Week 11 - NFL Pickem'
We are on an absolute heater. Our record over the past 3 weeks is 28-13, which is something I would have never thought was possible after the first 7 weeks. Now, sitting at an even .500 record, confidence is surging through my veins. I haven't personally made a pick the past 3 weeks (outside of changing picks against the Chargers to bets favoring them) and it's working out just fine, so I'm going to continue doing that. If you want some serious paper, keep reading, folks, your family will be grateful.
CURRENT RECORD: 74-74-0
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-2.5)
PICK: PACKERS (+2.5)
As we've seen over the past few weeks, the Seahawks aren't as bad as their record indicates, especially at home. The only issue here, though, is they're playing an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers team, who, no matter how bad they are, always have the opportunity to win. They seem to have finally realized Aaron Jones is their best runningback, and with MVS and Adams tearing shit up on the outside, I wouldn't be surprised if the Packers put up a big number in this spot. The Seahawks just played in a shootout this past Sunday, and on a short week, I don't know how much juice they'll have left.
DALLAS COWBOYS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (-3.5)
PICK: FALCONS (-3.5)
The Cowboys have a great defense and running game, and recently, Dak Prescott hasn't looked all that terrible. Against the Falcons, he should look even better, but I'm not sure how well they can keep up with ATL. They've put up over 20 points just three times this year and the Falcons fell short of that mark for the first time since Week 1 against the Browns this past week. Atlanta is coming off a big loss to Cleveland, so I'm not putting my money on Dak to outscore them as they return home after a depressing L.
CINCINNATI BENGALS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3.5)
PICK: BENGALS (+3.5)
The Bengals simply looked BAD last week. Their offense was stagnant after losing Green, and their defense has looked terrible all season. Now, they brought in Hue Jackson to pair with Marvin Lewis, a match made in Heaven. They are a complete mess, but it's not like the Ravens have been great as of late either. They lost three straight games heading into the bye, and now, there's uncertainty with the QB situation. Everyone's optimistic with Lamar Jackson, but if it's his first ever NFL start, I'm not sure I'd trust him, even against a poor Bengals' defense. If it were up to me, I'd go Ravens either way, as I believe their defense could lock up the Bengals, but it's not my choice.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (-3.5) @ DETROIT LIONS
PICK: PANTHERS (-3.5)
This is a Lock of the MF Century if I've ever seen one. The Panthers have a long week to prepare coming off a blowout on Thursday night against the Steelers. Now, facing the Lions, they get a much more forgiving defense and an offense that won't drop 50 on them. Stafford has no protection, and in turn, no time to throw, and if Marv Jones is out/limited, his options will be severely depleted. I just don't see a scenario where the Panthers don't bounce back and blow the Lions out of the water.
TENNESSEE TITANS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-2.5)
PICK: COLTS (-2.5)
Everyone's super high on the Titans after whooping that Patriot ass, but as I have said before, these guys are frauds. Their only redeeming quality is their defense, but as we've seen with the Colts, Andrew Luck can drop 30 on whoever he pleases. If the Colts put up over 25 points, which is entirely possible, I don't think the Titans will be able to keep it within a field goal, no matter how good they looked last week.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ NEW YORK GIANTS (-0.5)
PICK: GIANTS (-0.5)
I will never have confidence in the Giants. NEVER. I don't care if Fitz or Jameis is behind center throwing a million picks, it won't change my opinion on the G-Men. They should be able to exploit the Bucs' defense, but with Eli, anything could happen. Would I be surprised if they put up 13 points? No. Would I be surprised if they drop 30? No, but I'm not betting on it (well, technically, I am). As I've said before, though, I'm not making these picks, and thus far, that's worked out, so I guess I'm rolling with the boys in blue.
HOUSTON TEXANS (-2.5) @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS
PICK: TEXANS (-2.5)
The Redskins STINK. Alex Smith is an absolute bum and their weapons/offensive line are decimated, and that's putting it lightly. As for the Texans, they were rolling before the bye, and with DT having another week to get acclimated to the offense and Watson getting that lung right, Washington has no chance. This is my 2nd favorite pick of the week because, honestly, I think the Skins have no shot at keeping this game within 10, let alone 2.5.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-4.5) @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
PICK: STEELERS (-4.5)
Well, Bell isn't coming back. That was the ultimate blueball moment of 2018, maybe ever. The good thing is the Steelers didn't need him, as they've gotten off to a 6-2-1 start, and just last week, blew to doors off the Panthers. Their offense hit a groove, and now, their defense looks to boast one of the scariest pass rushes in the league. As we all know, if there's one thing Blake Bortles struggles with, it's throwing the ball, which, when you think about it, is quite peculiar, as that's his job. Anyways, with Pittsburgh breathing down his neck all game, he's gonna turn the ball over a million times, allowing the Steelers to run it up. The only thing I'm worried about is Ben having flashbacks to last year's 5 interception performance against the Jags last year that left him questioning retirement. Luckily for him, though, this Jacksonville team isn't the same beast they were in 2017. Ben should put these troubles behind him and dominate in this spot.
