Football picks for those who are too hip (or drunk) to bet SQUARE
For the record I went 7-2 last week.
This does not make me a genius, this makes very good at making picks while drinking heavily at Gillette Stadium all day.
Lets look back at Week 1…
The second week of the season is probably the hardest to handicap. You have limited information, a lot of recency bias, and a lot of one-off performances that don’t say much about which team can do what. However, there are a few gems that can be plucked from the mountain of dog shit that is week one.
The Patriots are still the Patriots, so now that that’s settled think twice before you lay upwards of 19 points on the road even against a team in tear down mode. Let me refer you to 2013 when the Jags went on the road to Denver as 27-point dogs and came out covering when they lost 35-19. Professional athletes respond to these challenges and don’t think for a second Miami is going to just lay down since all of the guys on that team want to have good game film so they can land a job somewhere else. Even if the Pats somehow cover and you take this bet than you are still the squarest square who ever put a square Lego block up his ass. This is the perfect spot for you to test out your shiny new “I’m a sharp” (said in Ralph Wiggam voice) persona and put a small bet on the Fish so you can say you are not “that guy.”
The Rams are good and the Panthers are not good…
The other thing we learned is that the Rams are still a very good football team and their coaching staff is definitely on point. Super Bowl losers usually get their asses handed to them right out of the gate the following season, but the Rams spent the first half getting their live pre-season reps in before putting holding down the Panthers and covering as a short favorite on the road. That is no easy task in spite of what Tampa just did to them on Thursday night.
Speaking of which, avoid the Panthers unless you plan on fading them. Cam doesn’t look right. Either he’s diminished or hurt, but his ineffectiveness and unwillingness to run (because, oh my goodness, you realize he’s taken a lot of hits, right?) puts a target on McCaffrey’s back and that’s going to limit their ability to score points. It also doesn’t help that Riverboat Ron is the sort of coach to have his offense shift into a Wildcat formation that allows the defense to key on McCaffrey. I like putting the ball in your best player’s hands, but exposing him to the entire defense that way is inexcusable and just one page in my now 501-page book on why Rivera is massively overrated. They will bounce back in the next couple weeks because of the law of averages, but I feel bad for anyone who put a futures bet on these guys.
We learned stuff about other teams too…
Seattle still has shit for pass blocking and Pete Carroll is going to get Russell Wilson killed one day.
Baltimore is not a fluke, but don’t go crazy yet. It’s a one game sample against a team that is being actively taken apart. Cool your jets.
Matt Patricia is still doing his best Bill coaching the Browns impersonation. Even though he is terrible, it’s hard for me to take the Chargers because they have injuries all over the field on both sides of the ball. If the Chargers were at full strength I’d be all over them as a best bet. They are one of the only teams that doesn’t give a shit about the west coast to east coast swing and playing in the morning based on their body clocks. I don’t know how they do it, but they do it.
Eli is still Eli and he’s going to be Eli until he’s put out to pasture. God, it’s not like Daniel Jones is going to be the second coming, but can Eli just admit he sucks, already? I’m tired of watching Barkley break off a 67-yard run in a game the Giants lose 34-10.
Enough of this, time to get the picks. But before we do, remember that week one was all public. We can probably expect some regression back to the points, so don’t be shocked if the books claw a little back this weekend. Could that Bucs/Panthers tilt be the canary in the coal mine for chalk bettors or is it just a matter of Carolina being exposed as a team with a lot of problems?
SEAN’S NFL PICKS FOR WEEK 2
Cowboys Vs. Redskins – Sunday, 1 PM
Spread: Cowboys – 6. Money Line: Redskins + 245 Over/Under: 46.5 points
Up front, I made Dallas my best bet in a big money pick-em league on Wednesday when the number was four. Dallas finally has an offensive coordinator who is using their talent properly. Kellen Moore using Dak Prescott in an RPO-heavy offense with Zeke behind him and Cooper split wide? Inject this straight into my veins. I want you to bring me an ocean of RPO from Dallas so I can watch some gat damn fun football every Sunday. The one game sample has everyone howling with delight, but reality settles in once game film is broken down. So, don’t expect this kind of outburst every weekend, but take it as a sign that The Clapper has ceded control of the offense to someone who is not warming up leftover game plans from the Mike Martz era.
Something to keep in mind if you take Dallas in this spot is that you’re essentially saying that Dallas would be around a nine-point favorite at home against DC. True, DC is poorly coached and for some reason Jay Gruden would rather be starting Colt McCoy over the perfectly sometimes above average Case Keenum and they have Methuselah at running back, but they are still at home in a rivalry game a week after giving Philly fits. Also, their defensive line is not bad at all. They are probably the one spot on the field that can give Dallas some serious problems.
