NFL Week 1: Monday Night Football

Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 7:10 PM, ESPN (Saints -6.5, O/U: 52.5)

The Texans made some moves this offseason to help Lamar Miller and the rushing game and it proved necessary as Miller is lost this season before the preseason ended to a knee injury. They traded for Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde, who are a good enough tandum to be effective enough. They also valued Watson’s blindside (Tunsil) more than a second elite pass rusher (Clowney). The Saints had back to back disappointing losses in the playoffs to end their season, last year on a brutal non call PI. Not a bunch changed on their roster but with Murray replacing Ingram and Cook coming in for a hole at TE coming off of a great year with Oakland should keep their offense on track. Saints end a 5 year opening week winless drought by winning but take the Texans to cover in the over, Saints 31-27.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 10:20 PM, ESPN (Raiders +3, O/U: 42.5)

The Broncos have been waiting for years and finally, they have someone to lead their offense in Flacco. Philip Lindsay is back 100% from his broken wrist in the last game of last year, building off an amazing performance as an undrafted rookie. Flacco will have two great young receivers in Sutton and Hamilton to throw to as well as veteran Sanders. The defense pretty much stayed the same, should continue to dominate. The Raiders were mired by the AB drama between the frostbitten feet, helmet issues and GM/fines/contract issues, they still showed on HBO’S “Hard Knocks” that they had still worked hard despite all of that and played fairly well fitting their pre season games. Impressive undrafted rookie Kellan Doss comes back from his week on the Jaguars practice squad to sign a decent deal to be on the 52 man roster to fill in for AB’s spot. He will see plenty of targets after his impressive pre season. Josh Jacobs was drafted to be the feature back for the offense and from what he showed in his limited carries in the pre season, we’re in for a treat. I may be a bit high on them but take the Raiders to cover in the upset win in the under, Raiders 21-20.

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 11: Monday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20p, ESPN (Rams -3, O/U: 64)

This game has been circled by all fans since week 4 when these two teams have been on fire, turning out tons of points each week. No it’s not in Mexico City thanks to a rump shaking Shakira concert. If you think that will slow up the guys, think twice. The Chiefs were spending time in Denver to get their bodies used to the similar altitude that Mexico City would’ve had.

Mahomes and Goff have nearly identical numbers other than touchdowns (Mahomes 31, Goff 22) and the Chiefs have scored the most points each game on average, in the NFL. Similarly, the Rams have out paced “The Greatest Show in Turf” in most offensive categories this season. They will be without stud Cooper Kupp for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL from last week but don’t think it’ll hinder Goff too much.

This is going to be like a Madden game on easy. I’m predicting massive scoring, mostly through the air. The Rams pass rush will have their hands full chasing around Mahomes. Take the Chiefs to cover in the over (that’s right, I said over 64 points), Chiefs 42-36.

#beatyourbookie

Week 4: Thursday Night Football

Minnesota at L.A. Rams, 8:20p, NFLN (Rams -7, O/U: 49.5)

This past Sunday, The Vikes got absolutely embarrassed at home by rookie Josh Allen. I mean, he literally leapt over their best linebacker with ease. The Bills took the opening kickoff and then drove the field 75 yards to a touchdown. Kirk Cousins didn’t help his teams cause or confidence by having 2 sacks fumbles that lead to 10 more points and a Bills 17-0 lead after the first. A good team being embarrassed one week basically means that they get revenge the next however it will be very tough to do so when going on the road against one of the best defenses and one of the best offenses in the league.

The Rams are on fire this year, picking up right where they left off from last year. Granted, they started off with a few softballs with the Raiders and Cardinals but had a bit of a test against a team that’s been a better road team than a home team, in the Chargers. The Rams ultimately beat them and covered the spread. Goff and his numerous weapons have gelled well with McVay’s playbook and they don’t seem to show any signs of slowing down, averaging 34 points/game on offense and only 12/game on defense.

Short week, big spread to cover but the Bills defense isn’t nearly as good as the Vikings and you see how they played in Minnesota last week. Expect the Rams to learn from what they saw Sunday and pressure Cousins all night. Take the Rams to cover in the win, in the over, Rams 31-21.

Week 10: Thursday Night Football

Week 9 wasn’t quite as “coachable” as I thought but we technically still didn’t have a losing week, going 6-6-1.  Shocks of last week were the Bills (embarrassing actually), the Ravens, the Bengals coming out flatter than flat, the Chiefs and Dolphins actually keeping up with an NFL team.  Basically all of my losses and the push were shocks.  Some road favorites were some of those losses which are tougher covers.  Hard week but we have another good one brewing starting with tonight’s game.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, 8:25p (Cardinals +6, O/U: 40)

New addition to the offensive line for the Seahawks, Duane Brown, was adventurous but he improved the line from weeks ago.  It was adventurous due to the fact that he had a few penalties along with the rest of the team, a season high 16.  Those penalties, a ridiculous number mind you, helped keep the Redskins close and in the end, Cousins capitalized and won the game for them being as accurate as ever.  Wilson nearly pulled off a comeback on his own, striking hard and fast down the field but ultimately leaving too much time on the clock.  The Seahawks still have a staunch defense and can eat up the Cardinals given their lack of an arm under center which will be a difference maker.

