The gambling gods both gave and took from me on Sunday, as I had some that looked like sure winners turn into losers and some that looked to be dead in the water come back the other way. The Browns vs Ravens over looked like a sure thing at the end of the first half with the total sitting at 30. I didn’t expect the Browns to get skunked the entire second half like they did though. I just needed them to luck into 1 garbage time TD and that game goes over and we have a winner on our hands. Then on the other side of the coin we have the Bears vs Lions that looked like a sure loser all the way until the end. Mitch Trubisky looked like his usual self through the first 3 quarters before turning into Joe Montana in the fourth and leading a 21 point comeback to win. Also shout out to Deandre Swift for dropping an easy TD that would have won the Lions the game. The gods were with me on that one. I also wanted to shout out the Jets who put on one of the worst displays I’ve ever seen. The whole team looked like they hadn’t practiced at all. The defense looked like they were running in quick sand and the offense looked, well like an Adam Gase offense. Sam Darnold has shown zero improvement since he has entered the league and continues to put together games that makes you wonder how he can still be employed to play football. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I personally could have put together an equal stat line to him on Sunday. He made maybe 1 throw that I wouldn’t have been able to make. I mean seriously if the Jets want to pay me league minimum I can throw jump balls in the middle of the field to Jamison Crowder. I can miss open receivers on crossing and out routes. The Johnson’s are always looking to save some money so why not do it at the quarterback position and let me give you equal production to a 3rd overall draft choice.
Last thing before we get to our Monday Night Football picks, I just wanted to shout out my Alma Mater the University of Pittsburgh for pulling one of the most ridiculous moves I’ve ever seen this past Saturday.
I mean, how can they just decide that they are going to cut 10 minutes out of the game? I didn’t even know this was legal. I understand that it was an FCS opponent but to just say that you are going to cut out 17% of a football game is crazy. I also love that this Pitt football team is forcing teams to quit at half time. I can’t wait to see how they do in ACC play with that defense. Lets get to tonight’s picks.
Pittsburgh @ New York Giants (O/U 44.5)
The return of Big Ben on Monday night Football going against the Giants who will be playing their first game without Eli on their roster in 16 years. While Big Ben is an upgrade over Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, I do expect some rust early. He is coming back from an elbow injury so I think his arm strength will take a little bit of time to get back to where it was. I expect the Steelers to rely heavily the run game which will be tough against a stout Giants front. Last year the Giants finished 7th efficiency wise against the run. Now as much as I hate betting unders in nationally televised games, the total at 44.5 is far too high. The Steelers will have one of the best defenses in the league this year and I think moving the ball tonight for both teams will be a struggle.
Pick: Under 44.5
Tennessee @ Denver (+3)
The Titans are coming off a miracle playoff run lead by Derrick Henry with Tannehill managing the game. I expect a heavy dose of Henry in this one against a Denver defense that was middle of the pack against the run last year. With Von Miller getting hurt and missing the season I expect his absence to be felt in this one. The Broncos will struggle to pressure Tannehill and that will allow Aj Brown to get open down field. On the other side of the ball I am not sold on Drew Lock yet. The Broncos did go out and get him some more help in Jerry Juedy but with Courtland Sutton likely out I expect the Broncos to struggle. I also expect the Broncos to make the same mistake the Chargers did last year and try to give Melvin Gordon the ball more than he deserves. Never has a hold out worked out worse for a player than it did Melvin Gordon. While he was out Austin Ekler showed he was more than capable of being the feature back and even when Gordon came back his role was diminished. Even with all that he was somehow was able to fool the Broncos into giving him 13.5 Million guaranteed. I expect them to come to the same realization as the Chargers which is Phillip Lindsey is the superior back and Melvin Gordon’s best years are behind him. If you haven’t guessed by now I’m taking the Titans to cover easy. As only a field goal favorite I think they will win by at least a TD making this an easy winner.
Pick: TENN -3