AFTER swinging for the fences and predicting more carnage in the NFL the good teams are finally starting to stand up. The beautiful chaos of the NFC mixed in with the race to relevancy makes the next four weeks much watch action. Equally, we now have an idea of what each NBA teams narrative is going to be for the rest of 2017-18. So picking winners should be easy right?
Last Sunday Picks: 11 – 8
Overall: 393 – 296
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Toronto Raptors (16-7) at Sacramento Kings (8-17)
FOR what feels like the 17th straight season the Raptors are going to have another familiar year. Led by their backcourt stars, 45-50 wins, a three seed and then a second round exit is as much a lock as anything in the league. Things that Kings can only dream of.
Verdict: Raptors W
Image from thestar.com
Boston Celtics (22-5) at Detroit Pistons (14-11)
WE are starting to find out that the Pistons aren’t the top four team in the East that they looked like in the first month of the season. After their 10-3 start their hot shooting numbers have cooled off, but I still think the home squad can snap their streak of five straight L’s.
Verdict: Pistons W
Denver Nuggets (14-11) at Indiana Pacers (15-11)
THIS is tough to predict the winner here with Collison, Young, Bogdanovic and Stephenson all listed as questionable. If they play (which I expect them too) they’ll beat the Nuggets.
Verdict: Pacers W
Dallas Mavericks (7-19) at Minnesota Timberwolves (15-11)
EVEN though the Timberwolves are looking shaky early on in the season they are still too stacked to lose to Dallas. Right?
Verdict: Timberwolves W
Philadelphia 76ers (13-12) at New Orleans Pelicans (13-13)
SIMMONS/Embiid vs. Boogie/The Brow is probably the pick of the games on offer this weekend. However, the health of Sixers role players Robert Covington and T.J. McConnell will probably shape the result.
Verdict: Pelicans W
Atlanta Hawks (6-19) at New York Knicks (12-13)
I’M not sure how I feel about the Knicks. Their yo-yo season is tough to decipher so far. They lost to this same Hawks team just a few weeks ago and while there is no denying Kristaps is a star of the league, I don’t have enough faith in the rest of his supporting cast.
Verdict: Hawks W
Indianapolis Colts (3-9) at Buffalo Bills (6-6)
OH how different the Bills season could have panned out. If Tyrod Taylor wasn’t benched and Nathan Peterman’s career didn’t get off to the worst start ever they could be right in the mix for the playoffs. Instead, their season will be done after they lose to the Colts.
Verdict: Colts W
Chicago Bears (3-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-7)
ANOTHER fringe AFC playoff contender is the Cincinnati Bengals, who nearly upset their division best Pittsburgh Steelers last week. Everything has to go perfectly from here on out for the Bengals and it could all go up in flames if they are upset by Chicago. They won’t be though.
Verdict: Bengals W
Green Bay Packers (6-6) at Cleveland Browns (0-12)
FOR the second straight season Green Bay running the table and qualifying for the playoffs is still on the cards. With Aaron Rodgers impending return the Packers should chalk up their seventh win putting them right in the mix. Sorry Browns fans.
Verdict: Packers W
Oakland Raiders (6-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (6-6)
THINGS in the AFC West are well and truly out of whack, highlighted by a virtual ‘loser leaves town’ clash at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. The slide from Kansas City will end this week, but their place in the playoffs is still far from locked in.
Verdict: Chiefs W
Dallas Cowboys (6-6) at New York Giants (2-10)
THIS game is probably the hardest to choose out of them all this weekend. Purely looking at their record would indicate that Dallas is the better team, but ‘Zeke-less’ Dallas is a completely different team. Like a way worse team.
Verdict: Giants W
Detroit Lions (6-6) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)
THERE is absolutely no room for mistakes left in Detroit. With Matthew Stafford under an injury cloud and Jamies Winston looking like himself again the road stops here for the Lions.
Verdict: Buccaneers W
Image from prideofdetroit.com
Minnesota Vikings (10-2) at Carolina Panthers (8-4)
ONE of the games of the weekend will tell all everything we need to know about the Panthers and Vikings. If Carolina is legit at making a SuperBowl run they beat Minnesota who falls out the upper echelon of the conference. A Vikings W confirms that they are one of the best teams in the league and proves Carolina is just making up the numbers.
Verdict: Vikings W
San Fransisco 49ers (2-10) at Houston Texans (4-8)
I’M quite alright with 49ers throwing Garoppolo out there at the risk of getting a worse draft pick. It’s likely that San Fransisco will still be one of the bottom five teams. But Garoppolo can bring some excitement to the franchise and a few more wins that give 49ers fans something to smile about regarding their future.
Verdict: 49ers W
New York Jets (5-7) at Denver Broncos (3-9)
WHAT an absolute disaster the Broncos season has been so far. With their worst losing streak in 50 years, there’s a high chance that it will keep on rolling against the Jets.
Verdict: Jets W
Tennessee Titans (8-4) at Arizona Cardinals (5-7)
I wish Marcu Mariota would stop teasing us. In his defense he is still very young, but I wanted to see more from him this year. An upset from the Cardinals will be another disappointing result.
Verdict: Cardinals W
Image from registerguard.com
Washington Redskins (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (6-6)
I’M all aboard the Chargers bandwagon right now. The only healthy players left on Washington’s roster aren’t going to halt their momentum either.
Verdict: Chargers W
Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) at Los Angeles Rams (9-3)
ONE of the matches of the season could shape the entire playoff race in the beautifully chaotic NFC. After Wentz and Co’s slip up against Seattle, they face another road test against a potential playoff team as No. 1 and 2 in the 2016 NFL draft go to war. My money is on Philly returning to the winner’s circle when it’s all said and done.
Verdict: Eagles W
Seattle Seahawks (8-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4)
ALL of a sudden this game is super important for both teams. It seems like Seattle have their mojo back this week and even though their secondary is weakened they still have the right players to halt the Bortles led offense.
Verdict: Seahawks W
Baltimore Ravens (7-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2)
THIS game is more interesting than some may think. The Steelers have looked mortal in their past few contests and as a result, a Baltimore win isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Still, at the end of the day, Pittsburgh’s big dogs can’t all be shut down by the Ravens’ dominant D.
Verdict: Steelers W