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.
These picks are against the finalized point spread available on Yahoo on the Thursday of game week. I'll be ranking them by confidence points as well. These are meant for entertainment purposes only (well, for you anyway, I'm using them even though I lost my ass last week).
Week 1: 8-8 Season: Well, 8-8 obviously
16 points - Green Bay (-2) over Minnesota
I've been talking soup about the Vikings defense on the air all week and how I'd take the Packers if the spread was as high as 8 points, so that's what I'm going to do with and obviously I'm more comfortable with this line. I'm interested to hear from Packers fans on Fridays show when they give their prediction, because so far every prediction I've heard has been the same - "THE VIKINGS DEFENSE IS GOOD I THINK AND ITS A NEW STADIUM SO VIKINGS WIN". Yeah, the Vikings defense is good, but statistically they were right with the Packers last season. Fans in Wisconsin are underrating the Packers defense as much as they are overrating the Vikings defense. And while a new stadium is a great milestone, it doesn't mean the Packers should just stay home and let someone else open it up. The Packers are the better team. They have an MVP quarterback. The Vikings are a good team who has not yet begun to realize how big the loss of Teddy Bridgewater will be. Sam Bradford is not getting this team to the playoffs. And he's not getting the Vikings a win against the Packers. Go Pack Go.
15 points - Seattle (-3.5) over Los Angeles
I know Russell Wilson is a bit dinged up and the Seahawks have yet to figure out who's going to be their primary rock carrier, but 3 1/2 is the line, that's it? This has to be a misprint. The Rams are terrible! Case Keenum is lost! You think the 49ers had an advantage being able to stack the box against Gurley, well then just how will Seattle capitalize on that? I suppose, THE RAMS AND A NEW STADIUM and all, but it's not a new stadium and it's not a new Rams team. This one seems a no brainer. And not one of those too good to be true no brainers either, but like a go empty your bank account kind of no brainer.
14 points - Philadelphia (+3) over Chicago
I was actually going to bite and take the Bears at home on Monday Night Football, but just like people think the Vikings are better than they really are, people think the Bears aren't as bad as they really are. President Obama (OMG POLITICZ ALERT) was talking up the Wentz Wagon in Philly this week, he'll be on board when they take down his beloved Bears.
13 points - Oakland (-4.5) over Atlanta
A very impressive road win for the Raiders last week who I think will keep the momentum going against a team that gets closer to the definition of insanity with every passing game.
12 points - Pittsburgh (-3) over Cincinnati
Pittsburgh might very well be the best team in the league right now, and that's without Le'veon Bell. A lot will be made of the playoff game between these two games a year ago, which is something I feel obligated to mention here. Give me Pittsburgh a win over the AFC's Falcons.
11 points - Denver (-6) over Indianapolis
I'm getting tired of betting against Denver and losing, so let's try doing this instead.
10 points - Jacksonville (+3) over San Diego
I was very impressed with Jacksonville this last weekend. Funny about how the mentality of Packers fans before week 1 was "Jacksonville sucks" but after needing a late 4th and 1 stop against the Jags it now becomes "hey that team is good". That's what I've been saying! I still have them on track for ten wins - let's give them one here.
9 points - Tennessee (+5.5) over Detroit
I came very close to taking Detroit here but I don't see Tennessee losing by six points even if they can't top the Lions. Look for a big week from Marcus Mariota and look for the Lions to come back to Earth after a win over the Colts last Sunday.
8 points - Carolina (-13) over San Francisco
Thirteen points!?!?! I know Carolina is at home, and a Super Bowl contender, but that seems so so high. Especially with how roughed up Cam Newton got in week one and how convincing the 49ers win was. Logic would tell you that San Fran is going to keep this at least within 13, which is why I'm going the other way. Carolina and the points.
7 points - New Orleans (+4.5) over New York Giants
I had 12 points on New Orleans beating the Raiders last week at home, and they would have done it too if it was for those meddling kids from Oakland. The Giants had a nice win on the road, but I think the spread is too high for them here.
6 points - Tampa Bay (+6.5) over Arizona
All aboard the Winston Wagon. Arizona is in danger of going 0-2 at home to start the season and this would be a huge step in the development of the Buccaneers if they can pull out the win. Let's give this the Upset Special of the week and I'll take the Bucs to win on the road in a shocker.
5 points - New England (-6.5) over Miami
Miami kept it close last week in Seattle and nearly pulled off the victory. But Jimmy G is the real deal and he'll have no problem at home against the Dolphins.
4 points - Houston (-2.5) over Kansas City
One of these teams has either a banged up offensive line or defensive line but it's close to the end of the column so I'll just take Houston at home.
3 points - Buffalo (even) over New York Jets
These Thursday Night games are just too hard to get a read on. I think Tyrod Taylor has a bounce back effort against a Jets team that is going to take longer than expected to find their way.
