That’s right, your favorite hack is back and has some NFL winning nuggets for you to pump up your fun money account. If you are new to the site or to this weekly post, welcome.
I’ll try and provide my best 3/4 games for your survivor pools as well as picking 3/4 of my best games ATS for you every week during the NFL season. And a new wrinkle this year will be a weekly fantasy nuggets as daily fantasy leagues have taken over the country. So with that backdrop, let’s make you some money.
New England (-7.5) – The Pats are cheaters; there that’s out of the way. This whole off-season the defending SB Champs have been under the NFL microscope for deflating footballs during their run last year. Their golden boy, Tom Brady has been at the forefront of this and honestly I for one could not give a rip about it and wish it would just go away. And that it will in the season opener at Foxboro as Brady will suit up after winning his case in court (what a joke) and take on the Pittsburgh Steelers. I expect Brady and company to come out fired up and wanting to show the world just how un-distracted they were during this “process”. This is a bad spot for the Steelers and I expect the Pats to roll pretty easily.
Green Bay (-6.5) – I usually stay away from road teams as my survivor picks, but Week 1 all the good teams (outside of NE) are playing on the road. So my next criteria when it comes to selecting a team is the QB and there’s not many better than Aaron Rodgers. Pair that with a defense that was one of the worst in the NFL last year in the Chicago Bears and you see where I’m going here. If I’m going down with a road team, at least I’m going down with one of the better teams/QB’s in the league. Give me the Packers.
Tampa Bay (-3) – Yes, I know the Bucs were the worst team record wise last year. Which is why they got the first pick in the NFL draft and selected Jameis Winston out of Florida State. But their week 1 opponent is the Tennessee Titans who also have a shiny new rookie QB in Marcus Marriota leading their dreadful offense. This pick is especially for those of you who are in “one and done” type survivor pool where once you selected a team, they can’t be used again. There won’t be a better spot to take he Bucs this year and I’ve just got a good feeling Winston will get the better of his rookie counterpart in the Big Pirate Ship (Tampa Stadium).
Against The Spread Selections:
Tampa Bay (-3) – For all the reasons above I like the Bucs to cover this FG spread. The Bucs have better offensive play-makers on the outside (Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans) for Winston to throw to as well as a running back that I think will bounce back after a dreadful year in Doug Martin. I also expect Marriota to make more bone headed plays early in his career than Winston and the Titans defense is awful. This isn’t a sexy selection, but scared money don’t make money.
Indianapolis (-2.5) – The Colts are going to win the AFC South division by Halloween. Not only because they have my guy Andrew Luck at the helm, but because the AFC South will be the worst division in the NFL this year, IMO. And although going to Buffalo in WK 1 might not be the best spot for any team, especially with defensive minded Rex Ryan running the show, I think the Colts will score enough to not only win, but cover the tiny spread in this one. New Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (former Ravens backup) is going to have to show me he’s a capable NFL starter before I can believe in him. Add in a dinged up Shady McCoy and I can see the Colts winning their first of maybe 12-13 wins in Orchard Park.
Oakland (+3.5) – Call me crazy, but I think the Raiders will be much improved this year. Add 1st round pick Amari Cooper-who I thought was the best player in the draft-to second year QB Derek Carr and I can see the Raiders making some noise in the wide open AFC West this year. And I understand the Bengals are now considered a perennial playoff team, but giving me a FG+ in the BlackHole in the opener is just too tantalizing to pass up for this degenerate. West Coast home dogs have always been good to me in the past as well.
New York/ Dallas (Over 51.5) – This Sunday Night game should be a shootout. The Cowboys have one of the best OL in the NFL and the Giants aren’t exactly the 2001 Ravens on defense. And on the other side, the Giants offense is going to put up plenty of air yards and points vs. one of the worst secondary’s in the NFL in the ‘Boys. As I’ve said in the past, if you like this over make sure you get your money in early as this total will rise throughout the day Sunday as people try and re-coup their early game losses in the Sunday/Monday night games. And no one bets on under’s when they are chasing bad money.
Daily Fantasy Nuggets:
QB, Tony Romo ($7,300) – The Cowboys and Giants should both put up plenty of points and I expect Romo to be in the middle of alot of it. And his price tag is actually under-valued, IMO. Good offensive line and one of the best WR in the league (Dez Bryant) could lead Romo to a 3+ TD night.
RB, Eddie Lacy ($7,500) – The Bears are terrible on defense and the Packers are dinged up on the outside. That could mean the Packers will lean on their monster back Lacy to carry the early and late load in this one. I expect Lacy to have at least 1 TD and should eclipse the century mark in yards.
WR, Nelson Agholor ($5,700) – This rookie WR might be the sleeper of the rookie class. A perfect fit in the Chip Kelly up-tempo offense, Agholor should make an impact vs. a pitrid Atlanta Falcons defense in the early Monday night game. This USC product has been in a pro style offense since college and should make some fantasy owners happy in week 1.
Baltimore Ravens Angle:
Denver (-4.5) – Yes, I have predicted the Ravens will be playing the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl this year. Of course, that game isn’t until early February of 2016. But I do believe once the Ravens get all of their injured players back (Perriman, ect), I think they will be playing their best football when it matters most. But with that being said, this spot might be a little tough for the Purple and Black going to the Mile High on Sunday to take on a fresh Peyton Manning and company.
I do believe this is a winnable game for Coach Harbaugh’s side. I believe they can run the ball effectively under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, which will provide elite QB Joe Flacco with some good opportunities to exploit an average at best Bronco secondary with play action. Outside of Manning, Luck or Rodgers, Flacco is the best at play action. The problem here is outside WR Steve Smith Sr., who will Joe sling it downfield to?
Defensively, the Ravens will be able to pressure Manning with their front 4 and at least make Manning uncomfortable in the pocket. But my biggest issue with the Ravens on defense is the back half of the defense. I love Jimmy Smith and hopefully he becomes the shutdown corner they have hoped he would be when they drafted in the first round. But he’s coming off missing almost all of 2014-15 and his running mate Ladarius Webb is also injury prone. Can those two and a couple of new safeties really hold up vs. one of the greatest regular season QB’s of all time for 4-quarters? That I’m not sure of; at least in week 1 where Manning should be his most healthy and have the arm strength he won’t later in the season.
I think the Ravens play this one close and probably cover the 4.5 point spread. But in the end, I think Manning and the Broncos make just enough plays late to squeak this one out at home. Broncos 27-24