Week 3: Monday Night Football

Chicago Bears @ Washington Redskins, FedEx Field, 8:15 PM, ESPN (Redskins +5.5, O/U: 41.5)

The Bears should scare you.  Their defense surely should scare you because they’re pretty good but this offense should scare you as in anemic, hard to watch, lacking.  Trubisky has yet to throw a touchdown but has a pick.  He’s only accumulated 348 passing yards and averaging only 4.8 yards per attempt while only completing just 58% of his passes.  That means he’s relegated to dink and dunk passes and still can’t get the offense going.  The rushing game hasn’t been there either with only amassing 118 yards on 36 carries for 3.2 yards per rush between 3 backs.  The Redskins have an 0-2 record but given the 2 divisional juggernauts (Eagles week 1, Cowboys week 2), and how they weren’t necessarily blown out of either game, things aren’t looking too bad after losing Alex Smith late last year.  Keenum’s numbers look like his 1 really good year with the Vikings, completing 69% of his passes for 601 yards, 5 TD’s and no picks.  Terry McLaurin has been the early favorite target as he has 10 catches fro 187 yards and 2 TD’s.  The rushing game has yet to come through as Guice is back to being injured after week 1 and AP couldn’t get going last week either after being marked as a healthy scratch week 1.  Given the Redskins defense ranking 30th in points and yards allowed, this one might get ugly but the Bears might be on the losing side of this one when the clock hits 0 because of their inept offense.  Take the Redskins to cover in the under, Redskins 24-17.

2019 NFL Kickoff Week 1: Thursday Night Football Spread Pick/Prediction

Welcome to week one of the NFL’s 100th season!  These off-seasons seem to get longer and longer as the years go on but that’s only thanks to the 24/7 NFL news cycle.  It also gave me a long time to think about the very average follow up I had in 2018 (51%) to the successes of my 2017 season (56%).  Don’t worry, I’m refreshed, recharged and packing a big ol’ punch for this season.  There have been many dramatic stories around the league to keep us all busy during the summer that any normal fan would feel worn out before even a minute is played this year already, but there’s always something special about opening day.

From Le’Veon Bell signing with the Jets for less money than he sat out for/demanding from the Steelers, to Antonio Brown’s freezer burnt feet and helmet issues, Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon pulling the holdout card Bell made so famous, then Zeke signing a huge deal given the very thin market for dynamic backs and the Chargers telling Gordon to forget about signing a massive deal in LA and that he should seek a trade, to the sad retirement of one of the games top quarterbacks, Andrew Luck, just a few weeks before the season starts.  It has been a whirlwind with many changes and new names and faces in new places but we’ve made it.  The time is now and kickoff is here, let’s get after it!

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears, Soldier Field, 8:20 PM, NBC (Bears -3, O/U: 46.5):

We go into the opening day of the 100th year with the most storied rivalry in the league’s history. We got a glimpse of how great it is nearly a year ago when the then newly acquired Khalil Mack dominated the first half of the game and gave the Packers and their fans a scare when he hobbled Rodgers with a few hits and injured his knee.  Rodgers goes into the half, doses up on some major pain killers and comes out and blows up the Bears secondary and their 20 point lead to win 24-23 and then gave a hilarious post game interview, clearly high on pain meds mixed with the high of beating their fiercest division rival.  We will get much of the same tonight but hopefully with less knee torqueing on Rodgers since that plagued him most of last season (I know, I’m a Packers homer).

High Rodgers

This year the Bears are trying to build off of their 12-4, NFC North division champs season last year that catapulted them from a bottom 8 team to a playoff caliber team that ended in the playoffs with the ill fated Cody Parkey “double doink”. Most of the significant changes were the addition of Mack but also the offensive efficiency due to a coaching change.  The Bears would game-plan the scripts of their first few drives of each game pretty well in order to get games off to good starts and for Trubisky to build confidence.  Out of their 43 offensive touchdowns, 24 of them were in the first half (56%).  Their running game has something to prove and will have a challenge with having a younger/unproven backfield in which will more than likely split the workload between 3 different backs, at least at first.

The Packers will come to the season opener with a new coach Matt LaFleur, coaching staff, offense and have a young receiving corps lead by Davante Adams given the deductions over the last two seasons of mainstays Randall Cobb (Dallas Cowboys) and Jordy Nelson (retiring after spending last year in Oakland).  The Packers also discovered a running game in Aaron Jones last year before he was lost to the season with injury.  He is poised to bounce back this year, hopefully giving the Packers a 1,000 yard back again and continue on the TD tear he was on last year where he scored 8 TD’s in 7 games before his injury.  The Packers last 1,000 yard rusher was way back in 2013 and 2014 when Eddie Lacy squeaked over the mark in back to back years (1,178/1,139).  In Rodger’s 11 years as a starter, he’s only had 4 years with a 1,000 yard back.  Lastly, the Packers have invested in their defense through the draft and even picked up former Bear safety, Adrian Amos, in free agency.  It could be the Packers best defense since their Super Bowl win in 2010.

The Packers will catch the Bears off guard with the full playbook of the Packers offense being unveiled in a special rivalry meeting.  I may be a homer here but you also have to look at it as a matchup of QB’s as in, who would you take? Take the Packers to beat the Bears and cover in the over, Packers 27-20.

