This week, I go head-to-heads against my three counterparts here at Chin Music Pod to hopefully claim victory.
At the start of the week, I asked Brendan, Tim, and Matt to play against me in my selections on a few NFL games this week. They each had to pick a game and submit their rationale while I picked three to play against their combined score. To make it a bit more challenging, I have them first priority over picks and won’t allow myself to was one of theirs out with the same pick. I will also attempt to not pick in the same games as them, forcing myself to dig deep and maybe select a not-so-comfortable pick.
The Challengers Picked
Brendan went and broke my rule and selected the Giants -4.5 at home against the surging Stafford and the Lions. Though it’s not a bettor’s rule I asked the guys to follow, I do believe that betting with your heart sometimes clouds judgement. Brenda believes the Giants will make the playoffs this year. On the backs of the defense and “Eli throwing pretty well at home” (6-1, 65% comp., 14TDs to 9INTs, 91.9 rating) he selects them to win this game. Those numbers don’t look all that great to me, but I can’t argue with the Giants record at home. Brendan knows the Giants need this victory to secure a chance at a playoff spot so he’s riding that. Still, I think 4.5 points is a lot to cover against this Lions team, but we’ll see.
Tim decided to go chalk, which I don’t blame him at all for, and selected the Packers -4 on the road in Chicago. His rationale: “The Chicago Bears suck. Really suck. The Green Bay Packers do not suck.” While an unrefined explanation, it’s definitely a correct one. It’s Rodgers vs. Barkley in this one. If you swapped the teams beneath these two quarterbacks, you could probably end up picking the bears. This one was definitely clear cut for Tim. The Packers have something to play for and the Bears haven’t played for anything in 3 years.
Matt went for a pick that, though it breaks my heart, I can’t disagree with him on. He loves Baltimore -6 at home against my Philadelphia Eagles. The only thing I can hang my hat on is that the spread is 6 points. I know the Eagles are deficient in a lot of area and can’t close out games, but I don’t think 6 points is going to be easy to come by. The Eagles can play spoiler. Matt knows Baltimore is desperate for a win, but I think the Eagles still play for personal pride (at least I hope!) and maybe keep this closer than comfortable for the Ravens.
The challengers take the Giants, Packers, and Ravens against my picks.
For my first selection I am going to have to pick against my previous week’s prediction that Indianapolis is going to win the AFC South. They blew their must win against Houston last week after I predicted their division win, and gave Houston the door to possibly win it. I like Houston this week -3.5 against the Jaguars. Houston now sees a light at the end of the tunnel and they have proven themselves as the incumbent in (admittedly still lackluster) the division.
I am voluntarily walking the plank for my next selection. I am going to take the Buccaneers +7 on the road in Dallas. The Buccs are playing good football and I have ridden them a fair amount this year and it’s paid off. They have a playoff spot to grab and Dallas is struggling offensively as of late. I still don’t think Dallas has all that great of a secondary either. Winston has the pure skills and the Mike Evans to exploit that.
For my chalk pick, I am going to go with the Steelers – 3 on the road in Cincinnati. The Steelers can try and put some more distance between them and Baltimore with a win here against a pretty bad division opponent. Cincinnati is out of it at this point and could play spoiler, but the Steelers know they can’t afford to drop one down the stretch. I said last week that they wouldn’t lose a game the rest of the year, but if they did, it won’t be this week.
I am sending the Texans, Buccaneers, and Steelers up against the challengers.