The Cardinals made a smart move a few weeks back in picking AP up.  In 3 starts, 2 of them have seen him carry the ball 25+ times for 130+ yards in each game.  It looks like the AP of old and he has to be given Stanton, his hapless quarterback.  Stanton showed some accuracy late in the game last week but ultimately was just mediocre.  Fitzgerald was se I effective but with 5 catches for just 70 yards, expect him to continue being the lead receiver but in a dink and dunk offense.

Look for the Seahawks to take out some aggression this week, rectifying last weeks bad loss at home (which is usually a guarantee in Seattle).  The Cardinals can run all they want but if the Hawks stack the box, I don’t see AP getting much going (even though I would like him too since he’s starting on my fantasy team).  Take the Seahawks to win in the under, Seahawks 24-14.

 

Week 9: Monday Night Football

You live and die by half points.  Yesterday, I died by one.  The Titans were a half point away from making yesterday a little better.  But hey, check out that Colts game!  Tom Savage didn’t look good early on this season and he didn’t look any better yesterday.  Two shocks yesterday was how exploited the Broncos defense was and that the Jaguars played so well without Leonard Fournette.  Tough one tonight, lets look at it:

Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 8:30p (Packers +2, O/U: 42.5)

Detroit comes into this game with one of the worst yards per play in the league and the Packers have to try and rekindle their offense in the wake of Aaron Rodger’s injury.  Brett Hundley had 2 weeks to better understand the offense and get into rhythm with the first team offense.  The Lions have had their usual passing game but they haven’t had a 100 yard rusher since Reggie Bush was in town in 2013 and have only one once in Green Bay since 1992 and it came at the hands of Matthew Stafford in 2013.  Aaron Jones has been a surprise diamond in the rough find for Green Bay, who has been struggling to find consistency in the backfield for years.  I still like Green Bay getting +2 at home against an offense that can’t put the ball in the endzone inside the opponents redzone.  This game either puts me at 50% or 58% so it’s important that I dig down deep on this one.  Take the Packers to cover in the over, Packers 24-21.

 

Week 9 Sunday Games & Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5

Well Thursday night was an embarrassment.  Who thought the Bills could come out so flat on both sides of the ball?  My Thursday’s haven’t been great the last few weeks but I’ve still turned them into winning weeks.  I don’t want to talk about Thursday anymore, on to Sunday’s games:

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers, 1p (Panthers +2.5, O/U: 42)

Panthers just gave away their top receiver, their next best receiver is still on IR, don’t expect the Panthers to do much to rest of the season.  Panthers lack of offense will keep their defense out on the field too much.  Take the Falcons cover in the over, 27-17.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans, 1p (Texans -7, O/U: 45.5)

Texans gave away their top tackle this past week, an majorly unfortunate ACL injury to Watson ends his season and their still a 7 point favorite?  Did anyone see how Tom Savage did in that first game?  Take the Colts to cover and win in the under, Colts 24-21.

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1p (Jaguars -6, O/U: 38.5)

Jaguars have a real shot at winning this game.  As long as they keep from turning the ball over.  The Bengals really need a win this game to have some momentum leading in to the second half of the season.  I still just don’t trust the Jaguars and their basically one dimensional running game.  Take the Bengals to win in the under, Bengals 17-14.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints, 1p (Saints -7, O/U: 52.5)

Saints look like they are back to their old selves and actually have a solid running game between Ingram and Kamara.  Take the Saints to cover in the over, Saints 34-20.

Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1p (Giants +4.5, O/U: 42)

Take the Rams to cover in the over, Rams 27-17.

Denver Broncos at Philadelphia Eagles, 1p (Eagles -7, O/U: 41.5)

Take the Eagles to cover in the under, Eagles 27-14.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, 1p (Titans -3.5, O/U: 42)

Take the Titans to cover in the under, Titans 20-14.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers, 4:05p (49ers +2.5, O/U: 39.5)

Take the Cardinals to cover in the under, Cardinals 17-14.

Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05p (Seahawks -7.5, O/U: 45)

Take the Seahawks to win but the Redskins to cover in the over, Seahawks 31-24.

Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys, 4:25p (Cowboys -2.5, O/U: 53.5)

Take the Chiefs to cover in the over, Chiefs 31-30.

Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins, 8:30p (Dolphins +3, O/U: 44)

Take the Raiders to cover in the under, Raiders 24-17.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

  • Atlanta at Carolina – Atlanta (-1.5)
  • Baltimore at Tennessee – Tennessee (-3.5)
  • LA Rams at NY Giants – LA Rams (-3.5)
  • Tampa Bay at New Orleans – New Orleans (-7)
  • Kansas City at Dallas – Kansas City (+2)