Week three of the 2014 NFL season is ready to begin and that brings forth another edition of my weekly picks. In week one I went 8-7 and 1-3 against the spread. In week two I went 7-8 and 2-2 against the spread. That brings my overall record to 15-15 and 3-5 against the spread. Week three must be a big improvement. The big marquee games this week are the Packers @ Lions, 49ers @ Cardinals, Broncos @ Seahawks, and Bears @ Jets on Monday Night Football. The Super Bowl 48 rematch between Denver and Seattle at CenturyLink Field will be the most watched of course.
Lets get to the picks…
San Diego Chargers over Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys over St.Louis Rams
Philadelphia Eagles over Washington Redskins
Houston Texans over New York Giants
New Orleans Saints over Minnesota Vikings
Cincinnati Bengals over Tennessee Titans
Baltimore Ravens over Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers over Detroit Lions
Indianapolis Colts over Jacksonville Jaguars
New England Patriots over Oakland Raiders
Arizona Cardinals over San Francisco 49ers
Seattle Seahawks over Denver Broncos
Kansas City Chiefs over Miami Dolphins
Carolina Panthers over Pittsburgh Steelers
Chicago Bears over New York Jets
Four Team Parlay:
San Diego Chargers (+1) against Buffalo Bills
Dallas Cowboys (-3) against St.Louis Rams
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) against Tennessee Titans
Green Bay Packers (+3) against Detroit Lions
Week two of the 2014 NFL season is upon us so that means it’s time for my weekly picks. Last week I posted an abysmal 8-7 record, while going 1-3 against the spread. My only win playing the spread was taking the 49ers -4.5 against the Cowboys. I hope to improve greatly this week, in both departments. There’s a few very interesting games this week that should surely have fans’ eyes glued to the tv. The highlights of this week are the Lions @ Panthers, Falcons @ Bengals, Seahawks @ Chargers, Chiefs @ Broncos, Jets @ Packers, Bears @ 49ers (SNF), and Eagles @ Colts (MNF). That Bears @ 49ers game marks the first regular season game at Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the ‘Niners, in Santa Clara, California.
Let’s get to the picks…
Miami Dolphins over Buffalo Bills
Detroit Lions over Carolina Panthers
Cincinnati Bengals over Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints over Cleveland Browns
New England Patriots over Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals over New York Giants
Dallas Cowboys over Tennessee Titans
Washington Redskins over Jacksonville Jaguars
Seattle Seahawks over San Diego Chargers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over St.Louis Rams
Denver Broncos over Kansas City Chiefs
Oakland Raiders over Houston Texans
Green Bay Packers over New York Jets
San Francisco 49ers over Chicago Bears
Indianapolis Colts over Philadelphia Eagles
Four Team Parlay:
New York Jets (+10) against Green Bay Packers
Atlanta Falcons (+7) against Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) against St.Louis Rams
New England Patriots (-3) against Minnesota Vikings
The 2014 NFL season is less than 10 hours away from starting and that means the return of my weekly NFL picks. I’ll pick every single game for the week that is about to begin and include a four team parlay against the spread as well, for the crazy people who’d actually bet with my picks. Last year I hit two four team parlays through the season. The spreads this first week are very tricky as a lot of them a low and the only high ones aren’t worth it because you can’t bet on possible blow outs on opening week.
A few days ago I released my “2014 NFL Season Predictions” and I picked the Seattle Seahawks to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, except this time they’ll beat Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the biggest game of the year. I also predict that Andrew Luck will step up to the next level this season and thrust himself into the category of elite NFL quarterbacks and finish at the top of the MVP voting, although I have Packers QB Aaron Rodgers winning the MVP this season. I also predict the Carolina Panthers to take the biggest step back this season after making the playoffs last season as they will finish out of the playoffs and in dead last in the NFC South. Enough of those kind of picks, here are my week one picks…
New York Jets over Oakland Raiders
New Orleans Saints over Atlanta Falcons
St.Louis Rams over Minnesota Vikings
Pittsburgh Steelers over Cleveland Browns
Philadelphia Eagles over Jacksonville Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens over Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears over Buffalo Bills
Houston Texans over Washington Redskins
Kansas City Chiefs over Tennessee Titans
New England Patriots over Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers over Carolina Panthers
San Francisco 49ers over Dallas Cowboys
Denver Broncos over Indianapolis Colts
Detroit Lions over New York Giants
Arizona Cardinals over San Diego Chargers
Four Team Parlay:
Saints (-3) over Falcons
Bears (-7) over Bills
Chiefs (-3) over Titans
49ers (-4.5) over Cowboys
With less than one month to go in the 2014 MLB season we have a great race and debate on who should win the NL MVP award. The top two candidates appear to be Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw and Miami Marlins superstar slugging right fielder Giancarlo Stanton. Those two easily blow everyone else away in the race for MVP and are the main two candidates for the award.
