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*This is the transcript of our Handicapping group wager chat on our Blazing Five. Taking it as it is, so forgive any typos, etc. It's just casual opinions shared. Also we may veer way off topic, but that's half the fun of it.
Savage:10-5; Blazing 5: 3-2; Best Bet: 1-0
Skolman: 9-6; Blazing 5: 2-3; Best Bet: 0-1
Katz: 8-7; Blazing 5: 2-3; Best Bet: 0-1
RC: 7-8; Blazing 5: 2-3; Best Bet: 0-1
Rabbitt: 4-11; Blazing 5: 2-3; Best Bet: 1-0
Colin Cowherd: Blazing Five: 4-1
COLIN: PIT, WAS, MIA, ATL, DAL
NE -6.0 at NO
To me, this is the slam dunk of the week. If such a thing exists. There is such focus on 'what's wrong with the Patriots'...you'd think we'd all have learned by now from touching that hot stove in the past. 'Saints at home' are the most meaningless three words in the English language. It meant something about 5-6+ years ago.
I don't care if Dont'a Hightower is out. The Patriots have plenty of defensive pieces and will adjust and be great on defense again. Let's not overreact to a bad Week 1, with a great team, and some big plays that hit by KC. The Saints don't have playmakers like KC. If you thought the Pats looked bad in Week 1...how did the Week 1 Saints strike you? Pats win by 20+ and this is the BEST BET of the week.
KC -5.5 over PHI
I could not love a bet any more. The media beloved Eagles getting propped up in this line because they are the entire media's sleeper pick. Andy Reid with many days to prepare is just ignored? KC is really good and has 10 days rest? Reid versus the team that gave him the boot? Internal strife among the Eagles coaching staff reported this week? The Eagles aren't very good...does that matter?
NYG -3.0 over DET
I could not love a bet any more. The media is pushing the 'what's wrong with the Giants' narrative because losing to Dallas is some kind of crime. Plus, only the northeast matters -- NE lost not KC won. Philly is great. The Giants are terrible not Dallas is great/the best team in football.
The Giants won 11 games last year and closing down the stretch of last season they manhandled Detroit at NY. This year, the Giants are as good/better and the Lions are about the same as 2016...a Lions team that beats losing record teams like Arizona. The Lions were 0-6 against teams with a winning record last season and they lost all but one by 3 or more points.
A perfect storm bet of everyone respecting DET from Week 1 and hating on NYG. As usual, the reverse happens the following week.
PIT -6.0 over MIN
I'm not as in love with this one because the Steelers looked very sloppy last week, but more concerning -- Le'Veon Bell looked rusty/out of peak shape. They need him to win.
This is what Sam Bradford does -- big opening game on national tv to get everyone saying how much they've always loved him and then he regresses to the mean/the Bradford the next week/rest of the season.
Sam's about to find out that The Steelers defense is a little better than the Saints. Plus, Steelers are excellent at home and sloppy on the road.
GB +3.0 at ATL
I'm just going to take an elite QB + points anytime I can. I wasn't impressed with the new Falcons offense. I was impressed with the healthy Packers defense -- that could be the hidden gem here. I'm not sure because they only crushed Seattle, who's terrible, but I think the D is good enough to combine with Rodgers to step on Atlanta.
5 Was at LAR -3 The only home team I have on my list, is the only one I'm not really confident in. I like the rams to play great defense, beat up cousins and run the ball. I can't see too many ways the Rams don't win this game, so here I am.
4 Chi +7 at TB Getting 7 points against a team quarterbacked by Winston seems like a gift. I would expect a game going right down to the wire here. I can only wonder what this line would be if howard doesn't drop the game winning TD?
3 NE -6.5 at NO A road favorite on my best bets should scare me, but I feel like this one is pretty locked in. I get an angry Tom Brady with 2 extra days vs a secondary that made Sam Bradford look like Tom Brady. They also have a short week. I love this line under 7.
2 MIA +4 at LAC I am pretty jazzed about this pick. Miami had another week off. The chargers are off a short week. Denver ran the ball pretty well with a terrible offensive line, I am guessing miami is just going to gash them. The offense will continue to pound gordon gaining nothing on most runs. Seems like a great bet to cover to me.
Best Bet: GB+3 at ATL I am probably just pre-copying RC on this, but I love this game. I get the better Offense, Defense, and special teams. They get... home team? I guess. I like GB to win straight up, so the points are just gravy.
