by Noah Pires
October 18, 2018
I have absolutely no luck. I made baby steps, going 7-8-0, which is still nowhere near where I'd like to be. You mean to tell me my best week has been week one, where I went 8-8 saying that would be the hardest week to make picks? Either I'm a buffoon or Roger Goodell reads these shitty blog posts and has it out for me. Well, Roger, if you're reading this, do me a favor, throw me a GD bone. I'm making a fool of myself, and it looks like I won't be going positive anytime soon. If you can take anything away from this, just pick the teams I don't, and you'll be rolling in the dough. You know the drill, read up and watch my inevitable demise.
Current Record: 39 - 54 - 0
Denver Broncos (-2.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals (+2.5)
Here we are again with zero confidence picks. If you're wondering why, just look at my record.
Anyways, I like the Cards in this spot. It's a short week, and Denver has to make its way to Arizona, quite the change of scenery. The Cards' pass d has been strong and have a good pass rush, which should overwhelm Case Keenum. As for their run defense, they have been pathetic, so the combination of Lindsay/Freeman should eat. On the other side, the Denver defense has been a doormat, giving up over 500 total rushing yards the past 2 weeks. If there was ever a game for DJ to perform, it's here. RSJ and Christian Kirk are seeming ti become integral parts of this offense, two dynamic playmakers (at their respective positions), and I think they'll do enough to win this game. Also, I just really like home teams on Thursday nights, as they're 5-1 so far (shoutout G-Men last week).
Tennessee Titans vs Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) (London)
Pick: Chargers (-6.5)
The Chargers are actually beginning to look good. Last week, they took the Browns out back and showed Cleveland who they really are. They usually have trouble travelling east, but they proved last week that this year may be different. Now, they are going further east to pay the Queen a visit. The time change will be absolutely wild, and the game will be played @ 9:30 Eastern Time. Despite this, they're facing the Titans. Tennessee is one of the weirdest teams in the NFL. When you think they'll keep a game close or win, they get blown out (21-0 last week), and when you expect a blowout, they drop the hammer (26-23 vs Eagles). They are just super unpredictable, so I'm just taking the better team in this spot. The Chargers are 4-2, with both losses coming to the Rams and Chiefs, two of the stronger/strongest teams in the league. Their offense should have enough firepower to show London what real futbol is, winning this game by a large margin.
Carolina Panthers @ Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5)
Pick: Panthers (+4.5)
The Eagles are coming off a huge win over the G-Men, but they'll have more of a challenge this week facing the Panthers. I'm honestly not too sure why I'm taking the Panthers in this spot. Both teams are fairly similar on both sides of the ball, but I trust Cam more than Wentz at this point. This game should be close, decided by a field goal, which I guess is why I prefer the Panthers, as they are 4.5 point dogs.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) @ New York Jets
Pick: Jets (+3.5)
I love this pick. The Jets are rolling, and now, the Vikings have to travel east to take on the coastal kid at home. The spread seems too low upon first glance, making Minnesota seem like the obvious play. This is Vegas' classic trap, setting the spread low between two teams who don't seem to be on the same level. Week One, for example, the Titans were 1.5 favorites over the Dolphins, who were thought to be one of the worst teams in the league, and they went on to win the contest. This is a similar situation, where an AFC East team is at home, playing an objectively better team. The difference, though, is we've seen the Vikings this year, and they haven't been all that consistent. They were blown out by the Bills, playing in Buffalo, and I expect some of the same this week. Not so much a blowout, but a close game, one which could certainly come down to a late field goal.
Buffalo Bills @ Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)
Pick: Colts (-7.5)
This week, the Bills are rolling out Derek Anderson at QB. Sometimes I buy into the narrative that starting a new QB against a team could be challenging for the opponent since they didn't prepare for him, but in this case, there's enough film on Anderson to know how to shut him down, and it shouldn't take much. Indy's defense is actually fairly decent, so they should be able to get to Anderson, causing errant throws. The Colts have relatively nothing in terms of a running game, so Luck will continue to throw until his shoulder falls off. The Colts shouldn't have a problem hanging a crooked number here while keeping the Billygoats under a 10 spot. Sure, the spread is pretty big, but Bills are prettay, prettayyyyyy bad.
New England Patriots (-3.5) @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Bears (+3.5)
I rarely pick against the Pats; I mean, how could I? I'm not a fan of theirs, but whenever I don't choose them, they screw me over. In this spot, though, I really like the Bears. Chicago is no easy place to play, particularly when it starts to get a little colder, and they just took a huge L to the Dolphins last week. After that loss, they should look to bounce back, especially on the defensive end. Their offense has looked great, and once their defense gets up to speed (where they were before the bye), they'll be a challenge for any team. As for the Patriots, their offense is humming. They were able to keep up, and outscore, the Chiefs last week, but this game could play out much differently. The Bears D will be able to slow down New England, to some extent, and I could see this ending in a late game field goal that decides the game.