OAKLAND RAIDERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-3.5)
PICK: CARDINALS (-3.5)
The Raiders blow, and even though the Cardinals aren't great in their own right, they're far better than Oakland. Jon Gruden has run this team into the ground in a matter of a few months while Arizona is looking to change their identity. They gave Mahomes and the Chiefs' offense fits last week with their pass rush, but it wasn't enough for them to pull out a W. This week though, facing Derek Carr, Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook, and Doug Martin, they'll have a much easier task than trying to stop Mahomes, Hill, Kelce, and Hunt. As for their offense, they have looked improved since moving over to Byron Leftwich at OC, but they still aren't great. The good news, though, is that the Raiders would make a high school offense look elite.
DENVER BRONCOS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-7.5)
PICK: CHARGERS (-7.5)
The Chargers have only lost to the Rams and Chiefs this year, arguably two of the top three teams in the league. The problem? The teams they've beaten aren't quite the best. This is their first of two matchups against the Broncos, and even with Denver on the road, I'm still a little nervous. The Chargers lose a ton of games they should win (not this year...yet) whether it be to missed kicks or taking their foot off the gas. In this spot, I wouldn't be surprised if they're up 14 and Denver scores a late TD in garbage time to ruin this pick, but I'm not going to pick against the Chargers. Their offense should give Denver enough trouble and put up a big number, and if their defense continues their recent resurgent performances, they should be money.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-7.5)
PICK: EAGLES (+7.5)
There is no way I think the Eagles win or keep it particularly close. New Orleans is at home, just beat the Rams, and dropped a light 51 on the Bengals. They look to be the best team in the league and are facing a team that just got exposed by the Cowboys. On top of all of this, the Saints are going to play their hearts out to show the world they should've beaten the Vikings (shoutout Diggs), challenged the Eagles, and made it to the Super Bowl last year. That may be a wild narrative, but I'm running with it. If the Saints offense is humming, as they have been all season, I'm not confident that the Eagles will keep this within 2 scores, let alone one. Again, it doesn't matter what I think, the picks have been made and I'm sticking with it. Give me the Eagles I guess.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS @ CHICAGO BEARS (-2.5)
PICK: VIKINGS (+2.5)
I don't hate this pick, but I also don't love it. The Bears have Mack back and are playing at home, which is a duo nobody wants to face. As for the Vikings, though, they get Diggs and Cook back at/near 100% coming off a bye and are in desperate need of a win. This will be a close game, as they are divisional opponents and the top spot in the NFC North is wide open. My only concern for this pick is that if Trubisky repeats his performance from last week, the Bears will be one of the toughest teams to beat. The thing is, Mitch likely won't play at this level in back to back games, as he's still far from being consistent, but there's always a chance. I'm not betting on another Mitch Trugoatsky performance, so the Vikings are my pick.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ LOS ANGELES RAMS (-2.5)
PICK: RAMS (-2.5)
This is going to be one of, if not, the best games of the year. The Rams haven't looked like the same animal they were in earlier weeks, but they're still dominant. They're going to be playing without Kupp, but even in his absence in earlier weeks, they averaged 34 points/game. As for the Chiefs, they have been incredible all season, only losing to the Pats and putting up 30 points like it's nothing. It'll be close, but I'm taking the Rams here, and there's a couple of major deciding factors. First off, this game got moved from Mexico to LA, so it'll be a true home game for the Rams. Secondly, the recent tragedies in California will light a fire under their ass (no pun intended), as we've seen many times before with these types of events. Obviously, it's nothing to make light of, but it's simply true. After the Boston Marathon bombing, the Sox won it all, and there's some statistic out there about team owners dying and how well those franchises perform in the following game/week. All I'm trying to say is that the Rams may "want it" more, as corny as it sounds, which may push them over the edge to victory, as these teams are already fairly similar in terms of skillset on paper.