Sunday, September 8, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 1

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It's that time of year again folks! Time for me to incorrectly predict some football games! I'm already off to a roaring start, because on Thursday Night, as I did last year with all Thursday Night games, I tweeted my pick. (Follow me, @WilliamBotchway, for that and much more.) I picked:
Ravens (+7.5) over BRONCOS. 
Oh you think that was enough? In 140 characters, I not only found a way to call out the oddsmakers for the line being so large in favor of the Broncos. It doesn't stop there, I followed it up with this. Not even the worst of my problems, as Julius Thomas put up 28 points on my fantasy bench.

Not a banner night for me.

But hey, after a pretty bad 125-133-4* record, compounded by the fact that I apparently can't count, seeing as I have 6 more games on my record than there are in an NFL regular season, it can't get that much worse, right? Remember, the Week 3 Fail Mary cost me a game and I'm only going to let go of that grudge now. Mostly because there's no reason for me to ever bring up my 2012 record again.

Onwards and upwards!

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

Patriots (-10) over BILLS. I feel terrible about this spread, because E.J. and C.J. scare me. There's a good chance that either they take the league by storm and score some serious points, or that the Bills squeak out some garbage time points. But, I just can't make that pick. How could I live with myself after the Pats win 38-10?

Bengals (+3) over BEARS. I think the Bengals are the better team, but I don't even feel that confident about this pick. The Bears are a lot better than most people are giving them credit for, and playing at home, it could be dangerous. Anyway, I say the Bengals win outright. Even if they don't a 1 or 2 point game is not too much to ask for. Is it? UPSET ALERT.

BROWNS (Pick'Em) over Dolphins.  Time for a sentence I never thought I would say: I think the Browns are the better team. Yeah, you just read that. In fact, I may have had them too low in my Power Rankings. I easily could have slid them all the way up to number 17. Anyway, at home, they should win. Let's go Weeden!!!

LIONS (-4) over Vikings. I think the Lions are going to have a pretty decent season, and playing at home, they should cover the spread.

COLTS (-10) over Raiders. The Raiders are putrid. That's all.

SAINTS (-3) over Falcons. I don't think that Saints will be any good this year, but in the return of Sean Payton, to borrow from Bill Simmons, the Saints will be in "Eff You Mode." I really don't know what to say, other than telling you that the Saints have been waiting over 16 months for this day. I can't see them losing.

Buccaneers (-3) over JETS. The Jets are bad, the Buccaneers may be bad as well, depending on Josh Freeman. But here's the thing, even if Freeman plays like Craig Krenzel, the Jets can't score any points, especially against this improved Bucs defense.

Titans (+7.5) over STEELERS. I don't think Pittsburgh is going to be that good, so I don't feel comfortable giving 7.5 points, even at home.

Seahawks (-2.5) over PANTHERS. Best team in football. Though I'm a bit scared because it's an early game on the east coast, I'm reassured by the strength of Seattle's defense.

Chiefs (-4) over JAGUARS. I don't care that they're playing at home, Blaine Gabbert is bad. He's just bad and nothing can help the Jags in this game. I think the Chiefs are going to the playoffs, and for that to happen, they need to take care of bad teams like this one. Even if the game is on the road.

Cardinals (+4.5) over RAMS. Partially going with a hunch here, and a slight hedge. Look, I think the Cards win this game, just because I might trust them a little moreso than the Rams. If they lose, I don't expect it to be by more than 4 points. I just don't. The Carson Palmer-Larry Fitzgerald connection gets off to a decent start here, stealing this one on the road. UPSET ALERT.

49ERS (-4.5) over Packers. The last time the Packers and 49ers played, Green Bay was absolutely flustered by Colin Kaepernick and the read option offense. They've had 8 months to prepare for this game. And so has Jim Harbaugh. Advantage: Harbaugh. The Packers are a good team, but the Niners are a matchup nightmare for them. Pretty much everything the Packers do right, the Niners have an answer for it. Green Bay's biggest weakness is probably run defense, and Kaepernick, Frank Gore, and LaMichael James are salivating, ready to pounce.

COWBOYS (-3) over Giants. I think the Cowboys finally end the Giants' reign of terror at JerryWorld. Why? Because this low spread was too enticing. I can't take the points with the road team when the teams are pretty much similar. Damn you Vegas for such a perfect line.

REDSKINS (-3) over Eagles. The Skins are going to absolutely kill the Eagles defense. And vice versa. I just trust the Redskins defense more. This game, and the Cowboys/Giants Sunday Night Game are definitely hitting the 30s, and maybe even the 40s in terms of points for both teams.

Texans (-3.5) over CHARGERS. The Texans are a far superior team. I have no inhibitions here.

This Week: 0-1

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