It's a simple column, really. My frenemy Chuck Friemund and I make picks against the spread every Friday at 9:35am on The FAN. I then enter those picks into a Yahoo! pick 'em league I belong to and rank my picks with confidence points, and then I share them with you!
HUGE disclaimer though. I did get someone asking me when these picks would be posted (later and later every week it seems) as he is going to Vegas. Okay, dude. All the caution in the world. Use these for fun and to help put you over the edge if you're looking for advice, but also ask the first homeless guy as you walk out of the casino. Don't lay down too much money on these!
If you do though, I've been batting around .500. Tough week last week though.
Last Week: 5-8-1 Year to Date: 45-44-2
15 points - Denver (-7.0) over Houston
It's the Brock Osweiler bowl! Houston had a nice comeback win against Indy last week on Sunday Night Football, but Brocksweiler has not been playing up to that contract. I really do think John Elway is a quarterback whisperer, although the Broncos could have won last year's Super Bowl with Tim Tebow instead of that Peyton Manning. But Elway wants to show he made the right decision, and you can bet this General Manager has been more involved in any aspect he can be this week. The Broncos are my favorite pick this week, looking to rebound after a couple of losses.
14 points - Baltimore (even) over New York Jets
Huh? I know this game is in New York (Jersey) but am I missing something? Baltimore is a better team than the Geno Smith lead Jets right? Hey look, I thought the Jets might be able to be a playoff team but Fitzpatrick hoodwinked me as much as he did the Jets faithful. This seems like a line that Vegas is begging you to take. And I will!
13 points - Washington (even) over Detroit
My theory on the NFC East is that no matter what happens, all the teams in the division will beat up on each other and all finish between 9-7 and 7-9. That looks to change this year based on the early returns. Washington! How about these guys? Starting 0-2 and then ripping off four in a row. NFC East logic would have you believe that the Nicknames That Shall Not Be Named will blow it, but Detroit Lions logic tells you that you take Washington here.
12 points - Atlanta (-6.5) over San Diego
San Diego has deserved a better fate for how they've played, but Atlanta is the real deal. A nice little tune up before they kick the Packers ass next weekend.
11 points - New England (-7.0) over Pittsburgh
A popular pick this week despite being on the road, it's all about Landry Jones in this one. A Pittsburgh win wouldn't surprise me by any means, and I hate going against Pittsburgh after a loss, but give me New England here. It's all about narratives folks! New England's narrative is the dominance of Tom Brady after the suspension, Pittsburgh's is overcoming the adversity of another Big Ben injury stretch. Expect this matchup again come January.
10 points - Kansas City (-6.5) over New Orleans
Another disclaimer that I am writing this column at 11:42pm on a Friday night. The older I get, the more I like staying in on Fridays. Tonight that means hanging out with my good friend Captain Morgan, watching some Warriors/Trail Blazers preseason, listening to pre-2010 Kanye, and writing a picks column. Consider this a long way to apologize for once again not proofreading an article.
Oh, and Chiefs.
9 points - Minnesota (-2.5) over Philadelphia
Sam Bradford's revenge! This logic is simple in this pick. I don't want the Vikings to win but should they I want to benefit from it in some way, no matter how small. That's it! That's my logic! Don't use these picks in Vegas @tehmadman!!!!
8 points - Arizona (-2.0) over Seattle
This could go either way but the Cardinals have been on national television the last two weeks so I feel like I have a better handle on them than I do the Seahawks. Again, the logic in these picks is flawed. Save your money!
7 points - Tennessee (-2.5) over Indianapolis
Man, I just do not like this Colts team. If I was doing Indy sports radio I would be run out of town by now. I think Irsay is a whacko, Grigson is a terrible GM, Luck is overrated, Pagano isn't that smart, and the rest of the team is below average. That loss to the Texans on Sunday night was a disaster for them. Not impressed, give me Chuck's Titans.
6 points - Cleveland (+10) over Cincinnati
The first underdog I've taken in the column, that can't bode well. Cleveland is as bad as ever, but ten points is too much for me.
5 points - Los Angeles (+2.5) over New York Giants
I always thought that it'd be cool if the Packers played in London. A 8:30am start time, Packers football with bloody marys and scrambled eggs, and then the rest of the day to nap and watch football. But if you're a Rams fan out west, this game starts at 6:30am local time! What the hell! That seems wrong. As for the pick, the logic I was going to use to take the Giants was that Odell Beckham Jr shares a last name with English soccer legend David Beckham. That'd be stupid, so I'm going with the Rams (Similar to when I applied for colleges I applied only to UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse. The application to the Eau C was because of a girl, I realized that was dumb, so I went La Crosse. Sometimes the obviously stupid decision really is the wrong one).
