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: 6-8
Home Teams (Benchmark): 68-66-1
Vegas Favorites (Benchmark): 84-50-1
This week: 13-0
Raiders over Chargers
The battle for 2nd place in the AFC West. This is a tough one to pick. They are about equal, so I’ll go with the home team.
Bears over Lions
It’s always tough picking Trubisky, but the Lions aren’t all that good, so the Bears should be able to win at home.
Ravens over Bengals
Just watch, the Ravens will come off a win over the Patriots only to give the Bengals their first win because screw logic.
The Bengals have now lost 15 of their last 16 games, a stat that gives me bad flashbacks to the days where the stat around the Chiefs was that they had lost twenty-something of their last twenty-something games. Thankfully, we’re now on the winning side of that equation.
Bills over Browns
This is such a public pick, but I can’t help it. Even though the Browns are favored (and I can understand why), I think the Bills defense will be too much for the Browns.
Saints over Falcons
The easiest pick of the week. With Brees back the Saints are arguably the best team in the NFL, while the Falcons are competing for the #1 overall pick in April. This would be the biggest upset of the year if the Falcons won.
Giants over Jets
The battle of New York, and what a matchup fans in the Big Apple will get with these teams combined for a 3-14 record. It’s nice to see though, as it shows how much parity there is in the NFL. The top teams are from small markets like Green Bay, New Orleans, and Kansas City, while the teams in the nations biggest markets are struggling.
Buccaneers over Cardinals
Did you know Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007? And this isn’t even their longest playoff drought, they also spent 1983-1996 watching the playoffs from home. The way things are going they may break that record.
Colts over Dolphins
Brissett was limited in practice at the time of writing, so it’s unclear whether he or Hoyer will start. Either way they should win, but with the Dolphins playing better and Hoyer prone to throwing touchdowns to the wrong team this game is very lose-able for the Colts if Brissett can’t go.
Packers over Panthers
I can’t believe how thoroughly the Chargers dominated the Packers last week. Why couldn’t we see that version of Green Bay a couple weeks ago?
Rams over Steelers
The Steelers may be 4-4, but I’m not buying what they’re selling. All their wins came against crap teams (the Hoyer Colts count as a crap team). Although to be fair all their losses were to good teams, so maybe they are a decent team?
Cowboys over Vikings
A very close matchup, but the Cowboys are at home. Plus it’s on Sunday Night Football, and we all know how much Cousins thrives in the limelight (i.e. not at all).
49ers over Seahawks
What’s this? A good Monday Night Football matchup? I’ll be damned.
Chiefs over Titans
I assume Mahomes will play, in which case the Chiefs should absolutely win this game. But if Matt Moore plays again it’s much closer to 50/50.