THE return of football helped resurrect my numbers as I posted double-digit correct guesses for the first time in a long time. With close to 20 games on the slate this Sunday, there’s a BIG chance to chalk up some W’s. Or to go crashing down in flames with an epic fail. Fingers crossed.
Last Sunday Picks: 10 – 6
Overall: 273 – 214
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Seattle Mariners @ Houston Astros
SEATTLE remain an outside chance of making the postseason, currently 3.5 games out of the second AL wildcard spot. If they are going to cause an upset they will need to halt Justin Verlander (12-8, 3.58 ERA) in his home debut for the Astros. It isn’t just another game at Minute Maid Park though, with a win securing the American League West pennant. All signs point to a rough night for the Mariners.
Verdict: Astros W
Milwaukee Brewers @ Miami Marlins
THE closest division race is still alive in the NL Central, with Milwaukee able to get a leg up on at least one of their division rivals with a win. The Cubs and Cardinals square off on Sunday as well and should the Brewers take care of business against Miami, they could be etching closer to a playoff berth. Don’t let me down Milwaukee.
Verdict: Brewers W
Chicago Cubs @ St Louis Cardinals
AS mentioned above a lot is on the line in this matchup for both teams. Chicago seems to have found their groove again and a win would equate to a series sweep of St Louis and give them their sixth straight W. I’m backing the Cardinals to put up a fight and keep this division race interesting until the last minute of the season though.
Verdict: Cardinals W
Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels
JUST one win behind the Twins in the race for a wildcard spot, the Los Angeles Angels have everything to play for on Sunday. A five-game skid has halted any hopes that the Rangers had of postseason action in 2017, so they will likely be flat with little motivation to walk away winners of this contest. Chalk it up as an LA triumph.
Verdict: Angels W
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
THIS comes as no surprise to you but the LA Dodgers have been sh*thouse lately. Like really REALLY bad. If they are going to restore the faith of Dodgers fans they need to find their groove before the playoffs and a series sweep against another contender would do just that. However, I am backing the arm of Stephen Strasburg (13-4, 2.64 ERA)to help the Nats salvage something from this series.
Verdict: Nationals W
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
THROUGHOUT the past decade, Joe Thomas has given Browns fans a reason to smile. While snaps haven’t been recorded since the beginning of football, the Browns ‘Iron Man’ needs just four more to become the first man to play 10,000 consecutive snaps. While that will help keep DeShone Kizer upright, the rest of the Ravens defense will have their way with Cleveland.
Verdict: Ravens W
Image from ftw.usatoday.com
Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers
FIRST year Bills head coach Sean McDermott will be going up against familiar faces on the weekend in Carolina. McDermott spent six seasons as the Panther defensive coordinator before signing with Buffalo. While he might be able to give his guys some small inside knowledge, ultimately Carolina will be too good in this one.
Verdict: Panthers W
Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts
WE are only in week two and yet it feels like the season is already over for the Colts and Cardinals. After a pair of very uninspiring performances, both teams find themselves on the verge of being 0-2 with a minimal chance of turning it around into a playoff spot. Without Andrew Luck, it’s tough to see the Colts being competitive though, hence Arizona gets the edge.
Verdict: Cardinals W
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars
THIS one has upset alert written all over it after the Jags dominant display last week. However, it must be noted that Houston’s O-line is one of the worst groups in the league and it was just one game. It’s very easy to overreact to week one, and I have faith the Titans can respond from their loss to Oakland.
Verdict: Titans W
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs
I predicted that Kansas City would be one of the teams to fall off this season. Well didn’t they prove me wrong on Thursday night last week! The Eagles have a chance to come out of the NFC East with a division banner but without top corner Ronald Darby, Alex Smith and Tyreek Hill could be in for another big stat line.
Verdict: Chiefs W
New England Patriots @ New Orleans Saints
NO point over analysing this one. Sure the Pats defense didn’t look great last week in the season opener and the Saints high-flying Brees-led offense is an issue, yet I don’t know many times in his career where Tom Brady has had a bad game in back-to-back weeks. In fact with Brady owning a 42-10 record coming off a loss, expect that stat to read 43-10 at the conclusion of this one.
Verdict: Patriots W
Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers
UPSET alert! One of the toughest tasks in football is winning in a SuperBowl contenders own building and that’s exactly what I think the Vikings will do on Sunday. Their red zone defense was stellar last week and they will once again after to be at their best to halt the three-headed monster that is Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
Verdict: Vikings W
Image from chatsports.com
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
WITH Hurricane Irma striking Florida, the Bucs begin their 2017 campaign a week later than the other NFL teams. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that the Bears are in a better spot, with the ‘Hard Knocks’ heroes primed to make a run at the NFC South title and break their playoff drought. I have faith in Winston and Tampa Bay to start their season in a winning way.
Verdict: Buccaneers W
Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers
SIMILARLY to Tampa, Miami also missed gameplay last week and a visit to LA kicks off their new campaign. The Dolphins may be fresh and ready to take on a Chargers team that lost a close game to the Broncos. I’m backing in Philip Rivers and Co. to avenge the L and give the Jay Cutler-Miami era a 0-1 start.
Verdict: Chargers W
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders
LAST week there may not have been a more impressive team than the Oakland Raiders. Any issues around their defense from a season ago seems to be a distant memory as Oakland looks like the real deal in 2017. This doesn’t bode well for the Jets and if they can’t get some stops and adequately move the chains this will get ugly in a hurry.
Verdict: Raiders W
Image from fansided.com
Dallas Cowboys @ Denver Broncos
DALLAS’ running game versus the Broncos defense will be the telling factor in this Sunday afternoon classic. There is a direct correlation with Denver W’s and keeping opponents to very few yards on the ground and the Cowboys have had a week to prepare for the likelihood that Ezekiel Elliott will be in uniform all season. Make sure you tune in to this one, it’s going to epic.
Verdict: Cowboys W
Washington Redskins @ Los Angeles Rams
LA showcased what they are capable of by decimating Indianapolis last weekend, but don’t go booking your SuperBowl tickets just yet Rams fans. Washington will be eager to bounce back from a bad showing in week one and Kirk Cousins is much more dangerous than Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett.
Verdict: Redskins W
San Fransisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
LOOK away 49er fans, the Seahawks are primed to go BANG! Eager to atone for their close loss to Green Bay last week, Seattle will be expected to take care of San Fransico easily in the last game of the afternoon. They have had the 49ers number of late, outscoring San Fran in their last five games at CenturyLink Field by 100 points. Nuf said.
Verdict: Seahawks W
Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
FINALLY, a rematch of the NFC championship game from 2016 closes out the Sunday Picks, with the Falcons and Packers keen to move to 2-0 on the year. While Atlanta didn’t look like world beaters against the Bears last week I’m not ready to write them off just yet. Besides, with Green Bay’s O-line beaten up, it will be harder to keep Aaron Rodgers in a tight pocket and allow him to be comfortable. I’ve got the Falcons in this one.
Verdict: Falcons W