4 points - Jacksonville (-1.0) over Oakland
My Oakland theory is that they go 7-1 or 8-0 on the road and 4-4 at home. It's another East Coast jaunt for the Raiders, but I am going to take the Jags here. They can still win 10 games, they still can do it! DUUUVVALLL (most inside joke this column will ever have).
3 points - Tampa Bay (-2.0) over San Francisco
The Niners are bad. Tampa.
2 points - Miami (+3.0) over Buffalo
Buffalo and Washington are on similar trajectories but I am going to go with the home dog in a divisional matchup here. I am starting to believe in Buffalo, but Miami can not be as bad as they look. Actually, now that I'm at the end of the sentence I think they are as bad as they look but it's only for two points, what the hell. I'll stick with the Dolphins.
1 point - Green Bay (-7.5) over Chicago
I actually had this for 11 points before I spooked myself out of it about two hours before game time. Silly me. I totally should have seen Aaron Rodgers throwing 56 times, three Green Bay receivers catching ten or more balls, and Brian Hoyer breaking his arm coming. But hey, it's a point to start of the week!
Bart and his frenemy Freems can be heard 6a-10a Monday through Friday on 105.7 FM The FAN (1250 AM).
Chuck and I (call him Freems) go through our picks on air each week at 9:30am on Friday mornings, and we were - to use one of our favorite words this week - flabbergasted to see that the line for this game was set this high. Actually, the line we used on air was found at ESPN and it was in favor of the Bills by a nine point margin. Are we missing something here? Sure, the bills have been playing better as of late, but nine points is pretty steep. It must be a Colin Kaepernick related thing, as technically you could consider him a backup quarterback on the road traveling across the country against a defense that is supposed to be not terrible. But the line is too high. I'm not sure if San Fran will win, but I do expect this to be a high scoring game and I like the Niners to at least cover.
14 points - Oakland (-1) over Kansas City
Oakland is a team that I have been loving on the road this season and that has paid off nicely. But I still like them at home against a Chiefs team that has not been living up to the lofty expectations of some. Amidst the rumors that they could be on the move to Las Vegas soon, I'm going to play my cards now and forecast an Oakland victory.
13 points - Jacksonville ( 2.5) over Chicago
I didn't want to do a gambling themed pun for the Raiders game, but I am a weak person and take the easiest joke possible when it is presented. Oh and also, the Bears suck.
12 points - Green Bay (-4) over Dallas
I grew up in Wisconsin. I have lived in Wisconsin my whole life. I like aka love the Packers. So it's hard at times to pick these games objectively even if "that's my job". So what I try to do, and this is a point that I don't think I communicate well enough, is I try to picture myself as some dude living somewhere that has no affliation to the Packers. Follow me here. Let's say I'm some 32 year old dude in the hills of West Virginia that loves the NFL. What am I seeing this week? A lot of talk about how Mike McCarthy is mad at reporters and a lot of praise about how Dak Prescott is the second coming of Roger Staubach. Well, for those reasons, I'm taking the Packers. The national tide seems to be going towards Dallas so I'm going to counteract that. It's at Lambeau, and that's enough for me. Added wrinkle of Brett Favre in attendance and the alleged story about how Aaron's first words to Brett were "Good Morning, Grandpa" and I think we might be in for a big Rodgers day. Good Morning, Grandpa needs to be your fantasy football team name for years to come, by the way.
11 points - Denver (-3.5) over San Diego
I can now go back to picking against Denver for they have wronged me so.
10 points - Carolina (-3.0) over New Orleans
Carolina does not start 1-5. Carolina does not start 1-5. Carolina does not start 1-5.
9 points - Detroit (-3.0) over Los Angeles
Okay, those are the games I feel pretty good about. The following are games that I feel terrible about. There are some really tough lines this week. The Lions are at home, the Rams are playing well, and this game is pretty much even. But I'm higher on the Lions yet than most, so give me Stafford here.
8 points - Philadelphia (-2.5) over Washington
My co-host Chuck is big on the mantra that if you have a home underdog facing a division opponent, you take the home underdog. I am more towards the theory that the NFC East never plays out how you would expect so I'm taking the Eagles here.
7 points - Pittsburgh (-7.5) over Miami
Again, tough lines. I like the Steelers but that line is too high. Still, I'd ride Big Ben against a broken Ryan Tannehill.
6 points - New England (-8.5) over Cincinnati
This line is outrageous too, but Tom Brady be damned.
