Archive for September, 2021

NFL 2021 Week Two Picks

September 19th, 2021 No comments

Cincinnati (+2.5) at Chicago
The Bengals figured out that Andy Dalton isn’t an NFL QB. You have to imagine the Bears will get there, too, sooner than later. But not soon enough. Cincinnati by a touchdown.

Houston (+13) at Cleveland
The Browns can’t let another game slip away. The Texans should make achieving that goal fairly simple. Cleveland by 17.

LA Rams (-3.5) at Indianapolis
I don’t know. I think the Colts can keep this one competitive. For a quarter. Maybe a half. Rams by 10.

Buffalo (-3.5) at Miami
The Bills aren’t likely to commit the types of mental errors that cost the Patriots a win over the Dolphins in week one. Then again, division rivals, Miami in the heat of what is still the summer … . Dolphins by a point.

New England (-6) at NY Jets
The Patriots aren’t likely to give away a second straight game, particularly not to a team that’s considerably weaker than the one they lost to a week ago. But six seems like a lot to give in a divisional road game. I’m thinking New England by four.

San Francisco (-3) at Philadelphia
The Niners are probably the better team. But maybe not by enough to overcome the challenges that come with traveling across the country to play an early game. Eagles by a point.

Las Vegas (+6.5) at Pittsburgh
In Vegas, this game goes to the Raiders. In Pittsburgh, probably not. Steelers by three.

New Orleans (-3) at Carolina
When do we start having conversations about whether Drew Brees really was all that good? Asking for a bunch of friends in New England and Tampa. Saints by seven.

Denver (-6) at Jacksonville
Maybe the Jaguars will win a game or two late in the season. Maybe. Broncos by 14.

Minnesota (+3.5) at Arizona
I didn’t see anything from the Vikings last week to make me think they can keep this game as close as three and a half. Cardinals by 10.

Atlanta (+12.5) at Tampa Bay
This sure looks like the mismatch of the week to me. Buccaneers by 21.

Dallas (-3) at LA Chargers
The Cowboys didn’t impress me in the season opener. But I’m also not sold on the Chargers. Dallas by a point.

Tennessee (+6.5) at Seattle
Probably more like 9, I think. Seahawks.

Kansas City (-3.5) at Baltimore
By the time this game is over, the media will be ready to hand the Lombardi to Kansas City. Visitors by seven.

Detroit (+11.5) at Green Bay
One of these teams has frustrations to work out, demons to exorcise … whatever. The other is in serious trouble. Packers by 17.

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NFL 2021 Week Two, Thursday Night

September 16th, 2021 No comments

NY Giants (+3.5) at Washington
There’s still an outside chance Brand X turns out to be a sort of decent football team. So let’s look for them to get the win. Washington by 3.

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NFL Week 0ne 2021 Picks (post opener)

September 12th, 2021 No comments

Here’s the deal. It’s week one. I don’t know anything. You don’t know anything. No one really knows anything. Not anything real, I mean. We think we know stuff, because of last season and the preseason and all of that. But we don’t. We never do.

So here’s what not to expect. Or maybe it’s what to expect. Or something in between. I don’t know.

Philadelphia (+3) at Atlanta
At least from the outside, the 2021 Falcons look pretty similar to the slightly less than mediocre 2020 Falcons. Then again, while the Eagles look better this year than last, they could hardly look otherwise. I suspect the home team with no defense starts out with a win against a visiting team with no offense. But I’ll hedge and take Philly to keep it close. Falcons by a point.

Pittsburgh (+6.5) at Buffalo
The Steelers are probably just good enough to keep the AFC North competitive. Which should mean they’re just good enough to keep this game competitive. But they’re probably not good enough to win their division or their opening game. Bills by four.

Minnesota (-3) at Cincinnati
The Vikings may have improved some since last year. The Bengals, it appears, have not. Minnesota by six.

San Francisco (-8.5) at Detroit
The Lions are still the Lions. San Fran by seven.

Arizona (+3) at Tennessee
One or both of these teams may see its defense round into form as the season progresses. But almost no NFL defense ever starts the season fully ready to play its best football. Bet the over. Home team by six.

Seattle (-3) at Indianapolis
The Colts look like one of those teams that gets just enough right to make its struggles all the more painful. Seattle by a touchdown.

LA Chargers (+1.5) at Washington
The Chargers are probably (certainly?) the better team in this matchup. But not by enough to win in an opening weekend visit to a decent east coast team. Brand X by a field goal.

NY Jets (+3.5) at Carolina
This is a good matchup to get out of the way early. Home team by five.

Jacksonville (-3) at Houston
One of these teams has to not lose. I don’t know which it will be. But I know the Texans look extra awful. So I’ll guess Jacksonville ends up the non-loser. Let’s say by a point.

Cleveland (+5.5) at Kansas City
The consensus is that the Browns are good, but not quite good enough to keep up with a team like the C-suites. And that’s probably true on opening weekend. But I think it’s closer than most imagine. Kansas City by three.

Miami (+3) at New England
Watching the Dolphins-Patriots series bookend the teams’ seasons should be interesting. Come week 18, the emphasis may well have shifted to defense. But I’ll take the team with the stronger offense to win the opener. Patriots by six.

Green Bay (-3.5) vs. New Orleans at Jacksonville
It doesn’t really matter where this game is being played. The Saints have too much work to do. Green Bay by nine. (The media will be talking about the inevitability of a Packers Super Bowl championship by the time the day is out.)

Denver (-3) at NY Giants
The Giants may not be a great team, but this looks like one of those seasons when they turn out to be better than anyone expected. New Jersey by three.

Chicago (+8) at LA Rams
I’ve never been terribly impressed with Andy Dalton. I don’t expect that to change now. Rams by 14.

Baltimore (-4) at Las Vegas
The Ravens are clearly the better team here. Maybe it’s close through the first half. But it won’t be close down the stretch. Baltimore by 12.

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2021 NFL Opener Pick

September 9th, 2021 Comments off

Dallas (+9) at Tampa Bay
I have no excuse for not being ready to make my week one picks. I’ve had the entire offseason to prepare. And still … nope. Just not ready. Which makes me a lot like the Dallas Cowboys, who aren’t ready to take on the defending champs. The big difference is that I may still be ready to make the rest of my week one picks by Sunday, whereas the Cowboys might not be ready to for much of anything until the middle of the season. Oh, also, my lack of preparedness isn’t likely to hurt quite so much. Bucs by 12. (See what I did there?)

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