We had a nice appetizer last week with college football, but now it’s time for real football. The NFL is making its glorious return Thursday night, which means the glorious return of my weekly NFL picks. Don’t everybody get excited at once!
As you remember, last year I switched up my system for making picks by making four categories of games. Each game is worth a different amount of apples, because, of course, betting money on sports is illegal in the United States.
We have the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games, which are worth 5 apples.
We have the Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games, which are worth 10 apples.
We have the KFC Double Down (May They Rest in Peace) Games, which are worth 20 apples.
And finally, we have the Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week, which is worth 50 apples.
The math is tough, but you’ll have to hang in here. Basically, the more confident I am, the more apples I’ll wager. Although my record against the spread last year was just 133-124-5, I made 365 apples. Basically, I have the clutch gene and am better and picking the more valuable games.
Without further ado, let’s get this season going strong. Home teams in CAPS.
Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:
STEELERS (-7) over Titans
What ever happened to the Steelers offense? Their starting running back is Isaac Redman, and their starting receivers are Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. The good news is they don’t have Jake Locker starting for them at quarterback.
BROWNS (-1) over Dolphins
Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill: It’s our Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That Game of the Week.
Vikings (+5.5) over LIONS
The Lions aren’t as bad as their 4-12 record last year, and the Vikings aren’t as good as their 10-6 record this year, but I’m scratching my head over this line. Adrian Peterson racked up 273 yards in his two games against Detroit last year, and he should do even better now with Greg Jennings stealing attention.
COWBOYS (-3.5) over Giants
Admitedly, I’ve never been a fan of the Giants, but isn’t it at least a tiny bit concerning that David Wilson is their only feature back. Dude fumbled on his second NFL carry and was promptly benched for most of the season.
Eagles (+3.5) over REDSKINS
The Eagles are supremely underrated this season. They were Super Bowl contenders last year, and they still have the same team, although now they have a coach who can really take advantage of their speedy offensive personnel. Chip Kelly and Michael Vick may just set this league on fire. Or crash and burn, who knows?
Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:
NINERS (-4.5) over Packers
Losing Michael Crabtree really hurts the Niners, but losing Brian Bulaga just kills the Packers. With San Fran’s front seven looming, Aaron Rodgers will have approximately 0.617 seconds to throw each pass. And yes, I calculated that down the thousandths of a second. It’s very advanced math.
Seahawks (-3.5) over PANTHERS
It’s a 10 a.m. West Coast game. The Seahawks don’t have Percy Harvin. They do have Sidney Rice. I so want to pick the Panthers. But then again, the Panthers offensive line is a certified mess, and the Seahawks do have a fairly solid defense.
RAMS (-4.5) over Cardinals
The Cardinals swapped Beanie Wells for Rashard Mendenhall as “That Guy Who Really Sucks At Football But Ends Up Drafted Way Too High In My Fantasy League Because Yeah He Is a Starting Running Back And You Really Can’t Have Enough Running Backs, Especially Starting Running Backs.”
Bengals (+3) over BEARS
CBS picking the Bengals to win the Super Bowl made me laugh, but if you want a fraction of a shot to win it, you’d better not lose to the Bears by more than a field goal.
COLTS (-9.5) over Raiders
This line seemed way too high until I remembered that Terrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn were fighting for the starting quarterback job.
KFC Double Down Game:
Texans (-4) over CHARGERS
Fun Fact: the Chargers have opened the year on Monday Night Football in four of the past five years.
Ravens (+7.5) over BRONCOS
I understand the Broncos are very good and the Ravens lost a lot of players, but this is still the Super Bowl champs we’re talking about. Champ Bailey is out for this game, and I’m not giving up more than a touchdown.
Falcons (+3) over SAINTS
The Falcons might be the best non-West team in the NFC, and I’m getting points? NOLA’s D is about to be shredded.
Patriots (-9.5) over BILLS
This line would be 15.5 points in New England. Actually.
Buccaneers (-3) over JETS
I’m trying to decide if abominable or odious better describes the Jets.
Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week
Chiefs (-4) over JAGUARS
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J duets
2. Adam Dunn playing defense
3. A white guy in cornrows
4. The Houston Astros
5. Columns comparing Johnny Manziel to Rosa Parks
6. Ryan Braun’s ability to round third
7. Ryan Braun’s ability to correctly identify anti-semites
8. Ryan Braun’s ability to dump a Gatorade cooler on a teammate
9. Ryan Braun’s ability to look friends in the eye and tell the truth
10. Ryan Braun’s ability to fail a drug test, get off on a technicality, and then successfully avoid being caught again
Overall record: 0-0
Last week: 0-0
Apple Total: 0
Apple Total Last Week: 0