Writer's note: I'm Carl’s intern who made him a bunch of money for years with my independent NFL betting blog before stepping up to Barstool all of last season.
I'm keeping it to one pick this week because I've been drinking for 10 days straight. Some in my family have been calling this a "problem", but we all know that I'm simply enjoying a well-deserved vacation. Right, right guys?
Pick #1: Bills -0.5 (teased from -6.5) hosting the Jets AND Cardinals +13 (teased from +7) at the Niners
Bills -0.5 first...
Jets @ Bills; 12pm CT
Action: 60% of bets on Buffalo -6.5
With my BAC hovering around 0.15 for nearly two weeks, there's no more appropriate fan base to align myself with than the psychopaths in Buffalo.
The term "continuity" has been a buzzword entering this NFL betting season, but you must examine the quality accompanying that continuity. When it comes to Bills head coach Sean McDermott, continuity is a good thing. For Jets head coach Adam Gase and OC Dowell Loggains, that's a big "no thanks" from me on the whole 'continuity' thing. Those two jabronis narrowly saved their jobs through a 6-2 finish in the final 8 games of last season, but a closer look at the opponents in those contests would leave you less than impressed. This will be their last season with the Jets.
The Bills are largely keeping their great defense and solid O-line intact, while the Jets are shuffling through a litany of WR injuries and patching together entirely new faces on the O-line in this shortened offseason. On top of that, the Jets are recovering from the loss of their two biggest defensive badasses in C.J. Mosley and Jamal Adams - they are emotional leaders who can keep their teammates' heads in the game through adversity. This would be like the Miami Heat losing two Jimmy Butler's right now. On the flip side, the only "lack of continuity" for Buffalo is key skill position additions in Stefon Diggs and Zack Moss. The Bills and Jets are going in opposite directions.
With Tre'Davious White locking down Breshad Perriman on the outside and the Bills D generally destroying all opposing TEs (Herndon in this case), they'll keep everything in front of them and challenge Darnold to sustain drives through short, surgical gains. The Gase/Darnold combo isn't consistent enough to execute on this, so prepare yourself for a million dump-offs to Le-Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder short of first downs, resulting in a punt-fest (or missed Ficken FGs).
17 points will be enough for Buffalo to get the dub here.
Cardinals +13 second…
Cardinals @ Niners; 3:25pm CT
Action: 58% of bets on Arizona +7
These divisional opponents played each other extremely closely in their two meetings last year, but this +7 spread indicates that our only memories are the Cardinals finishing 5-10-1 and the Niners making the Super Bowl.
We all know about the Niners pass rush and secondary, but injuries to Nick Bosa and Dee Ford limited their preparation for this week, and the loss of defensive backs coach Joe Woods to Cleveland isn't helping the back end. Toss in a mobile Kyler Murray, a healthy Kenyan Drake, and an A+ wideout in DeAndre Hopkins, and this Arizona offense is a tough match-up for a softened San Fran D.
Switching to the Niners offense, their WRs have been wrecked by injuries, which really leaves George "Greg" Kittle as the sole reliable receiving option. Last year, this wouldn't have been a problem against a Cardinals D that ranked dead last in yards allowed to the TE position, but their addition of freak LB Isaiah Simmons in the draft is the perfect fit to slow Kittle down.
Let's enjoy over 10 fuckin hours of football and have ourselves a day.