Ohai, welcome back. Have a seat. Can I get you a glass of Courvoisier?
Here we are, back for another season of ‘The Degenerate‘, your favorite weekly NFL picks column. We had a good run last year (but we lost our Super Bowl pick, booo!). I had alot of fun writing the column and I’m back to do it again, so I’ll try to keep it entertaining and maybe help you all make some money while we’re at it (but this is for amusement purposes only, of course).
To say that I’m happy that NFL football is back is an understatement. I mean the Phillies have had a nice run lately, but this was a brutal season overall. And now they are teasing us, making us think “well, they could still get that the 2nd wildcard”, but we all know it’s not happening (just kidding, it’s totally happening, and I’m all in until October 1st). Red means Go.
I know you have all been wondering, “Hey Fantasource, what have you been up to since we last talked?” Well, I‘m glad you asked. I did a few fun things this summer… but the most fun was heading up to the horse races in Saratoga (it rained, but we had a cooler full of pounders and we won a little money. All good.)
— Fantasource (@fantasource) July 28, 2012
And oh yeah, I bet Paul Ryan at +1500 to win the VP nomination. A Jackson got me $300, so that was kinda cool. #TeamEddieMunster
If you followed along last year you know that we had a very nice run with our NFL picks here at The Degenerate. We ended the season at 57% against the spread (not bad) and the Monday Night picks were smoking hot at 69% (9-4). You can see all of the 2011 picks documented here). I’d like to think there was some skill involved, like I didn’t just flip a coin and hope for the best (at least not most weeks). And I’m looking forward to doing it again.
But enough about the past. Let’s talk about the future. Like the immediate future. Tonight! Cowboys! Giants! NFL 2012-13 kickoff.
Bet #1: (a.k.a the “If we lose we’ll just blame the replacement refs” bet): NY Giants -3.5 OVER Dallas Cowboys
The NFL season starts on a Wednesday night this year. Yeah, kinda weird, but the Democrats are having their convention this week so the NFL moved the game from Thursday as to not interfere with President Obama’s acceptance speech. Good for them. Whatever.
The first week of the NFL season is always a little tough to handicap. You never know what teams will take a step up and be better (like the 49ers last year), and what teams will fall apart (um, I guess that would’ve been the Eagles last year). But in this one, I don’t really expect a much different look from either team compared to last year.
The Giants are coming off of another Super Bowl win (pardon me while I go throw up). And yeah, as much as I hate the Giants you gotta tip your cap to Eli, 2 rings in 8 seasons. Good work, Peyton’s little brother. But did the Giants get any better from last year? Any worse? They have Eli, a power running game, some very good wide receivers, a killer defensive line, and rosy-cheeked Tom Coughlin. Yup, it’s pretty much same recipe as last year.
And on the other hand, there are the Cowboys. It’s the same story for them, too. A crazy owner, Tony Romo behind center, pretty good RB’s, Dez Bryant and Miles Austin at WR (both formidable players when healthy), and a Rob Ryan defense that can’t seem to stop the Giants from scoring (giving up 37 and 31 points to the Giants last year). Dallas tried to upgrade their defensive backfield in the offseason and if the preseason numbers are any indication, they are an improved bunch. But I think Eli and Cruz will test the rookie Claiboirne, we’ll see if he is up for the task.
I’m going with the Giants -3.5 in this one. Kinda seems like a spot where the Giants buckle down and get a big win. Laying 3.5 points in their home opener against the banged up Cowboys? I like my chances. Jason Witten is a game time decision (spleen), Miles Austin hasn’t played at all this preseason due to hamstring problems, and Dez Bryant is nursing a bum knee (oh yeah, he also slapped him mom in the face a few weeks ago). The Giants d-line should be able to get to Romo (they sacked him 6 times in their 31-17 win in Week 17 ). Unless they get a 200 yard rushing game from DeMarco Murray I just don’t see where the Cowboys offense comes from. And that will be the big difference.
“But what about the replacement refs!?!?!” Yeah, I know the refs will be the big story this weekend, but they’ll be terrible for both teams. And hopefully their bad calls even out and they don’t have an impact on the final score. But I guess time will tell.
“But what about the weather!?!” Yeah, looks like some rain tonight in North Jersey but according to latest forecasts rain shouldn’t impact the game.
How about we say Eli throws a few TD’s, the Giants d-line sacks Romo a bunch of times and the Giants grab a nice division win, 27-17.
The Line: Giants -3.5, O/U 46
The Pick: Giants -3.5
Game trends (via Covers.com): Giants are 5-1 ATS last 6 vs. Cowboys; OVER is 5-1 last 6 in the series, Last 12 years the Super Bowl champ from the previous season is 8-2-2 ATS in the opening game the next season.
Season Record: 0-0.
Let’s get a winner tonight and come back Friday for the rest of the Week 1 picks, including Eagles / Browns.
Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:
Twitter: Follow @fantasource
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments below.