Whelp, I am a glutton for punishment and decided to get back into the sports gambling world, specifically the NFL. About five years ago I did something similar, and honestly I can’t believe it’s been that long. This time I am in a Pick Em league, so no lines, just winners, however, I have decided to return to my original format, also adding in some over/under wagers. Please in no way copy my bets, even for a $1. These are (poorly) educated guesses at best.
As a refresher I typically pick games I find interesting, not easy picks or boring games. For example this week I will not be doing Detroit @ Green Bay or Atlanta @ Tampa. I will also be using Barstool Sportsbook/Penn National Gaming for the lines and odds.
*I omitted Week 1 because I can’t remember which games I liked other than Lions to lose (obvi) and Bears to win. See why you shouldn’t listen to me???
**I may try to add in some soccer/futbol bets as well, but we’ll see how that goes.
Las Vegas Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Line: Steelers -6)
The Raiders had a big win on Monday night beating the Baltimore Ravens, in what many were shocked by. I think it is a bit shocking, but the Ravens, who thrive on the run game, have their top three RBs out and 13 players on the Injured List. They still put up 27 points on the Raiders, and the Steelers’ offense isn’t world beating but will be a much bigger task.
The Steelers won a low scoring affair against the Bills, but the Bills are a very good team on both sides of the ball. They also trailed most of the game and came back to win. Big Ben definitely isn’t in his prime but that offense can hurt you in a number of ways. I think this game will be close, but Steelers pull away late winning by more than six.
San Francisco 49ers @ Philadelphia Eagles (Over 50.5)
In my Pick Em I went with Philadelphia for a couple reasons, but mostly because the Niners lost a starting CB and also let the Detroit Lions put up 33 points on them…that’s insane, even if some were in garbage time. The Eagles might not win but they will put up points, or have the capacity at least. I think being at home for the first time this season will give them an edge.
The Niners can also put up the points, as they proved, but again it was against the Lions. Whether they win or not, who knows, going on back-to-back road games to start the year can be tough, but that’s not what the pick is here. This game has the potential to be back-and-forth on the offensive side, and I think it will. Life is too short to bet the under, as a wise man once said.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers (First Half Spread: Panthers 2.5)
This is another tough one. Obviously the Saints were very impressive in their dismantling of the Packers, of which I took immense joy. However, it begs the question: was this about how good the Saints are or how bad the Packers might be? Not to say the Packers will be bad all year, as I am expecting a big come back on Monday vs the Lions.
Jameis Winston had five TDs on only 148 yards, and Aaron Rodgers did his defense no favors. The Panthers looked pretty good against the Jets, but only put up 19 points with new QB Sam Darnold. The Saints are favored, obviously, but I think this could be closer than many think. I am going a bit wild card (for me) and going with the Panthers on the First Half Spread of 2.5. This just feels like one of those games where you see the halftime score and might even see Carolina up, but the Saints win comfortably in the end.
Tennessee Titans @ Seattle Seahawks (Line: Titans +6)
I feel like the Seahawks are notorious for starting slow, but shook that when they easily beat the Colts in Indianapolis last week. Maybe “easily” isn’t the right word, as it was 28-16 but it never felt like Seattle was going to lose. My one question mark is they seemed to coast when they felt like they had the game in hand.
Tennessee on the other hand got trounced by Arizona 38-13, at home nonetheless. Arizona’s defensive line, specifically Chandler Jones, abused the Titans offensive line. I don’t think Seattle’s defense will be as dominating, and Mike Vrabel seems to know how to motivate his guys and they listen.
I think Seattle comes in a little too full of themselves and Tennessee is pissed off. I don’t know if Tennessee can pull it off during the first home game for the Seahawks but I think they cover the six points.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens (Under 54.5)
The Chiefs squeaked one out against the Cleveland Browns at home last week in a pretty entertaining game. Without all the injuries I think the Ravens are better than the Browns, and with them they still put up 27 points on the Raiders. However, it’s looking like they might be without a starting All-Pro Tackle.
I think the Chiefs will win this fairly easy, but it won’t be easy. I can see a drawn out game with the Chiefs pulling away and then killing the clock. Although I could also see it being a blow out. But in the interest of contradicting my “life is too short” quote further up this post, let’s have some fun!
It will be interesting to see how Week 2 plays out. There were definitely some surprises in Week 1 and I feel like there are a few teams who won and think they are better than they really are. But that’s why they play the games!