|Photo courtesy of Grantland|
I didn't really do as much of a preseason deep dive as I usually do, because the first few weeks of college life have been very, very busy, but I'm still as excited as always to get the season underway. I want to see how the Jets are going to anger me in 2015, how the 49ers recover from a hellacious offseason, whether or not Odell Beckham, Jr. is of this species, and to see what incredible mistake Roger Goddell is going to make this year.
Also, being that it's Sunday again, it means it's time for my picks. I went 117-135-4 during a very frustrating regular season and 5-6 during the playoffs. I just didn't have it last year, and I'm already off to a bad start after one game this season:
The pick was going swimmingly, until Antonio Brown caught a stupid garbage time score with two seconds left to cut the lead to exactly seven points and lead to a push. I easily should have started off the year with a win, but I guess I can't have nice things.Football is back. My pick for tonight: PATRIOTS (-7) over Steelers. Picks column to come on Sunday— William Botchway (@WilliamBotchway) September 11, 2015
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.
BEARS (+7) over Packers. Outside of the fact that I think the Bears are actually a little better than people are giving them credit for, seven points is a lot for a home team to be getting, so I'll take the points and hide while Aaron Rodgers throws five touchdowns and ends the game in the second quarter.
Chiefs (+1) over J.J. WATT. A slight road dog in a game between two teams I don't have a great read on. I usually wouldn't make a pick like this so early in the season, before I knew how each of the teams looked, but I'm feeling adventurous this morning. I just feel a little bit better about the Chiefs than I do about the Texans. UPSET ALERT.
JETS (-3.5) over Browns. The IK Enemkpali-less Jets are going to start the season off with a win. In fact, I'm a little bit upset that this line is even this low, but I can't get too mad at opening week lines, especially when both teams only kind of has a quarterback.
BILLS (+2.5) over Colts. The Bills are going to be extremely fun to watch this year. While I don't think they're going to be amazing, they will be competitive, which leads me to this pick. Rex Ryan's defense will stop Indy when it counts, and Buffalo will start the season off on the right foot, even if Tyrod Taylor struggles. UPSET ALERT.
Dolphins (-3.5) over WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM. Washington is a dumpster fire, which is really the only justification necessary for this pick.
JAGUARS (+3) over Panthers. Come on Jaguars. Let's do this.
RAMS (+4) over Seahawks. This is a divisional game between two defensive minded teams, which means a low score, and less of a chance for Seattle to pull away. Seattle wins in a rather close one.
CARDINALS (-2.5) over Saints. I would have considered taking the Cardinals giving 2.5 points in New Orleans, which means this was a very easy choice for me.
CHARGERS (-3) over Lions. Much like the last game, this is a case of a road team getting far too much respect from the oddsmakers because it's Week 1. San Diego will roll.
BUCCANEERS (-3) over Titans. This should be everyone's favorite game of the week for a few reasons. Of course, the top two picks will be facing off against each other, but on the defensive side of the ball, each team has a monster tackle who will make the opposing rookie suffer. Less than stellar offensive line play on either side only adds to the fun. Jameis Winston and Gerald McCoy will outduel Marcus Mariota and Jurrell Casey simply because this game is in Tampa.
Bengals (-3) over RAIDERS. It's too early in the season for the Raiders to pull off a random win against a possible playoff team.
BRONCOS (-4.5) over Ravens. This line is very upsetting. It's too low for me to pick against the Broncos in Denver, but it's also too high for me to feel secure about it. I'm sticking with Denver, but I don't feel great about it.
COWBOYS (-6.5) over Giants. 'Boys win by a touchdown, Giants fans wonder why Odell can't play linebacker, both safety positions, and offensive line.
FALCONS (+2.5) over Eagles. These teams are not so obviously far apart that the Eagles are favored by almost a field goal in Atlanta, so I have to go with the home dog here.
Vikings (-1) over 49ERS. This line feels about right, because the Vikings are clearly the better team, but the Niners aren't terrible enough to be a big underdog at home, especially Week 1. I'm in love with the Vikings this year, so this is just the first of sixteen times I'm picking them.
Check back at 4:30, 7:30, and 11:30 to see what I was wrong about.