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I don't want to say that my Week 6 picks in the National Football League were a complete disaster, but. . .well, there really isn't another way to describe what happened.
Yours truly managed to go a miserable 3-10 straight-up last week, and an even more miserable 2-11 against the number. That. . .that's not good. No real way to spin that one, ladies and gentlemen.
So, now I'm relatively sure that I've bottomed out for the year. It took some doing, but I don't think it can get any worse than this. Fortunately, this week I'm off to a 1-0 start both straight-up and against the spread thanks to the Thursday night game.
Thank you, Jim Harbaugh, for turning down that last safety.
So, with that, let's start the road to redemption. Again. Betting numbers provided by our friends at OddsShark, as always, and are for entertainment purposes only. Seriously, I'm about 20 games under .500 against the number this year. You sure as heck don't want to use my point spread picks as gambling advice at this point.
This game had a lot more intrigue before last week, when the Ravens lost about half of their starting defense and the Texans got clobbered by Green Bay. Fun fact. . .these are the only two teams in the entire AFC with a record above .500. Hooray for parity! I think Houston gets back on track this week, but it will be closer than the spread indicates.
Straight-up: Texans, ATS: Ravens
This hurts me. Seriously, it does. But as you'll see from some of the upcoming lines, there aren't a whole lot of picks that would really qualify as solid picks for a "lock." I mean, calling a 1-point favorite a "lock" is sort of cheap, yes? Plus, it's always nice to put the "reverse psychology" factor into play. Let's not talk about it any further.
Straight-up: Packers, ATS: Packers
Again, not a lot to choose from here. But, after watching my favorite team get "RGIII'd" last week, why not look for it to continue?
Straight-up: Redskins, ATS: Redskins
The Rest of the Week
The Cowboys' clock management on Sunday against Baltimore was Andy Reid-esque in its incompetence. However, if Cam Newton is going to keep pouting and morphing into Vince Young v2.0 right before our eyes, it might not come down to that this week.
Straight-up: Cowboys, ATS: Cowboys
Matt Hasselbeck gets the call again for Tennessee, as Jake Locker remains sidelined with an injury. The Titans are a bad football team. . .granted, the Bills aren't much better at this point, but they are better.
Straight-up: Bills, ATS: Bills
Straight-up: Buccaneers, ATS: Buccaneers
The Colts will try to continue to be "ChuckStrong" against a team that got their first victory of 2012 last weekend. In the battle of rookie quarterbacks, Andrew Luck looks to be a shockingly easy pick over Brandon Weeden.
Straight-up: Colts, ATS: Colts
Wow. . .I know the Jets are a dumpster fire at this point, but the Patriots haven't exactly been lighting things up thus far, either. Granted, I still think the Patriots are the better team, but that spread looks kind of ridiculous. Now, watch as the Patriots win by 30.
Straight-up: Patriots, ATS: Jets
This game, along with Jets/Patriots, are the only two late games this week. Someone at the league's scheduling office has a sense of humor. Or they hate football fans. And why are the Raiders a touchdown favorite here? All too weird for me. This will likely prove to be an epic battle between Josh Scobee and Sebastian Janikowski. I'll take Sea Bass for the win.
Straight-up: Raiders, ATS: Jaguars
The Bengals are at 3-3 so far, but are coming off of a loss to the Browns. The Steelers are 2-3, and are coming off of a loss to the Titans on a Thursday night. Ben Roethlisberger is hurt. . .again. . .and the Steelers are down to about their eighth-string running back already. A loss for the Bengals moves them to 1-3 in the AFC North, with games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore looming in the final two weeks of the season. Both of these teams are desperate, which should make this one a good one to watch. If it's this close, I'll take the home team.
Straight-up: Bengals, ATS: Bengals
The Bears have been scary good this year, while the Lions have just been. . .well, scary. Their comeback win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6 not withstanding, the Lions just don't look like they have everything in sync. The Bears, on the other hand, are hammering people, and I expect a lot of the same on Monday night.