5 points - Seattle (-6.0) over Atlanta
Okay so is Atlanta good now or what? I'm actually getting tired of Atlanta. Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, cast of characaters, coach who's name I can never remember and always think they still have Mike Smith (Bart, it's Dan Quinn). Is it their colors? Is it a weird bias I have against Atlanta? I don't know, but I don't like the Falcons. I don't hate them, but I don't like them. But why???? I really don't know. I mean, I detest Seattle, but. Okay. Now I've lost my train of thought. Seattle?
4 points - Cleveland ( -7.0) over Tennessee
Cleveland might find a way to lose by 6.999999999, but this spread of 7 is too much. Big baseball win for The Cleve tonight, by the way (I'm PC man, sorry, I don't like saying their teamname. Their mascot is wildly offensive. It's the beta male in me). I hope they go up 3-1 and lose the series.
3 points - Arizona (-7.5) over New York Jets
Is John Brown worth starting aka rostering on fantasy teams anymore. DM me @winksthinks on Twitter if you want to have an hour plus conversation about John Brown's fantasy value.
2 points - New York Giants (-3.0) over Baltimore
1 point - Houston (-1.0) over Indianapolis
The Colts are bad, but the Texans are less bad. And I orginally typed the Astros here. Actually it was the Astors. I'm going to bed now. Bottoms up.
My name is Bart. I pick games against the spread each week. Then I rank them by confidence points. I use Yahoo's spread from Thursday. Let's go!
Last Week: 9-6 Year to Date: 33-30
14 points - Minnesota (-6.0) over Houston
Okay, I'm done going against Minnesota in these pick 'em things, and not only that, I'll give them the most confidence of the week. Look, I know the Vikings defense is good, I've been saying that all year. I just don't want to come around and admit that they are GREAT or ELITE. Comparatively with the rest of the league you could say that, sure, but I still think they will be exposed as the season goes on. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, I don't know. What I do know is that I 100 percent hope this pick helps contribute to whatever jinx vibes are out there in the ethos, and that the defense looks terrible in the process.
13 points - Miami (-3.5) over Tennessee
The game will go on as scheduled as Miami did not get hit by Hurricane Matthew as bad as it could have been. That's about all the analysis I'm willing to give or provide on this game. Tennessee isn't as bad as they have been playing, I don't think, but I give Miami the edge purely to ride with the home team here.
12 points - Chicago (+4.5) over Indianapolis
These are without question the two teams that I am the lowest on in the whole league. The Bears are a mess and have somehow regressed from a season ago. The Colts have a problem where they are paying their QB a ton of money and then have none left over for their defense. At least that's what the Colts GM is saying. Publicly! Andrew Luck maybe isn't as good as we thought, but we'll really never know with that Colts defense and that poor Colts offensive line around him. I'm starting to think Luck might not be a Colt much longer. This is doesn't seem like it's going to end well.
11 points - Baltimore (-4.0) over Washington
I'm not sure how good Baltimore is, and Washington has put together a couple of nice wins, but gut goes with the home team here again.
10 points - Pittsburgh (-7.0) over New York Jets
The spread actually seems a bit high for me, but the oddsmakers must love Pittsburgh's defense against Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has started to regress to the mean as he always does. I'll keep riding the Steelers while they are hot, though.
9 points - Denver (-5.5) over Atlanta
Not going against Denver. That I've stated. I'm now more intrigued in the bet I made with Chuck on Friday. We set Matt Ryan's game yardage at 203 1/2. It may seem low, but off the top of my head I don't think the Broncos have allowed more than 205 yards to a QB this season, and they've faced some good ones. I'd look all this up for you, but then I have to open a new tab, and toggle between tabs, and write stuff, and you know, it's a hassle.
8 points - Dallas (even) over Cincinnati
Some lines have pushed the Bengals to the role of the favorite but I'll stay with Dallas regardless. I really like the Prescott / Elliot combo and I think Dallas would be crazy to throw Tony Romo back in there once he's healthy. They say injuries shouldn't cost you your starting job, but isn't that how people losing starting jobs like 98 percent of the time? All I know is that I'm pumped for the "Should Tony Romo backup Aaron Rodgers" topic next summer!
7 points - Arizona (-4) over San Francisco
Hey, I got a Thursday night game right! And I put more than one point on it!
6 points - Oakland (-3.5) over San Diego
My mantra with Oakland is that they are going to go like 7-1 or 8-0 on the road, and 4-4 at home. Well, this weekend they are at home. Give me the Raiders in this one, as the Chargers are not that good of a football team, definitely not better than the Raiders.
