NFL PICS – STRAIGHT UP WITH THE RED SHAMROCK – WEEK 1
The Red Shamrock: Week One NFL Picks
I am not a “math guy”. I never have been. I used to love math. I dominated it all the way through 8th grade and then bam, things got complicated when algebra was introduced into my life as a freshman in high school. I struggled with it then, and it continued through my college career (lots of long nights working on business applied math during my MBA). I apply the bare minimum in my everyday life. Keep it as simple as possible because I know my brain will explode if I try to access the furthest reaches of the logical portion of my mind. There is one area of math however that I have latched onto and refuse to give up: calculating percentages, odds and point spreads.
I started becoming fascinated with Major League Baseball batting averages around nine years old. I vividly remember Super Bowl parties at our house where spreads, over/under totals and the treasure chest of any Super Bowl party, betting squares, were all the talk during the big game. My grandmother loved sports betting and gambling. In fact, all my relatives do for the most part. Tracking point spreads and over and under totals was basically a secret language to the public, openly spoken now since the power of the Internet has maid online gaming available to anyone who can connect and wants to spend the cash. Plus the explosion of fantasy sports leagues has more than shined a spotlight on the numbers that millions of people pray and curse at the numbers each week, hell each day if you really have an obsession.
Which brings me to the disclaimer for this column, which will run during the NFL season on Chaostrophic. I am by no means an expert handicapper or professional gambler. I just get a huge kick out the information that are supplied to provide people willing to risk a wager on a sporting event that could be affected by the weather that day, an injury to a key player, a winning or losing streak, or even computer calculations. You can agree or disagree with my thoughts, but if you think you are going to increase your monetary stash by following my picks, you are sadly mistaken. I just think it will be fun to see if I can maintain above 50% on my picks for the 2016 NFL season.
So I hope to give you some amusement with my thoughts while providing my picks (who I think will win each game each week), factoring the point spread from one of the six sites ESPN displays for their NFL lines here. Home teams will appear in all caps, my selection in bold, and I’ll note the points given or taken for my pick as well. We will keep track each week, and then mock how poorly I do at the end of the season.
Thursday, September 8th
BRONCOS (+3) over Panthers
This guy is your new starting QB for the Denver Broncos. He is Trevor Siemian, and he will have his first official NFL start on Thursday night. I must be a fool for going with Denver right? Well, their last Super Bowl winning QB, Peyton Manning, was basically a non-factor in the Bronco title win. Denver’s defense (who pretty much has everyone back) sacked Cam Newton seven times and forced three turnovers from him in that game. Basically the reason they won and I think the reason they win this game.
Sunday, September 11th 1 PM
Packers (+6) over JAGUARS
If you listen to Fun With Fake Betting (out tonight and presented by the 80/20 Movie Show), then you know why I am rolling with Green Bay here. Everyone is pointing to jumps for Bortles, Robinson and Hurns in Jacksonville, but their defense was a mess last year. Jordy Nelson is back, along with a slimed down Eddie Lacy and the always-lethal Randall Cobb. Plus, whom do you take between Aaron Rodgers and Blake Bortles?
RAVENS (-3) over Bills
Take your pick for whoever is going to start for Baltimore in the backfield (they just resigned Forsett and have Terrance West, Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon all on the depth chart). Rob Ryan is the Joe Philbin of defensive coordinators; the Bills defense will have the basics, but once the pressure is on, they will pull a Rob (see Rob’s last defenses in New Orleans). When in doubt, take the home team and give the points if it is 10 or less.
TEXANS (-6.5) over Bears
Alshon Jefferies. That is all Jay Cutler really has to throw to right now. Marquess Wilson is out and Zack Miller is a solid veteran, but Cutler loved throwing to Martellus Bennett and he is now part of the two TE set back in New England. For a second year starter (see Osweiler, Brock), you need a good running back. I’ll be watching the Texans closely since their new starting running back, Lamar Miller, comes from my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins. Texas defense and Miller allow them to roll at home.
Browns (+4) over EAGLES
Rookie QB Carson Wentz against the wash out RGIII and two teams going nowhere. I’ll give the edge to Cleveland here.
FALCONS (-3) over Buccaneers
In Atlanta, the offense is healthy and ready to wear out the Tampa Bay defense.
TITANS (+2) over Vikings
Our second home team getting points this week. Sam Bradford takes over for Teddy Bridgewater (out for the season with a caved in knee). The Minnesota rushing game (led by Adrian Peterson) and passing game struggled last season (29th and 31st rankings for 2015). Dick LeBeau looks to breath life into the Tennessee defense (27th in the NFL in 2015). The Titans also nabbed DeMarco Murray to give them a solid running back starter (with a huge Philly chip on his shoulder) that should take some of the pressure off of Marcus Mariota.
JETS (+3) over Bengals
This is our third home team getting points this week and a pick I hate to make as a Miami fan. Is everyone forgetting that Fitzpatrick was more than capable until his late season meltdown last year (he became the dagger pick machine in the last couple of games), and the Jets with Brandon Marshall looked like an up and coming offense. Plus, I’ll take the slightly better defense at home.
Raiders (-1) over SAINTS
Let’s hear it for the fantasy QB starter for Gin N Loud, Derek Carr. Yeah, I drafted QBs super late in my fantasy football draft, but Derek Carr is no flash in the pan, at least in my humble opinion. Until the New Orleans defense can show it can keep the Saints from losing a lead, I’m going to take any team that has a decent offense over them.
Chargers (+7) over CHIEFS
Kansas City hosting San Diego is one of those early season AFC West matchups that will be a totally different game when they play it in San Diego. If you believe in giving your average, then you believe in Alex Smith. And are you ready to put a ton of weight on the surgically repaired knee of Jamaal Charles, if he plays at all?
Sunday, September 11th 4 PM
SEATTLE (-10.5) over Dolphins
Seattle is the greatest football team in the world. Plus an east coast team traveling to the west and we just doesn’t know what Tannehill will offer under new Miami head coach Adam Gase. This pick is also known as the reverse jinx pick.
COLTS (-4) over Lions
Is it just me, or did Detroit rely on Megatron too much in key situations. Golden Tate emerged as a great second option, and now he is the main option in Detroit. I think the Detroit defense still has some unanswered questions. I think Indianapolis has made some moves to shore up the offensive line to keep Luck up and Frank Gore is a solid veteran that should be able to move the chains when called upon.
Giants (-1) over DALLAS
I have to go with my cohost on our 80/20 podcasts, Gary Smith, on this one. My sight I like to fake bet with only has the Giants giving one point against a rookie QB who has not started a game yet.
Sunday, September 11th 8:30 PM
CARDINALS (-6) over Patriots
I hate the New England Patriots. I hate them the most out of every team I hate in football, particularly as an AFC East rival for the Dolphins. They get away with too much on and off the field, and the whole “deflategate” thing dragged on forever. I especially hate Tom Brady, but not for football. I hate him for having the worst commercial for an athlete this decade. Take a minute and just absorb his doucheiness (new word!) for of all things, mattresses:
Seriously, this is what Brady will be doing for four games while he is suspended, humping his super rich mattress? Jimmy Garoppolo has the pleasure of serving as a punching bag for a pretty decent Arizona defense who added to their pass rush to hopefully create some scoring opportunities over Garoppolo turnovers.
Monday, September 12th 7:10 PM
Steelers (-3) over REDSKINS
Are we forgetting that DeAngelo Williams was awesome filling in for Le’veon Bell last year? And I don’t think the loss of Martavis Bryant is that big a deal as he was hit or miss last season. Who is going to be the starting RB along KIRK (not Kurt you die hard DC fans) Cousins? If Matt Jones is out there, look for his partially separated left shoulder to be targeted. Plus, signing Josh Norman is not enough to shore up a suspect Washington defense.
Rams (-2.5) over 49ERS
I think the Los Angeles emotion and defense prove too much for Blaine Gabbert.
Pat Himes aka The Red Shamrock is a huge fan of sports, movies, poker, and fake sports betting. He is also cohost of The 80/20 Movie Show podcast with Gary Smith, which you can listen to for guy humor, movie reviews, and additional fake sports betting picks at www.fatherhoodrules.com. You can interact with Pat on Chaostrophic by commenting on the threads under his handle, Dalux247.