Sunday, January 24, 2016

NFL Picks: Championship Round

Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated
This week, the motto "keep it simple, stupid" really comes into play when picking these games this week.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

NFL Picks: Divisional Round

Photo courtesy of SB Nation
Long story short, my picks sucked last week. I was hoping to go 11-0 in the playoffs this year, but, alas.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

NFL Picks: Wild Card Round and Playoff Preview

Photo courtesy of Sporting News
So, I didn't do preseason predictions this year. I meant to, and thanks to poor planning and the obviously hectic nature of my first few weeks in college, I was left with not enough time to complete thorough projections for every team in the league. Based on my general thoughts from summer, some of this season's results have been surprising, such as the Panthers morphing into a powerhouse with no thanks owed to their receiving corps, Peyton Manning becoming a shell of a shell of his former self, Green Bay's descent to complete and utter mortality, and Kirk You Like That Cousins's ascent to glory. Still, I was right about quite a few things, such as Arizona being a very good team, the Pats obviously continuing their run of dominance in the AFC, and the Vikings taking quite a few people by surprise.

Of course, all this reflection can only mean one thing: it's playoff time. One of the best months of the year is ahead, which will culminate in the crowning of a new Super Bowl Champion at Levi's Stadium. This season has been pretty weird overall, especially considering that Brian Hoyer, A.J. McCarron, and the aforementioned Cousins are starting home games this weekend. Despite this, my picks have not suffered, going 128-120-7 on the season. Of course, the one issue with that is that there are 256 games in a season, yet I've only accounted for 255. Small error that I don't quite have the time to deal with right now because I'm flying back to campus soon, but I will fix. Either way, this was a lot better than my dismal record from last season.

After my picks for this week, I'll continue with my predictions for the rest of the postseason. Let's get on with the show!

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.



Chiefs (-3) over TEXANS.

The Chiefs are the hottest team in the NFL, seeing as they just reeled off ten straight wins to propel themselves into the playoffs. They went from a 1-5 team on the verge of their season suffering a cruel death, to a sexy pick by some smart people to possibly challenge the Patriots in the AFC playoffs. I'm one of those people. I'm all in on these Chiefs, led by their rejuvenated defense, and their sudden discovery of a legitimate passing game.

The Texans on the other hand, are a pretty dangerous team in their own right. Despite playing like trash to begin the year, to the point that I continued to bash them week after week as they stayed alive in the AFC South race because no one else wanted to win the division, they can cause the Chiefs, or any team in the playoffs trouble. J.J. Watt's presence on defense continues to be an underrated force, and DeAndre Hopkins is easily one of the best receivers in the league, and impossible to cover for four quarters. Playing at home, they're going to be a tough out.

But by 7:30, they will be out.

Chiefs 21, Texans 17.

BENGALS (+1.5) over Steelers.

Injuries on both sides will affect the gameplans of these teams heavily. Without Andy Dalton, the Bengals will rely on a more run heavy attack than usual, as well as having the receivers run shorter routes to protect A.J. McCarron, only in his fourth career start.

On the Pittsburgh sideline, the loss of DeAngelo Williams will prove to be important, but possibly not deadly. The well balanced attack boasted by the Steelers all year will not be as prevalent with Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman in the backfield.

Both teams can stay afloat without Dalton or Williams, but the real story here is on defense. Pittsburgh's defense, to be blunt, isn't very good. The days of the Steel Curtain are long gone, and this team has a much different identity. Cincy, on the other hand, has a strong defense that will give Roethlisberger and Co. lots of trouble.

Most importantly, McCarron isn't that bad. He can be a highly effective game manager, even when facing off against a high powered offense. The Bengals are equipped with more than enough weapons for someone like him to match the Steelers' scoring.

Bengals 30, Steelers 27

Seahawks (-4) over VIKINGS.

Plain and simple, the Seahawks are a much better version of the Vikings. These two teams are built similarly, with a great running game, an athletic quarterback who is capable of making big throws when needed, and of course, defense. Despite Marshawn Lynch being ruled out of this game, the problem for Minnesota lies in the fact that Russell Wilson is light years better than Teddy Bridgewater. Wilson's scrambling ability extends plays well beyond their expiration, and leads to positive gains on broken plays. Bridgewater tries to do this, but just isn't as skilled. Seattle's going to minimize Peterson's impact, as much as any team actually can, and force the Vikings the win the game in the air. I believe in Teddy, but not that much.

Seahawks 31, Vikings 17.

WASHINGTON YOU LIKE THATS (-1) over Packers.

You like that?

