Welcome back to my weekly NFL picks, the column you mostly come to see which ten awful things that are still better than the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As you (may or) may not remember, I’ve been using a complicated system for my picks the last two years, weighting each game differently. I bet a certain amount of apples on each game 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 Games, which are worth 20 apples.
And finally, we have the Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week, which is worth 50 apples.
(I’m still waiting on my checks from my sponsorship companies. I think they may have gotten lost in the mail.)
The math is tough, but you’ll have to hang in here. Basically, the more confident I am, the more apples I’ll wager. I’m very unclear how I did last year because I didn’t make picks every week but I went 123-113-8 but lost 320 apples. That’s sort of what happens when you go 6-9-1 in the 50 apple games.
Really, one of the main reasons I saved face and was even that good was because friend of the program Cristina Dafonte (AKA @turntuptina) picked for me twice and went 17-11-3 and made me 85 apples. She will undoubtedly be back later this season for a guest appearance.
Without further ado, let’s get this season going strong. Home teams in CAPS.
Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:
Raiders (+5) over JETS
I’m honestly not too sure how many worse quarterback matchups we’ll get this year than Derek Carr vs. Geno Smith. I honestly feel sorry for anyone watching this game.
SEAHAWKS (-5.5) over Packers
This will always be one of my favorite games because it brings back great memories of the replacement refs. I still like to yell “TOUCHDOWN SEAHAWKS!” and no one seems to remember it. I’m setting the over/under on mentions of that game at 2.5.
Chargers (+3) over CARDINALS
I must have lost at least four Locks o’ the Week last year betting against the Cardinals, so I figured I’d start off the new season picking against them again.
COWBOYS (+5) over Niners
I’m still legitimately upset that the Cowboys didn’t draft Johnny Football. It would have been the best thing to ever happen to sports. ESPN would set up a third headquarters in Dallas and have an entire network devoted to Johnny Football, Tony Romo, and Jerry Jones. Such a shame. And it almost happened, too.
Giants (+6) over LIONS
The line’s a little too high for me to pick the Lions, but the Giants might be a big mess this year. They were 29th in rushing last year, and now their leading rushers are Rashad Jennings and Peyton “Wait how did he ever get on the cover of Madden” Hillis.
Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:
Vikings (+3.5) over RAMS
Poor Sam Bradford. Two straight knee injuries to end his seasons. You’d think he could pay someone to give him bionic knees with that $86 million contract he got.
TEXANS (-3) over Injuns
Lots of different publication are protesting the Redskins name in different ways. The Washington Post editorial board and New York Times will no longer print the name. Bill Simmons only writes Washington. I thought about naming different tribes of American Indians for every week in reference to that great commercial that ran during the Super Bowl, but instead I’m going with a slightly less offensive name than the Redskins: the Injuns.
Saints (-3) over FALCONS
The Falcons’ offensive line wasn’t great to start with, and then left tackle Sam Baker suffered a season-ending injury. I still like them, but not that much.
Browns (+6.5) over STEELERS
The Steelers aren’t as good as you’d think, and the Browns aren’t as bad as you’d think. Remember, Cleveland is returning four Pro Bowlers (not including Josh Gordon), signed Karlos Dansby, Donte Whitner, and Ben Tate, and had two first-round picks. This could be a shockingly good team once they finally give Johnny Football the ball.
BRONCOS (-7.5) over Colts
I don’t know if any team will be able to beat the Broncos this year. Did you see everyone they added? They might be unstoppable. This definitely isn’t a reverse jinx. Nope.
KFC Double Down Game:
Panthers (+2.5) over BUCCANEERS
I can’t get behind a team led by Josh McCown being protected by Anthony Collins, Logan Mankins, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Patrick Omameh, and Demar Dotson. Also is it crazy to say that the Panthers may have a better receiving corp with Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery, and Jason Avant compared to Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn?
BEARS (-7) over Bills
Did you know that Jay Cutler went to Vanderbilt?
EAGLES (-10.5) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. The NFL’s suspension policies on drugs and domestic abuse
2. Taylor Swift’s dancing in the Shake It Off music video
3. The Arkansas-Little Rock athletic director’s filter
4. This woman in a Hawaiian shirt’s quintette
5. People who have posters of Django chained up in their room
6. Jacksonville’s divorce rate
7. Jacksonville’s job market
8. Jacksonville’s happiness
9. Jacksonville’s drinking water
10. Jacksonville’s safety for its pedestrians who are walking back after spending three miserable hours watching their train wreck of a team
Bengals (+2) over RAVENS
This line doesn’t make much sense to me. The Ravens weren’t particularly good last year, and the Bengals were. In fact, only three teams (Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco) had better point differentials than Cincy.
Patriots (-5) over DOLPHINS
This reeks of classic Patriots crapping the bed to open the season, eeking out a 1-point win over an underwhelming Dolphins team. So I’m taking the Patriots to win big.
Hickory Smoked Pulled Pork Lock o’ the Week
Chiefs (-4) over TITANS
I’m also legitimately upset that the Titans didn’t draft Johnny Football. Every night I go downtown, there would be a not-insignificant chance I would see Johnny on Broadway, AND NOW THAT DREAM IS RUINED. Well, except for the weekend of October 5th, when, of course, I’ll be in Athens watching Vanderbilt get throttled by Georgia. Thanks, Obama.
Overall record: 0-0
Last week: 0-0
Apple Total: 0
Apple Total Last Week: 0