5 points - New England (-10) over Cleveland
The Browns played the Patriots three years ago and put up 26 on them, losing 27-26. Is that relevant here? Probably not. In fact, definitely not. But the point is just because it's the Patriots and just because it's the Browns doesn't mean it's going to be a blowout. Although in this case, it probably will be.
4 points - Buffalo (+2.5) over Los Angeles
Both of these teams are weird, and will continue to be weird. And both of these teams are probably going to miss the playoffs by one game in the last game of the season. Or this could be a Super Bowl preview! Who the hell knows in the NFL anymore.
3 points - Green Bay (-3) over New York Giants
On the show I took the Giants to cover, but what the hell. I like the Packers and I feel like taking them to win. So there!
2 points - Carolina (even) over Tampa Bay
Probably should have made this a double digit game in terms of my confidence points, but I'll back off with Cam Newton still going through the concussion protocol, and also the threats of the hurricane along the East Coast. Plus the Panthers have been burning me hard lately, so forget them. (note: I initially wrote f*** instead of forget just to see what it would look like on The FAN's website. I'm not sure what the rules are for swearing here. I am deciding against it.... for now.
1 point - Detroit (+3) over Philadelphia
There's gotta be a Carson Wentz let down game right? And why wouldn't it come against one of the league's worst defenses!
Talk to you guys after a Packers WIN on Monday morning and then all week long - Weekdays 6a-10a on The FAN.
The exercise is simple. I pick games against the spread and rank them with confidence points. The spread I'm using is what is available on Yahoo as of Thursday when I make my picks. I could not be more down the middle on these so far, so if you are going to use my selections for any reasons, make sure to pick the right half!
Last Week: 8-8 The Week Before That: 8-8 And The Week Before That: 8-8 Season: 24-24
15 points - Carolina (-3.0) over Atlanta
Once again, I thought that the Vikings were going to get rolled and once again I was wrong. This time it was the Vikings doing the rolling against Carolina in Carolina. But I like the Panthers to bounce back here and to avoid going 1-3. More so because I don't like Atlanta here though. Atlanta just put up nearly a literal ton of yards against New Orleans, and I think they come in to this game, at home, with a false sense of confidence. I like Carolina to win here. Maybe not by a lot, but enough to cover the three.
14 points - Arizona (-7.5) over Los Angeles
Another team I keep underestimating in a costly fashion is the Rams. I've picked against them every week and it's usually my second most confident pick of the week. So I'm going to do it again here, despite their 2-1 record, and we'll find out if I'm falling in to the definition of insanity or if the theory of being due can supercede that.
13 points - Pittsburgh (-5.5) over Kansas City
This is another game where I'm picking based on one team and not the other. Kansas City has six picks last week, that's nice. But my focus is on the Steelers. I expect them to rebound nicely after their trashing to the Eagles in Philly a week ago. I like the Steelers at home in this one.
12 points - New England (-4.5) over Buffalo
You might be able to grab this one at even depending on New England's quarterback situation. Is Jimmy G (don't feel like taking the time to spell his last name right) going to be healthy enough to get the start? Will Julian Edeleman get an extended look at quarterback as per the wishes of the nation? It doesn't matter to me. Buffalo had a nice win last weekend, but New England has the chance to go 4-0 without Tom Brady. Don't tell me that's not going to motivate this team to give a big middle finger to Roger Goodell.
11 points - Oakland (+3.5) over Baltimore
My first underdog of the week, and it's going to be the Raiders. I'm going to ride Oakland on the road until they lose. I just think this is going to be a season where they keep winning on the road and go .500 at home.
10 points - Cleveland (+7.5) over Washington
This line is just too much for me. Especially with an NFC East team involved. Everytime there is an obvious play in the NFC East, it comes back to bite you (this is a theory I will contradict in a couple minutes, however). Give me the Browns, if for no other reason than I'm banking on Terrelle Pryor big time in fantasy leagues this weekend.
9 points - New York Giants (+4.5) over Minnesota
Betting with my heart, not my head. Nothing more.
8 points - Houston (-5.5) over Tennessee
I like the Texans to rebound at home against a Tennessee team that seems to be unable to score more than 17 points. Which means if the question is, can the Texans score 23 points at home, my answer is yes.
7 points - Dallas (-3.0) over San Francisco
I think I just talked myself out of this one in the time it took me to write the Washington pick until now, but I'm going to stick with Prescott and Zeke. I really love the poise of this Prescott kid. I don't see how Romo starts when he's healthy again and I think he knows it.
6 points - Jacksonville (+2.5) over Indianpolis
Jacksonville is technically the home team here with the game in London. I do like Jacksonville to finally get a win no matter where the game is though. Indy's offensive line may have to start up to four rookies and I like the Jags to exploit that. I'm not all in on these London games, but I'm all in on the 8:30am start time. Love it.