Stanton has led the race for NL MVP all season but over the last month or so Kershaw has gained a load of momentum by pitching absolutely brilliantly and masterful to put his name into the race. Many people, including myself wholeheartedly up until a couple of years ago when Justin Verlander won the 2011 AL MVP award, I was against the idea of pitchers winning the MVP award. As big of a fan as I am of Verlander and how much of an incredible season he had in 2011, I was 100% against him winning the MVP that year. Ever since that year though, I’ve cooled on my stance on pitchers being eligible for the MVP award, although I’m still not 100% sure I’m now okay with the thought of it. Just thinking of and seeing what Kershaw is doing this year though, how could you not consider him a serious candidate for the MVP award? He’s having the best season I’ve seen from a pitcher in my brief life, even better than Verlander in 2011 and Max Scherzer last year with Detroit when he won the AL Cy Young. Kershaw is having this type of season even after missing the first three weeks of the season due to a back injury suffered in Australia during the first series of the year in March vs Arizona. I’ll go on to make a case for each player, Kershaw and Stanton, on why each of them should win the NL MVP award and who my pick would be if the season ended today.
Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Miami Marlins (.291 AVG, 37 HR’s, 105 RBI’s, 88 R’s, .396 OBP, .560 SLUG, .957 OPS, 11 SB’s, 161 OPS+): The offensive season that Stanton is having in an offensively and power lacking era is amazing, especially in such a spacious park as Marlins Park is. Stanton has single-handedly kept the Marlins in the NL Wild Card race (they currently sit 4.5 games back of the second wild card spot held by Pittsburgh). Stanton is on pace to hit over 40 home runs and could be on his way to 45 home runs. The fact that Stanton has kept his team in contention this late in the season, had such a great offensive season in a huge ballpark, and doesn’t have much other competition makes him as legit of an MVP candidate as anyone. The days are long gone where we have numerous 40+ homer hitters in the same season in the NL. The fact that Stanton has this type of power at age 24, on a not so good offensive team, with no protection is eyebrow-raising. Stanton is undeniably the best offensive player in the National League and will contend for many MVP’s before his career is over. Another key factor in this magnificent season by Stanton is the fact that he has stayed healthy all year, a problem he’s had in prior seasons, which just goes to show you that he may have just contended for a couple more MVP’s before this year, because he’s had a few high-powered seasons before this season. If pitchers were barred from winning their leagues MVP award, Stanton would be the clear-cut choice to win the NL MVP this season, but that brings us to the one man who may just knock him off at the very end, and that man is…
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers (18-3, 1.67 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 210 K’s, 27 BB, 177.1 IP, 213 ERA+, 10.7 K/9, 6 CG, 2 SHO): Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in the entire sport and has clearly shown it all year this year. Kershaw missed the first month of this season after injuring his back in Australia in March when the Dodgers and Diamondbacks had an opening series there to kick off this season. Upon returning though, Kershaw has been nearly untouchable, even untouchable as seen in his June 18th no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies in which he struck out 15 batters and walked none. The only thing that kept Kerhaw from achieving a perfect game was the fact that shortstop Hanley Ramirez committed an error to just give Kershaw the no-hitter. Kershaw has eight games in which he hasn’t allowed any earned runs and seven games in which he hasn’t given up any runs at all. That’s remarkable. Kershaw hasn’t allowed any more than three runs in-game outside of his May 17th start at Arizona in which he allowed seven runs in 1.2 innings. If you take that horrible start out of his game log, Kershaw would have a 1.32 ERA. That’s astonishing, but alas Kershaw had that one horrific start. A 1.67 ERA is nothing to sneeze at though, as Kershaw can possibly end this season with the best left-handed ERA since 1933 if he can keep it below 1.70 through the end of the season. Kershaw leads all NL pitchers in wins, ERA, WHIP, ERA+, WAR, CG’s, is second in shutouts, and is third in strikeouts. Imagine that, all with missing a whole month of the season. Kershaw is having a better season thus far than Justin Verlander in 2011 when he won AL Cy Young AND MVP. He’s also having a better season as of now than Max Scherzer last year when he breezed to the 2013 AL Cy Young award. The Dodgers sit atop the NL West by 3.5 games over the San Francisco Giants, so just imagine how far back they’d be without Kershaw in their rotation? Kershaw is having arguably the best season I’ve been able to see in my young life by a pitcher and I have a feeling no one will top this season for a very long time. Like I said earlier, I’m not totally on board with pitchers winning the MVP award, but it’s hard to go against Kershaw this year.
