Our pickers got off to a good start, winning against the spread last week by siding with the good guys (Da Bears, of course) as road underdogs.
Sure they had to sweat it out until the fourth quarter when the offense decided to start scoring but a win is a win nonetheless.
In the WCG Survivor league Sam did take his first strike by going with the Eagles. He even wrote “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.” Yikes.
But he was one of 14 in the survivor contest that whiffed on their first pick of the year, although 10 of those picked the Colts, one brave soul took the Bengals, one took the Vikings and someone other than Sam also liked the Eagles.
Over in the pick ‘ems contest, there is a five-way tie for the lead between 13th Grader, Little G, Cooler’s Pick, Who Bears Wins and Decatur Staleys. Sam is in a tie for second with several others including boss man Lester while JB is down in second-to-last place with seven points, ahead of only the people that entered the contest and never locked in any picks.
Now, let’s look at the Bears game and get this week’s picks.
Bears (-5.5) vs. Giants (O/U 42.5)
Sunday, noon, CBS
Jeff: That under sure looked like a winner last week and then Matt Nagy tried to get cute and score late, opening up the Lions to get a cheap one before half and away we go. Oh, well. We’re onto New Jersey.
The Giants looked up and down in the Monday night game against the Steelers, coming out with a little more energy than I expected on defense. They’re still prone to mistakes, particularly in the secondary, so I think this game might actually clear that 42 mark and get played in the 20s. The Giants offense, while not particularly overwhelming, has legitimate weapons and the Bears run defense suddenly looks like a liability - not good when prepping to play against the best RB in the league.
I think the Bears are the more talented team and need to take care of business against teams with modest expectations like the Giants if they want to do anything this year. However, given the uncertainties in some of the matchups in this one, I think the Giants can keep it close. Give me the Giants +5.5, over 42.
As for survivor, I let Sam know on the Sunday morning livestream that I was changing my mind and not picking the Eagles and instead went with the Bills. The result was a good one as I saved myself a strike while Sam gets the first red mark of the year. This week, as of this writing, I’ve got the Cardinals locked in to hold home turf against the Washington Football Team. As always, I reserve the right to change my pick as the games get closer and if I do, it will likely go to the Titans, nine point favorites at home over their division rival Jaguars.
JB: Giants +4.5, Over 42 Survivor: Cardinals
Sam: This line seems awful high for a team that needed a wild 21-point rally to beat the hapless Lions, who can’t get out of their own way. They were a dropped pass IN THE ENDZONE from winning. My wife turned her head away when the ball dropped to D’Andre Swift and disappeared behind that camera rig that was perfectly placed to cover the players as they landed in the endzone. I looked over at her and said “No, no, look! He dropped it, he dropped it!” Unbelievable moment.
Anyway, I digress, the point is 5.5 is way too high for a Mitch Trubisky-led team. You look at the history here, I know the Giants have a new coach, but the last four meetings were settled by fewer than a touchdown and you have to go back to 2010 to find a game in the series that had a more than 10 point victor.
The defense left a lot to be desired and there isn’t enough trust in the offense to cover that number. I agree on the over too, because there could be a defensive score as well as a couple offensive touchdowns on both sides.
Yikes, we agree. Watch out, maybe fade us? I don’t know.
For my survivor pick I am taking the Titans. I’m not going to mess around in week two after already taking a strike. I like the Titans a lot this season and yeah I just watched the Colts lose to the Jags but I think Mike Vrabel’s squad gets it done. The only other team I’m interested in picking is the 49ers since they’ll be out for blood after losing close to the Cardinals last week.
Sam: Giants +5.5, over 42.5, Survivor: Titans
What are you best plays this weekend? Which side do you like in the Bears game?
Take the conversation to Twitter with JB @gridironborn and Sam @samhouseholder