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Slow start to the 2017 handicapping season. I went 7-8 against the spread last week computer picks went 7-8 as well). 2-3 in the Blazing Five. Lost my 'best bet' of the Steelers when the Browns scored late. Won my early bet on the Rams…they paid for the whole week betting that line several weeks ago when the Rams were getting points. Not a great week but not the end of the world.
Well, maybe it is.
I got this email randomly Tuesday night, copy and pasting it in its entirety: "Thanks for the great picks. You suck at your job!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Ten, count them ten exclamation points. You know you really did a bad job when there are ten exclamation points.
Dear random person/ray of sunshine, not a subscriber, that emailed…this week is for you. I'm going to try to redeem myself in your eyes because I won’t be able to live with myself if I don't.
CIN -6.0 over HOU
When I sketched out my rough draft of this earlier in the week, I wrote: I'm not a fan of either team, but in a game I wouldn't touch with real money I'm getting +6.0 on the other side with a mobile QB who might make some plays with his feet and keep this within the spread. I also fear, if I were betting, that this is the moment Joe Mixon breaks out – versus an awful Houston run defense.
However, after re-watching both Houston and Cincy this week…I've changed my tune. Cincinnati was not that bad Week 1…not as bad as being portrayed. Houston was that bad. I'll take the home team bounce back facing the rookie QB I don’t care for.
The computer says a coin flip but take Cincy as well with the home field bump.
TEN -2.0 at JAC
As much as I've been pro-Jacksonville this preseason, I also like Tennessee. I can't imagine Jacksonville going to 2-0 and Tennessee going to 0-2. This is kind of an AFC South Super Bowl game. Jacksonville can somewhat put away the division right here. Houston and Indy already died and went to football heaven.
I can't in good faith roll with the Blake Bortles team in a big spot. I'll take Mariota to neutralize that Jags pass rush this week with his quick passing and escapability. This could be a game where Mariota runs for 100+ yards. I'll reluctantly take Tennessee -2.0, but I won't bet it.
The computer models say Jags + home is the way to go
CLE +8.0 at BAL
-- I'm not overly convicted about it, but I could see Cleveland pulling off the upset here…or at least keeping it within the spread. It could be a 7-0 Baltimore win. The Cleveland defense is not getting enough respect yet. Baltimore's offense is awful and Cleveland may score as many points on defense as offense.
The masses see the Steelers as a letdown last week…instead of giving Cleveland's defense more credit. The Browns defense was near-stunning last week. The masses also love the Ravens humiliating Cincy, but I thought the two teams were even…the Ravens are overblown. I'm going to play opposite the masses here and go with what I think I see on tape – Cleveland's defense vs. the Ravens' offense could keep this close/get CLE the win.
The computer is conflicted, so it defaults to taking the points.
BUF +7.0 at CAR
-- I'll take Buffalo and the points here for no more reason than Sean McDermott going back to Carolina. Stone Cold McDermott keeps it close or possibly pull off the upset. Again, another game I wouldn't put any real money on.
The computer is conflicted at -7.0 and wants it to go -6.5 to go Carolina. At 7.0…the computer flips to Buffalo as its choice.
NE -6.5 at NO
I totally buy the Patriots about to crush the Saints here. The Patriots weren't as bad as we remember…they did rollover and quit in the end, but the issue was not lack of talent. The Saints have a lack of talent and it was glaring. The Pats with 10 days to stew and prepare and the Saints on a short week. I take the Patriots, and it’s a BEST BET candidate for me. I think this might be a 20+ point debacle that gets the heat way turned up on Sean Payton.
Computer picks the Pats as well.
ARI -7.0 at IND
-- Possibly the two worst teams in football or about to have a game. The Colts are too bad for me to even take the home underdog. Arizona is going to get such a lashing in practice this week they'll take it out on the Colts…as Arians returns home to where he once won Coach of the Year.
The computer takes the home points with Indy. I have a funny feeling the computer is right here…
KC -5.5 over PHI
-- Another best bet candidate for me. I'll take Kansas City with 10 days off all day long here. The Eagles should've lost last week to Washington. KC is obviously a top-notch team. Under normal circumstances, KC should annihilate the Eagles here. Carson Wentz is not who they are saying it is.