Week 2: Monday Night Football

Seattle at Chicago, 8:15 PM, ESPN, Chargers -3.5, O/U: 43)

West coast teams rarely to the east coast and do well, however, that only shows in 1pm games.  It’s Monday night football and these two teams are going to fight tooth and nail to not go 0-2 to start the season.  Wilson has done well on the road and traveling east as he’s thrown for at least two touchdowns in his last six road games.  He’s missing some weapons but was still productive last week after their departure and lack of protection from his line.

The Bears got off to a hot start against the Packers last week, forcing Rodgers out of the game midway through the second only to completely flutter in the second half after having a 20-0 lead going into the half.  Mack showed extremely productive early on and terrorized young quarterback, Kizer, who was filling in for Rodgers.  The Packer offensive line turned it around and Rodgers came out and torched the Bears defense for over 270+ yards.  Trubisky looked to be held back as he did most of last year and only ended up with just over 170 yards passing.

As the line stands now, Seahawks are getting +4.5.  You should absolutely take the Seahawks to cover and win (barely) in the under as both defenses will have the spotlight on them.  Seahawks 21-20.

Good luck and as always, #beatyourbookie

Week 6: Thursday Night Football

Welp, (that’s what these kids are saying nowadays right?), the Vikings came oh so close to covering for me last week to push me to an even week.  It would’ve been sweet to come back to you today to at least say, “still only one losing week so far this year”, but no.  Mitch-a-palooza had to play half decent for a rookie getting his first start on Monday night.  Kid can throw and move and throw on the move, wow!  He was hitting guys in the hands near the sidelines while running away from 300 pound guys trying to catch him as a late Monday night snack.  He could be the real deal for them.

Shockers of the week were road teams, Panthers, Jags, Seahawks, Ravens, who were all road dogs and won.  I tell ya, I can’t figure out the 1 o’clock and the Sunday night games.  That seems to be my Bermuda Triangle.  Just take a look, everywhere else I’m excellent:

ATS O/U ATS O/U
Thursday Night Sunday 1p
4-1 2-3 17-25-1 24-19
80% 40% 41% 56%
Sunday 4p   Sunday Night  
11-7 3-4 2-3 2-3
61% 43% 40% 40%
Monday Night   Primetime  (Thr/Sun/Mon)
4-1-1 3-2-1 10-5-1 7-8-1
80% 60% 66% 47%
Bookend Nights (Thr/Mon) Overall
8-2-1 5-5-1 38-37-2 42-34-1
80% 50% 51% 55%

Listen, I don’t want to tell you to stay away from my picks but if you look at my Sunday 1pm games and/or my Sunday night games, please be skeptical at best about them.  On to tonight’s game (where by the way, I’m 80% winners for the year):

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers, 8:25p (Panthers -3, O/U: 45.5)

This is probably the first matchup of the year on Thursday night that pits 2 hot teams against each other, with both teams being 4-1.

The Panthers have seen a resurgence from Cam Newton in the last 2 weeks.  300 yard games, well over 70% completions, 6 TD’s/1 INT.  I must admit, I sold on Cam early and didn’t do my research.  In the last 5 seasons, of Cam’s 6 plus in the NFL, Cam has had a losing record and then followed it with a winning record.  He’s gone from touchdowns in the teens to the 20’s and 30’s in the following year.  There’s something about Cam that must feed off of the doubters because he’s having a career year throwing the ball and I couldn’t have been more wrong about him.

I sold a bit early because I saw the super bowl slump follow him into this year’s first 3 games and couldn’t take any more.  18 games of poor quarterback play with big weapons and he only managed about a TD per game, that’s not winning you jack in fantasy.

Cut to the Panther’s defense who is 3rd in the league going against the Eagles 3rd ranked offense.  It’ll be a showdown to see who will prevail.  Wentz, who has an astounding 3/1 TD/INT ratio, is having a breakout year and has the league buzzing.  He’s big, can move, strong arm, basically everything you look for in a franchise QB, he’s got IT.  The Panthers have one of the leagues worst turnover differentials at -4 (28th) while the Eagles have the leagues 10th best at +2.

This should be a close one and the big selling point for me is the Eagles play on the road.  They’ve gone into Washington against a good team with a top 10 defense and won, into the NFL’s best team and top 2 hardest stadiums to play in on the road (Chiefs) and lost by 7, and went to LA against the Chargers and came away with a 2 point victory.

Carolina’s success recently has been on the road and when home, they were hard to watch.  Yes, Cam has looked great in his last 2 starts and he may do well this week but dink and dunk passes aren’t going to win you games against the Eagles who can really push the ball down the field in chunks.  I consider the Eagles to be either the 2nd or 3rd best team in the NFL right now but have Carolina lingering between 8-10 only because of their play the last 2 weeks.

Don’t get too high on Cam just yet (yes, I’m still a bit skeptical with no Olsen and Benjamin 3rd on the team in catches), the Eagles have been a team of consistency this year and that speaks more to the composure of a team rather than hot and cold weeks that Cam has given the last year and a half.  Take the Eagles as road dogs to cover and I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’ll win in the over, 27-24.