Sunday, September 22, 2013

NFL Picks: Week 3

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The Rams almost pulled off one of the most miraculous backdoor covers in history. Down 24-3 at halftime, they ended up losing 31-24 in a game in which the spread was 6 points. 

That was balanced out by the fact that the Ravens, who struggled mightily all day, and were down 6-0 at halftime, somehow covered the 7 point spread that they had no business covering. They played horribly, but then again, they were facing Brandon Weeden. 

As for this week, I'm already off to a roaring start after I tweeted by Thursday Night pick (@WilliamBotchway) just before the game:

Chiefs (+3.5) over EAGLES. 

For the third straight week, I found myself backing the Chiefs, as well as taking the Thursday night underdog for the third straight week. I'm now 2-1 in both cases. This puts me at 17-15-1 on the year. I'm treading water...

UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS. 
BENGALS (+3) over Packers. You're already calling me crazy, and I'm not even 200 words in. In my preseason power rankings, I listed the Bengals third and the Packers sixth. The Bengals have yet to live up to that title, and the Packers should have been moved up at least another spot, but with this game being in Cincinnati, it should be closer than you would think. 

Last week Green Bay destroyed Washington (I'll get to them later, boy was that a performance) after barely losing to the Niners in week one. So far, the Bengals barely lost to the Bears while beating up on the Steelers last week. 

The Packers have been much more impressive so far, but I think Cincy gets back on track this week at home and this upset will put them on the map, and people will start to take notice. UPSET ALERT

Rams (+4) over COWBOYS. Back on the St. Louis bandwagon this week, they should give the Cowboys a tough time. I believe that their defense can slow down Tony Romo and Dez Bryant just enough to win it. UPSET ALERT

TITANS (-2) over Chargers. Now this is a game that truly confounds me. The Titans have been decent so far, but it doesn't really make sense to me. All of a sudden, they are a real playoff contender in the weak AFC. If Jake Locker gets better as the season progresses, they could make some noise. As for the Chargers, it looks like Philip Rivers is back to his 2008 form. I don't know what happened to him over the past few years, or what has happened over the past two weeks, but I don't know what to make of him going forward. So, when in doubt...home team!

Browns (+8) over VIKINGS. It doesn't make sense for me to pick the Browns. None at all. They just traded Trent Richardson, and are replacing him with Willis McGahee. Brandon Weeden is out. Oh wait, maybe it does make sense! Josh Gordon is returning in this game, after being among the best big play receiver in the NFL last year in his rookie season. Also, Brandon Weeden is terrible. Maybe Brian Hoyer is better than Weeden. I'd hope so because Weeden is, well...Weeden. Also, while I'm on the subject of bad quarterbacks, Christian Ponder is bad at football, and quarterbacks who are bad at football don't cover 8 point spreads. Unless you're Terrelle Pryor. 

Buccaneers (+8.5) over PATRIOTS. Time for the obligatory I still believe in Josh Freeman because I am a stubborn idiot. Come on Josh Freeman. Keep making me look like stupid! Also, I don't trust the Pats to blow anyone out with that offense. If there was ever a candidate, it would be the Bucs. But you know, FREEMAN!!!!!!!

Cardinals (+8.5) over SAINTS. Vegas has officially fallen in love with the Saints. they are not covering. It's not happening. Trust me. 

Lions (Pick'Em) over Washington Semi-Professional Football Team. Oh my God. Washington is a disaster. The NFC East is a disaster. I don't see any teams in that division getting over 9 wins, and the winner could very well be 7-9. Maybe even 6-10. Just tell me, is there a team in that division that gives you any level of comfort? What would the spread be if anyone in this division faced the Seahawks? I say Seahawks (-7)...on the ROAD. Yes, that means Seahawks (-13) if they were playing at home, and Seahawks (-10) if on a neutral field. And guess what, I'm taking the Seahawks in that game. Take some time to think about the Cowboys, WS-PFT, Giants, and Eagles. The possible outcomes for this year range from being absolutely horrid to being absolutely mediocre. That's the ceiling for every team in this division, absolutely mediocre. 

