Last year I did picks for this site.
I was pretty bad. I had a losing record. But, my understanding is it was a weird year for everyone picking games. I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’m going to go with it.
I hope to pick games again this year, but there are two problems: 1. As I already mentioned, I suck at picking games. 2. This takes a lot more time than you think.
Presumably, you’re at home or work reading this and you think, “How long can this really take?”
After all, I’m not putting any research in. Mostly, I’m just reading ProFootballTalk through the week, checking Twitter, and listening to NFL podcasts on the train in the evening.
Well, it still takes some time. The typing, the thinking about who to pick, it adds up to hours of work! And since my real job is to edit our technology section, it’s borderline irresponsible for me to do this.
I’m working on this in the evenings. I’ve always wanted to do an NFL picks column. When I went to school for journalism, I thought I would cover sports. I like sports, I love sports talk radio, and I wanted to be a sports talk radio host in Philadelphia.
But, the people that inspired me — Bill Simmons, Glen MacNow, Tony Kornheiser — they made it look easy. And it’s not! But that’s the thing about people who are genuinely talented, they always make it look easy. You think, “I could do that.” But you can’t! Because it’s hard. Otherwise we would all be doing it.
Anyway, enough of all that, let’s pick some games!
All lines comes from the Las Vegas Hilton, via Vegas Insider.
And, oh by the way, I nailed the Thursday night game, so I am 1-0 for this season.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 10.5 point favourites at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Will Chip Kelly’s quick offence work in year two?
This is a lay-up for Saint Chip and Saint Nick. They’re going to crush the Jags, right? I got a funny feeling about this one. I’m thinking the Jaguars are not as bad as everyone thinks. And the Eagles aren’t as good as everyone thinks. 10.5 is A LOT of points, so I’ll take the points.
The pick: Jacksonville +10.5
The Houston Texans are 3 point favourites against the Washington D.C. team.
This is baffling. The Texans looks stanky, and Washington should be good enough to win. Everything about this screams take Washington plus the points. So, it feels like a suckers bet. The smart people are probably loading up on the Texans, as a result.
Both teams were garbage last year. Washington has more offensive talent. The Texans have more defensive talent. Both teams got new coaches, and it’s hard to say one is better than the other. So… who to pick? I’ll roll the dice on the Texans.
The pick: Houston -3
The San Francisco 49ers are 4.5 point favourites on the road against the Dallas Cowboys.
Have you read the Jerry Jones profile in ESPN? If not, why not? It’s one the best stories of the year. It’s just a brilliant piece of writing, and it provides a fascinating look at Jones.
I don’t expect much, if anything from the Cowboys this year. Tony Romo is coming off back surgery. The defence is a total disaster.
The 49ers are the trendiest team to pick to have a massive drop this year.
So, basically, you have two teams that have low expectations. For almost no reason whatsoever, I will pick the 49ers in this game. It comes down to 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick versus Romo, and I think I give Kap the nod.
The pick: 49ers -4.5
The Denver Broncos are 7.5-point favourites at home against the Indianapolis Colts.
Everyone thinks the Broncos are going back to the Super Bowl, along with the Seattle Seahawks. And with good reason! They beefed up their defence, which was weak, and the offence is pretty much the same.
But, the Colts are pretty good. The Colts are routinely underestimated for some reason. I think Andrew Luck is going to come out firing. And with 7.5 points, he should be able to cover, at the very least.
The pick: Colts +7.5
The Arizona Cardinals are 3-point favourites at home against the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers are quietly building into a trendy “sleeper” pick. They looked pretty good last year under their new head coach, and people are expecting a big leap this year.
Meanwhile, the same can be said of the Cardinals. They have a good defence, and people think QB Carson Palmer is going to be much better. Ron Jaworski, for instance, said he thought Palmer’s arm looked stronger in the pre season.
I think the Chargers have a better team, so I am going with them and the points.
The pick: Chargers +3
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