My pick if the season ended today? I’d go with Kershaw, he’s just been too dominant.
The 2014 NFL season begins tomorrow night at 8:30 PM EST in Seattle, Washington, as the defending champions, the Seattle Seahawks take on the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. This marks the official start to the 2014 season and finally gets all of us fans back into football mode. We have a great slate of NFL games in week one and the Seahawks-Packers match-up is at the top of the list. Another fantastic match-up pits the Denver Broncos, the reigning AFC Champions, against the Indianapolis Colts, with Peyton Manning facing his old team for the second straight season after an incredible game last year in Indy. Other solid games in week one is the Bengals vs Ravens, Redskins vs Texans, Saints vs Rams, Panthers vs Buccaneers, 49ers vs Cowboys, Giants vs Lions, and Cardinals vs Chargers.
The Thanksgiving schedule this year is amazing and should appease everyone’s appetites as we get the Bears @ Lions at 12:30pm, Eagles @ Cowboys at 4:30pm, and the Seahawks @ 49ers in the nightcap. Does it get much better than that? I don’t think so.
Last year I had the Denver Broncos over Seattle Seahawks as my Super Bowl pick. I was right on the matchup, but way wrong on the outcome as the Seahawks obliterated the Broncos 43-8 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Broncos offense, which broke numerous records in 2013, looked completely over-matched against that incredible Seahawks defense which gobbled up every good Denver receiver throughout the game. Hopefully this year I can repeat myself by getting the Super Bowl match-up correct again, but this time I can get the outcome correct. The NFL seems a bit more wide open this year compared to last year in my opinion, thus making it a little tougher to determine who makes the playoffs and ultimately wins the Super Bowl. Here goes nothing though..
* Indicates a Wild Card team
1.New England Patriots (11-5)
2.New York Jets (9-7)
3.Miami Dolphins (6-10)
4.Buffalo Bills (3-13)
NFC Wild Card Round: 3 Green Bay Packers over 6 San Francisco 49ers 5 Chicago Bears over 4 Philadelphia Eagles
NFC Divisional Round: 1 Seattle Seahawks over 5 Chicago Bears 2 New Orleans Saints over 3 Green Bay Packers
NFC Championship Game: 1 Seattle Seahawks over 2 New Orleans Saints, 27-17
Super Bowl: 1 Seattle Seahawks over 2 Indianapolis Colts, 28-24
NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers. Offensive Player Of The Year: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts. Defensive Player Of The Year: Darrell Revis, CB, New England Patriots. Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, Houston Texans. Comeback Player Of The Year: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons. Coach Of The Year: Chuck Pagano, Indianapolis Colts. Executive Of The Year: Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints. Most Improved Team: Houston Texans Most Disappointing Team: Carolina Panthers
Tennessee Titans select Oregon QB Marcus Mariota with the #1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills) select Texas A&M OT Cedric Ogbuehi with the #2 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Oakland Raiders select Alabama WR Amari Cooper with the #3 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
The 2014 college football season is upon us and it marks the first official season of the new college football playoff. There is no more BCS anymore and we have a better, more stable playoff format that makes more sense. So instead of two teams only having a shot at the national title, four teams will play in a two game format for the championship. It’s not the GREATEST format because I believe it should be an eight team playoff, but nonetheless this is a step in the right direction. So with the debut of the new college football playoff, we say hello to a more fair system and more teams being given the opportunity to play for the national title.
