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The Handicapping Degenerates are back for 2018...Katz, Rabbitt, RC, Savage, Skol are back for year three of profiteering. It's been an overall profitable two years combined with 2017 having some fantastic individual results, and we're back for more in 2018.
We make all the picks and do a 'Blazing Five' each week, and keep track of our records...and informally chat about games during the week like this (the first of the year):
2017 Weeks 1-16 records (Against the Spread)
The Computer: 123-109-8, Blazing Five: 54-26 (67.5%)
Skolman: 126-106-8, B5: 39-39-2
Savage: 127-105-8, B5: 46-32-2
Rabbitt: 120-112-8, B5: 39-34-2
RC: 117-115-8, B5: 50-39-1
Katz: 110-122-8, B5: 40-35-5
Colin Cowherd: B5… 42-31-2
*We use Colin Cowherd rules here: Picks submitted by Friday midday, using FRI lines...except Colin somehow thinks the Giants are +6.0.
Happy Blazing Five Day!
BUF +7.5 - I have a new theory that I’m putting to the test here. I plan on writing a lot about it and letting RC decide what to do with my rambling text. Shortish version...as we know, the Bills Under was among the most bet season win totals...therefore there is little resistance to stop this line move because those people don’t want to bet against themselves. This line opened at -3...I saw a -8 tonight and I assume it will keep climbing. 8 points is a lot with a total of 40.5. There was so much anti-Flacco in the world and it seems to have just vanished.
DEN -3 - Let’s see how this goes...only game where I’m taking the worst of the number. Denver has historically been so good (ATS) in their first 2 games of the season at home, I buy the early season altitude advantage while teams are getting into game shape. Four legitimate stud pass rushers for Den...just please don’t hurt R. Wilson...I need him for FF in future weeks.
DAL +3 - Zeke is in shape and I like this idea of a throwback to the 2001 Patriots offense...just a bunch of guys at WR. Dak can find the open guy without worrying about answering to Dez after the play. I’m high on Jarwin as well. Defensively I’m also buying the Dal front 7. Thanks to RC we know Samuel has been the best WR in pre-season and he’s out week 1. Happy to get 3 points.
CHI +7.5 - I think we covered this. I don’t love all of the Bears attention (the line did hit 7) but people don’t believe what some of us believe...Super Bowl Shuffle.
OAK +4 - I heard the head of a sportsbook say that they will surely need the Raiders on Monday night and that he was fine with that. If it’s good enough for a professional risk manager, it’s good enough for me. I’ll be keeping an eye on M.Lynch’s groin...if I like what I see, I’ll be in for real money likely getting 5 points.
ARI pk Best Bet. Week 1 is my favorite week to bet because the lines aren't as sharp due to the lack of information. Arizona went 8-8 last season with Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert at QB and no David Johnson. Sam Bradford is a massive upgrade at QB. He's competent, if nothing else. DJ is back. Arians is gone. This game is in Arizona. Washington doesn't have two players anywhere near as good as DJ and Fitz. Easy Zona win.
CIN +3.0. I didn't like what I saw from Andrew Luck this preseason. His throw velocity will never be where it was pre injury. The question is what percentage of it will he regain? It very well may be enough still be an elite QB, but that's not happening in Week 1. The Bengals are going to win this game because the Colts have the worst defense in football.
MIA +1.0. Why are we so convinced the Titans are any better than the Dolphins? Would you lay a touchdown on Tennessee if this game was in Tenn? I didn't think so. This should be your standard home team -3.0 type game. The Dolphins aren't great, but they should not be home dogs against the Titans.
BAL -7.0. Prepare yourselves...for the Nate Peterman Experience V 2.0! He's better than Josh Allen and I don't think he's as bad as his five pick debut suggests, but the Ravens are going to eat this Bills team alive in Week 1.
NYJ +6.5. I don't buy that this Lions team deserves to be this heavy of a favorite. I also don't think the Jets are a particularly bad team. They've got a competent defense. Solid skill players. And a decent offensive line. This strikes me as a 24-20 type game.
RC/The Computer (I'm just following the Computer because it's better than I am):
CIN at IND (-3.0)
The Colts have a weak everything and their already weak O-Line has injury issues…that on top of Andrew Luck looking wobbly still. The Bengals with a menacing, emerging top D-Line group. Cincy gets 5-7+ sacks here and wins in a blowout.
With Luck ‘mortal’, there is no spot on the field where Indy has an advantage over Cincy…not one. It’s not even close on defense.
TB at NO (-9.5)
I will quit football analysis if the Bucs win this game outright (assuring a Bucs upset, now). This is my safe Survivor Pool pick. Now, Brent Grimes isn’t playing…the only CB Tampa really has? This is a STEAL!!!!
PIT (-4.5) at CLE
This line is down because Le’Veon isn’t there and the Browns are the darlings of the media. The football community hates non-stop winner, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles type players…can’t stand him. However, they love 0-16, 1-35 in his last 36 games coached Hue Jackson – the LOVE him, they cannot get enough of how Hue is turning this around.
National football analysts are mostly fools.
CHI at GB (-7.5)
Yes, The Computer calls for the outright upset and for sure cover. GB so weak on defense, so limited at RB. Their WR group is not daunting. The Bears are better in every phase except QB, and that’s the big X-factor. I’m diving in and saying the Bears announce their arrival by whacking the Packers.
WAS at ARI (-1.0)
I couldn’t do the Ravens at -7.5 – too many points. I think Arizona was the best/most impressive unit of the preseason and they carry that over to obliterate Adrian Peterson-led Cardinals. The Computer is in a tug of war to take ARI or BAL with it's last pick. I decided ARI.
COLIN: NYJ, HOU, BAL, MIN, NYG