We’re trending upward.
After the dismal performance of my picks Week 1, there was nowhere to go but up last Sunday, and up we went. After the early games my picks were three-and-oh thanks to the Bucs, Steelers, and Patriots taking care of business. For a moment I was hopeful for a perfect week that would plant my picks at 5-5 overall and allow for a fresh start to this year’s Hypothetical SuperContest. But that was not meant to be. My Philadelphia Eagles couldn’t beat a Dez-less Cowboys team that was helmed by Brandon Weedon after Romo went down with a busted collarbone and on Monday Night Football the Colts seemed absolutely mystified by the New York Football Jets.
Still tho, 3-2. We’re trending upward. If we can string together a few more winning weeks we’ll be right back in this SuperContest and can leave the terrors of Week 1 behind. We even gained some ground on Chance the Gambler, who went 1-4 last week.
Let’s see if we can continue the trend. Here’s the Week 3 lines, home team gets the asterisk.
Last night the Giants made the Redskins look like the awful team many of us believed them to be. Also,in a dramatic turn of gambling events, the over hit after two garbage time touchdowns. But this column is not about over/unders in reality. This column is about Hypothetical SuperContest picking. So what do we make of this daunting slate? Two huge favorites, four home dogs, and the Cardinals as almost a touchdown favorite in a division game? Gosh this is stressful.
Rams* (+1.5) over Steelers
I think this number is off. Remember last week, before the Steelers clobbered the Niners and just after the Rams beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks? If this number was hung at that moment, Rams are at least a three point home favorite. But here we are in Week 3, and Pittsburgh is getting credit for beating a San Francisco team we all knew was bad going into the season, we just forgot because they…beat the Vikings at home Week 1? That doesn’t add up to me.
Even with the return of Le’Veon Bell I don’t like the Steelers chances here. The Rams feel like a strong home team to me, and I’m totally willing to chalk up last week’s loss to the Redskins as the result of a hangover caused by the hard punches they had to throw to beat Seattle. I think the Rams are good, good enough that they should only be home dogs to maybe four teams in the league. The Steelers are not one of those four teams. I guess that’s what this really comes down to.
Texans* (-6.5) over Buccaneers
Remember that hangover I mentioned last paragraph? The one that made the Rams soft against the Redskins last week? That hangover is heading straight for Tampa Bay. The Buccos took out the Saints in New Orleans last week, arguably their biggest win since the Jeff Garcia era. Do we really think they’re going to get up again, against an 0-2 Texans team desperate for a win at home to prove that 2015 isn’t already a lost season? No way.
Sure I don’t feel great about laying almost a touchdown with Ryan Mallet under center. And of course I’m not all too excited about the prospects of Houston’s secondary trying to stop Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. But they can’t get the ball if JJ Watt puts Jameis into the ground before he can throw the ball. Did you watch that video above? Have you seen JJ Watt play at home. He LOVES playing at home. Go JJ Watt go. It’s fun to bet on JJ Watt.
Seahawks* (-14.5) over Bears
I don’t think I’ve ever felt as bad for any singular person than Jimmy Clausen last week. Jimmy Clausen trying to go score-for-score against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers was a legitimately painful football watching experience. Jimmy Clausen didn’t ask for any of this.
This week Clausen may be able to escape with a bit less emotional damage; it’s much easier to take hearing a roar of boos from the crowd when you’re not playing on home turf. But make no mistake, Jimmy Clausen is about to have the snot kicked out of him. Laying anything over 10 points is a rookie move, but whatever let’s do this. Praise be to RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON.
Eagles (+2.5) over Jets*
Colts (-3) over Titans*
We’re doing this freaking thing again? Last week our picks were perfect until the Colts and Eagles screwed it up with performances that qualify as gross and god-awful respectively. I picked these two a week ago because I thought they needed the win. I think my logic was good, just a week early. Either of these games booked preseason would swing at least three points. Maybe this is my pride getting in the way of my Hypothetical wallet, but I believed in these teams before the season and I’m not ready to give up on them yet. The Eagles aren’t starting the season 0-3. The Colts aren’t starting the season 0-3. Nope. Uh-uh. No way.
Chance the Gambler: Week 3
Pope Francis is in Philadelphia. I am also in Philadelphia. To celebrate the occasion, and the fact that the gambling Gods are the most significant deities I believe in, I enlisted the help of the holy for Chance the Gambler this week. Saturday morning I biked through the city streets as Catholics from all over began to line the streets in anticipation of watching Pope Francis pass. As I biked, I stopped at any man I saw wearing a clerical collar. I told them I was a writer and asked if they had a bible verse they’d like to share with the world. I did not tell them that I would be using their choice of bible verse to make a pick in my gambling column. I didn’t find that to be relevant information at the time.
A part of me was worried that this was an awful or amoral idea, but then I asked my first collar, Father Patrick, for a verse and replied with John 3:16. This was meant to be. Anyway, here are the results:
Bengals (+2.5) over Ravens* – John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Dolphins* (-3) over Bills – Samuel 1:27
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.
Rams* (+1.5) over Steelers – John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
Vikings* (-2.5) over Chargers – Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
Browns* (-3.5) over Raiders – Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Happy Sundays. #Blessed
My Picks Last Week: 3-2 /// My Picks Overall: 3-7
Chance Picks Last Week: 1-4 /// Chance Picks Overall: 4-6