Hi there! Thanks for reading. I'm writing this first paragraph as a preamble so that a swear word doesn't show up on the preview of this link on my Facebook page. There are aunts and stuff on Facebook.
Anyway, I used to do NFL picks just for shits and giggles. Quite literally – this website is called PoopReading.com for a reason. If you need eight to ten minutes of reading material at the end of the week then I humbly hope you'll consider my NFL picks as part of your plan, and if I can help it there will be one or two jokes or references that make you giggle. Anyway, I used to like doing it, so I decided I'd start doing it again.
Picks are against the spread. My pick is in all caps.
One caveat: I don't know very much about football. Certainly not at the beginning of the season, anyway. As my kids get older and older the NFL season sneaks up on me quicker and quicker. By Halloween I've usually got a slightly better feel for things, and by the divisional playoff round I'm always ready to head to Vegas and bet on that weekend's games, but as of right now I probably can't name a non-skill-position player on your favorite team. So take everything I say with a dump truck full of salt. On we go!
So far, so good. I'll always try to tweet out my Thursday night pick before the game to time-stamp it. How do you know I won't cheat and write two tweets, one for each team, and then go back and delete the incorrect one and only link to the one that shows an accurate prediction? You don't, but I won't.
TENNESSEE TITANS @ Detroit Lions (-5.5)
Are the Lions good? Are the Colts – whom the Lions beat last week – bad? Hell if I know. It's week two; nobody knows. Five-and-a-half seems high for the Lions, though.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ Houston Texans (-2.5)
Ah, playoff implications. Sweet, sweet playoff implications. The kids have only just gone back to school, and already we've got a game with playoff implications. And since we might be looking at two division winners here, the winner of this baby might host the other team in the postseason.
At the risk of saddling myself with too many road dogs, I'll take the Chiefs because I think they're going to be one of the best teams in the AFC.
Miami Dolphins @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-6.5)
I'd feel bad for Dolphins fans if it were possible for a Vikings fan to feel bad for anybody ever. Imagine staring down the barrel of a full decade of 8-8 best-case scenarios with Ryan Tannehill as your quarterback.
Also it's really annoying how even with Tom Brady suspended for the first four games of the season the Patriots still managed to break new ground in the field of quarterback handsomeness. It's amazing that David Carr never played for them.
[David Carr looks more like Superman than anybody who has ever played Superman.]
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
This seems like a good time for me to recycle my joke about how, even after all that's happened in the last couple of years, Robert Griffin III is still the most disappointing Subway spokesman of all time.
Poor Browns. They're as bad as ever, and meanwhile the Cavs finally won Cleveland its first title in ages and the Indians are running away with the AL Central. Even the city's NHL team is better than the Browns, and they ceased operations in 1978.
Still, it's Week 2 – 6.5 is more points than I want to give on the road when a team's liable to be as middling as the Ravens.
Cincinnati Bengals @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3.5)
The Steelers always win games like this. Then later on they go and lose to somebody weird like the Buccaneers.
Dallas Cowboys @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS (-3)
No read on either of these two – just taking the home team.
New Orleans Saints @ NEW YORK GIANTS (-4.5)
The Saints are bad. Not bad enough for me to forget that they played dirty and stole the 2009 Super Bowl from the Vikings, only winning the NFC title game on a cheap overtime field goal under old overtime rules that were so blatantly ridiculous that they were changed almost immediately after that game – but bad.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ Carolina Panthers (-12.5)
The Panthers lost a heartbreaker of an opener to Denver last Thursday. Do I think they will bounce back this week and beat an inferior 49ers team? I do.
But the 49ers won by 28 points last week. Do I think they're going to be 40.5 points worse this week? I do not.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ Arizona Cardinals (-7)
It's easy to overrate Week 1 action, to read too much into it when you're forecasting Week 2 games… so I did. Bucs over Cards.
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) @ LOS ANGELES RAMS
After their performance against the 49ers on Monday night, one could be forgiven for believing that the Rams have yet to arrive in California from St. Louis.
The Seahawks looked a little shaky last week, though, and it's not difficult to imagine a garbage-time touchdown by messing up this spread. I'll take the Rams, but only because there are no repercussions whatsoever if I turn out to be wrong.
Indianapolis Colts @ DENVER BRONCOS (-5.5)
Most NFL picks columns would tell you whether Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian, who was just good enough to beat the Panthers last week, was the least-experienced quarterback ever to start a season opener for the defending Super Bowl champs. Of course, most NFL picks columns are probably written by somebody who can get somebody else to look stuff like that up for them.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ Oakland Raiders (-4)
I'm going against the grain a little bit on this one. Let me see the Raiders notch a good win over a good team before I hop on their bandwagon.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ San Diego Chargers (-3)
I double-checked this line to make sure it was right. The Jaguars almost just beat the Packers; the Jaguars might be pretty good. The Chargers just blew a huge lead to the Chiefs and their best wide receiver is done for the season; the Chargers might be pretty bad.
GREEN BAY PACKERS (-2.5) @ Minnesota Vikings
There couldn't possibly be any more Vikings-y way to open up a brand spanking new stadium than with an enthusiasm-deflating loss to the hated Packers.
Aaron Rodgers confirmed on a podcast I listened to that the Packers and their fans regard the Bears, not the Vikings, as Green Bay's main rival. Aaron Rodgers knows full well that the Bears stink and will be a non-factor until long after he's retired. Aaron Rodgers clearly said that just to troll Vikings fans. Aaron Rodgers is slyly brilliant.
Philadelphia Eagles @ CHICAGO BEARS (-3)
The stifling Bears defense will send overmatched rookie Eagles QB back from Wentz he came.
[I actually think the Eagles will beat this spread; I just wanted to get that joke in. When I see a dad joke with that level of daditude coming down the pike, I'm not going to let it get by me.]
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ Chicago Bears (-3) [actual pick]
Finally – and I shouldn't do this until like Week 5 when there's at least some chance that we kind of know who's going to be good and who's not – here are the five games I feel best about this week. I will call them my "Fiscal Five" because if you wager on these games and these games only, you are guaranteed to make tons of money.
[Guarantee not valid in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, on foreign soil, or in international waters]
THE FISCAL FIVE
Ravens (-6.5) @ BROWNS
Bengals @ STEELERS (-3.5)
JAGUARS @ Chargers (-3)
PACKERS (-2.5) @ Vikings
EAGLES @ Bears (-3)