Straight-up: Bears, ATS: Bears
Record Straight-up last week: 3-10
Record Straight-up for the season: 47-38
Record ATS last week: 2-11
Record ATS for the season: 32-52-1
Lock of the Week for the season: 4-2 straight-up, 1-5 against the spread
Upset of the Week for the season: 2-4 straight-up, 4-2 against the spread
Once again, we're going to give you the short, short version of this week's National Football League picks. I'm already behind the 8-ball this week thanks to another misfire in the Thursday night match-up. . .I might just stop picking Thursday night games all together at this rate. (Not really, but I haven't gotten many of them right.)
So, with that, here are this week's picks, with the numbers brought to you by the folks at OddsShark.
The Rest of the Week
Record Straight-up last week: 9-4
Record Straight-up for the season: 44-28
Record ATS last week: 6-7
Record ATS for the season: 30-41-1
Lock of the Week for the season: 4-1 straight-up, 1-4 against the spread
Upset of the Week for the season: 2-3 straight-up, 3-2 against the spread
Thanks to real life getting firmly in the way once again, yours truly has been derelict in getting his picks for Week Five of NFL action out here for your viewing pleasure. My apologies for that.
Last week went pretty well for picks from a straight-up perspective, as I managed to go 8-6 just picking the winners. The figures against the spread are still pretty abysmal, however, as I could only go 4-10, putting myself further under .500 against the spread for the season. Oh, well, it's a good thing that nobody's using these picks to actually try to make money or anything like that, I suppose.
I'm already off to a 0-1 start both straight up and against the spread this week, having taken the Arizona Cardinals to defeat the St. Louis Rams. . .yeah, that didn't happen. So, this week, no commentary. . .just picks, with the numbers brought to you by our friends at OddsShark, as always.
The Rest of the Week
Record Straight-Up Last Week: 8-6
Record Straight-Up for the Season: 35-24
Record ATS Last Week: 4-10
Record ATS for the Season: 24-34-1
Lock of the Week for the Season: 3-1 straight-up, 1-3 against the spread
Upset of the Week for the Season: 2-2 straight-up, 3-1 against the spread
Well, after a pretty disastrous Week 2, Week 3 in the National Football League went significantly better with the ol' picks here at SB Nation Minnesota. Thanks to the Monday Night Football. . .um, "incident". . .we wound up going 9-6 with our picks straight-up, and even posting a win against the number with an 8-7 mark.
The Ravens DID win straight up, but the Browns did cover. . .should have known better than to lay that many points. . .so I'm 1-0 straight up and 0-1 against the number thus far this week. Let's see if we can't improve things going forward, huh? As always, picks against the spread (provided by our friends at OddsShark) are for entertainment purposes only. Gambling is illegal at Bushwood, ladies and gentlemen.
The Eagles played with fire in their first two games with their turnover issues, and got thoroughly scorched in a 27-6 thumping by the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3. The Giants went to Carolina and thrashed Cam Newton and company to the tune of 36-7. In this week's NBC
NFC East National Game of the Week, it has all the makings of a decent match-up. . .if the Eagles can stop giving the ball to the other team. Averaging four turnovers a game is generally not a recipe for long-term success. Take the Giants in this one.
Straight-up: Giants, ATS: Giants
Another week, another running back for the Bills, as Tashard Choice steps into the top role with C.J. Spiller going down with an injury. The Bills beat the Browns last week, while the Patriots had a tough last-second loss against Baltimore. The Patriots are 1-2, and that can't last for long under Bill Belichick. This could very well be the week that the Patriots start righting the ship a little bit, and it could come at the expense of their division counterparts from upstate New York.
Straight-up: Patriots, ATS: Patriots
Bounty suspensions! Replacement referees! Ladies and gentlemen, it's Pity Bowl 2012! As a Viking fan, if I was schadenfreuding any harder, I'd be in Dusseldorf sipping a Löwenbräu and eating sommerwurst with a fraulein while wearing lederhosen during Oktoberfest. The only thing that would make this even better is if both teams could lose somehow. But, since they can't, let's pick them to both end the day at 1-3. Frankly, I don't even care if I get this pick wrong.
