October 25, 2013

Is the NFL too into London?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Is the NFL too into London?

It has been announced that the NFL has upped the ante next year by sending three games over to London, an increase from this season’s two. Is that a good thing?

I know that nobody could have predicted this, but three of the teams playing in London this season were winless when their games took place. Are Brits happy about that? I’m not even sure if they care. After all, as far as I know, this is just a novelty act for them.

While this may pave the way for a team to eventually move overseas – many have written about the possibility and how it might work – I think that the league is getting to a point where it is over-saturating the market.

And it’s not like the teams involved are really benefitting from the trip. It must be hard to both fly overseas and adapt your body clock while preparing for a hard-hitting game. Ask anyone who has gone to London on business or pleasure, that first day there is nearly a write-off.

Plus, one team loses a home game in each instance, which also means less revenue for the owner and less opportunity for home fans to see their team live – something that is already at a premium in a 16-game season.

I bet a team in London – the Jaguars become the Bulldogs, perhaps? – will happen within the next 10 years. But for now, we’re just in the growing pains stage of things and we’re going to have to get used to seeing more and more overseas games each year.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

San Francisco -16.5 over Jacksonville in London

So far this season, the NFL has sent over three winless teams to play. Now the Brits get ‘treated’ to seeing the Jags get slaughtered by the Niners.

DETROIT -3 over Dallas

The Cowboys defence somehow got better without DeMarcus Ware, shutting down the high-powered Eagles. That won’t happen again as no Cowboy can capably cover Megatron.

New York Giants +5.5 over PHILADELPHIA

The Giants didn’t look great – or even good – in their first win of the season, but the Eagles haven’t won a game at home yet.

KANSAS CITY -7.5 over Cleveland

While it might actually be an upgrade going to Jason Campbell, it won’t be nearly enough to hang with the amazing Chiefs.

Buffalo +11.5 over NEW ORLEANS

There’s something sneaky about this Bills team, even with a nobody like Thad Lewis at QB. It’s amazing they can win on the road while getting nothing out of C.J. Spiller.

NEW ENGLAND -6.5 over Miami

Now that Gronk has his feet under him, maybe the Patriots will start to look like the team we thought they’d be.

CINCINNATI -6.5 over New York Jets

The Bengals may have lost their best corner in Leon Hall, but that won’t matter against the woeful Jets receiving corps.

Pittsburgh -2.5 over OAKLAND

After starting off dreadfully, the Steelers look to have turned things around with two straight wins. A trip to Oakland shouldn’t be too much for them.

Washington +12.5 over DENVER

In case you haven’t noticed, the Broncos defence isn’t good enough to hold a two-touchdown lead. This one should be a very high-scoring affair with both teams at least in the high 30s.

ARIZONA -2.5 over Atlanta

If the Cardinals could block, they might actually be a really good team. The Falcons are relying on Harry Douglas at receiver, which can’t go well every week.

MINNESOTA +9 over Green Bay

Now that we know Josh Freeman was concussed, some of his throws on Monday make sense. Christian Ponder isn’t great, but this team ran the ball extremely well against the Pack in the regular season last year.

Seattle -10.5 over ST. LOUIS

Poor Rams. This game is going up against a home World Series game, which could actually be the clincher for the Red Sox. Oh, and they lost their starting QB, Sam Bradford for the season and will turn to Kellen Clemens. This could be a VERY rough night under the Arch.

This week: 1-0

Last week: 7-7-1

This season: 50-53-4

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