5 points - New Orleans (+3.5) over San Diego
Drew Brees' first time back in San Diego as a player since he left the Chargers organization. If you're betting this game, the over is the play here.
4 points - Cincinnati (-7.0) over Miami
Hey, I finally got a Thursday Night game right!
3 points - Denver (-3.0) over Tampa Bay
I'm done betting against Denver, that's the only reason I need.
2 points - Seattle (-1.5) over New York Jets
I'll take the Seahawks here. I don't think this will be a blowout, the Seahawks might open things up late but I expect a good, competitive game here. Russell Wilson should play and I think he'll be able to do just enough to get past the Jets.
1 point - Chicago (+3.0) over Detroit
NFC North games are the worst when the Packers aren't involved. They really are. Who is going to be watching this on Sunday? Why would you? Booooooorrrrriiiing.
Bonus college pick - WELL, THE BADGERS WHOOPED MICHIGAN BAAADD (except not that and the other way around!)
As always, these are picks against the spread that Yahoo! posts on Thursday every week for confidence leagues. My confidence points are attached to each pick. And disclaimer that these predictions are for entertainment purposes only! Disclaimer that I am entitled to change my mind about them if new circumstances present themself without being held to the stake! Disclaimer I'm only mediocre at this! Disclaimer that I do not take the time to profread these columns.
Last Week: 8-8 Overall: 16-16
16 points - Dallas (-7) over Chicago
Maybe I'm underestimating the effect that Brian 'The Destroyer' Hoyer will have on this anemic Bears offense, but this is more about how much I like the Cowboys to roll at home on Sunday Night Football. I'm expecting a big night out of Ezekiel Elliot and have set my Fanduel lineups accordingly.
I'm not allowing myself to give up on the Buccanneers nor am I allowing myself to buy into the Rams. I like Jameis a lot, and I like him back at home this week a lot too. Bucs should cover.
12 points - Carolina (-7) over Minnesota
You try not to equate things that are happening in the real world with things that happen on a football field, but I think the city of Charlotte needs their football team to win a football game this week. I think Cam Newton knows he can give the city at least three hours of a distraction and I think the Panthers are going to expose all the problems with Minnesota's defense that apparently only I see.
11 points - Jacksonville (even) over Baltimore
Oh Jacksonville, why do you hurt me so. My team to win 10 games has started 0-2, but I'm not giving up hope they do it. If ten wins is too lofty, a playoff appearance certainly is not. Their division is bad. They play the NFC North teams yet besides Green Bay, and that division is bad. Jacksonville can still achieve all the goals that I have set for them, but it has to start this weekend.
10 points - Washington (+4.5) over New York Giants
When you think you know the NFC East, you don't. Washington on the road in a game they should not win but will.
9 points - Seattle (-9.5) over San Francisco
I really want to take the 49ers here but in Seattle, I'm going to side with the Seahawks. Seattle fans have to be going through the same sort of panic that Packers fans are with how poorly they've played in their first two games, but I think the 49ers will be the cure to heal all wounds.
8 points - Oakland (+1.5) over Tennessee
Oakland feels like a team that could go 8-0 on the road and 3-5 at home. Give me the Raiders in Nashville.
7 points - Detroit (+7.5) over Green Bay
The Packers certaintly have no business covering in this game. Whether they will win or not is another story. The Lions are beat up but Matthew Stafford under Jim Bob Cooter has been nothing sort of incredible. He's thrown 23 touchdowns and just three interceptions since he was acquainted with his new offensive coordinator. With the monkey of not winning in Wisconsin off their back, I like the Lions to not only cover but to make things very difficult on Packers fans next week as we sink into the reality of a 1-2 record heading into the bye week.
6 points - Arizona (+4.5) over Buffalo
I have no recollection or have I ever seen video of these two teams playing. This is also the point of the column where I get lazy with my analysis.
5 points - Cleveland (-10.0) over Miami
I like the Dolphins to win but I like the Browns to cover because
4 points - San Diego (+2.5) over Indianapolis
I think the Colts are overrated. I think Andrew Luck was annointed as too good, too soon. And for whatever reason, I see the Chargers coming in to enemy terrority and sending the Colts down to an 0-3 start.
3 points - Houston (even) over New England
2 points - New York Jets (+2.5) over Kansas City
Or the other could happen, this is the hardest game of the week to pick for me, thus just the two confidence points.
1 point - New Orleans (-3.0) over Atlanta
I'll be watching the debates Monday so that has made me not care about this game in any way, shape or form.