I will now make my picks for the four teams I believe will make the playoff and who I think will take home the national championship. There are many really good teams this year, so this was tough to pick the four teams that I think will make it, but I managed. So without further ado, here are the four teams I believe will be playing for a shot at the national championship.
1.Alabama Crimson Tide (Opening season ranked #2): What is there to say about Alabama? We know the story with them, year in and year out they finish as one of the top teams in all of college football, even if it doesn’t result in a national title. Nick Saban is the best coach in the entire sport and always gets the most out of his players. AJ McCarron is out if Alabama though, so the ‘Tide have to turn to a new quarterback to lead them. McCarron was never a must see, explosive QB, but he was very manageable and kept Alabama in every single game. As long as the new QB can protect the ball and be a good game manager, Alabama will remain at the top. Nick Saban will get the most out of anyone at QB anyway, and I see him using his magic once again this year. Alabama moves on to the college football playoff.
2.Oregon Ducks (Opening season ranked #3): Oregon always opens the season as a top team but finishes just short at the end of the year when they endure their one loss or two losses midway through the season or at the end that ruined their chances in the BCS. This is different, you definitely don’t HAVE TO finish undefeated to make the playoff, like you sometimes did for the BCS, but one loss definitely doesn’t end your chances to make the playoff. This really helps out Oregon because they always seem to get one crucial loss towards the end of their season that basically ends their run towards the national title. Now, when that happens, if it happens, it’s not as bad of news. Oregon has the best QB in all of college football in Marcus Mariota, who is the early odds-on favorite to be the #1 overall pick in the 2015 Draft, and probably would’ve been the #1 pick this year had he declared for the draft. A great coaching staff at Oregon always helps keep them in contention. An offensive scheme that at most times is unmatched is what really separates them from the rest of the pack and allows them to be the scoring machine that they are. I believe with a top QB prospect in an amazing offense is what will really allow Oregon to get into the national title picture and into the playoff. Oregon moves on to the college football playoff.
3.Oklahoma Sooners (Opening season ranked #4): Our lasting image of Oklahoma is storming from behind and defeating Alabama in last seasons Sugar Bowl in what was the best bowl game from last season. This year Oklahoma brings in a very good recruiting class and brings back a maturing gritty QB in Trevor Knight, who led the Sooners in that incredible victory over Alabama at the Superdome. Knight has a lot of work to do to show the world that his Sugar Bowl performance wasn’t a fluke. Bob Stoops is one of the top coaches in college football and with an even better team than last season, I expect Oklahoma to get back to the top and into the college football playoff. Oklahoma moves on to the college football playoff.
4.Michigan State Spartans (Opening season ranked #8): Year in and year out, Michigan State surprises us all and makes a little run. Ohio State has lost Heisman Trophy candidate QB Braxton Miller for the season and this opens the door wider for Michigan State to win the BIG10. Michigan State won the Rose Bowl last year over Stanford 24-20 in a great game. The team brings back QB Connor Cook after a breakout season as some draft experts think with some more improvement this season that he can be one of the top QB’s taken in the 2015 draft. Michigan State brings in a highly touted defense and one of the best pass rushers in all of college football, Shilique Calhoun. Calhoun is a consensus top 10 pick in next years draft. With a top defense and an evolving quarterback in what’s not exactly the toughest conference in football, I think MSU will make it to the college football playoff, and possibly end the season undefeated, that’s how good I think they are. Michigan State moves on to the college football playoff.
National Championship Game: Oregon 27, Michigan State 23. A rematch of their week two matchup. This time around the high powered offense will beat the power defense, unlike in the last Super Bowl.
Just missed the cut: #1 Florida State, #7 UCLA, #10 Baylor, #11 Stanford, and #13 LSU.
The 2014 NFL Draft begins tonight at 8:00 pm on ESPN and NFL Network. It’s one of the most anticipated nights of the year for die-hard NFL fans, like myself. The hype, the excitement, and the eagerness are what makes the NFL Draft what it currently is: An anticipated major television show. And when you have an NFL draft that is as deep as it this one is, you are in for one great night in front of the television. This is the deepest draft in recent memory, according to most experts, and it’s also being called one of the deepest drafts EVER. That speaks volumes to how great all these players are. The position that is deepest, and there’s no argument against this, is the wide receiver position. This draft has many skilled wide-outs who project to be very good regulars in the NFL.
