As you get older you don’t get as excited for certain days as you did when you were younger. Easter becomes just becomes a day where you get shamed into going to church. Christmas becomes just another day to get drunk off egg nog. Even your birthday starts to lose its thunder. However, there is always one special day, where nothing can ruin your mood and that always lives up to the hype. Traffic on the way home from work, who cares NFL is back tonight. Your boss won’t get off your back all day, who cares NFL is back tonight. The guy in the cubicle next to you takes 5 straight calls on speaker phone from his wife deciding what microwave meal they want to make tonight for dinner and even though you have head phones in you can still hear every single word being said and even as you turn your volume up he seems to just speak louder and louder as you slowly go insane, who cares NFL is back tonight.
The new NFL season brings hope to all the fan bases around the league that maybe just maybe this could be your teams’ year. Fans around the globe wake up with an irrational confidence today that this year is going to be different than years prior. Bears fans woke up thinking now that Eddy Pineiro is kicking for them there’s no way they don’t win the super bowl. Packers fans woke up knowing the Matt LeFleur era is upon them and even though he and Aaron Rodgers hate each other with the burning intensity of 1000 suns, they have the same chance to hoist the Lombardi trophy as all other 31 teams. Jets fans like myself woke up knowing that on February 2nd we will get to see our team raise the Lombardi trophy for the second time in team history.
The start of the NFL season also brings on the return of NFL gambling just in time to win back what you lost over the summer. It was a good feeling waking up today and not having to bet on sports I don’t really care about or follow. I no longer have to bet US Open tennis, WNBA, or the English premier league soccer matches. I still will bet those leagues but at least now my loses will be mitigated by how much I win betting NFL.
Now let’s get some picks in…
Packers @ Bears (-3)
I was watching TV the other day and saw a stat that almost swayed how I was planning to bet this game. The Bears have lost their opening game each of the last 5 seasons. To put that in perspective I went through every team the last 5 seasons to see if there was anyone else as shitty in their opening games as the Bears have been. There are 3 other teams during that span who have not won their opening game. The first and most obvious being the Browns, with the other two being the Colts and Saints. The Packers on the other hand are one of the better opening day teams in recent history winning their last 4.
Having said all this you as the reader you may assume that I am leading up to picking the Packers at +3, especially when you consider the fact that the public is on the Packers. The Bears opened at -4, which is around where I would have expected the line to be, which is why the movement surprised me a bit. It seems that everyone is a lot higher on the Packers than I am. Lucky for you I’m not swayed by the stupidity of the public.
One stat that confirmed my original thinking on the game was that last year first time head coaches went 0-5 ATS. (First year with their team head coaches went 0-6 ATS but I decided to phrase my last sentence the way I did so I can hammer the Jets on Sunday.) First time NFL head coaches just don’t far well in their first games and that could just be recency bias but I’m sure there is something to that theory. Now I’m sure if I did enough research I could track first time head coaches over the last 10 or so years and get a good stat but I’m not going to do that. It sounds tedious and I’d rather just go off last year because it confirmed my gut feeling and that is good enough for me.
If it wasn’t clear I am all over the Bears tonight, I mean I am loving the Bears here. I think everyone in the League is very low on Trubisky, but all he really needs to do is be a glorified game manager and that defense should be able to carry that team.
Welcome back NFL, oh how I’ve missed you.