I am not saying bet on DC. That team is a dumpster fire and any sharp action on this game is pretty sharp because something like 78 percent of the ATS bets are on Dallas and 90 percent of the money is hitting Dallas. This is the sort of game where you’d be chasing the market trying to cash a ticket after it inflated a full two points since the middle of the week. If you can buy some points back and get Dallas down to -1, fine. If you do bet Dallas at -6, I couldn’t fault you because the eye test screams Dallas and if a gun were to my head I’d trust the team with more talent across the board and a superior offensive potential, but laying almost a touchdown on the road is still bullshit. Dallas probably covers, but because I am thoughtful man I can envision a worst-case scenario.
Personally, I am leaning towards laying off the spread and putting money on the Over at 46.5. I can see some scoring because Dallas did give up 17 at home to the Giants, so don’t sell DC short on its ability to get between 17-24 on the board. Keenum is better than McCoy and a gamer. Give me that over.
THE PLAY: I’m taking the OVER 46.5 total points for the game @ Pointsbet
Colts Vs. Titans – Sunday, 1 PM
Spread: Titans -3.5 Money Line: Colts +160 Over/Under: 43.5 points
Now we’re cooking with gas. Before you go whole hog on the Titans just remember that they creamed Cleveland on the road and are now coming home HYPED THE HELL UP to go 2-0 and make an impression on the league. The Colts just lost a winnable game on the road at a thoroughly beatable Chargers that they out played. Unfortunately for them the Chargers kicking problems from last year seemed to enter the body of Adam Vinatieri for a day and he missed two field goals and an extra point and the Colts STILL took the Chargers into overtime when they should have won outright. Football’s a crazy game, maaaaaan.
The general wisdom is to fade teams that go on the road two weeks in a row, especially to start the season. I agree with that notion. The Colts give me pause on that one because Frank Reich is a helluva coach and the Colts are LOADED with talent. This was a team built for a Super Bowl run with Andrew Luck and if you believe the rumors, teams were offering up a first rounder for Brissett. I am not sure I believe that one, but I do give the Colts credit for talking the guy up that way.
If you’re backing Tennessee you’re banking on them not having a big regression after scoring 43 points in Celeveland. They are coming home, the fans are going to be hyped, and the Colts don’t have the luxury of playing in front of the worst home field in all of football. Seriously, a soccer stadium? Anyways, the Colts are a very live dog, but be really careful before you take them. Tennessee’s defense is super talented and everybody hits like trucks. For the record, I have zero faith in Mariota. Tennessee relies on basically a smash mouth running game in the year 2019. Is that going to work against a Colts defense that is built to win right now? Is Marlon Mack going to see the same sort of seams? Will Brissett be able to find Hilton downfield? I think both of those things happen. I think the Colts come in and handle business. I think the Colts defense bottles up that plainer than vanilla Tennessee offense. I don’t think Brissett hands the game to the Titans the way Mayfield did last week. I think the Colts win outright.
THE PLAY: Colts Getting 3.5 Points @ Caesars Sports Book
Chiefs Vs. Raiders – Sunday, 4 PM
Spread: Chiefs -7 Money Line: Raiders +250 Over Under: 53.5 points
Points, points, and more points. Say this for Jon Gruden, he can still run a pretty good offense. I guess he finally warmed up to Derek Carr and decided it’s best to work with what he has and he has a guy who just a couple years ago was a broken leg away from scaring the bejesus out of New England in the playoffs.
Games in Oakland are always a blast because they are so unpredictable. Everyone was all over Denver last week in spite of the fact that Joe Flacco was under center. Like, seriously? Who in the right mind thought that was a good idea? The storyline of just waving your hand in the air and saying “Oakland sucks” then betting against them blindly is downright stupid. Yeah, they will lay a turd on your card now and again, but chosen wisely, they can give you a nice boost like they did for me last year when they covered against the Steelers.
Before you go running to the window to lay seven on the road, consider that the Chiefs pass defense got gutted by Nick Foles on a dime he dropped in the corner of the end zone while having his body broken before a guy with a mustache who warms up in a jockstrap and sunglasses with a stretch band then went out and gashed them for 275 yards and a couple TDs.
Let me throw a couple numbers at you: KC is 1-4-1 ATS over their last six games following a win. The total has on seven of nine in KC games including five straight and Oakland is 4-0 ATS at home in their last four. As corny as it may sound, those guys play their asses off in front of the home town fans in Oakland and know this is their last year there. Football players live for that sort of stuff. Also, KC might be caught looking ahead to their first home game next week against Baltimore.
This isn’t recency bias at play, this is history and reality. The Chiefs have a terrible defense and this is a rivalry game along with it being the Raiders’ last home tilt for over a month. What, you don’t think they aren’t going to leave everything on the field here? Sure, they may not win, but this has back door cover written all over it and the over is definitely in play.
THE PLAY: Take the Raiders +7 @ Pointsbet (and it could move to 7.5 by kick off).
The OVER 53.5 points is also looking like a good play in this game.
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