5)...So it’s official, the Falcons can’t win in Philly. Coming home they get a team they have historically handled in the dome and have a huge DL vs OL advantage. I love taking a team that let bettors down the week before and the Falcons loss last week was the biggest in week 1. People had all summer to take +4.5 all the way down the -1.5. I don’t blame anyone (everyone) for taking a break from ATL and looking elsewhere this week. If Freeman is hurt that makes the run game better. I think the huge injuries to Jones and Neal on defense will hurt long term but the brotherhood rallies in the home opener to play a great game.
PIT (-4.5)...I love this game. Pit off of a 5 turnover performance (losing ATS) vs a KC team that has been celebrated on every highlight reel. The Steelers play down to their competition especially on the road. Big Ben is so much better at home and might be facing the worst defense in the league. Mahomes has been baptized but let’s remember he is boom or bust...big play or turnover young QB. I hope T. Hill scores 3 more times this week because I still think the Steelers can cover.
SF (-6)...So last week’s results cost us some line value. Usually I would look to back a team that got destroyed so bad in week 1 but the Giants (and Broncos) taught us last year that you can’t reason with a team that has quit. I am not a fan of Matt Patricia and evidently his team isn’t either. Matty P has the Patriots next so I’m ok going against a coach that seems in over his head. 49ers looked good to me last week, the Vikings D line just took the game over at the end. Even with all of the injuries, I like Shanahan and Jimmy G in the home opener. If the Lions get there and cover I’ll happily hand my money over.
NE (-1)...I have to say I’m only taking this because I’ll be at the 1:05pm Red Sox game with a big group then rolling into a bar near Fenway to watch 4:25pm Pats/Jax. I want to really feel the thrill of victory or agony of defeat for the home town team. That and I think the Patriots defense is better than last year.
CHI (-3.5)...Sea gets an extra day off but back to back road games to start the season is no treat. I’m hopeful the reaction to last Sunday from the Bears is to go crazy in their home opener on MNF. The enormous DL vs OL advantage here trumps my love of R. Wilson. I think the Bears get it right in their “do over” from last week. If this game ends close I’m happy to give my $ away...I think a Bears win by 20+ points is on the table.
ATL, IND, PIT, JAC, SEA