Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday Football Picks: NFL Week 1

I had an idea for an NFL picks league for the blog.  Alas, I had it yesterday afternoon, which didn’t leave me enough time to create an actual league.  Instead, this is more “picks with a couple of friends.”  Hopefully it’s worth your time.
I'm a Giants fan.
The idea was this:
1. We pick three games per week against the spread, using lines per ESPN.
2. We each declare a favorite team and must pick our favorite teams against the spread as one of our three weekly games.
3. We pick a “lock” each week.  The lock counts double, i.e. a win = 2 pts.
4. Picks must be in by Thursday for Friday publication.  I keep score over the course of the season, while our friends cheer us or mock our incompetence.
5.  No money.  This is strictly for fun and bragging rights.  Also: it gives me something to write about, which helps.
The NY Giants are my favorite NFL team, so I will pick them every week.  You can tweet them at #GiantsPride.
Week 1 Picks
Dan.  Connecticut-based Writer/Engineer, Occasional Swim Teacher, & Giants fan
Green Bay at Jacksonville (+5.5).  This is probably the stupidest pick of the week, but Jacksonville is supposed to be a better team, and it’s going to be hot as all Hell in Florida on Sunday.  Plus, every better knows to take home favorites when you can.  
Here’s hoping the Packers’ defense gets gassed in the late summer sun.
Tampa Bay (+3) at Atlanta.  Atlanta has all the talent in the world, but I find myself believing in Jameis Winston and the young Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Winston may be a disgusting human being, but he’s also a Hell of a quarterback.  Too bad that combination seems to exist all too frequently in nature.
I’ll believe in Atlanta when they do something to deliver on the promise of all their talent.
NY Giants (-1.5) at Dallas.  This is my lock of the week.  Yes, the Giants’ O-Line looked like shit during the pre-season, but y’know what?  That’s the way italways looks during the preseason.  Somehow, Eli Manning and company still seem to put up points when the games count.  Meanwhile, the Giants’ defense is for real.
Against that, Dallas is a hot mess without Tony Romo.  We saw that last year, and with a largely unheralded rookie quarterback, I predict a re-run.
Ben. Connecticut-based Triathlete, Computer Programmer, & Steelers fan
Steelers (-3) at Redskins. 
Bengals (-2.5) at Jets.  This is Ben’s lock.
Lions at Colts (-3.5). 
Chris. Ft. Hood-based Aviation Officer, Mathematician, & struggling Raiders fan
“My favorite team is the Raiders.  I always start the season hopeful and then watch them trash it.  It’s almost like being an Army fan.”
Bears at Texans (-6).  “This is my riskiest pick, but I’m trying to create some enthusiasm for the new home team.”  
Raiders (+1) at Saints.
Browns at Eagles (-4).  This is Chris’s lock.
While We’re Talking Football…
We had a lot of compelling college football on opening weekend.  This week looks more like a standard early-season set of games, with a lot of powerhouse schools taking on FCS doormats to “get-right” before the meat of the season begins.  
Here are a couple of the matchups I’ll be tracking.
NC State at East Carolina (+5) at 12 (ESPN U).  I’ve not paid a lot of attention to either team, but this line strikes me as high.  I could easily see ECU pulling an upset at home.
UConn at Navy (-3.5) at 3:30 (CBS Sports).  This line is ridiculous.  UConn barely escaped last week with a win against FCS Maine.  I get that the Mids lost their starting quarterback to an ACL tear, but was he such a difference-maker that they can’t recover?  I doubt it.  They’ll not easily find another physical phenomenon like Keenan Reynolds, but I expect Navy can field a stable of serviceable triple-option quarterbacks.  Against UConn, that’s all they’ll need.
Wake Forest at Duke (-5) at 3:30 (ESPN U).  Despite dismal performances for the last few years in a row, Wake Forest has gotten a lot of love this offseason.  Duke is a powerhouse, and they’re only favored by five at home?  That’s madness.  Wake pulled out an unimpressive victory 7-3 against a suspect Tulane team just last week.  Duke’s defense is going to eat them alive.
Virginia Tech (+11.5) vs. Tennessee on a neutral site at 8 (ABC).  The Volunteers need to show me something before I believe.  ‘Nuff said.

No comments:

Post a Comment