Straight-up: Saints, ATS: Saints
The Rest of the Week
I don't think the Seahawks will need any controversy to come out on top in this one.
Straight-up: Seahawks, ATS: Seahawks
The curators of Revis Island have paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The Niners are probably going to be angry after last week's loss to the Minnesota Vikings, and didn't fly back to the West Coast this week, negating the usual travel issues.
Straight-up: 49ers, ATS: 49ers
An AFC West showdown at Arrowhead. If the Chiefs have Jamaal Charles back on track, then the home team has the advantage in this one, in my opinion.
Straight-up: Chiefs, ATS: Chiefs
The Texans are markedly better than the Titans, who got pretty lucky last weekend against the Detroit Lions. (Seriously, five touchdowns of at least 60 yards in length? How does that even happen?) That said, I'm not getting sucked into the same spread trap that I did in the Thursday night game. Now, watch Houston blow the Titans out.
Straight-up: Texans, ATS: Titans
Cam Newton has hit a bit of a sophomore slump, and the Panthers looked like they would rather have been anywhere else last Thursday against the Giants. Having to match up against Matt Ryan (the NFL's highest-rated QB through three weeks of the season), Roddy White, and Julio Jones could easily have them feeling that way again this Sunday.
Straight-up: Falcons, ATS: Falcons
The Raiders are probably flying high off of their upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend, while the Broncos are also at 1-2 after their loss last week against Houston. AFC West match-ups are never easy to pick, and while I think the Broncos will win this one, it will probably be close.
Straight-up: Broncos, ATS: Raiders
Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals (-5.5)
The Cardinals are 3-0, and are playing incredible defense through the first three weeks of the season. Want to know what's more shocking? They'll probably be 4-0 after this one.
Straight-up: Cardinals, ATS: Cardinals
I just have one question about this one. . .why in the heck is this one of the late games?
Straight-up: Bengals, ATS: Bengals
And another late game from the East Coast. Man, the NFL must have decided to just vacate the West Coast in Week 4 or something.
Straight-up: Buccaneers, ATS: Buccaneers
Still waiting for Jay Cutler to completely lose his mind on one of his offensive linemen. With DeMarcus Ware lining up across from J'Marcus Webb, there's a good chance we'll see it on Monday Night at Jerryworld.
Straight-up: Cowboys, ATS: Cowboys
Record Straight-Up Last Week: 9-6
Record Straight-Up For The Season: 27-18
Record ATS Last Week: 8-7
Record ATS For The Season: 20-24-1
Lock Of The Week For The Season: 2-1 straight-up, 0-3 against the spread
Upset Of The Week For The Season: 2-1 straight-up, 2-1 against the spread
It was a pretty miserable week for yours truly picking games last week, as I managed to go just 7-8 straight-up and an absolutely awful 4-10-1 against the spread for Week 2 of the NFL season. I managed to get Week 3 off to a rip-roaring start by picking the Carolina Panthers to beat the New York Giants. Wasn't too far off, I guess. . .I mean, Carolina only lost by 29 points. At home.
Yeah, that was ugly.
With time running short and yours truly having had enough real-life interference to prevent me from getting my picks finished until the last minute here, I'm just going to give you the picks without the usual analysis. Quite frankly, it might be better that way, given how last week went.
So, with that, here are the picks for Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season. Point spreads are once again brought to you by our friends at OddsShark.
The Rest of the Week:
Record Straight-Up Last Week: 7-8
Record Straight-Up For Season: 18-12
Record ATS Last Week: 4-10-1
Record ATS For Season: 12-17-1
Lock of the Week for Season: 2-0 straight-up, 0-2 against the spread
Upset of the Week for Season: 1-1 straight-up, 1-1 against the spread
The first week of the 2012 NFL season has come and gone, and with it a pretty decent first week for us here as far as our NFL picks. There were a couple of near upsets, but when it was all said and done we wound up in the plus column both straight-up and against the number. Just like in the National Football League, however, it's one thing to get off to a fast start. . .it's another thing to keep it going. Hopefully we'll be able to do just that this week with another slate of intriguing match-ups in front of us.