The computer LOVES KC here.
PIT -5.5 over MIN
-- I'm going to reluctantly go with Pittsburgh as long as the spread is under 7.0 here (dropped to 5.5 since I started this rough draft). Minnesota looked awful good the other night, but I don't know how much of that was them and how much was how bad the Saints are coached. Not for real money, I'll take the Steelers and lay the points.
The computer thinks the Steelers are a best bet candidate here.
CHI +7.0 over TB
-- I don’t love this but I'll take the points. Sneaky upside …Mike Glennon versus the team that drafted and snubbed him.
The computer thinks CHI might win this outright.
MIA +4.0 at LAC
-- I'm not really into either of these teams, but I already saw that the Chargers are the Chargers on Monday night. Predictable. Lucky to have had a chance to win the game in the end – really should've lost by 2+ scores.
The Chargers played a Monday night game against a very physical defense and is back to work on the short week against a team that it is beyond well rested. I'll take the points just because.
The computer will go with Miami as well
NYJ +13.5 over OAK
-- I'm going to take the Jets here because with a few exceptions no NFL team should be two TDs favored over another in today's NFL. I thought the Jets were not that awful last week. Oakland doesn't have a good enough defense to be a 14 point favorite in theory.
The computer likes OAK here.
LAR -2.5 over WAS
-- This line is -2.5 with the Rams is a favorite at the time of this typing, I bet it falls by another point or so. The football public does not trust Jared Goff and the Rams. I wouldn't be shocked if the Rams punished the Redskins just like they did the Colts last week. The Redskins are that bad, and the Rams defense is better than we even think.
The computer likes LAR here.
DAL -2.0 at DEN
-- I'm going to go with Dallas as a road favorite against some better judgment. Denver has the advantage of the altitude and playing in back to back home games. Dallas off a tough Sunday night game. I'm going to go with Dallas because this is the type a game player Dallas announces that they are not just good but they are the best team in the NFL. Dallas loses this game and no one would think negatively about it – at Denver. But if Dallas goes to Denver and whacks the Broncos -- every NFL head is going to turn.
The computer leans Denver.
SF +14.0 at SEA
-- I'm going to take the points with the 49ers because I don't believe Seattle, even at home, should be 13+ point favorites over any team right now. Their offensive line is a disaster. Their offense of game plan has been a nightmare for years. I would not bet it with real money, but for picking sake I'll take the points… And I bet the 49ers put a little scare in Seattle before the Seahawks push away at the end.
Under 14…the computer likes SEA, but 14+ it leans SF.
GB +3.0 at ATL
-- The first time I hear a football analyst predict Atlanta to win because of the emotion of opening a new stadium – I'm going to punch the device that I hear this emanate from. Yeah, and the Texans were going to be fired up because of the flood relief effort. And the Falcons were going to blow out the Bears because they were angry from the Super Bowl. Fans care way more about this ancillary stuff than the teams do. The Packers are better than the Falcons – and if they whack the Falcons it could send ATL into a tail spin.
I'm going to take Green Bay and the points because Week 1 said Green Bay is a lot better defensively been given credit…and I believe that. Green Bay has good personnel and coaching on defense. Last year they battled a ton of secondary injuries. Atlanta, on the other hand, with their new offense of coordinator wasn't very impressive in Week 1. I think Green Bay may wallop Atlanta in this one.
The computer likes the Falcons at home.
NYG -3.0 over DET
I think the Giants might be the best bet of the week. Everyone down on the Giants for daring to lose to the best team in football in Week 1 – only the media isn't recognizing Dallas as a superior team. The Giants hung in that game most of the way minus their best weapon. At the same time, people think Detroit is great because they beat Arizona, because the media loves Arizona for some reason…when in reality Arizona is one of the worst teams in football.
This is the quintessential perfect storm to favor the Giants. The early line has already dropped from – 5.0 to 4.0 to now 3.0 -- as I predicted earlier in the week. I'll take it at -3.0 all day long. The Giants are a really good football team being punished for losing to the best team in the NFL.
Anyone remember Week 15 in a do-or-die for the playoffs game when DET went to NYG? 17-6 Giants manhandled this team. They will again this week.
The computer loves NYG too.