Last Week's Record: 4-1 ATS
Season to Date: 9-6 ATS
Top Confidence Picks: 3-0 ATS
I know it's early, but this already feels way better than 2013. Remember that time when Marco and I foolishly purchased a domain name, built an entire website, charged a nominal TSZ Insider's fee (which our generous readers were kind enough to indulge), and then proceeded to pick fewer games correctly than Psychic Granny C? Well, we do. And trust me, so does my mother-in-law. "I wouldn't mind doing picks again this year, Vinny," she said during a preseason breakfast, "but I don't want to embarrass you again on your website."
I don't get annoyed often, but when I do...it's at her. And for the record she - much like the rest of our team - ended up under .500 on the season, so the only embarrassing thing is that we were all worse than both my four year-old daughter (10-6 ATS based on mascot preferences) and - what do you call that thing - oh yeah, a coin.
Now to be fair - regular season record aside - Psychic Granny C is on a pretty good run of post-season predictions. Early in 2012, she declared it The Year of the Bird when Seahawks began their rise to power and the Ravens and Falcons ended up in their respective conferences championships. Granted there are a lot of bird mascots, but then she followed it up with a mid-season prediction that Carolina would win the Super Bowl the next year based on their shade of blue. I scoffed, and promised to take her to a fancy dinner if they even made it to New York, and then I proceeded to rib her with questions like, "Are you sure it wasn't Titan blue or Indianapolis blue? Or maybe a panther eating something blue?"
Sure enough, the once mediocre Panthers rolled to a division title, a first-round bye, and a first round exit last year. It was enough for me to buy her a un-fancy breakfast.
If anyone's interested in placing a wager, this Granny C has yet another prediction. It started out with a vision around Week 11 of last year when she said, "Vinny, I'm not sure what this means..." (all of her visions start out like that), "but I saw a team with a round logo on their helmet, and I think they're going to win it all next year." Rolling my eyes and sighing, I reluctantly Googled NFL team logos and the closest thing she could identify to her vision was the Pittsburgh Steelers. Booooo.
At the time, equally annoyed by the fact that she had consistently beaten us with her picks the first six weeks of the season and that Carolina Panthers were well on their way to the playoffs, I said, "No way I'm buying you dinner for the Steelers. They win the Super Bowl every five years. Call me when you have a real vision." I'm sure I apologized for my tone and delivery, but I stand by the statement.
Now let's get to some (slightly) more researched picks.
Coffee Thank You's: This post is generously sponsored by our buddy from the north Francis M. who is about to be gifted with a second child on October 26th. Congratulations to you and your family Francis, and feel free to write some posts during the early sleepless nights ahead. Also, please post photos for our readers in Texas. : ) Too soon?
If you'd like to sponsor our next post, please feel free to donate the caffeine necessary to write such nonsense. Just click the Coffee for Vinny and Marco button. Or come back and do it after you go 5-0 with our picks this week.
Speaking of sponsorship. We cannot emphasize enough our belief that GAMBLING IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR EXPENSIVE GUESSING, but if you're going to EXPENSIVELY GUESS then please check out our friends at 1Vice. They have great bonus offers up to 300% free play, 40% cash bonuses, and 30% gamblers insurance for the unlucky guessers among us. So please, please don't waste your hard earned money on gambling, but if you do - click on the link to the right (the picture below doesn't work) and let us earn a commission and become officially professional. Thanks, you're the best.
NFL Week 4 Friday Five: As always, our Picks are Bold and HOME TEAMS are in CAPS.
5. BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3) over Carolina Panthers: This, my friends, is what we affectionately call an "Opposite World" pick. The Carolina Panthers are an impressive 8-1 ATS as road dogs since 2011 and the Ravens are a paltry 1-4 ATS at home in their last 5. The public is split pretty evenly on this one, but we like the experience and coaching of Baltimore along with a fired up Steve Smith playing his old team to give the Ravens a 21-17 win. If you like Totals, the last 12 Ravens home games have stayed under along with 14 of 20 Panthers games. Just sayin'...
4. Green Bay Packers (-2) over CHICAGO BEARS: I know, I know - why are we going back to the well that ruined our perfect week last Sunday. Because that's what gambling tells us not to do. If Aaron Rodgers tells me to relax, do you know what I do? I relax. Green Bay has just dominated Chicago in recent seasons, winning four in a row at Soldier Field and seven of eight overall, as well as covering six of the last seven meetings. Tough trends to go against. Yeah, we said that last week in Detroit, but this is different, isn't it?
3. Oakland Raiders (+4) over Miami Dolphins: Another delightful sell for the NFL in Europe. What is the marketing director thinking. Can't we send the Seahawks and the Broncos. Is this some kind of punishment for teams missing the playoff cut - like the football B league in England. I don't get it, but we'll roll the dice with the Raiders in this one, although the UNDER is looking appealing.
2. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (+3.5) over New England Patriots: The first thing I ever learned about gambling was to never bet against a Prime Time dog. The last thing I learned was "Well, that depends..." This week, we'll take the points at home in Arrowhead because the Pats have allowed Brady to be pressured a league high 44 times (6 sacks, 10 hits, and 28 hurries) while the running game has yielded just 3.5 yards per carry. Kansas City, on the other hand, has the third best pass-rush in the game. Take the points.
1. Atlanta Falcons (-3) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS: We'd like this one better in a dome, but with rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater making his first career start against the 12th ranked pass defense, the Falcons are the play. Atlanta nickelback Robert McClain has kept opposing QBs to a 44 passer rating while the Vikings are allowing pressure in almost 30% of their offensive plays. Give up the field goal and go 5-0 this week.
May the Spreads Be With You All,
Vinny and Marco