2 points - Baltimore (-6) over Cleveland
Are the Ravens are least watchable team in football? They'll beat Cleveland, but Gary Barnidge should do better with Josh McCown than he did RGIII. I don't know if that's relevant here, but that's what every fantasy football article I've read this week has said so I'll say it here too.
1 points - Washington (-2.5) over Dallas
Washington looked awful the other night and there is a lot to be excited about with Dallas, but the Boys fall to 0-2 as they head out to D.C..
Again, 8-8 last week. I have nothing to compare these picks too as far as seasons past go. Someone asked me on twitter last week (@winksthinks) what all my splits were, etc.... Let me reiterate the point that you should not be placing your hard earned money on a column I'm writing to fulfill company blog quota! (I will though, of course)
Each week I'll be making my picks against the spread confidence style. The lines I'm using will be coming from the Pick 'Em League I do on Yahoo. I'm not sure what the legal disclaimer needs to be here if any, so I'll make up my own. These are meant to be for fun and for fun only! And with that, the picks.
16 points - Houston (-6.5) over Chicago
The team I'm going in both pick 'em and survivor pools this week is Houston. I've barely done any research yet for my FanDuel lineup, but about the one thing I've heard is that everyone is very high on the Texans WR's exploiting a banged-up Bears secondary. If you're following football this week, you've likely heard that too. Josh Sitton or not, I am just very very bearish on the Bears this season. I like Houston at home to roll.
15 points - Los Angeles (-2.5) over San Francisco
Another team that I think is terrible is San Francisco. I think I like the Rams this season upon their return to Los Angeles. I mean we all know that they'll go 7-9 again, but I kind of like them. At least this week.
14 points - Pittsburgh (-3) over Washington
Haven't check the forecast yet for this one but there's no doubt 100 percent chance of rain, right? Just seems like there would be.
13 points - Indianapolis (-3.5) over Detroit
I haven't really bought into the Colts yet this season despite the return of Andrew Luck, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt at home.
12 points - New Orleans (even) over Oakland
Oakland is a team I like to make the playoffs and I like to do big things this season, but I'm still going with the Saints at home. Derek Carr and Drew Brees will race to throw 500 yards a piece, whoever does first wins.
11 points - Miami (+10.5) over Seattle
There is going to be at least one true shocker this week, and I'll go with this one. Seattle is a Top 3 team in the NFL, Miami has to make the cross country jaunt, and you usually don't take coaches like Adam Gase in their first game. But give me the 'phins at least to cover, and I'll go as far to say that they pull off the upset.
10 points - Green Bay (-4.5) over Jacksonville
This line seems too hard not to take. Jacksonville is a team I've been preaching will win ten games this season, but this won't be one of them. It's going to be Lambeau Field South this weekend right down to the Packers wearing their home green jerseys. Give me the Packers and a touchdown for each of the tight ends (minus Justin Perillo unfortunately).
9 points - Kansas City (+7) over San Diego
Seven seems high especially in week one, and I really like Melvin Gordon this season, but the Chiefs are a good football team, better than people think. They'll get the comfortable win at home.
8 points - Tampa Bay (+3) over Atlanta
I sort of want to change my 10 win Jaguars proclamation and switch it to another Florida team. I am really feeling the Buccanneers this season if for no other reason than Jameis Winston. We only hear the stupid when it comes to this kid, but by all accounts he's become a leader on this football team and the Bucs are buying in. I like Tampa in this one.
7 points - Cleveland (+4) over Philadelphia
Both of these teams are bad, but the Browns will be less bad on this given day. Don't sleep on the Browns! The quest to six wins begins in Philly!
6 points - New York Jets (+2.5) over Cincinnati
Brandon Marshall could catch 200 balls this season, give me Fitz and the Jets.
5 points - New England (+6) over Arizona
I make all of these picks on Yahoo first before I brought them over here and this was the one pick I changed. I'm trying to picture where I'll be at 10pm on Sunday night and what will be on the TV. I'm envisioning a game that Arizona dominates early but then New England crawls their way back. Arizona will still probably win, but it will be close.
4 points - Baltimore (-3) over Buffalo
This already feels like a week 17 snoozer. Ravens.
3 points - Dallas (even) over New York Giants
They're starting a rookie QB and a rookie RB and yet the Cowboys will probably somehow win the NFC East. I really do love the NFC East, despite how much this division is shoved down our throats. All of these division games are uniquely long and boring but I just love me. The legend of Dak begins Sunday.
2 points - Tennessee (+2) over Minnesota
Losing Teddy Bridgewater cost the Vikings 3-4 wins, grabbing Sam Bradford will give them 1-2 back. But Marcus Mariota is another guy I'm high on. With uncertainty at quarterback this weekend, I like the Titans to step up on defense and I like the running duo of Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry to have their way against a Minnesota defense that is good, but still a little overrated.
1 point - Denver (+3) over Carolina
Stay away from the NFL Opener. Carolina should win this game by 20, but I thought that in the Super Bowl as well. Broncos to at least cover.