Week 1 Recap: 60%+ Winners Baby!

Week 1 has come and gone with some pretty shocking results and injuries.

The first week of the NFL season for fans is an exciting time, holiday like for most of America.  Take it from me, I’m a huge hockey guy and I don’t get this excited over the NHL’s opening week of the season.  However you celebrated, there is always this massive expectation of upsets, blowouts, and key injuries.

Thursday had all of them rolled into one game.  Cheesy banner hoisting celebration, shocking Vegas point spread of 9, shocking upset from the underdog, key injuries from Danny Amendola’s concussion and Eric Berry’s torn Achilles, and the game was basically a blowout.

Sunday was much of the same, Ravens blowout/shutout the Bengals, Jags shockingly blowout the Texans, Rams took the Colts to the woodshed, and we saw the loss of one of the top 2 best running backs in the game, David Johnson, get a dislocated wrist which will more than likely have him out 2-3 months.

We saw a bunch of rookies take control of their respected positions and make key differences in games, TJ Watt, Dalvin Cook, Kareem Hunt, Kenny Golladay, Tarik Cohen, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Haason Reddick, and Cooper Kupp.

Wow, what a first week!

Now to my predictions.  I shocked myself.  I pulled out some close ones and some really caught me off guard but to have 61.5% winners ATS and 64.28% winners with the O/U for the first week?  I’ll take that a run with it.  I’m a genius, football psychic, I have the crystal ball of the NFL and baby, I’m just handing out free cash left and right.

The “what if’s”.  I was a late Tarik Cohen TD and a blocked Chargers field goal from having those pushes as winners (66%) and if Forbath doesn’t miss his extra point, my O/U’s would’ve been the same (66%).

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

How did Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5 do?  He stated it was the best opening week since he’s been doing it.  He went 4-1 picking the Eagles (-1), Ravens (+3), Lions (+2), and Packers (-3).  Obviously the 49ers (+5.5) were the ones that prevented him from a perfect record to start.

Come back Thursday for the tomorrow nights matchup and prediction.

Monday Night Football

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings, 7:10p (Vikings -3, O/U 48)

AP coming home, with a new team.  Saints running game has not been all that great since Drew Brees has come to town.  With AP and Ingram in the backfield, the load isn’t all on Brees’ right arm.  Given the Saints addition of the Vikes former franchise star, the Vikes still have that staunchy defense and Bradford has brought some consistency to their air game since Favre retired after the 2010 season.  Brees will be missing Brandon Cooks badly but he is still great and can make something out of that offense however I feel the loss is bigger than the gain.  Yes, I’m aware that AP lead the league in rushing after his major knee injury 3 years ago but he’s 32 and now in a high powered passing offense with Ingram taking touches from him.  Expect the Vikings to play well.  Vikings win 24-20

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, 10:20p (Broncos -3, O/U 43)

Not much has really changed with the Chargers other than a city change and oh yeah, Keenan Allen is back and healthy again.  It seems as if he’s had some horrible season ending injuries the last bunch of years but when he’s healthy, the Chargers are hard to beat.  That being said, their going into Denver.  This defense is still mostly staffed with players who helped get them to the Super Bowl a few years back.  Don’t count out the Chargers defensive front, lead by Joey Bosa.  They made their presence known last year.  Don’t expect anything less from them.  Denver still doesn’t have a formidable QB which spells trouble for Thomas and Sanders in the fantasy realm but CJ Anderson is giving them another weapon to use.  There isn’t an expectation that there are going to be any major scoring but I do expect it to be over the 43 point O/U marker.  Chargers win 24-21


NFL Week 1: Season Opener

Welcome back to another NFL season!

This year, it just feels like it is going to be a great one.  The draft came and went with lots of quality depth for the running back and wide receiver positions.  Fantasy draft season hits and you’re suddenly thrown into the conundrum of taking a seasoned vet or one of the 4 rookie backs that could start and make huge impacts?  And talk about depth at receiver!  Outside of the top crop of players guaranteed to vie for the 200-250 point mark in most PPR leagues, there is some amazing depth there for your WR2-4!

Then pre-season hits. You’re excited, waiting for the first big crack of pads and game action regardless if they are guys who will be cut in 4 weeks (and Hardknocks).  Football is back!  A couple key injuries here and there and then you’re wondering why Greg held the damn draft so early in the pre-season…….but you don’t care because it gives you an excuse to play GM for your team and scour stats of the waiver wire players for that undrafted diamond in the rough stud!

Man, what a time of the year…

Fast forward to the first game of the season, Chiefs @ Patriots.  Pats -9, O/U 48.5:

Rule of thumb for the past 15 years or so has been, don’t bet against the Pats at home, EVER!  Chances are, out of 8 games, you’ll be in the black, handedly, every year.  Their ATS coverage at home since 2003 is amazing (75-54-4, 58.1% covers).  The only team better than them is Seattle 73-46-4 (61.3% covers), and those figures include playoffs.  Needless to say, SHOCKER! I mean, the only thing not shocking about that game was that the Chiefs were going to cover the 9 points Vegas gave them.  They had to have been reminded by that fact all week and possibly helped create a “chip on the shoulder” mentality that they weren’t being respected coming into this game.  Let’s be honest though, we know the Pats are REALLY good at home especially when it’s a feature game, but 9 POINTS!?!?!  That’s a spread you reserve for the Pats/Jags or the Pats/Browns, not the Chiefs.  I figured they’d cover but still lose…..because, well…..it’s the Pats at home.  I couldn’t have been more wrong about the final score.