Bills +7 (best bet) - A lot of things to love about this game. The Panthers are supposedly great again because they crushed the 49ers in week 1. The Bills are terrible because they only beat the Jets by 8. First off, everything I read about the 49ers going into week 1 suggested that they weren't really ready, with players preaching patience to the media because the Kyle Shanahan offense is complicated and may take some time for the team to fully grasp. On top of that, everything I saw/read tells me that Cam didn't really play that well. On the Bills side of things, they were pretty well in control for the entire game. They had 400 yards of offense but had a redzone INT on a tipped pass and a missed field goal that kept 6-10 points off the board. Most importantly, this is Sean McDermott against his old team. If there's anybody who has the perfect gameplan to give Cam fits, its him. I think the Bills have a good chance to win this outright.
Jets +13.5 - Too many points. The Jets didn't roll over and die in week 1 like everyone thought. This new-look Raiders team is a lot more comfortable playing defense and running the ball, so you could very easily cash a ticket with a 24-14 type game.
Redskins +3 - Great performance by the Rams in week 1, but now they have to play a real football team. The Redskins could have easily won their week 1 game had it not been for two plays: the Wentz bomb to Agholor on a broken play and the Cousins strip-sack at the end that probably should've been ruled an incomplete pass. If this game were played a week ago the spread is probably Redskins -1. I'm not really buying that anything has changed that much.
Giants -3 - As RC pointed out in the game recap, the Giants committed the crime of losing on the road, without their best player, to possibly the best team in the league. The Matt Stafford Lions have traditionally been a poor road team, OBJ is back on the field, the Giants are back at home.
Jags +2.5 - If the Jags defense is as good as they looked in week 1, they can win the AFC south. There's some potential for them to be a poor man's version of the Broncos - great defense, good run game, and a limited QB that isn't asked to do much. If any of that is true, they can't be a home dog to the Titans, who are on that same 8-10 win level.
CLE at BAL -9.0 -- **Best Bet** CLE +9 - The old Browns usually beat the new Browns but I'll take almost 10 points in a division matchup. I'm not ready to buy the Ravens as a top tier team. Worst case we can always hope for the back to back back-door cover.
PHI at KC -5.5-- PHI +5.5 - Can't shake the feeling KC will go home after their big game and win by a FG. Philly has a decent defense and while there are other playmakers, I think the loss of Berry is huge for the Chiefs.
NYJ at OAK -13.5 -- NYJ +13.5 - Raiders come off of a good win and are now the odds on SB favorite at 3-1...I need to be on the other side of that crazy reaction. Defense needs to prove more before we can enter two-touchdown-favorite-ville.
DAL at DEN +2.0 -- DEN +2 - Should be a great game, I want to go elsewhere but I'm drawn to this one. I'm not sold on the Dallas D and their offense can be handled by a great defense. Here's to hoping Trevor Siemian doesn't step in and do what he does.
SF at SEA -14.0 -- SF +14 - A couple of turnovers hurt the Niners last week, but I think they have the DL to disrupt the Seahawks. SF didn't put up the points but I didn't think their offense was that bad. 14 is a lot for a team with no o-line.
GB +3.0. Best bet. I absolutely love the Packers here. They are just better than the Falcons and by a lot more than people realize. The Falcons should’ve lost to the Bears. Matt Ryan threw for 321 yards last week, but Julio Jones only had 4-66? Interesting. This one will be high scoring, but the superior talent of the Packers will prevail.
NYG -3.0. RC was dead right about this line being pushed down. I hate the Giants. It’s well documented. So the fact that I even have them on this list should speak volumes. The Lions aren’t terrible, but the Giants are actually quite good. I think Beckham plays. I hope Brandon Marshall never plays again…because he’s done (cue the 6-120-2 game), but the Giants defense is going to give Stafford fits. Giants bounce back nicely here.
TEN -2.5. Can you really envision a scenario where the Jaguars start 2-0? Me neither.
KC -5.5. The Eagles are not good. They should have lost to a really bad Redskins team last week, but didn’t because Kirk Cousins thought he was Blake Bortles for a week. Nelson Agholor did not suddenly learn how to football. They still put LeGarrette Blount on the field on purpose. Meanwhile, the Chiefs looked like a super bowl team. No one is stopping Andy Reid’s genius game plan of putting Tyreek Hill everywhere. Chiefs in a rout.
CHI +7.0. What would this line have been if Jordan Howard doesn’t drop the game winning touchdown last week? 5.0? 4.0? The Bears will probably lose this game, but they’re a live dog here and if they do lose, I obviously don’t think it will be by more than a touchdown. Their pass defense contained Julio Jones. They will manage Mike Evans. Jameis Winston knows no other receiver. Jamies should be good for a turnover or two, which should be enough to keep this game close.