Jim Vallet and Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Week #1 NFL impressions from my easy chair:
- After railing about how hard it was to pick NFL games in Week #1, this non-expert went 6-3 against the spread. After looking long and hard at how he did it, he reached the conclusion…he got lucky! Every game (except my terrible Green Bay pick) could have easily gone against me, culminating with the I lost, I won, I lost, I won, I lost, I won thriller on Monday night (which I happily had on the money line). This leads me to conclude that NFL parity is a fact and the books are very good at setting betting lines. Bet a lot of money at your own peril;
- The incident involving the Kansas City assistant coach and the Cleveland defender makes me wonder where does KC find their assistant coaches and why are so many people allowed on the sidelines?;
- My fantasy squad sucks. “Experts”, schmeckberts.
- What a great idea ESPN has to have Perton and Eli Manning commenting live on the Monday night game as it happens. I did not watch last Monday, but you can bet (!!) I’ll be tuning in next Monday. I might get mad and turn it though, considering they are bound to throw some well-deserved zingers directly at my beloved Lions’ 64-year run of ineptitude;
- Speaking of the Lions, I am REALLY happy for Matthew Stafford. Really, if you’re a good player playing for the LIons, it’s not a matter of if you’re going to leave, it’s when and how gracious are you going to be when you get released from your time at Ford Field. The Rams looked so good Sunday night, and the Lions…,well, they got the QB that used to play for the much-improved-now-that-he’s-gone Rams;
- If you make your NFL football bets early in the week and you like to bet the games on TV (like me), be careful! CBS and FOX are out to trick us! Early last week, CBS put on the guide on my DirectTV that the 10 a.m. game would be the Steelers and the Bills. Just before I went to make my bets on Friday, I craftily checked my guide again and CBS now had the 10 a.m. game as San Diego at Washington, which I suspected due to where I live. So, I was able to change my bet to the game on TV. I out-crafted myself, though, since I would have won the Bills-Steelers game, but lost the Chargers-Washington Football Team game;
- The number 1 enemy of any TV football fan has to be the vacuum cleaner, which somehow manages to make its noisy presences known at key moments every Sunday;
- The number 2 enemy (although I love this one) has to be my grandson, who always gets his way at our house and much prefers to watch “Cocomelon” over NFL football;
- Football people are much different, and much better, than politicians. I watched NFL Network and ESPN a lot on Monday, and not one coach or player blamed the referees for their performance! Not one claimed the scoreboard was incorrect! None claimed the other team won by cheating! There were no claims of conspiracies against them! The media was not responsible for any defeat! I didn’t hear anyone insulting his opponent’s wife! And people wonder why we love sports and so many don’t watch the news…
If you are wondering, I did not hurt myself when I jumped off my soapbox. Here are my picks against the spread for Week #2. Lines are from vegasinsider.com as of Tuesday, Sept. 14, and watch the numbers, because they did change a lot last week.
Washington Football Team (I’ll be happy when they change that mascot) -3 vs. New York Giants.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5 ½) vs. Las Vegas Raiders. After the Raiders’ effort on Monday night, I hate to do this, but, come on, NFL scheduler! A Monday night game vs. a very physical Ravens team followed by a short week, a long flight including a three hour time change, and then a game against a just-as-tough Steelers squad. This is one complaint I believe is justified.
Buffalo Bills (-2 ½) at Miami Dolphins. Think the Bills will go 0-2?
Indianapolis Colts (+3 ½) vs LA Rams. Another one I hate to do, but the Colts need a win.
New England Patriots (-5 ½) at New York Jets. I think Zach Wilson is the real deal, and Robert Saleh may be a great coach, but I KNOW the Jets’ offensive line was terrible last week, allowing Wilson to get hit 16 times!! No matter how much talent Wilson has, he won’t make Week #8 at this pace.
Kansas City (-3 ½) at Baltimore Ravens. While their schedule is not as bad as the Raiders’, the Ravens still face a tough team after a short week. Worse still, once Sammy Watkins sustains his annual slew of injuries, who is going to run the ball and whom is Jackson going to throw it to?
Last week: 6-3
Minnesota (+3) at Colorado: Colorado almost beat Texas A&M last week, but ended up losing 10-7. They may be a little heartbroken over losing the game in the final minutes, but even if not, their offense hasn’t showed a lot of punch. Minnesota lost running back Mo Ibrahim to a knee injury a couple weeks ago, but his replacement has 178 yards on 34 carries last week. Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan is experienced and I expect him to lead his team to a road win.
East Carolina (+9 ½) over Marshall: I’m not one to give up on an idea easily. I expected East Carolina to be one of the most improved teams in the country. But I lost my bet on them against Appalachian St. because the replay official overturned a touchdown on a Hail Mary pass and called it an interception. Then they lost on a last second field goal to South Carolina last week. Quarterback Holton Ahlers has played poorly enough that the fans in Greenville are calling for the team to switch to last year’s highly rated recruit, Mason Garcia. I expect Ahlers to bounce back with a good game this week, but if he doesn’t I also think coach Mike Houston will switch to Garcia, who played well last year when Ahlers missed a game because of Covid. At 0-2, despite playing fairly well for much of both games, I think the Pirates play with abandon and desperation this week.
Boise St. (-3) over Oklahoma St.: One of the most impressive things about how many major upsets Boise St. has pulled off through the years is that they almost always come either on the road, or at neutral sites, because they rarely get a power conference team to come to Boise. They do here, and it’s one with a big name that will get them roused up, but one that has had trouble getting its offense moving s far this year.
Panthers (+3 ½) over Saints: Jameis Winston is on the road, coming off a huge game last week. I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends, and I’m going to have to see a different ending a few times before I’ll believe it’s any different.
Steelers (-6) over Raiders: I’m not sure I’d be taking this in a different situation, but the Raiders are off an overtime win Monday night, traveling to the East Coast. West Coast teams that play on Monday night then go to the East Coast the next week have not done well.
49ers (-3) at Eagles: The injury to Dre Greenlaw worries me a little bit, but that is one position the 49ers have some depth. The 49ers let down with a big lead against the Lions last week, but they have done well the past few years in these back-to-back Eastern games, where they stay in West Virginia to prepare.