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2018 Handicapping Chat Week 1: WAS at ARI (P)
*This line has bounced from P to ARI -1.0 back to P and now ARI -1.5 as of Sunday morning.
RC: Congrats, a first, I think -- We're all 1-0 to start the 2018 Handicapping season (sure sign of doom ahead). We all agreed on Foles/Philly/'Philly Special'. This week, at this stage, we all agree on three more Week 1 games...we're all taking CIN +points, CHI +points, and ARI in the pick 'em. I've made my Arizona thoughts pretty clear this preseason, on their fantastic play 1-53 all summer. A great win total 'over' at 5.5 from may 2018. Usually, there is one dissenter among our group on every play...but not this one. How strong is this pick for you? Just 'a pick'? Or you serious about it and throwing some coins behind it?
Skol: We’re all 1-0 and all should be 0-1...but I’m ok celebrating the result! I liked Arizona with office pool confidence. I agree with the case that you laid out but I really don’t have a feel for Washington. I want to feel “bad” but I just don’t know about Alex Smith or the offense. Not scared of it, just ignorant. I really haven’t spent much time on Washington...shame on me. From the category of things that mean more to me than most people...and could get me on this game if the line doesn’t go crazy...Cindy McCain is the honorary captain for the Cardinals. Classy thing for the organization but I think it could translate to the field because everyone on this team follows Fitz’s lead and he is a pillar of the community/hero in Phoenix. It’s the reason he isn’t on a 1 year deal with the Packers to trying to win (IMO)...he is insanely tied to the community. He was not just an acquaintance of McCain, they became good friends, Fitz spoke at his funeral. If Fitz ran for office in AZ he would get a higher share of the vote than Putin. I’m not a fan of Wilks but I think I just convinced myself they are getting this win for Cindy/John/the community.
Savage: This would have made my Blazing 6 if there were such a thing. I see both these teams as below average, 7 win types. I have no idea how or why there's enough Washington love to make this line a pick. The general public seems fully on board with Alex Smith as a solid replacement and even a potential improvement over Cousins. I'm not so sure. I think people forget how dull Smith was before Tyreek Hill entered his life and Travis Kelce fully emerged as top 5 TE. We're not far removed from Smith failing to complete a TD pass to a WR for an entire season. I have nothing against smith, he's a solid QB, but I think he's going to struggle with Jay Gruden instead of Andy Reid and this mediocre group of skill players.
The main thing that kept this off my Blazing 5 is Arizona's O-line. I know they've looked good in the preseason, but that was a pretty bad unit last year. I see this as a close game regardless, but I think it will come down to how much Arizona's line has improved since 2017.
Katz: It's incredibly difficult to have a discussion on a game when we all see it the same way, so credit to us! I do like Zona more than you guys as they are my best bet this week. This team went 8-8 with Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert at QB last year with no David Johnson. How exactly will they be worse this year? Meanwhile, the Redskins just don't a single player that scares you. Alex Smith is going to have nightmares of washed Dwayne Bowe running through his head after his first game with this receiving corps. Paul Richardson and Jamison Crowder are good players, but they are a far cry from Tyreek. He does have Jordan Reed, which I think will be a nice connection for about a half of football until Reed sprains his something. And the running game is just a mess. I cannot believe they are seriously starting Adrian Peterson in the year 2018. I like DJ to go 100-100 in this game with two touchdowns. It won't be a blowout. But I don't think we're going to have to sweat it out like Philly.
Rabbitt: Agree with Katz. Full speed ahead on this one for me. Only thing that causes me to pause is the line having moved so much. I am now seeing Arizona -1.5
Katz: I fired on them early in the week at pk -107, which is going to be, by far, the best possible line. Usually when I fire early, the line moves against me. So I'm happy about that one.
RC: My reason for bringing this up -- this isn't just a 'we agree'...this is go put some money down good, right? I think we want to flinch with Arizona v Washington as two 8-8 teams Vegas has had a pick em on, so lean home team if you have to coin flip. I don't think this is a coin flip. I think this may be getting into best bet of the week territory -- a smoking hot team from the preseason, at home, star player back, legit QB(s) facing a team swirling down the Adrian Peterson drain.
My main thought here is...why aren't we getting more amped about the Cardinals here? And for the amped, how amped(S) should we get? I'm all-in.
I also think the loser of this game is pretty much not in the playoff picture in a tough NFC. This is really a huge game, but seen more as two boring teams playing a boring pick em game. I'm starting to think even the Redskins will be sleeping on Arizona and they'll get boat raced by 20+.
Skol: I think Savage nailed it...the only thing that spoils the party is the Cardinals O-line surprising on the downside. Or Bradford’s knee goes one game early...which would be halftime of this game.