You have the top two guys in Clemson’s Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M’s Mike Evans, then you have the next batch of guys like USC’s Marqise Lee, LSU’s Odell Beckham Jr., Oregon State’s Brandon Cooks, and Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews. The third tier group of WR’s isn’t shabby either and project to be solid contributors to whoever drafts them and they are Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Fresno State’s Devante Adams, LSU’s Jarvis Landry, Rutgers’ Brandon Coleman, Clemson’s Martevous Bryant, Wisconsin’s Jared Abbredaris, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin, and Indiana’s Cody Latimer, who has skyrocketed up most draft boards in the past few weeks. This draft is so deep at WR that we have seven of them going in round one alone.
The biggest question headed into this years draft is who is going #1 overall? The Houston Texans hold the number one pick this year and have a few nice options. The main players in the conversation to be selected #1 overall are South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney, Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel, and Central Florida QB Blake Bortles. There’s an outside shot for guys like Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, Auburn OT Greg Robinson, and Texas A&M OT Jake Matthews to go #1. The latest reporting has Clowney as the likely #1 pick. This is the Texans though and they have shocked people before when they had the #1 pick. Back in 2006, the Texans were expected to take USC RB Reggie Bush #1 overall, with the possibility that they might take USC QB Matt Leinart or Texas QB Vince Young instead. Instead, they ended up shocking the world and taking North Carolina State DE Mario Williams. In the end though, that ended up being the correct choice as Bush never made it in New Orleans, Leinart faltered in Arizona, and Young never made it big after winning the 2006 Rookie Of The Year award in Tennessee. Williams instantly became one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL and became one of the greatest players in the Texans’ brief franchise history, before bolting for Buffalo in free agency in 2012.
The other big question is where will Johnny Manziel land? The popular QB can do some amazing things on the football field, but also some head scratchers on and off the field. His size will hurt him, although not that much since Russell Wilson just won the Super Bowl at basically the same height. A lot of executives don’t like how reckless Manziel plays but others love how he can always turn nothing into something. Manziel would love to go #1 overall and stay in the state of Texas, but that doesn’t seem likely right now. Manziel could go anywhere from #3 overall to Jacksonville, or fall to the early second. He’s very hard to project, but I projected him to not last past 20.
Like last year on NFL Draft Eve, I enlisted the help of two friends who love football and follow the NFL and college level’s very closely and love the draft as well to mock with me. It also makes the process more fun and unpredictable because you don’t know who the other two guys are going to pick before you pick again. My friends are Kevin and Joe, Kev’ will be picking first overall and Joe second, which leaves me third, and the pattern will continue that way. You can reach Joe on twitter at @TweetingTheJets, which he uses for all sports related tweets. Kevin doesn’t use a single form of social media, weird right? But who else can you say that about? It’s different and I kind of wish I could do that. So let’s get started on this years NFL Mock Draft…
Don’t miss out on a possible round two being added today before draft time!
1.Houston Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – Kevin.
2.St.Louis Rams: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – Joe.
3.Jacksonville Jaguars: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – Steve, Myself.
4.Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – Kevin.
5.Oakland Raiders: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – Joe.
6.Atlanta Falcons: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – Steve.
7.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M.
8.Minnesota Vikings: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida.
9.Buffalo Bills: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan.
10.Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State.
11.Tennessee Titans: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA.
12.New York Giants: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina.
13.St.Louis Rams: HaSean Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama.
14.Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh.
15.Pittsburgh Steelers: Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU.
16.Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville.
17.Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Mosley, ILB, Alabama.
18.New York Jets: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State.
19.Miami Dolphins: Zack Martin, OL, Notre Dame.
20.Arizona Cardinals: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State.
21.Green Bay Packers: Ryan Shazier, ILB, Ohio State.
22.Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee, WR, USC.
23.Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Cooks, WR, Oregon State.
24.Cincinnati Bengals: Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech.
25.San Diego Chargers: Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame.
26.Cleveland Browns: Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State.
27.New Orleans Saints: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri.
28.Carolina Panthers: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama.
29.New England Patriots: Jason Verrett, CB, TCU.
30.San Francisco 49ers: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana.
31.Denver Broncos: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame.
32.Seattle Seahawks: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech.