Picks have returned for the 2019 season, but this time instead of picking against the spread I’m going to simply pick the winner and loser of each game.
Before I begin, a little update. I’m going to start including benchmarks to judge how well I’m really doing in my picks.
The reality of picking games is that anybody should be able to pick above .500. For example, if you just pick the Patriots and Chiefs to win, the Dolphins to lose, and flip a coin for everybody else, you’ll have a winning record.
So to judge whether I’m really doing well, I’ll include the records of home teams (since home teams tend to have a winning record) and the records of Vegas favorites.
Last week: 7-8
Home Teams (Benchmark): 34-43-1
Vegas Favorites (Benchmark): 45-32-1
This week: 14-0
Patriots over Giants
Boy am I tired of picking the Patriots to win every week. I like Daniel Jones, but Belichick has a monster record against rookie quarterbacks, and the Patriots are just better. Hopefully the Giants can pull off some TNF voodoo and get the upset.
Panthers over Buccaneers
Everybody’s going crazy over the Jags’ Gardner Minshew, but Kyle Allen is quietly having a very impressive season and coincidentally showed it by beating Minshew himself. Will Cam Newton be Denver’s latest washed up veteran quarterback in 2020?
Seahawks over Browns
RIP to my Browns love. I was on the bandwagon before everybody else, and I was also the last one to get off. I’m not writing them off completely, this is one of the biggest tossups of the week. I still have the Browns as being better than the Seahawks, and it’s in Cleveland, but there’s something about this game that makes me feel like the Seahawks will win.
Redskins over Dolphins
The Redskins are only slight favorites in this game, which shows just how bad Vegas thinks Washington is. To me this is one of the games of the week, it will be one of the first true tests to see just how bad Miami is. So far they’ve only played decent teams, will they also get blown out by a fellow cellar dweller?
Eagles over Vikings
Usually I’m not one to believe in stats like “QB X has a 2-576 record against teams whose names rhyme with ‘orange'”, but Kirk Cousins makes it hard not to with his terrible record against good teams. The Eagles aren’t world beaters, but they are certainly good enough to scare Cousins.
Jaguars over Saints
Several weeks ago when I had the Jaguars ranked in the top 10 despite being 0-2 I told people that their schedule would get much easier, with this game as an example. But the Saints have surprised everybody by actually winning with Bridgewater. I think that will come to an end though, as they play a good team on the road.
Ravens over Bengals
The Ravens are still overrated, but the Bengals are a disaster. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they managed to win, though.
Rams over 49ers
Maybe it’s because I’m so AFC focused, but in my mind the Rams are still Super Bowl contenders while the 49ers are a pretender taking advantage of an easy schedule. Change is scary, so I’m going to stick with the Rams.
Cardinals over Falcons
My rule of thumb when picking is that if I can’t decide, go with the home team. That usually works out well, but as you can see from the record of home teams so far this season it’s been brutal. But I’ll go ahead and stick to my guns and say the Cardinals win just because they’re at home.
Titans over Broncos
The Broncos are favored? I guess they’re at home, which helps, but the Titans aren’t that bad. They should win this game.
Cowboys over Jets
The Jets aren’t quite as bad as the Dolphins, but with Sam Darnold out they’re pretty close. The Cowboys should win this game easily.
Chargers over Steelers
Maybe it’s the homer Chiefs fan in me, but I’m surprised the Chargers are such big favorites. Did nobody notice how the Chargers just gave the Broncos their first win? Sure, the Steelers aren’t a powerhouse either, but this one should be close.
Packers over Lions
Did you know the Lions are 3-1 in their last 4 trips to Lambeau? Absolutely shocking, but this is the best the Packers have been in a long time, so I don’t see Detroit getting a win this time.
Chiefs over Texans
Last week I said I’d be very, very surprised if the Chiefs lost. Well here we are, although injuries took some of the shock away, they mean that this game becomes much more challenging. Watson is overrated, but that’s because the talent around him is so good. I would not be surprised at all if we lost this game as well.