Week 1 Picks Against the Spread
We're back and worse than ever, making some uninformed, completely idiotic picks. Last year, it didn't go so well. I don't remember my exact record, which makes sense because it was a season to forget, but I'd be willing to be the house I don't own that I will improve. Without further ado, let's drop some knowledge.
CURRENT RECORD: 0-0-0 (probably the best it'll be all year tbh)
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Pick: Bears (-3.5)
As much as the Bears overperformed last year, the Packers were on the other end of that spectrum. Aaron Rodgers did not give a single fuck whether they won or lost last season, and with his career, and collarbones, dwindling, this is the time to make one final push towards the Super Bowl. Well, week one won't quite be the start they'd hope for. Last year, they took the opening game from the Bears by a one point margin, despite playing at home, and now, with the entire city of Chicago howling at AFraud, he will crack under pressure. Not to mention Khalil Mack will be out for blood and the rest of the team will be backed by rage in an Adrian Amos revenge game. As for their offense? Trubisky blows, but the same was the case last year and they still pulled out 12 wins. I'm not sure the Cheesehead's defense, although improved, will be completely unified week one, and even a QB of Trubitchsky's stature could take advantage of that. Gimme Da Bears to kick off the 2019 season.
Kansas City Chiefs (-3.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Chiefs (-3.5)
Jacksonville is basically a brand new team, bringing in a QB that's money is long and his ___ is longer. BDN is also paired with OC John DeFilipo, a guy who wants to throw the ball til he can't no more. This may be a good thing, facing a Chiefs team that could drop a 50 spot on Fort Knox, so even though the Jags' defense is seemingly elite, Mahomes is going to make Foles play ketchup (get it). Can Foles get it done? I say no. All he has at his disposal is Dede Westbrook, who will be covered by Kendall Fuller in the slot, someone Keenan Allen sees in his nightmares, meaning 'Ol Saint Nick will be throwing to a bunch of 6'2 receivers that run a 4.35 but have no hands. No Kirk Cousins, I don't like that. As for the Chiefs' offense, I don't think even the Jags can hold them to less than, let's say, 30 points. Jalen Ramsey fancies himself a lockdown corner, but Tyreek Hill will run circles around him, and even if he is boxed out of this game, Mahomes still has Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman, and a bunch of capable passcatchers out of the backfield at his disposal. I just don't think Jacksonville keeps it close, even at home.
Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)
Pick: Vikings (-3.5)
To me, this game comes down to passrush. Sure, the Falcons have the better QB, but Minnesota is at home, so the gap closes a bit, and their offensive weapons are extremely similar in terms of quality. Both teams, though, don't have the best offensive lines in the league, and with the Vikings boasting Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffin coming off the edge, along with a rock solid secondary, I'm not too confident Matty Ice will be able to lead a comeback if the Falcons fall behind early. I wouldn't be surprised if the Falcons get their ass Skol clapped to begin the year, and because of that, may be the first time in a few years - outside of the Miracle - where the Vikings are legit contenders.
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns (-5.5)
Pick: Titans (+5.5)
Everyone loves Browns and hates the Titans. It's me, I'm everyone. Despite that, I actually think Tennessee can keep this game somewhat close. The Browns' offensive line lost Kevin Zeitler, arguably their best big boy, and with the Titans having a dominant front line and pass rush, they may be able to limit the ground game and get pressure on Baker. As for the Titans' offense, yes, they do stink, and yes, their QB is actually a RB, but if they can just manage to dominate time of possession by pounding the rock with Henry and making quick throws, I don't think the Browns will have the opportunity to really pull away. Last year, of the Titans' seven losses, two were kept within 5.5 and three were within seven, so it's not like they were getting their doors blown off. On top of this, the Browns will be playing with their full starting roster for the first time this season, as OBJ and Juice weren't active throughout the preseason, so they may start off a bit slow.
