Here we are again this year, back for more NFL picks. It is with great pleasure that I take the reins from Jeff Pasquino after writing a guest edition last year. As someone who has won and lost their fair share of money on the NFL (and many other sports), this is bound to be a fun and unpredictable ride. Join me, won’t you?
As with the format in previous years, this article will help those of you who compete in confidence pools and in ranking selections, which may come in handy on those Las Vegas trips. Games are rated based on preference for both the point spread and other angles (such as totals or over/unders) with 1-3 “Stars”, which basically highlight the best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars are not preferred one way or the other, but will still be covered, discussed and a winner will be predicted for those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools.
Just when we thought normal service would resume, this league threw us another curveball – right in the face. Last week proved to be a tricky one, as it turned out, with my personal record of 7-8 something I am not entirely proud of. You live and you learn, however, especially with wagering – though there were some bad beats along the way.
We learned that London games are strange (watch out with those for the next few weeks); that 0-4 teams can be dangerous against subpar teams without a homefield advantage (Chargers, I’m looking at you) and that the Bengals are truly awful and should never be trusted again. Week 6 holds better things, so let’s get to it.
The bye teams this week are Chicago, Oakland, Buffalo and Indianapolis
Note that the over/unders are taken from VegasInsider.com
(Thursday) NY GIANTS at NEW ENGLAND (-16.5) (Over/Under 42.5)
The Giants, as well as throwing their rookie quarterback to the wolves, will be doing so with an undermanned set of weapons around him. The wolves in question are the ravenous Patriots defensive players, who even now are sharpening their teeth to feast on the green passer. Sterling Shepard’s absence is significant, not only because it is another concussion but because of his reliability as a target for Daniel Jones. Defensively, the Giants struggled horribly against crossing patterns last week, leaving vast swathes of open field to throw into. That formula will not be fruitful against New England.
Tom Brady is not fond of taking hits at this point in his career, opting instead for the patented Peyton Manning fold technique or a throwaway. In this game, he may not have much to worry about. The Giants are simply not equipped to deal with this offense, whether it be James White as a receiver, Sony Michel as a runner or perhaps Josh Gordon – yes, him – as a downfield threat. The spreads in Patriots games continue to be huge, and yet how can you pick against them?
Pick: New England