Cleveland Browns @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
Pick: Buccaneers (-3.5)
Last week, the Browns lost at home to the Chargers, a team who struggles on the road. Similar to the Chargers, the Bucs have a stronger offense than defense, both having well below-average defensive units. The difference, though, is that the Browns are now on the road. Jameis Winston didn't look like complete shit in his first start of the year, and although the Browns are a much better unit than the Falcons defensively, he should have the volume to put up points. I think Baker will put up a good performance against a decrepit Tampa D, but I have more faith in the Buccaneers' high powered offense in this spot to win by at least 4 points.
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5)
Pick: Jaguars (-4.5)
I'm seriously nervous for Deshaun Watson. Like, SERIOUSLY concerned. The Texans' offensive line is a revolving door and Bill O'Brien loves running Watson into a wall of linebackers on the goal line, neither of which are good for his health. Now, going up against an elite Jags' pass-rush, his chest may just collapse. He's already dealing with injuries he sustained a few weeks ago against the Cowboys, and if (or should I say when) Jacksonville gets to him, it could get ugly. Ramsey and Bouye should do a decent enough job against DHop and Fuller, so Watson will have to resort to throwing to Coutee or whatever semblance of a tight end the Texans have. If not, he just won't have enough time behind that o-line to let plays/routes develop. The Texans' run game is simply awful, so I just don't see a scenario where the Texans score more than 14 points. Of course, if Watson turns in a performance similar to what he did in 2017, they could win any game, but we haven't seen that yet, and I highly doubt that starts this week.
Detroit Lions @ Miami Dolphins (-.5)
Pick: Lions (+.5)
The Dolphins pulled out a win last week against the Bears with Brock Osweiler at the helm. If that happens two weeks in a row, then we are living in a simulation. The Lions have a high powered offense and a great pass-rush, so coming off the bye, they should be ready to beat the breaks off the Dolphins. Miami has been incredibly efficient this year, turning the ball over a million times and scoring from 90 yards out every other play, but I'm not sure Osweiler can find magic two weeks in a row. This game is basically a pickem, and I think the Lions' offensive pieces are just too much in this spot.
New Orleans Saints @ Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
Pick: Saints (+2.5)
I feel like this is a trap game. The narrative is that Brees is substantially worse on the road, but the guy is coming off a a bye just a week after he broke the all time passing yardage record. The Saints' defense has been terrible, but against the redskins, they looked much improved. If they continue this performance against the Ravens, they shouldn't have a problem keeping Flacco in check. As for the Ravens' defense, they're great in all, but they're facing the Saints, who are packed with offensive talent. Being 2.5 point dogs, I'm surprisingly pretty confident in picking the Saints here.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins (-1.5)
Pick: Redskins (-1.5)
The Skins bounced back from their poor performance against the Saints two weeks ago to beat up on the Panthers, and this week, I'm sure they can keep it rolling especially in a divisional matchup where first place is far from decided. The Cowboys have nothing offensively, outside of Zeke, and I think the Redskins defense could cause some trouble. Offensively, the Skins aren't the most dominant team, but they have the ability to manage a game with Alex Smith at the helm and Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson, and Paul Richardson in the passing game. This game could end 17-14 in favor of the home team, and with that, I'll take Washington.
Los Angeles Rams (-9.5) @ San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Rams (-9.5)
The 49ers' defense was put on display against the Packers Monday night, and they were far from good to say the least. The Rams offense is objectively better than the Packers', despite having Aaron Rodgers, and their defense is certainly superior to Green Bay's, so they won't give up a 30 spot to the 9ers. The combination of Gurley, Woods, and Cooks should be enough to drop 40 on the 9ers, and with the lack of offensive weapons in San Francisco, I don't think they'll be able to keep it within 10.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Pick: Bengals (+5.5)
Last week, the Chiefs took their first L of the year, but it was against a Pats' team that couldn't afford a loss. This week, they face off against the Bengals, who, like the Patriots, need a W. I don't expect Cincy to win simply because I can't see Dalton outscoring Mahomes, but this is a game which could come down to the wire and be decided by a field goal. With KC at home, they should pull out a win, but I think it'll finish close enough for the Bengals to finish within 5.5.
New York Giants @ Atlanta Falcons (-5.5)
Pick: Giants (+5.5)
The Giants are basically coming off a bye, playing on Thursday a week before and now facing Atlanta on Monday night. The G-Men looked pathetic on Thursday, mostly due to Eli's poor performance, but this situation feels eerily similar to when the Giants benched him last year. Eli looked dejected last week, and now playing a poor Falcons' defense, he could surprise us and have a good game. They certainly have the offensive weapons to do so, so it all comes down to #10. If he shows up, they could win this game, and if he doesn't, they still may be able to keep it close simply because Saquon is unbelievable. Either way, I'm taking the G-Men in this spot with my eyes closed and fingers crossed.
by Nick Ercolano
August 24, 2019
by Nick Ercolano
August 22, 2019
by Nick Ercolano
August 21, 2019