End rant. 

As for Washington, RGIII should not be on the field. He's obviously still hurt, which is why he throws off his front foot all the time, and therefore is much less effective. This is pointless. He's not helping the team, and all he's doing is further risking injury. He should sit out until his knee is fine. I'm completely serious when I say this, they are better off starting Captain Kirk Cousins until RGIII feels comfortable enough to plant his damn back foot. 

Don't even get me started on this defense. If they put together another awful performance, I'm downgrading their team name once again next week. 

PANTHERS (+2) over Giants. Yet another questionable line. The Giants shouldn't be favored over anyone. Both teams are 0-2, with the Giants coming off putrid performances against the Cowboys and Broncos, while the Panthers have been at least competitive against the Seahawks and Bills. The Giants will be handing the ball off to Brandon Jacobs and his 0.6 yards per carry, David Wilson and his 2.6 yards per carry and 0.14 fumbles per carry, and of course Da'Rel Scott and his 2.5 yards per carry. Against this very good Carolina front seven. How do you spell dizaztur? 

Oh, found it:

David Wilson's self-confidence. 

I think that's how you spell it...

Panthers win. UPSET ALERT.

RAVENS (+3) over Texans. Both of these teams have greatly disappointed me so far. All of a sudden, the Ravens are relying very heavily on Marlon Brown to carry a huge chunk of this passing attack. Ray Rice is out, but I think Bernard Pierce is pretty good, so that shouldn't be too big of an issue. 

As for the Texans, they barely scraped by the past two weeks needing a throwback Norv Turner era-level meltdown by San Diego and overtime to beat the Titans. I think their luck runs out. I trust neither team, so I'm grabbing the points and running far, far away. You know what? Before I run, I have to make a stupid decision. Ravens will win. There, I've now guaranteed that the Texans are winning this game by 76 points because I can't control my fingers. UPSET ALERT.

DOLPHINS (-1) over Falcons. Good, Vegas smartened up on this one. Are the Dolphins the better team? Maybe, especially with Roddy White out. The Falcons offensive line has not been very impressive in pass protection so far, something that Cameron Wake and Dion Jordan love to hear. This is going to be an interesting one. 

JETS (-1) over Bills. I will have a full preview of this game up in half on hour. Stay tuned for that one. Basically, I think the Jets defense is so much better than the Bills's defense that it makes up for the offensive disadvantage. 

49ERS (-9.5) over Colts. I seriously thought about this. Then I stopped. Terrelle Pryor had 13 rushing attempts for 112 yards against the Colts in Week 1. Try and convince me that Colin Kaepernick does not exceed that 8.62 yards per carry average. He's definitely going to shred this defense. Shred! Drew Luck in garbage time might lead to a backdoor cover, but against this Niners defense I don't see it being that close. Last Sunday night doesn't really worry me too much.

SEAHAWKS (-18.5) over Jaguars. This line was -20 a couple of days ago, and I said to myself, I can't take the Seahawks. I can't. I can't ask any team to cover a 20 point spread. But 18.5! That's a whole new ballgame. This is the best team in football against the worst team. The score should probably be 62-0. The scary part is, that's entirely possible. Throw in the fact that Maurice Jones-Drew probably isn't playing. The carnage. And the Seahawks are probably going to win 31-13, and I'm going to punch my wall.

Bears (Pick'Em) over STEELERS. The Steelers are bad. 

Raiders (+16) over BRONCOS. Yeah, I know, the Broncos have been blowing everybody out. But the Raiders aren't the worst team in the league, and maybe, just maybe, Terrelle Pryor catches Denver's defense by surprise. Also, the Ryan Clady injury is huge. I refuse to take the favorites on two spreads of at least -16. 

Last Week: 8-8
This Week: 1-0
Season: 17-15-1

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