Covers.com had the game at Pats -9, O/U of 48.5. I figured that the Pats secondary would make it difficult for Smith to be relied on solely, so I planned on his usual 1 maybe 2 TD’s through the air and maybe 250 yards, effectively like a pro vet QB, managing the game well.  I expected Hunt to make a small impact in his first game, maybe 70 yards and a score.  I expected the Pats to have their run game stall because of the Chiefs stingy defensive front and I expected Tom would exploit the defense on a handful of plays to keep the Pats ahead with his numerous air attack weapons.

Not once could I have predicted Hunt tearing off 148 yards on the ground with another 98 through the air along with 3 TD’s, (dramatic pause), ALL after losing a fumble on his first ever carry! Nor did I see Smith tossing for 368 and 4 scores while completing 80% of his passes.  No one, however, could’ve seen this coming, Tom Brady completing just 44% of his throws and end up with 0 TD’s, (another dramatic pause) 0!!!!  They only averaged 3.5 yards rushing as a team, mostly thanks to Gillislee and White (side shocker no one saw coming, Gillislee having 3 rushing TD’s).

So the Chiefs defense did what I thought they’d do but the pass rush against Brady was alive last night!  Brady had a bunch of time in the pocket for most of the night despite the 3 sacks but he felt the pressure amount the longer he held the ball (which was evident on a play where no one was all that close to him and he flinched in the pocket, ducking down as if to brace for a sack and quickly stood straight back up to fire an incompletion).  The Chiefs did all of this while amassing 15 penalties for 139 yards to which the Pats got 4 first downs from and set up a few close TD’s at the Chief’s goal line.

First game, in the books, complete shocker.  Expect a big bounce back next week since that usually happens when the Pats lose bad.

Check back Sunday morning for a preview of Sunday’s games complete with spread and over/unders from Covers.com along with my predictions for each game along with Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5.

Week 5: Thursday Night Divisional Matchup

Well they say all good things must come to an end. My fantastic 2 week run at handicapping was amazing and I enjoyed sharing that with you but it crashed and burned starting with last Thursday’s Redskins terrible loss. I did however, tell you that the bad streak was over and another good streak will start with Monday Nights game and I didn’t lie. It was known going into the game that the Pats offensive line was going to have trouble and that was an understatement. Brady was held for the 3rd straight game to less than 250 yards and was hit a lot! I hope you’re still believing in me because I still hold an astounding 61% winners against the spread. The over/under predictions, not so much. Now, on to the Week 5 Thursday game…

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers,
TV: 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS, NFL Network. LINE: Packers -8. O/U: 48:

Last week Aaron Rodgers told Packer fans to R-E-L-A-X and he delivered a great outcome for them. The Packers offense was on point, wasting only 1 drive (Missed FG) in all of their 7 drives total. That is amazing in itself. 3 drives were over 60 yards which is average but they also capitalized on their turnovers. They had 2 interceptions against Cutler and returned them at least 40 yards into Bears territory and walked away with 2 TD’s. However, the defense showed that they still have major holes to cover up. The defense let up 33 first downs and almost 500 yards! The rushing game alone allowed 235 yards. If you take the 2 turnovers away and the resulting scores, this game is a TD difference. But it’s hard to deny a pass game as on point as the Packers. Rodgers was 22/28 (78%) for 302 yards and 4 TD’s. Weather may play a part in this game so look for the dismal running game to get more looks. Lacy hasn’t been great, only averaging 3 yards per carry but has only touched the ball an average of 13 times per game, which is very low for a starting RB.

As for the Vikings, early indications for tonight’s game is that Teddy Bridgewater will not play since they will need to rely on him for the rest of the year, they want his ankle to heal properly. But wow, did they pull out a stunner against the Falcons. The Vikes held the Falcons on 7 of their 11 drives to nothing. They still allowed 5 drives over 40 yards (4 being TD’s) but didn’t allow them to get back into by continuing to score on offense. They scored on 7 of their 11 drives, 4 TD’s but managed to get and stay within FG range to rack up some more points. That says more to the fact that the Falcons didn’t know how to stop Teddy. That usually is a case in sports with new/rookie players, there just isn’t enough game film on them to study tendencies and such. That and the Falcons really are like the Saints, terrible on the road. Either way, their defense hasn’t been great in recent years and could be the reason for not making long playoff runs. The Falcons defense allowed 7 of 11 drives to go over 40 yards with an average drive of 49 yards. Conclusion: Teddy Bridgewater could be the real deal! This week, with Ponder starting, they will go right back to mediocrity. They won’t give the same air threat that Teddy gives but the ground game will be all of their highlights.

The Packers vs. the run, is the worst in the league, allowing 176 yards per game, and are going up against the leagues 8th best rushing game in the Vikings. Surprising since AP isn’t the one doing the damage. Matt Asiata has been very effective on the ground and catching passes out of the backfield. Don’t sleep on the tandem though, Jerick McKinnon has carried some of AP’s load as well, almost as many yards as Asiata with almost half the carries, averaging almost twice the yards per carry however, that’s all from last game. I’m just saying be aware of the run game. The line has moved from the Packers being favored at -9, to -7.5 to now being -8. Don’t let the line fool you. Christian Ponder is the last guy the Vikings would want under center. He really hasn’t played well since coming into the league and AP took away a lot of negative attention from him because AP was so great.

I think the Packers win big at home against the Vikes. Take the Packers to win with the points -8 in the Over, because I think the Packs defense will give up tons of yardage on the ground but Rodgers seems to have found his groove with both Cobb and has never really been off with Nelson and will rack up some serious air yards if the weather stays fair. Packers 38-20.

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