Archive for September, 2022

NFL 2022 Week Four, Thursday Night Pick

September 29th, 2022 Comments off

Miami (+3.5) at Cleveland
The Bengals should be a better team than the Dolphins. But so far they haven’t been. Maybe Cincy will get over its hangover in time for this game. But I need to see evidence of that kind of recovery before I even consider believing in it. Until that happens, I’m going with the team that’s playing better over the one that’s better on paper. Miami by a point.

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NFL 2022 Week Three Picks, Post Thursday Night

September 25th, 2022 Comments off

I’m not getting better at this. In case you were wondering. I can’t. Yet. There’s not enough data. Well, that’s my excuse anyhow. Feels better than just admitting I’m clueless. Probably. Here’s what not to expect over the next couple of days.

Houston (+3) at Chicago
Neither of these teams is finished. And by “finished” I mean “ready,” not “done for the season.” They’re both probably done for the season. But the Bears are probably a step or two closer to being ready for 2023. Chicago by four.

Las Vegas (-2) at Tennessee
I don’t know why the Raiders are favored here. I mean, maybe they should be the better team. But are they the better team? Is “better” truly a word that can be applied to either of these squads right now? Tennessee by a point.

Kansas City (-5.5) at Indianapolis
This feels like the gimme of the week. Chiefs by 14.

Buffalo (-4.5) at Miami
Temperature at kickoff is expected to be close to 90 degrees. Still won’t quite bring the Bills down to the Dolphins’ level. Bills by a field goal.

Detroit (+6) at Minnesota
YepThe Vikings probably have the brighter immediate future, but this game is still fairly evenly matched. And it’s a divisional game. So I’m not inclined to give six. Three, maybe four. So let’s just say Minnesota by four.

Baltimore (-2.5) at New England
The Ravens are farther along. They should win this game. Which will be no consolation to Patriots fans. Baltimore by six.

Cincinnati (-6) at NY Jets
The Bengals may not be very good. The Jets may not be an actual football team. Cincinnati by seven.

Philadelphia (-6.5) at Washington
The Eagles so far appear to be on a mission. I think the Handmaid’s Tale Villains give their division rivals a game. But Washington won’t be able to hang for all 60. Philadelphia by four.

New Orleans (-2.5) at Carolina
The Saints are bit uneven. The Panthers are a bit bad. New Orleans by three.

Jacksonville (+3.5) at LA Chargers
Three and a half seems excessive. I think this is a game. Chargers by a point.

LA Rams (-3.5) at Arizona
There’s no real reason to believe in the defending champs right now. But there’s also no reason to believe in the Cardinals. I’m just taking the home team. Arizona by three.

Atlanta (+1) at Seattle
The Seahawks may be struggling, but they’re not struggling that much. Seattle by seven.

Green Bay (+1) at Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers are just better than the Packers. Right now. And probably for the whole of this season. Tampa by four.

San Francisco (-1.5) at Denver
I know the game’s in Denver and all, but this matchup doesn’t look nearly that close to me. Niners by six.

Dallas (+1) at NY Giants
Conventional wisdom says that regardless of their respective records, the Cowboys are better than the Giants. I’m not sold on that conventional wisdom. New Jersey by three.

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NFL 2022 Week Three, Thursday Night Pick

September 22nd, 2022 Comments off

Pittsburgh (+4) at Cleveland
The good news for both of these teams is that their opponent this week isn’t from the AFC East. The bad news is, neither of them is particularly good. You know, at the football. Browns by a field goal.

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NFL 2022 Week Two Picks, Post Thursday Night

September 18th, 2022 Comments off

NY Jets (+6.5) at Cleveland
The Jets probably aren’t quite as bad as they looked against the Ravens in week one. But they might be. Browns by nine.

Washington (pick ’em) at Detroit
Washington’s probably the better team in this matchup. But not by much. I’ll take the Lions at home. By a field goal.

Tampa Bay (-2.5) at New Orleans
I know the deal is that the Saints “always beat the Bucs” (except, you know, in the postseason). And the safe bet, no matter what Vegas has to say about it, is for that streak to continue. But, eh, I’m gonna keep on picking Tom Brady’s teams to win, especially when they have defenses that look as good as the Tampa D did in week one. Buccaneers by a point.

Carolina (+2) at NY Giants
This matchup looks pretty damned even to me. So I’ll take the home team. Giants by four.

New England (-2.5) at Pittsburgh
It’s not surprising the Steelers at the popular pick in this game even though the Patriots are favored. Pittsburgh played tough and beat the defending conference champs on the road in week one while the Patriots looked uneven and uncertain in a loss to the Dolphins in Miami. Plus, two straight road games is never easy. Thing is, though, the Patriots never play their best football in Miami. And last week’s result wasn’t nearly so lopsided as it’s been made out to be. If New England plays slightly better than they did in the opener, they should be able to come away with at least a narrow victory here. Patriots by a point.

Indianapolis (-3) at Jacksonville
The Colts need to start doing a bit better than not losing to teams they should, um, not lose to. Indy by three.

Miami (+3.5) at Baltimore
The Dolphins season got off to a fine start a week ago. So they’ll always have that. Ravens by eight.

