Boy, it’s a good thing I don’t publish my Thursday Night picks, because Color Rush is really messing with me this season. Here I was, thinking a flaming-hot Cam Newton could turn a banged-up Eagles defense into smoldering rubble while the excellent Panthers D put the clamps on Carson Wentz and the boyz. Turns out Cam sucks and the Panthers can’t really stop anyone when Luke Kuechly dies on the field (maybe for real this time). That’s just the beauty of Color Rush, though. What’s fair is foul, what’s foul is fair, Philly is winning big games. The world turns upside down on Thursday Night. Luckily for all of you, I’m roughly 100-0 for non-Color Rush games this season. Lines from Bovada.
Green Bay Packers (-3) at Minnesota Vikings
Can’t wait to watch the number 4 quarterback in Total QBR toss the pigskin around, gonna be great. What’s that? No, not Aaron Rodgers. Case Keenum! Reason number 10982347 the NFL is stupid: Case Keenum, who had started 24 games before this year and was bad in pretty much all of them, is now playing well because…..why? Are teams not prepared for him? Is the coaching so bad that the injection of known wildcard Case Keenum really enough to ruin gameplans? I’m sure he’ll light up the Packers because the Packers defense is horrible, but we all know how this is gonna go. I’m already seeing the Jordy Nelson out route in the corner of the end zone with 7 seconds left.
Pick: Packers -3
New England Patriots (-10) at New York Jets
Pats defense stinks! The can’t protect Brady at all! Patriots are done! Jets are on fire! Who can stop McCown? Forget number one pick, can the Jets make the playoffs? (BTW, I totally called this)
Pick: Pats -10
San Fransisco 49ers at Washington Redskins (-11)
You know what they say, throw out the record books when Pierre Garçon comes back to his former stadiums. I’ll just say this- this game might be bad enough to get the name conversation going again: with the ever-increasing wage gap and the growing value of gold, is it time to change the 49ers name so people don’t feel bad about their current wealth status? Tough to say.
Pick: 49ers +11
Chicago Bears at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
Ohhhhhh my godddddddddddddd my eyes are already bleeding thinking about this game. You know what? I’m going to further the cause, here. I vow not to watch every second of this game to stand (kneel?) in solidarity with the various protests centered around NFL games.
Pick: Ravens -7
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-4)
Did you know the Saints have allowed the fewest points in the NFC? Crazy, right? Talk about an unexpected development! Wait, what’s that? Only the Bucs, Colts, and Pats have allowed more yards? So it’s probably fools gold propped up by playing the Dolphins? And that even a team as anemic as the Lions could light them up if they feel like showing up? Yeah, this is gonna be a track meet.
Pick: Lions +4
Miami Dolphins at Atlanta Falcons (-13)
Pick: Falcons -13
Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-10)
Imagine an old whaling ship that’s filled to the brim with barrels and barrels of whale oil, but they got greedy and speared another huge sperm whale, then hauled the big carcass onboard in chunks, only during the process of turning the blubber into oil, something caught fire, then all of a sudden all the barrels explode as the ship and carcass catch fire, creating a giant tower of black smoke and a huge, corrosive smudge of oil and death on the ocean. Combine that smell with the garbage on New York City streets and you have the Browns.
Pick; Texans -10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2) at Arizona Cardinals
Hey, it’s Carson Palmer vs. Younger Carson Palmer! Or is it Jameis Winston vs. Older Jameis Winston? Either way, expect a lot of passing yards, a lot of bad sacks, a lot of turnovers, and some missed kicks. Since it’s not in Tampa, there’s no chance for the weather delay needed for Bucs Bingo. I’m anti-Cardinals because I think they’re secretly the worst team to watch in the league, so I’ll go Bucs.
Pick: Bucs -2
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
God, I’m sick of these matchups. Every year, the NFL somehow rigs the scheduling so the absolute dregs of the league play against the worst division in the other conference, and we get stuck with the 3-2 Rams and the 3-2 Jags? They both actually look good? Jags defense is finally looking dominant after years of building up promise? The Rams have a coach that understands basic offensive strategy and it’s turned them into a somewhat viable contended overnight? Weird how smart decision making can make teams good. The rest of the NFL should try it sometime. For as good as both teams look on paper, this game is going to look just as bad. I can envision Leonard Fournette being assimilated into the cosmic entity known as Aaron Donald sometime during the third quarter, with Blake Bortles soon following. Jared Goff’s looked good, but outside Seattle they’ve pretty much exclusively played against bad defenses, so pardon me if I’m not expecting much out of him. This is gonna be ugly, physical, low scoring, and a game most people would soon like to forget (and, if they’re an actual player, they soon will!).
Pick: Rams +2.5
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Raiders
There’s no spread on this game because apparently Derek Carr is attempting to play with a broken spine, which is sure to end well. If he does play, he’ll be seriously hampered, and, don’t tell anyone, but he’s been really really stinky this season, and I don’t think Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram particularly care if the quarterback their demolishing is hurt or not. Raiders defense is ass, and the Chargers quietly have one the better offenses in the league (o-line notwithstanding). Plus, there’s some concern over the air quality with the wildfires in Northern California, and the mayor of San Diego said he’s willing to host the game, which would be amaaaaaaaaazing and so so awkward and I want it to happen so bad.
Pick: Chargers +whatever
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
Please, tell me again how the Steelers are the biggest competition to the Pats. Please tell me about how no one can dream of stopping their offense or scoring on them. I’ll wait. I’ve got all day. Go ahead, make the case. Tell me why I should pick a horrible Steelers team with the worst chemistry of all time going on the road, where they STINK, to the second toughest place to play in the league against the last undefeated team. You can’t.
Pick: Chiefs -4.5
New York Giants at Denver Broncos (-12)
Is this really the best we could get on Sunday night?
Pick: Giants +12
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Another game with no spread because of injuries, this game will either become a complete massacre or an unwatchable slog depending on whether or not Marcus Mariota plays. I’m praying he doesn’t, so we can get the highly coveted Former Brady Backup matchup in Jacoby Brissett vs. Matt Cassell.
Bonus College Picks
- Washington State -17 at Cal
- TCU at Kansas State Over 50
- Oklahoma vs Texas +9
- Auburn -7.5 at LSU
- Ohio State -24.5 at Nebraska
Super Bonus MLB Championship Series Preview
I didn’t really feel like making a separate post for this, mostly because clearly everything I thought I knew was completely shattered by the events of the Division Series. On paper, these are two awesome matchups that should produce long, even series full of drama, twists, turns, and excitement. Or my nightmare will become reality. Who knows?
New York Yankees vs Houston Astros
We get it, the Yankees are going to win the World Series. Cool. Someone put a bullet in my brain.
Pick: Yankees in 4
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
A rematch of last year’s NLCS, both teams are coming in to this in pretty opposite positions as last year. The Dodgers spent the majority of the season as prohibitive favorite, had a bad month or two, then blasted their first round opponent. Sound like any team you remember? Then the Cubs, somehow overlooked after the most heavily publicized championship ever, had a forgettably good regular season then grinded out a brutal Division Series against the Nats where they looked downright bad at times. Sounds like last year’s Dodgers. What I’m saying is I expect the Dodgers to win, much like the Cubs won last year.
Pick: Dodgers in 6