By Des Boodam
Last week was bad… like really bad and this game can be cruel, because the week prior, gave us a glimmer of hope. In Vegas got their head kicked in and we had some newbies at the top of the weekly leader board. The contest makes ZERO promises that this stuff is going to be easy, and Vegas for one second doesn’t pretend that they don’t know what they are talking about. The suits picking these spreads and over/unders… they know… and their seemingly infinite knowledge means that each and every pick could be painstakingly agonizing… Unless of course, you have an angle. The World Series of Handicapping contest giving the gamer every opportunity to have their own identity and play their game while making their NFL bets.
Let’s take a look at the field and see if we can all get on the same page.
I’m going to spin it this week and give you a fun factoid about each game. Then you can decide how you want to roll it up when you make your picks. You can go your own way, adopt 7 plays from this list or pick and choose.
The world is your World Series of Handicapping oyster and all NFL picks are at your disposal.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Across the pond for a neutral site game – the Eagles are 1-7 against the spread as an underdog with four straight losses, but the last five games in London featuring the Jaguars have hit the over. The irony here for me, is that I feel like the Jaguars are reeling big time on both sides of the ball and are going to get obliterated… now I’m super nervous and fade this game altogether – I don’t want to fight against the numbers.
CLEVELAND BROWNS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS
The Browns are 5-1 against the spread as underdogs (which is pretty much every game) and 4-0 against fellow division mates. Again I thought the Steelers would dominate meeting number two unlike meeting their Week 1 match.
DENVER BRONCOS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs lead the NFL by going 7-0 against the spread to start the season. This is rear feat indeed, but I believe things will level out for the Chiefs after all their QB is young and green, and the weather hasn’t turned yet… the season is young and there’s a long way to go. Also in case you are expecting a shootout the Chiefs have hit the under in seven of their last eight home games.
NEW YORK JETS @ CHICAGO BEARS
The Bears have been great against the spread at home over the last two years finishing 7-3-1 and are in a prime spot to dominate the Jets in this one. Chicago is -8 in this one, which seems high, but the numbers don’t lie. I feel like this game is going to be low scoring and gross to watch with weather factoring in.
WASHINGTON REDSKINGS @ NEW YORK GIANTS
I have no idea what to make of the Giants. They are stacked with playmakers on offense, and their was solid before the mass exodus via the fire sale aka trade. I do feel like the Giants are going to win one of these games sooner than later thus ripping out the hearts of handicappers everywhere. In the last 18 years when these two teams play the under has hit 14 times when the game is in East Rutherford. So the under it is… both defenses are solid and both have offenses that may be inept enough to make this game real ugly.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ DETROIT LIONS
The Lions at -3 are 5-0 against the spread in their last five, and I see them making it a sixth straight. I think Matt Patricia makes the necessary adjustments to shut down the Seahawks who are coming across the country in what will amount to a pretty meaningless game.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS
The Buccaneers have been terrible against the spread in the 14 games where Jameis gets the start. I’m smelling another Bengals win as the Bucs have really been terrible this entire season. This game has shootout all over it as well so I’m catching the over on this if I play.
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
The Raven’s D is much better than the Eagles D, and they are going to give Cam Newton trouble. Joe Flacco and company are not great and will struggle mightily to score as well. Both teams are crushing the under in their respective games this and the Ravens are 5-0 in the last five games.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
I like Andrew Luck and Colts to snatch a road W in this one. The Raiders have not had an outright win as an under dog in 11 games. That’s crazy, almost crazy enough to hit the over, which Andrew Luck led teams can to.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS vs ARIZONA CARDINALS
The Road team is generally the victor (against the spread) as the last five meetings have yielded results that support this. I’m staying away from the over/under play in this one.
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ LOS ANGELES RAMS
Aaron Rodgers has played in a professional game as the underdog only three times in his entire career. He’s done well in these games, and that’s why I love the Packers to cover in this one. He’s Aaron Rodgers.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
The Over is 7-0-1 the last 8 times these two teams have met. This is all I need to know… and I’ll see you on the flip side…
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ BUFFALO BILLS
The Bills have done well covering big spreads at home and so this game I’m afraid for the Patriots as this will not end well. Being a Monday night game I’m going to sit back and enjoy this one as I believe Vegas will convince many to play the Patriots here. The Bills Defense isn’t bad, so I’m going Buffalo, if I’m going, and that’s a big “IF”… good luck gamers.