Atlanta (+10) at LA Rams
Not all hangovers are alike. Rams by a touchdown.

Seattle (+9) at San Francisco
Nine seems excessive in a divisional matchup. Niners by six.

Cincinnati (-7) at Dallas
You may not have heard this before, but quarterback is kind of an important position. Bengals by 10.

Houston (+10) at Denver
The Texans managed a tie in their home opener. That’s exciting. The Broncos should start slow-ish coming off a tough Monday night loss in Seattle. But they’ll get it figured out by the second half. Denver by nine.

Arizona (+5.5) at Las Vegas
The Raiders aren’t great. But they should look great against the Cardinals. Las Vegas by 14.

Chicago (+10) at Green Bay
The Packers might be just better than middle of the road this season. But that won’t show much here unless you’re paying very close attention. Green Bay by eight.

Tennessee (+10) at Buffalo
I don’t know what’s likely to slow the Bills down this season. But I know it’s not the Titans. Buffalo by 20.

Minnesota (+2.5) at Philadelphia
I flipped a coin and it came up Vikings. Let’s say by one.

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NFL 2022 Week Two, Thursday Night

September 15th, 2022 Comments off

LA Chargers (+4) at Kansas City
The Chargers are probably better than you think they are. I suspect they’ll be in play for the division through the season. But they’re not traveling on a short week and beating the Chiefs. Kansas City by a field goal.

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NFL 2022 Week Two Picks, Post Opener

September 11th, 2022 Comments off

I’ve decided not to dwell on the fact that my pick for the 2022 season opener was absolutely, spectacularly wrong. Because, you know, I pretty much always pick the Thursday night games wrong, so I’m still on par. Instead, I’m obsessing over the eight road teams giving points this week. Eight. And it was nine before Thursday. That’s an uncomfortable situation in any week. In week one when there’s nothing but offseason and preseason to draw from, it’s just impossible. So this is me throwing darts. And landing, as always, on what not to expect.

New Orleans (-5.5) at Atlanta
It looks like it’s going to be a long season for the Falcons. But it also looks like 2022 is going to prove more than a bit of a slog for the Saints as well. Still, the New Orleans D probably has enough going for it to deliver a win this week. Saints by four.

San Francisco (-6.5) at Chicago
I don’t want to keep picking road teams. But I also don’t want to pick the Bears to beat a good team on any field. Niners by three.

Pittsburgh (+7) at Cincinnati
This seems about right. Even if Cincinnati takes a step back rather than the step forward everyone is expecting this season, the several steps back Pittsburgh has taken should more than make up the difference. Still, a touchdown in a divisional game is a lot to give. Bengals by six.

Philadelphia (-5) at Detroit
I’m not sure I believe in the 2022 Eagles. But I know I don’t believe in the 2022 Lions. So here I go, picking another road favorite to win but not cover. Philly by a field goal.

New England (+3.5) at Miami
Visits to Miami are never easy for the Patriots. Playing there early in the season with the game time temperature predicted to be 90 doesn’t help. The Patriots are a better football team than the empty-headed loudmouths who dominate sports media in Boston want us to believe. But I wouldn’t count on this game shutting that crowd up. Dolphins by three.

Baltimore (-6.5) at NY Jets
The Ravens are going to hit a few bumps along the way this season. But the Jets, at most, are a speed bump. Baltimore by seven.

Jacksonville (+3) at Washington
I can’t say one thing about either of these teams with any degree of confidence. I guess I like Washington’s defense to carry the team here. Commanders (it’s a stupid name, but at least not an offensive one) by four.

Cleveland (pick ’em) at Carolina
Meh. Panthers by six.

Indianapolis (-7) at Houston
Do the Texans have an actual football team to field? Colts by four.

NY Giants (+5.5) at Tennessee
I think we’ll see the Giants show some flashes of hope through the season. And that’s fine. New Jersey may not be rebuilding, but they’re, you know, rebuilding. Still, the Titans are a better team than they’re getting credit for right now. That should show here. Tennessee by a touchdown.

Green Bay (pick ’em) at Minnesota
On the road against your toughest division rival with your aging quarterback lined up behind a depleted O line is not an idea way to start a season. Minnesota by four.

Kansas City (-6.5) at Arizona
I’m not sure it would even feel like football season without the media getting an excuse to declare the Chiefs certain Super Bowl champions after week one. Kansas City by 14.

Las Vegas (+3.5) at LA Chargers
This game could go either way, which means you pick the home team. Chargers by three.

Tampa Bay (-2.5) at Dallas
I’m not picking against Tom Brady’s Bucs, though I think there’s a decent chance I end up regretting that this week. Tampa by one.

Denver (-6.5) at Seattle
It sure looks like the Seahawks are in for a long season. And Denver’s new QB may be coming into this game looking to make a statement. Broncos by eight.

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Week One, Season Opener Pick

September 8th, 2022 Comments off

Buffalo (-2.5) at LA Rams
Everybody loves the 2022 Bills. And with good reason. They appear to have a hell of a football team yet again. Better than the defending champs? Yeah, maybe. I mean, probably. But better by enough to be able to fly across the country and win the opener in Los Angeles? I don’t know. Maybe. But I’m not betting on it. Rams by a point.

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