Let's get to it, shall we?
The Lions had one of those close calls in the season's first week, narrowly squeaking past the Rams after a few ugly Matthew Stafford turnovers in the early going. The Niners, on the other hand, walked into Lambeau Field and punched Green Bay in the mouth en route to an impressive victory. You'll have to wait all day to see this one on Sunday night, but it will be well worth the wait. The Niners are my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, and I think they'll win this one, but I don't see it being much more than a field goal game.
Straight-Up: 49ers, ATS: Lions
Yes, I understand that the Bengals got spanked on Monday Night Football by Baltimore. That's somewhat understandable, since Baltimore is one of the NFL's best team. But man, that performance by Cleveland in Week 1. . .yes, they had a chance to win despite Brandon Weeden getting intercepted four times, but I don't think Andy Dalton is going to be throwing four interceptions to help the Browns out this week. Cincinnati is definitely the better team here, and I think they take out some of their Monday night frustrations on the early leaders in the clubhouse for the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Straight-Up: Bengals, ATS: Bengals
Yes, I picked the Packers to be my upset victims last week, and it worked out pretty well. They look to be a pretty good target this week as well. Their defense looked completely out of sync last week against San Francisco, and it's looking like they won't have wide receiver Greg Jennings this evening, as he's been listed as "doubtful" with a groin injury. The Bears caught the Indianapolis Colts in the first game of the Andrew Luck era, and though they'll have a significantly tougher task this week in facing Aaron Rodgers, the Bears have had good success against him in the past. Throw in that Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are already clicking, and everything is right for the Bears to get off to a 2-0 start.
Straight-Up: Bears, ATS: Bears
The Rest of the Week
The Saints got a huge dose of RGIII over the weekend, getting thumped by Washington in a game that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Carolina, on the other hand, forgot that they're primarily a running team, as they generated just ten yards rushing in a loss to Tampa Bay. The Saints are a good enough team to be able to bounce back from their loss this weekend.
Straight-Up: Saints, ATS: Saints
The Ravens put on one of the most impressive performances of the season's first week, crushing their division rivals from Cincinnati on Monday Night Football. The Eagles, as previously mentioned, backed into a victory over Cleveland. Philadelphia can't win if Michael Vick continues to turn the ball over at such an alarming rate. He might get better at it as the season progresses, but Ed Reed and company will likely get him a couple of times, and that will make the difference in this one.
Straight-Up: Ravens, ATS: Ravens
Going off of the spread, these two teams are evenly matched, since the home team usually gets three points. I just don't know how anyone can like the Buffalo Bills right now. They got throttled by a New York team that scored one touchdown all pre-season, and Ryan Fitzpatrick continued to look horrible since getting his fat contract extension last season. On top of that, they've lost running back Fred Jackson. The Chiefs gave up a ton of points to Atlanta in Week 1, but they should have both Tamba Hali and Brandon Flowers back this week, so that should help them out significantly.
Straight-Up: Chiefs, ATS: Chiefs
The Giants became the first team to lose their home opener since the "defending champion opens the season at home" format came into play. Tampa Bay managed a hard-fought victory over Carolina, with the defense looking fairly impressive after the way they ended the 2011 season. The Giants are still a very good team, but these are the Giants. . .they need to put themselves in peril early. It's just what they do. That said, I think they can still handle the Bucs, but it will be closer than the spread indicated.
Straight-Up: Giants, ATS: Buccaneers
The only double-digit spread of Week 2, and after the way the Patriots looked in dismantling Tennessee last week, it's justifiable. The Patriots actually had a decent rushing game, courtesy of Stevan Ridley, and their defense looked impressive as well. The Cardinals will probably be starting Kevin Kolb this week after John Skelton went down with an ankle injury. Kolb led the Cardinals on the game-winning drive against Seattle last week. This still doesn't mean that Kolb is any good. . .he's not. This week's task will be significantly tougher. The last time the Cardinals made the trip to Foxboro, they found themselves on the wrong end of a 47-7 thumping. This game shouldn't be that bad, but my AFC pick for the Super Bowl should still win convincingly. If you're in a Survivor pool, this is a pretty good place to look.
