Thursday, 13 October 2016

NFL Picks Week Six sponsored by Studio Yukupo

I am going on holiday next week so mercifully for all my t̶e̶n̶s̶ five or fewer loyal readers, no column in the mean time because I am far too l̶a̶z̶y̶ fearful of an unreliable connection, schedule and super confusing time difference. Hopefully my skills of precognition will improve without the pressure of public scrutiny and I am on the right track having hit the comeback trail last week with thanks to the AFC and NFC South teams whose games I went 5-0 with. Of all my half-backed predictions, it is gratifying to see the Panthers fall away with the expected post Super Bowl hangover. Few in the mainstream NFL media saw anything but another NFC Championship parade for Cam Newton but as Conor McGregor once said, "It's like in the jungle. One king gets old. He starts getting sloppy. He starts stagnating. Then a young gorilla comes up and kills him and takes everything he owns. That is what is happening here." That goes for you and three point lead too, Chris.

Picks after the jump.

Week 6
Home Team listed in CAPS
(*) = Point spread

Broncos (-3.5) at CHARGERS
49ers (+7.5) at BILLS
Jaguars (+2.5) at BEARS
Rams (+3) at LIONS
Steelers (-7.5) at DOLPHINS
Bengals (+8.5) at PATRIOTS
Panthers (-3) at SAINTS
Ravens (+3) at GIANTS
Eagles (-2.5) at REDSKINS
Browns (+7) at TITANS
Chiefs (PK) at RAIDERS
Cowboys (+4) at PACKERS
Falcons (+6.5) at SEAHAWKS
Colts (+3) at TEXANS
Jets (+7.5) at CARDINALS

I pick: Chargers, 49ers, Jaguars, Lions, Steelers, Bengals, Saints, Giants, Eagles, Browns, Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons, Texans, Jets

Chris picks: Broncos, 49ers, Jaguars, Lions, Dolphins, Patriots, Panthers, Ravens, Eagles, Titans, Raiders, Cowboys, Seahawks, Colts, Cardinals

Super picks: Chargers, 49ers, Jaguars, Cowboys, Falcons

I am doing something highly inadvisable to all non-professionals including of course, myself, by returning to my tried and not-trusted method of picking games by gut determination. I like the Chargers to pull the upset because their luck surely has to change at some point, right? Now admittedly, Denver have won nine of the last ten with San Diego's sole win coming in Denver but I think this is a bad spot for the champs. Mike McCoy is on the hot seat but I think he is a better coach than his reputation suggests and we know that desperate teams can upkick hard. The Chargers offense is competent enough to challenge a superb defense on a short week and the Broncos while on the flip side the Broncos offense is untrustworthy enough to turn it over a few times.

Sticking with the gut theory, the 49ers finally and tellingly reluctantly made a switch at QB, replacing Real American Blaine Gabbert with Colin Kaepernick. There has been some talk about the amount of weight that Keap has lost. This is just thinking out loud on my part but when I see athletes who have lost a lot of muscle mass very quickly and mysteriously, it leads to suspicion in my mind that they were previously cycling or on testosterone. Just something to consider perhaps. The QB situation is not really relevant here. There is absolutely no way in hell I have faith in the Bills ability to cover over a touchdown spread. Even on an unprecedented three game winning streak, I'll believe it when I see it, let's say, ten times in a row.

Part of the reason for picking the 49ers of course is an emotional hedge; If they get splattered against the wall I'll be happy because I dislike the 49ers whereas if they cover I'll win my bet. Similarly, I think the Falcons can cover 6.5 against the Seahawks. Dan Quinn knows what's up in Seattle, it's not like he is one of Bill Belichick's ex-disciples who he routinely crushes. Atlanta took it to the Broncos last weekend against all the odds and I like and simultaneously dread their ability to do the same in this spot.

There are a few spreads that feel like obvious traps this week and I am just going to run headlong into one of them by picking the Cowboys. I remain unimpressed overall with Green Bay this season while conversely the Cowboys have played above their level. A spread of 4 feels like at least a half point too high even with the relatively inexperienced Dak Prescott starting. It would be just Tony Romo's luck to be usurped Bledsoe-style and I suspect the legend will continue to burnish here.

Last Week:
Me: 8-5-1    (35-40-2)
Chris: 5-8-1    (38-37-2)
SC: 2-2-1    (12-12-1)

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