This is probably the most intriguing NFL game of the season when it comes to the point spread. The betting market has spoken and downgraded Green Bay substantially after Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone. In comes Brett Hundley who has been a preseason star the last few months of August. I personally downgrade the Packers seven points, which would still only make the Saints a one-point favorite based off my numbers.
I explained in the beginning of this voice recording about why I like the Packers for the game so give it a listen:
The spread has dropped to +4.5 so I will make this pick official before it goes any lower.
In the voice recording I mentioned a few other games I liked with my favorite being Redskins plus the points on Monday night. I’m still waiting to see where the point spread goes but will tweet as soon as I think I’m getting the best number on Washington.
Andy and Nate review the recents upsets in college football along with the big games in Week 8 (1:30-24:30). They take a break from the football talk to discuss their recent trip to Lexington, Kentucky and Keeneland (24:30-28:00). Then Nate finishes the show with discussion about Aaron Rodgers’ injury and other key Week 7 games in the NFL (28:00-end).
Wanted to do a quick review on the season so far. Apologies for not posting much in the last two weeks. Between a weekend trip and following the Cubs closely in the playoffs, I have been short on time to write. I’ve been tweeting out picks so make sure to follow on Twitter for all my NFL plays.
I went 2-0 in both Week 5 and Week 6 to improve to 11-4 on the season. Here are my results through six weeks:
Week 1 (3-1): Titans pick’em vs Raiders (loss), Eagles/Redskins under 47.5 (win), Jaguars +5 vs Texans (win), Chargers +3.5 vs Broncos (win)
Week 2 (2-0): Titans -1 vs Jaguars (win), Redskins +2.5 vs Rams (win)
Week 3 (1-2): Lions +3 vs Falcons (loss), Chargers +3 first half vs Chiefs (loss), Redskins +3 vs Raiders (win)
Week 4 (1-1): Packers -7 vs Bears (win), Chargers -1 vs Eagles (loss)
Week 5 (2-0): Bengals -3 vs Bills (win), Seahawks +1 vs Rams (win)
Week 6 (2-0): Vikings +3 vs Packers (win), Steelers +4 vs Chiefs (win)
Part of the reason for my early season success is being very selective with games I pick. Sticking with two or three games a week is usually a better strategy than trying to pick a winner in every game. I also think my power ratings have been very helpful for me to find line value.
Note: My numbers and point spread involving the Titans, Raiders and Vikings is based on Mariota, Carr and Bradford starting. Mariota and Bradford are questionable for this week. Carr has been already ruled out for the Raiders but still don’t know how much of a downgrade he is to EJ Manuel.
After Week 3
After Week 4
Patriots at Buccaneers
Chargers at Giants
Bills at Bengals
Jets at Browns
Jaguars at Steelers
Titans at Dolphins
49ers at Colts
Cardinals at Eagles
Panthers at Lions
Seahawks at Rams
Ravens at Raiders
Packers at Cowboys
Chiefs at Texans
Vikings at Bears
Here are a few more notes about teams I reassessed the most:
Vikings- The mindset nowadays is running backs are easily replaceable and shouldn’t impact the point spreads but I think the Dalvin Cook injury could really hamper the Vikings offense until Sam Bradford is fully healthy. Cook was the type of back that opened up the passing game for Minnesota. For now I’m downgrading the Vikings an extra point with the loss of Cook for the season.
Broncos- In my season win total article, I mentioned that the Broncos defense would miss Wade Phillips. The Denver defense took a step back in 2016 when it came to their run defense. However, the unit appears to be back to their 2015 form:
Melvin Gordon, Ezekiel Elliott, LeSean McCoy & Marshawn Lynch combined against the Broncos' run D this season: 50 carries, 95 yards, 0 TD.
I had the Broncos too low in my power ratings because I assumed the defense would be just above average and the offense would struggle. I still think there are some questions with the offense but they aren’t worse than the 2015 version of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. Another point with the Broncos and Wade Phillips is the Rams defense is really struggling statistically this season so maybe the Broncos players deserve more credit for their success than their former assistant coach.
Texans– I was feeling good about my Texans under 8.5 wins pick after their Week 1 disaster against the Jaguars. I downgraded them after that performance but have to reconsider the team totally with Deshaun Watson under center. His mobility can hide the deficiencies in their offense line and it’s looks bad on the head coach that he wasn’t starting at the beginning of the season. The Patriots and Titans are bad defenses so I’m not going to upgrade Houston too much but I gave them more of a bump than I give most teams after a big win.
Chargers– I’ve slowly downgraded the Chargers after every loss this season. I truly thought they were an above average team that could compete in the AFC West. I trust the talent they have but the conservative coaching decisions and lack of a home field advantage has me totally off the Chargers for their last 12 games of the season.
Rams– I talked about the Rams before the season and to cover in Week 4 but don’t think I had them adjusted high enough in my ratings before last week. I had them just about the same level as the Bears and only slightly higher than the 49ers. I made a more drastic adjustment this week.