Straight-Up: Patriots, ATS: Patriots
Two teams that found a way to lose ugly in Week 1 meet up in South Beach. The Raiders lost their long snapper on Monday night against San Diego, and wound up losing the game as a result. For Miami, rookie Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions on three consecutive drives against Houston, and that sunk the Dolphins en route to a 20-point loss. I think the Raiders are the better team, and though taking a team from the West Coast that's traveling across three time zones generally isn't a smart idea. . .well, the Dolphins are just that bad.
Straight-Up: Raiders, ATS: Raiders
The Texans were a chic pick for the Super Bowl going into the season, and they showed why in Week 1 with a 30-10 win over Miami. The Jaguars played in the lone overtime game of Week 1, losing 26-23 in Minnesota after taking the lead with 20 seconds left. If the Jaguars can get a little healthier on defense, and Blaine Gabbert can build on what he did at the Metrodome on Sunday, the Jaguars are going to be a tougher out than a lot of folks want to admit. In this one, however, too much Arian Foster and too much Andre Johnson are going to make things hard for Jacksonville.
Straight-Up: Texans, ATS: Jaguars
The Rams were thisclose to pulling off a huge upset in Week 1, but they couldn't hang on against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Robert Griffin III and company play their second straight game on the road, having blasted the Saints in the season opener. Sam Bradford and company will likely find the sledding much tougher against the Redskins than they did against Detroit, and Washington has a very good chance to get off to a surprising 2-0 start.
Straight-Up: Redskins, ATS: Redskins
The Cowboys looked very impressive after going into
The Meadowlands MetLife Stadium and taking the season opener from the New York Giants. For Seattle, the Russell Wilson era got off to a bit of a rough start. . .despite the team getting an extra time out in the final minutes. . .as they fell to the Cardinals in the desert. The raucous home crowd in Seattle will make things difficult for Tony Romo and company, but in the end, the Cowboys are the better team, and they should be able to win and cover in this one.
Straight-Up: Cowboys, ATS: Cowboys
The Titans looked bad against the Patriots in Week 1. Granted, the Patriots make a lot of teams look bad, but the Titans were awful. Chris Johnson continues to be the NFL's most overpaid player after another disappointing performance, and Jake Locker wound up with a shoulder separation in last week's game. Apparently he's going to play through it, however. The Chargers got a big assist from Oakland's back-up long snapper in their opening week victory. They might not get that this week, but the odds are very good that they're not going to need it. Their new-look defense should be able to pretty easily contain the Tennessee attack.
Straight-Up: Chargers, ATS: Chargers
What the heck happened to the Flying Tebows in Week 1? After scoring one touchdown all pre-season, Rex Ryan's club exploded for Week 1's highest point total against the Bills. The Steelers, on the other hand, got dropped by Peyton Manning on Sunday night. Ryan Clark and James Harrison should be back in this one for the Steelers, and they're both big difference makers for the Pittsburgh defense. This one is likely going to turn into a defensive slugfest, and the Steelers should be able to bounce back by a field goal to get themselves back to .500.
Straight-Up: Steelers, ATS: Jets
The week will conclude with a very interesting match-up at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, and Roddy White led an impressive Atlanta attack against Kansas City in Week 1, while Peyton Manning looked like he hadn't missed a beat in leading the Broncos past the Steelers on Sunday night. The potential is there for a lot of offense in this one, and as much as I like the Falcons, I think that the Broncos defense is just a little bit better, particularly with the Falcons having to shelve cornerback Brent Grimes for the rest of the year with an Achilles injury. Look for the Broncos to take advantage of that, and for them to move to 2-0.
Straight-Up: Broncos, ATS: Broncos
Record Straight-Up: 10-5
Record Against the Spread: 8-7
Lock of the Week: 1-0 straight-up, 0-1 against the spread
Upset of the Week: 1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread
The first week of the NFL season is upon us, and with it comes the first NFL picks of the 2012 season.