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (-2.5)
Pick: Bills (+2.5)
I'm done with the public disrespecting Josh Allen. Their team looks actually decent on paper, and now JA has some real receivers and non-geriatric runningbacks supporting him. On the other side of the game, Darnold is left with Robby Anderson's one calf, which may be zero after Tre'Davious White gets done with him, a runningback who has dropped more singles than games played over the past 20 months, and a secondary that couldn't stop a toddler from robbing a bank. Allen is going to throw a 63 yard bomb to John Brown, Sam Darnold is going to get antsy and throw a pick six, and then will be forced to play from behind. I'm not saying this is exactly what's going to happen, but there's a better than 80% chance it does. On top of this, last year the Bills beat the hell out of the Jets to the tune of 41-10, and in the game they lost, only got beat out by four points. Both teams have improved, but I'll go with the team boasting a better defense and players that would rather be on the gridiron than in the studio.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins
Pick: Dolphins (+6.5)
This may be my superlock pick. Fuggit, this is my superlock pick. The Dolphins STINK, but guess what, it doesn't matter when you have magic on your side. Fitzpatrick's job isn't fully secure, which means he has to put up three elite performances before he can crawl back into his hole of mediocrity, and what better way to prove you deserve to be paid than performing when all eyes are on you, up against one of the league's best defenses. This may not be a smart bet on my part, but Fitz is smart enough to make up for it, so I feel confident. On top of this, how many points are the Ravens really going to score? 17? 20? It's not like Lamar will be dropping back 35 times this game, and even if he did, that's basically good for 3 picks. On top of this, he fumbled a million times last year, so if he gives up the ball a few times in this game, and one happens to turn into an immediate red zone possession for the Dolphins and they connect on a TD, they'd only need one more tug to keep this game close (assuming the Ravens don't put up 30+ points). Plus, it's at home, so even though their roster is in shambles, they at least still have some pride.
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)
Pick: Eagles (-9.5)
I would say this is a great superlock pick, but I got annihilated week one last year taking New Orleans over Tampa and I don't want to get chalky. I know, it doesn't make sense to think they'll win by double digits but aren't a team I have enough confidence in to put my season on the line for, but this brain of mine works in mysterious ways. This should be a cakewalk for the Iggles, and I don't see any way the Skins keep this close. Washington's D has improved, but karma will continue to bite them in the ass, and that alone should be reason enough to pick against them. On top of this, DeSean Jackson's playing in a revenge game, so if he stops whining about his finger, fire him up as an upside flex play this week.
Los Angeles Rams (-2.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Pick: Panthers (+2.5)
I love me some home dogs, but I like a house cat more, and that's exactly what a Panther is. For real, though, their defensive line has improved a bit, and their offense now has weapons all over the field, so long as Greg Olsen's foot stays attached to the bottom of his leg. As for the Rams, they're an extremely well-rounded team, but Jared Goff looked more fraudulent than a see through $20 bill down the stretch, and coming off a tough super bowl L, he may start off slow. I'm not sure them bringing in Blake the Snake Bortles as a backup really lit a fire under him, and after signing a New Deal that would make FDR proud, he may be getting comfortable. Cam practiced abstinence all offseason, so I think week one is time for him to drop a load in the comfort of his own home, and I wouldn't be surprised if they walk out of the game with a win.
Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5)
Pick: Colts (+6.5)
I typically always roll with my boys, but marijuana isn't legal in CT, so I have to pass on this one. Derwin was a major part of this defense last year, and with him out and being terrible against the run as it is, the Colts' line is going to eat the Chargers' defensive front alive. LA doesn't run many plays, and if the Colts slow the game pace down, the Chargers will roll with the punches like Anthony Ruiz, and they'd be content with a three point margin of victory. I don't want it to happen, but it probably will. Also, I do like Badgley, but with their luck, he will be Younghoe Koo reincarnate and blow a game winning field goal, so I'm taking the Colts.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks (-8.5)
Pick: Bengals (+8.5)
At this point I don't even know what I'm doing. I hate the Bengals, and the Seahawks were my darkhorse SB pick. On top of this, Clowney is now in town and ready to put Dalton squarely on the I.R. with his buddy Jeff Driskel. So, why am I taking the Bengals? I have zero clue. If you guys read these spread picks last year, you'd know I'm terrible, so this is just an example of that in action. Don't tail this pick, I repeat, DO NOT TAIL THIS PICK. Unless it turns out right, then I'll revise the article.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
Pick: Cowboys (-6.5)
Snacks, I hope you're reading this. I will say nothing bad about the Giants. They have probably the best QB duo in the league, an elite defensive line, extremely deep wide receiver core, and a decent young RB. Despite that, I just think the Cowboys, at home, have the edge. Zeke is living his best life, and Jerry Jones just emptied his bank account into half of the players on this team. They're in a win now mode, so they're going to beat the breaks off of the lovely G-Men to kick off their SB campaign. I do think the Giants eek out 13 wins this year, though, just not in this spot :-).
San Francisco 49ers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-0.5)
Pick: 49ers (+0.5)
I'll typically rock with the home team in a pickem, but Jameis is a complete fraud and I'm not sure even Bruce Arians can fix him. The 9ers' defense is actually pretty good on paper, and I'm a believer in Jimmy, the exact opposite situation for Tampa. If San Fran gets out to an early lead, Jameis is going to start chucking, and that's a recipe for disaster. It looks like Jameis will need to wait another week for him to eat a W.
Detroit Lions (-2.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals (+2.5)
Home dog szn. For as bad as Arizona has looked in the preseason, the Lions have been just as incompetent. The only difference? Arizona has an excuse, and although it may be a fake one, it's a lot better than Detroit's explanation for why they blow: They just do. Kliff is supposedly hiding his offense, which remains to be seen, but I atleast like the intrigue. I don't want to root for a team that's going to run 45 times and take out their best back on the goal line for a 248 pound slug whose first name translates to Clearly Jogging, I'd rather push all my chips into the middle of the table for XXXTentacion's 5'8" cover signer, so give me the Cards.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (-5.5)
Pick: Steelers (+5.5)
Can you get a super bowl hangover if all you consume is kale and quinoa? Probably not, but I'm still going with the Steelers. On paper, these teams are comparable, but it would be foolish to assume Pittsburgh is the better team outright. Well guess what? I'm foolish, and I think they win this game, on the road, trying to dethrone New England. Big Ben is going to come out like a jealous ex, living his best life, and try to prove AB was the issue in town by dropping a million points on the road. A million may be lofty, but I think its attainable. Give me the most morally sound QB in this game as road dogs against the super bowl champs.
Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
Pick: Texans (+6.5)
This game is going to be incredible. If Luck and Derwin were playing, I'd say the Colts/Chargers game would be the best of the week, but now, there's no doubt that this will take the cake. I think the Texans are legit good in nearly ever facet of the game, especially after acquiring Laremy Tunsil, who doesn't just wear a facemask on Sundays, to protect Watson's blindside. On the other side, the Saints may be the most complete roster, but they dropped a week one game to the Bucs last year, so what if they start slow again? I think this is a field goal game, and with the Saints needing to win by a tug to cover, I'm all in on Houston.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders (-0.5)
Pick: Broncos (+0.5)
I'm putting it all on the line and making this my survivor pick. Yes, I know, I should want a team like Philly or the Seahawks, but history favors the bold. Realistically, when else can I take the Broncos this season confidently? Facing the Chargers and Chiefs twice each, the Bears, the Packers, Colts, Browns, Vikings, Texans...like come on. If there's a week to do it, it's against a divisional opponent whose best player literally can't even get his head in the game, paired with a pillow soft defense that would make even Joe Flacco look elite. Emanuel Sanders will be as fresh as he will ever be this season in week one, and their runningbacks that matter (sorry Theo) are alive and well. Not to mention Bradley Chubb and Von Miller will have Derek Carr up all night praying he won't be wiped off the face of this planet after four minutes and 37 seconds into the first.