Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 NFL Week 4 Picks

Week 4

If I were a betting man, I'd parlay the Lions -1.5, the Colts -7.5, and the Patriots -3.

Washington -3.5 versus New York Giants

Have I mentioned how much I hate Thursday games? The home teams had covered every week until this week, and with Jon Beason still out, I thought Alfred Morris would help mitigate the risk of Kirk Cousins turning back into a pumpkin. I should have seen this coming with Eli Manning looking more and more comfortable in this fast paced offense and facing a bad secondary. At least I was right about Rueben Randle?

Buffalo +3 at Houston

Tying my upset of the week to E.J. Manuel might not be the smartest thing I do this week, but the Texans got exposed a bit last week. If the Bills can get ahead early and move the mall consistently with their running game, they can take advantage of Ryan Fitzpatrick's limitations. Buffalo's already playing stout run defense, and although Alfred Blue looked good (as I had hoped), Houston needs the hobbled Arian Foster to be a workhorse. However, I retain the right to rescind this pick if DeAndre Hopkins makes another ridiculous one-handed catch.
An illegal formation robbed a catch of the year candidate from counting.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 NFL Week 3 Picks

Week 3

If I were a betting man, I'd parlay Baltimore -1.5, New Orleans -10.5, and Carolina -3. Chicago +3 also got serious consideration, but you could still hedge on the SNF like MNF.

Tampa Bay +6.5 at Atlanta

Well that didn't go well. While I tweeted that the Falcons would definitely win, I took the points because I thought the Buccaneers would at least be competitive. I underestimated the injuries to their defense, especially on the line, but they're the most disappointing team in the league to me.

Dallas -1 at St. Louis

Murray just kills the Rams.
I still don't believe in the Cowboys defense, but I believe in Austin Davis even less. DeMarco Murray's breakout game as a rookie was when he went for 253 yards and a TD on 25 carries against the Rams, and with the way the Cowboys offensive line is playing, I'd expect more dominance against a St. Louis team that gave up 144 yards to Bobby Rainey on the ground last week. If the Rams do compete, it'll likely be on the back of Jared Cook since the Cowboys get killed by tight ends, but I wouldn't count on Davis until he proves it.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 NFL Week 2 Picks

If you missed last week's post, I'm tweeting out Thursday night picks and using for the lines each week.

Week 2

If I were a betting man, I'd parlay the Buccaneers -5.5 and Titans -3.5 with the Colts -3 on Monday, although you could talk me into the Jaguars +6 in place of Indy.

Baltimore -2.5 versus Pittsburgh

I got my tweet out late on Thursday, so I'm including a screenshot to show I was definitely in on the Ravens this week. It's amazing how often a team bands together and is galvanized in the face of adversity on a short week. Of course, being the home team on TNF definitely helps.

We'll have to keep an eye out to see whether Baltimore will stay dedicated to the run after the Week 1 debacle of allow Joe Flacco to fire up 62 passes after benching Bernard Pierce for his first career fumble. The big back looked better in this one along with old Cal favorite Justin Forsett, but that may have been a result of the Steelers getting gashed by the exact same zone blocking scheme that nearly cost them their opener, as well. The good new for Pittsburgh is that Le'Veon Bell looks great in an offense that was done in by red zone miscues, punctuated by an interception that Ngat-a whole lot of d-lineman can make. *crickets* Let's move on...

Miami +1 at Buffalo

As the line indicates, this is one of the toughest picks of the week with both teams coming off huge upsets. I'm going with the more talented team even though they're on the road and out their entire linebacker core because I still don't trust E.J. Manuel to be consistent. He could get rattled by this Dolphins defensive line that was all over Tom Brady in the second half last week. With how good Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon are at defensive end, I wonder if they'll convert last year's third overall pick, Dion Jordan, back to outside linebacker once he is reinstated with the league's new drug policy.

Alfred Morris needs to be consistently fed to get a W.
Jacksonville +6 at Washington

I actually think Washington wins this game at home, but the line is way too high given the talent levels of these teams. Of course, I thought the Jaguars would cover last week's +10.5, and they blew a 17-0 lead in agonizing fashion: a fumble return for a touchdown when down 10 with 1:24 left. I think whichever team stays patient with the running game and gets their workhorse back more touches takes this one.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 NFL Week 1 Picks

Football is finally back, and I'm so excited that I'm bringing back my weekly picks. I'll try to keep the explanations succinct, especially in my new If I were a betting man feature that will focus on my favorite parlay options for that week. On weeks that I get these posts up after the Thursday night game (which will be most weeks), I will include a link to my tweets that announce the pick. Lastly, for consistency I will be making these picks based on the lines at

Week 1 

If I were a betting man, I would make two separate 3 team parlays this week to cover the five picks I like. The Chargers +3 would be the one that I double up on with both Patriots -4/Vikings +3 and Steelers -7/Niners -4.5 since I think that's best value pick of the week and so that I could make hedge bets on MNF if I make it through the Sunday games.

Well, we're clearly off to a great start! Having arguably the best safety in the league, Earl Thomas, moonlight as a punt returning despite having hardly any experience at even the college level helped make this one close early. However, once Bryan Bulaga (a former first round pick who has had trouble staying healthy) was injured and replaced at right tackle by Derek Sherrod (a former first round pick who has had trouble staying healthy), Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had no chance against the league's best defense with that crowd noise.

I thought it'd at least be a good game with Green Bay having a legitimate chance to win and thus took the points. Not that it matters, but the Seahawks calling a Spider 2 Y Banana play on 4th and 1 with the game already out of hand was...interesting. Do you think Pete Carroll was hoping to be asked"What's your deal?"

New Orleans -3 at Atlanta

Brees' new toy might make a big impact.
The Falcons beefed up their line on both sides of the ball, but they have questions on the edges. I don't think they'll be able to get any pressure on Drew Brees, so the most intriguing aspect of this game to me is how first round pick Brandin Cooks will be utilized. The small speedster was already likely to get a lot of the underneath targets and special teams touches that used to go to Darren Sproles, but now that second year breakout candidate Kenny Stills is out for this game, Cooks could be in line for a more diverse role as the clear cut #3 target next to Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston doing their work in the middle.

The Saints' biggest acquisition, Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd, will be put to the test right away as he tries to help contain Julio Jones and Roddy White now that they're healthy and in line for the majority of the 119 targets that went to the now-retired Tony Gonazlez. Levine Toilolo has some potential with this size but is better suited as a blocker than a receiver for now. This game has some shootout potential, especially if Steven Jackson doesn't show any lingering effects for his hamstring issues. New Orleans is vulnerable against the run, but at the end of the day, they'll get more stops than the home team.