So here we are, the Friday picks. Let’s try to keep the momentum alive from last week and come out with a little money in our pocket (for amusement purposes only, of course). Can the Eagles get it done in Buffalo? Is Seattle primed for a North Jersey beatdown? Read on to find out.
This week starts the bye weeks, so the schedule is a little lighter than usual with only 13 games on the slate. I think week 5 is where teams start to separate themselves into contenders and pretenders. If you’re sitting at 1-3 (ahem, Eagles) then this is the week to win or go home. I think 10-6 would be the minimum record for the last Wild Card spot in both leagues. Dropping to 1-4 and possibly three games out of 1st place would be a season killer. Especially with the Giants getting a cupcake this week. I still think the Birds can make a run at the division title, but it all starts this week in Buffalo. On to the picks…
Bet #1: New York Giants (-9.5) over Seattle Seahawks
Sometimes you just have to bet against the bad teams. And Seattle is a baaaaad team. They are 1-3, they are dead last in offensive yards per game. Their only victory was a 13-10 home win vs. Arizona (also 1-3). In two road games they have been outscored 57-17. They’re only averaging 14 points per game. Quick, name the #1 RB for the Seahawks…. Time’s up. The answer is Marshawn Lynch. He averages 35 yards per game (does that even count as being a RB?). Tavaris Jackson is under center, with a QB Rating of 80. This team is not very good.
Now they get to travel cross-country and take on the 3-1 New York Giants. New York is riding a three game winning streak after a rough opener at Washington. Eli has been playing well, three TD’s in the past two games. The knock on the Giants is that they give up alot of rushing yards. I don’t think that will be an issue this week since Seattle’s run game is non-existent.
I think we’ll see alot of Eli throwing this week, jump out to a nice lead and sit on it (a strategy Andy Reid has never heard of). The Giants are in 1st place, and with the Eagles and Cowboys both struggling I think they will be focused to win and stay at the top (you know the Redskins will collapse eventually).
The Giants will play like they were ‘sprung from cages on Highway 9’, or something (I don’t know even know what means). They won in Seattle last year 41-7, I don’t think it won’t be as much of a blowout, but the Giants will bring the heat on defense and get it done.
I’ll go with Giants 27 Seahawks 10.
The Line: Giants -9.5, O/U 43.5
The Pick: Giants -9.5
Bet #2: (a.k.a The “I’m a jinx” hometown pick) Eagles / Bills OVER 50 points
Remember back in 1990, the Eagles were playing up in Buffalo, they were backed up close to their own end zone. Randall Cunningham was about to get sacked by Bruce Smith, but he ducked out of the sack, threw a long pass to Arkansas Fred Barnett and it resulted in a 95 yard touchdown? Yeah, that was awesome. And that’s about all I can remember of any Eagles / Bills game. There’s not much rivalry here.
So we’re 1-3, huh? Not good. Especially when we remember that we were leading every game in the 2nd half. Falcons game? Blew that lead. Giants game? Blew that lead. 49ers game? Blew that lead. We’ve outgained the opponent in all four games, so the offense is there, and this week we’re going to need it.
I’m not going to pick a side in this game. If I did I would lean Eagles -3 (and buy a half point down to 2.5) just because the Eagles are the better team on paper.
The Bills are 3-1, but it’s a wild 3-1. In Week 1 they went down to Kansas City and blew the doors off the Chiefs, 41-7. In Week 2 they won a back and forth shootout with the Raiders 38-35. In Week 3, pretty much their Super Bowl, they took down the Patriots as 8.5 point underdogs, 34-31. Last week was a prime spot for a letdown, and they lost to the Bengals 23-20. So we know the Bills score a ton of points, give up a ton of points, and play in close games. I think this week will be more of the same.
As far as the numbers go, this game screams OVER. In Offensive yards per game, the Eagles are 4th overall (434 ypg), and the Bills are 9th (391 ypg). In Defensive yard allowed per game you have the Eagles at 16th and the Bills near the bottom at 27th (405 ypg, wow).
Everyone, including Vegas, agrees that this will be a shootout. And all the trends and stats point to that. Like I mentioned yesterday when the total is OVER 50 during the Mike Vick and Ryan Fitzpatrick eras, the OVER is 3-0. In 10 of their last 11 road games the Eagles have gone OVER. And Buffalo has gone OVER in their last five games overall.
Let’s not get cute, let’s just ride the OVER trend.
Vick and Fitzpatrick should put up good numbers, if you have any Bills or Eagles on your fantasy teams you are looking good this week. So put on your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And it should be a pretty fun game to watch. How about Eagles 31 Bills 27.
The Line: Eagles -3, O/U 50
The Pick: Eagles / Bills OVER 50
What I listened to while writing this post: Truckin’ Up To Buffalo – Grateful Dead. (I needed some Buffalo inspiration). This show is from July 4, 1989. From one of the greatest summer runs in Dead history. Shortly after this show they came to Philly on July 7th and played the final show at JFK Stadium (Crimson, White and Indigo. That’s also a great show. Get that one, too).
Huge Phillies game tonight. Game 5. We have Doc on the mound, what more do you want? Go Phils!
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