Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Folies: NFL Picks League (Week 4)

Wow.  That was some week.  Pretty much everybody that picks games professionally got creamed, including our very own Sharona (from Inside the Pylon andSports by Sharona).  Chris, Ben, and I all broke even, but considering that I started the week down four, I’m still in no better shape than I was when last week ended.  
What I’ve learned is that this competition is all about your Lock of the Week.  If you get your Lock right, then the worst you can do is break even.  If you screw your Lock up, then no matter what else happens, you’re not going to help yourself.
Let’s review.

We’ll let Ben go first this week because by the time you read this, he’ll be in warm-up mode for Ironman Maryland, and despite being over fifty years of age, he’s looking to go somewhere in the neighborhood twelve hours overall.  For those of you who don’t know anything about Ironman racing, that there is some stone cold badassery.  Ben and I swim together sometimes, and despite being almost a decade older than I am, he keeps up easily.  That shit does not happen every day, believe me.
Broncos (+3.5) at Bengals.  Lock.
Steelers (-5.5) at Eagles.
Vikings at Panthers (-7).
Broncos 29, Bengals 17.  2 pts.
Steelers 3, Eagles 34. -1 pt.
Vikings 22, Panthers 10. -1 pt.
As I said, Ben broke even on the week by virtue of his Lock.  With that, he remains even on the year.
Raiders at Titans (-1).
Rams at Buccaneers (-5.5).
Broncos (+3.5) at Bengals.  Lock.
Raiders 17, Titans 10. -1 pt.
Rams 37, Bucs 32. -1 pt.
Broncos 29, Bengals 17. +2 pts.
Chris called up all upset about not having faith in his Raiders last week.  It was funny because you don’t hear badass combat aviators getting upset about stupid shit like that every day, but there it was.
Also: Chris and I both hate Jeff Fisher right now.
Thanks to his strong start in Weeks 1 and 2, Chris is remains out front with +6 points.
Texans (-1) at Patriots.  Lock.
Raiders at Titans (-1).
49ers (+9) at Seahawks.
Jets at Chiefs (-3).
Texans 0, Pats 27.  -2 pts.
Raiders 17, Titans 10. -1 pt.
49ers 18, Seahawks 37. -1 pt.
Jets 3, Chiefs 24. +1 pt.
My God, this was an ass-whuppin’.  I don’t know if it was quite on the scale of Army’s 66-14 victory over UTEP a couple of weeks ago, but it certainly was not good.
After one week (and with one extra pick), Sharona stands at -3 points.
Texans (-1) at Patriots.  Lock.
Redskins (+4.5) at Giants
Ravens (even) at Jags
Texans 0, Pats 27.  -2 pts.
Redskins 29, Giants 27.  +1 pt.
Ravens 19, Jags 17. +1 pt.
What the fuck, Texans fans?  I mean, are you fucking kidding me?  Also: my New York Giants simply cannot get out of their own way.  Ugh.
Year to date, my score is a lousy -4 points.
If you’re wondering, this is how blog series get cancelled sometimes.
NFL Picks: Week 4
Ben.  Badass triathlete and Steelers fan (as of Tuesday, 27 Sept. 2016).
Chiefs at Steelers (-5.5).  “After an ugly loss last week, I’m looking for contributions from a fresh Le'Veon Bell and a big bounce-back, despite injuries.”
Broncos (-3.0) at Buccaneers.  “This is my Lock. ESPN has the Broncos rated #1 and the Bucs #28.”  After reading that, I feel like everyone in America should make this pick.
Lions (-2.5) at Bears. “Fairly confident in this one too.  Bears have looked pretty bad.”
Chris.  Texas-Based Aviation officer, mathematician, and long-suffering Raiders fan.
Broncos (-3.0) at Buccaneers.  “Denver has been looking really good, so I'm looking for them to keep it up against Tampa. This is my Lock this week.”
Raiders (+3.5) at Ravens.  “I got negative on the Raiders last week and paid for it.  I'm hoping that they give me a reason to smile again this week!”
Chiefs at Steelers (-5.5).  “As a Raiders fan, I'm not allowed to like the Chiefs, and I think Pittsburgh will hold their own at home this week.”
Sharona.  Tennessee-based radio host and sportswriter.  Titans fan.
Dolphins (+8) at Bengals.  “I know Cincy is pretty good against the spread, but I think this spread is too large.”
Browns (+7.5) at Redskins.  “Both those teams are dreadful, but Washington is soooo overrated.”
Titans (+5) at Texans.  “Without J.J. Watt, if I can get that line, I’ll take it.”
Saints at Chargers (-4).  “I can’t make the Brownies my Lock, lol.  So Chargers.  That Saints ‘D’ is piss-poor.”
Raiders (+3.5) at Ravens.  “I’ll take the Raiders and the spread.  The Ravens are over-rated.”
Dan.  Engineer, occasional freelance writer/swim teacher, and Giants fan.
Colt at Jags (+2.5) in London.  I got this pick from Steve Fezzik (@FezzikSports) via Ross Tucker’s Even Money podcast.  Bottom line, the Jags travel to London every year, and in Steve’s opinion, this is a substantial advantage.  Also: the Dolphins suck.  Steve totally convinced me with his travel-logic this week, so this is my Lock of the week.  It may also turn out to be my stupidity of the week.  We’ll see.
Bills at Patriots (Even).  Are you people high?  The fucking Buffalo Bills are not going to march into Foxboro and beat the Pats straight up.  If the Texans couldn’t do it, I for damned sure don’t believe that the Bills can.  I get that this is a divisional game, but the Bills just fired their Offensive Coordinator for problems that arose in the Defense.  That is not a sign of good leadership.
Giants (+5) at Vikings.  The Giants may well lose this game, but if they do, they’ll lose it in heartbreaking fashion because of some stupidity at the end of the game.  They’re definitely not going to get torched straight up.
Bonus Coverage: College Football
Navy (+7) at Air Force.  Air Force has one of the most commanding home field advantages in all of college sports.  Nevertheless, these teams are extremely evenly matched, and both schools are intimately familiar with each other’s triple-option offense.  I’m taking Navy plus the points because I think this will be a close game.  It hurts to do it, though.  I mean, it’s just wrong.
Virginia at Duke (-4).  I think Duke got right last week against Notre Dame.  After putting up more than 500 yards of offense on the road, the Blue Devils are ready to start vaporizing people.
Tennessee (-3.5) at Georgia.  The Vols made me a believer in the second half last week against Florida.  Butch Jones might want to tell his offensive coordinator to step on the gas a little earlier next time, but once they get QB Josh Dobbs running the Read Option to the outside, look out.  Dobbs is deadly with the run/pass option in space, and it opens up their entire offense.

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