The power of Kirk Cousins should be enough of an explanation, but if that's not enough, add in the fact that the Packers are simply not the same team this year. Their offense has been shockingly mediocre, and their defense hasn't played incredibly well. They backed their way into the postseason thanks to the Lions melting down and a ridiculous Hail Mary play that would be completed 1 out of 1,000 tries.

Washington on the other hand, thanks in part to their famous rallying cry, has been playing very well recently as they almost coasted to an NFC East title in December. 

Washington 24, Packers 20

Based on these results, here are my picks for the rest of the playoffs 

Divisional Round
PATRIOTS over Bengals. 
Chiefs over BRONCOS. 
PANTHERS over Seahawks. 
CARDINALS over Washington Professional Football Team. 

Championship Round 
Chiefs over PATRIOTS. 
Cardinals over PANTHERS. 

Super Bowl 
Cardinals over Chiefs. 

Enjoy round one, folks. 

Last Week: 8-8

Season: 128-120-7

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NFL Picks: Week 17

Photo courtesy of Slate
There were no early week games this week of course, as is normal for the final week of the season, so let's just get on with the show.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 16

Photo courtesy of Sporting News
Week 15 was great, and secured myself a good record this year. I'm going to see if I can improve on that record down the home stretch, but I just have to remain afloat for the next two weeks.

I rode that momentum straight into the Black Hole on Thursday night, as the Raiders failed to cover a 5 point spread, that I thought would have been easy for them, instead coming away with a 3 point overtime victory. I must say, the game was a lot better than I ever could have anticipated.

But it's okay, because on Saturday night:



Winner, winner, you like that chicken dinner?

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 15

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report
Week 14 was my first very good week in a while, and all but secured a decent record for the full season, barring a complete catastrophe, which has only happened once to me this year, during my disastrous 3-10-1 Week 8.

There have already been two games played this week, and I won neither game, but the Jets won one of them, so that's what really matters in the end. First of all, the Buccaneers lost the first annual Condiment Bowl, giving me a loss because I keep backing Tampa during the wrong weeks.

Either way, I look forward to the continuing of this tradition. You could say that we were treated with two of these games this week, as the Relish Jets played the Saurkraut Cowboys in JerryWorld.

Despite comical quarterback play from Matt Cassel leading to him benching, and the NFL debut of Kellen Moore, the Jets were only able to come out of the game with a push. That's more a little bit concerning, but a win is a win. Time to root against the Chiefs and Steelers.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 14

Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report
It's finals season, so quick picks are absolutely necessary right now. I don't think I'll even be able to watch any games today because college is great...until December.
I won on Thursday night thanks to an incredibly ridiculous line. Whoever bet the Cards laying ten points needs to seriously re-evaluate their gambling habits.

That's as much analysis as you're getting this week.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 13

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post
I was on the right side of that crazy Thursday night game, which was the highlight of my season from a picks standpoint:


UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 12

Photo courtesy of Washington Post
That was my first pretty good week in a while, going 8-6. I cooled off significantly since my hot start, but I might be back on track for the home stretch. Thanksgiving week in the NFL is always one of my favorites, because there are two days of almost wall to wall football, instead of just one. As for those Thanksgiving Day games, I did alright. As always, I made my picks on Twitter:
I got the game right, and I was somewhat right about the next thing.
This game ended up being absolutely unwatchable, but not for the reasons I expected. The Lions got up big early, and continued to embarrass the Eagles for 60 minutes of destruction.
The Eagles certainly got the futility part down. As for the Lions, where was this all year? This team actually looks sneaky good, but they dug themselves too big of a hole to sniff the playoffs at this point, especially since their division has three good teams ahead of them.
This game is easiest summed up by my only tweet during it.
So yeah, I got that game wrong.
And now, the shocker of the day. I thought the Bears would keep it close, obviously, but I had no thoughts about them winning outright. What is up in Green Bay?

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

NFL Picks: Week 11

Photo courtesy of Huffington Post
I went 7-7 in Week 10, despite having a good feeling about the picks earlier in the day. Then some of the best teams in the league put up some weird performances, leading to three of my more upsetting losses. The Packers lost a game the Lions tried desperately to give away, but wouldn't have covered anyway because there's something seriously wrong with that team. Peyton Manning and Andy Dalton both turned into pumpkins last week, costing both of their teams games.

However, I already have a win in the bank for Week 11. I did not watch a second of this game, and I was fully expecting the Jags to find a way to let me down, but instead, they find themselves in good position to win the division.
Quick picks today because I've procrastinated on an essay for the past week and a half.

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.