That’s right, the NFL is back and so are our humble pickers, Sam and Jeff.
Last season, Sam went 11-5 against the spread and 10-5 on the over/under (for some reason he didn’t take a total side in week one last year). Jeff saw his greatest success picking the entire league, winning WCG’s pick ‘em league and choosing close to 70 percent correct over at the QB List. His Bears picks, on the other hand, were less than stellar.
They’re looking to build on their momentum and bringing their amateur knowledge back for more.
The WCG Survivor and Pigskin Pick ‘Ems pools are back as well and there’s still time for you to join.
The Bears are opening the season on the road against Detroit, the first time they’ve opened on the road since that awful meltdown at Lambeau Field two years ago. They also haven’t won an opening game since 2013.
Not good trends. Can the Bears turn these trends around? Will it affect how our pickers bet the game?
Bears (+3) at Detroit (O/U 43.5)
Sunday, noon, FOX
Sam: The Bears were a woeful 6-10 against the spread last season, but that could have been expected after a good 2018, they had the backing of Vegas week after week.
However, I think we’ll frequently see them as underdogs this season, particularly early as faith in Mitch Trubisky is fleeting in Chicago and nonexistent nationally.
Does this mean that the Bears present good value? Perhaps, with a strong defense they should be in a lot of games and be able to keep it close.
As for this week though...I’m not sure. The Bears haven’t won an opener since 2013, as has been mentioned ad nauseum. But they haven’t won an opener on the road since 2008, when they went to Indianapolis and spoiled the Colts’ opening of Lucas Oil Stadium.
They’re 2-8 outright in road openers and 5-5 against the number in road openers going back to 2000. Even expanding it out to both home and road they’re 7-13 overall and 8-11-1 against the number.
That’s a whole lot of bad mojo. However, they have had success against the Lions of late, winning four straight and covering in three of those four. Overall they’re 7-11-2 against the number against the Lions since 2010.
I’m rambling here, but I’m going against the grain and the numbers and taking the Bears here. I like them as a road dog, although they’re only 3-3 in that spot under Nagy, including a couple late-season games when opponents rested starters.
I just think that Mitch has played well against Patricia and the Lions and will be able to carry a little of confidence into a road environment that won’t be quite as hostile as it would otherwise be.
I’m also taking the over. I think that early this season, with the weird camp and the Bears’ reported reluctance to have a ton of live hitting in practice will give an edge to the offenses and get the teams to go over.
For the survivor pool, I considered picking the Colts against the lowly Jaguars but I ultimately decided to pick the Eagles. I’m just not sure what the Eagles are going to be this year, I could see them being really good or end up disappointing again so why not pick them early against a bad Washington Football Team?
Picks: Bears +3, over 43.5, Eagles (survivor)
JB: Glad to be back and talking about football games. I think we all need this.
It’s always a smart idea to let the first few weeks of the NFL season play out before you dive into the betting lines, but we wouldn’t have much of a column if we did that. So, here’s we go.
The Bears getting 3 points against the Lions? Yep, sign me up. The off-season narratives have gotten a little out of hand. The Lions got some love because of all the talent they’ve accumulated. Are they actually a good team? I’ll believe it when I see it. The Bears are getting trashed because of the QB situation, but are we just forgetting about the defense? I certainly haven’t. I’ll take Bears +3. Speaking of that defense, I’ll disagree with Sam here and I’ll take the under until further notice.
As for survivor, I was surprised to see that I had that made the same pick as Sam. Honestly, makes me wonder if I need to go back and change it, but here’s the thing, a veteran team like the Eagles should be able to handle the Washington Football Team without any real issues. Maybe Ron Rivera gets that team headed in the right direction, but it’s a tall order to take down the Eagles in the first week. Although, they are one of the only franchises with a lot of experience playing in front of no fans in the crowd... nah, I’ll stick with it.
Picks: Bears +3, under 43.5, Eagles (survivor)
Take the conversation to Twitter with JB @gridironborn and Sam @samhouseholder.