September 8, 2017

The NFL botched the Irma game + Week 1 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

You can count this on the ever-growing list of examples that the NFL doesn’t care about its players and is only in it for the money: The game between the Bucs and Dolphins has been postponed until Week 11.

Sure, it could have been worse: The NFL could’ve had the teams play during Hurricane Irma.

But instead of playing the game at a neutral site or earlier in the week, like Thursday or Friday, it decided to move the game to Week 11, when both teams had their bye weeks schedule.

So, instead of getting the usual reprieve from the grind of the NFL season, the Dolphins and Bucs will now have to play 16 weeks in a row.

You have to wonder what would have happened if the two Florida teams coincidentally didn’t have the same week off.

The bigger missed opportunity with a neutral-site game would’ve been that the teams and league could’ve used revenue to donate to charities in their communities that will likely be pressed into action with such a monster storm bearing down on the area.

It shouldn’t surprise anybody any more, but the NFL had some good-hearted options, but took the easiest, most profitable way out.

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

Kansas City +9 over NEW ENGLAND

Well, that was completely unexpected. There were some that thought this Pats team could rival the undefeated squad from 2007 but this game shot down the notion. For the record, we expected the Chiefs to cover, not simply smash the defending champs.

Pittsburgh -9 over CLEVELAND

The Steelers, quite simply, own the Browns. This should be a nice game to ease into the season for the LeVeon Bell, who only showed up to camp this week. The Browns goal isn’t rack up wins this season and it won’t be close in this one.

BUFFALO -9 over New York Jets

It’s pretty hard to justify giving up nearly double-digits to take the Bills, but the Jets are just plain bad. Dealing away Sheldon Richardson takes away from the Jets’ lone strength: Run defence. LeSean McCoy could have a monster game here and Tyrod Taylor should pick up the win.

HOUSTON -5.5 over Jacksonville

We are very soon going to run out of weeks to bet against Blake Bortles and then you’ll look back at times like these with regret.

Philadelphia -1 over WASHINGTON

The Eagles did a nice job of upgrading their weak spots in the off-season and could have a legit top-5 defence this season. A point not stated often enough is about the amount of turnover in Washington’s offence, which may not be settled yet.

DETROIT +1.5 over Arizona

The Cards are looking to bounce back after a tough 2016, but being road favourites across the country does them no favours. The Lions were excellent in close games last

CINCINNATI -3 over Baltimore

There’s not a lot to hate about the Bengals, but there’s not a lot to like either. Cincy is a bang-average team across the board, while the Ravens have some flaws, including the fact that Joe Flacco probably still isn’t 100%

TENNESSEE -2 over Oakland

Two years ago, who would’ve been excited for a Titans-Raiders matchup to open the season? How things change. It’s going to be hot in Nashville, the Raiders are travelling across the country and will have to wear their black getups. In a game that should see plenty of ground-and-pound, Oakland should get worn down.

Atlanta -7 over CHICAGO

This could be a letdown game with the big home opener next week, but don’t expect the Falcons to take the lowly Bears lightly. The Falcons will want to erase any doubts after the end of last year’s Super Bowl.

L.A. RAMS -3.5 over Indianapolis

Jared Goff vs. Scott Tolzein is just about as bad as it gets in terms of QB matchups. While it’s hard to lay more than a field goal with this Rams team, the Colts could be pretty awful this season.

Seattle +3 over GREEN BAY

If many predictions come true, these two teams could be meeting much further down the line in the playoffs. The Pack got the better of Seattle last season and we see the Seahawks evening things up in what should be an early season classic.

Carolina -5.5 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Niners could win a few games and maybe even shock some teams down the road, but here they’re outmatched by a Carolina team that’s ready to prove that 2016’s 6-10 season was just a fluke.

New York Giants +4 over DALLAS

The Cowboys get Ezekiel Elliott for this one and the Giants have Odell Beckham still hobbled, but getting more than a field goal in this rivalry game is too much. New York snuck one out in the opener last year against Dallas and certainly can do it again.

MINNESOTA -3.5 over New Orleans

The Vikings open their season and new stadium against arguably the greatest player in Vikings history: Adrian Peterson. Of course, AP isn’t nearly the same player he once was and this should be a good matchup between the Saints high-powered offence and the Vikes rock-solid defence. The advantage here is that Minnesota’s new rookie RB Dalvin Cook should shred the Saints when he gets the ball.

L.A. Chargers +3.5 over DENVER

Phil Rivers and the Chargers have a history of giving the Broncos problems. With Denver’s offence not looking too scary once again, getting more than a field goal seems like a nice spot for this game.

Last season: 137-106-8

Last playoffs: 8-3

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