NFL Spread Picks Week 3: Luring You In With Ryan Tannehill’s Crazy Hot Wife
For the next three weeks, I’m in Tel Aviv, living a block from the beach and working remotely for my real job because the Internet is the greatest thing ever. At this point, offices are relatively unnecessary, and we should all probably spend the three slowest months of each year backpacking through Cambodia and white-water rafting while drinking psychedelic mushroom milkshakes.
I’m seven hours ahead of New York, which means that when I respond to emails at 10:30 AM to people who don’t know that I’m in Tel Aviv, I seem like a total psychopath insomniac. I tell myself that I’m just coming across like Jon Gruden and Herm Edwards, who are such dedicated professionals that they still wake up at 3 AM every day, even though they haven’t coached in five years and only have to prepare for 10 minutes of screen-time a piece on ESPN’s 37-man pregame show.
Being in Tel Aviv also means that my football Sunday will be very different—and I’m pumped for it. Instead of games starting at 1 PM, they start at 8 PM, so I’ll be headed to Mike’s Place, an American sports bar across the street from the beach to drink all night and watch football. I watched Game 7 of the NBA Finals there at 4:30 AM in June, when I was here last, and it was a rollicking good time. And luckily, the bar is next to the American Embassy, in case I get in a fight with an ex-pat Eagles fan and need to get myself out of trouble. Follow me on Twitter @JoeLazauskas, where my tweets probably won’t make any sense by halftime of the 4 PM EST games.
ON TO THE PICKS!
A SURER THING THAN ME FALLING IN LOVE WITH EVERY ISRAELI GIRL IN A SOLDIER UNIFORM I SEE
Packers (-2.5) over BENGALS
It seems like this should be impossible when they have the greatest quarterback on the planet, but the Packers are flying under the radar. Yes, they got manhandled by the 49ers in Week 1, but they always struggle against the Harbaugh-era Niners. Their sheer dominance on display against Washington last week, when Aaron Rodgers went 26-of-31 for 335 yards and 3 TDs…in the first half!
Meanwhile, I love this Bengals team: very good pass rush and secondary, explosive playmakers in Giovani Bernard and AJ Green, a classic tough-guy AFC North identity. But then there’s Andy Dalton. He’s just good enough to keep his job, but when we talk about him in 15 years, I’m pretty sure it’ll be in the context of “Why the Bengals never made it past the AFC Championship Game” and “Why AJ Green kept bizarrely trying to force a trade every other off-season by standing on his front lawn in a Batman costume growling “SHOW ME THE GREEN!”
SEAHAWKS (-19) over Jaguars
I usually find those “Could Alabama beat [insert shitty NFL team]” debates ridiculous—college teams just can’t match the physicality and skill of NFL teams. But…this Jaguars team might lose to half the SEC. I’m genuinely afraid/excited that the CLink crowd is going to make Chad Henne cry.
Bears (-1.5) over STEELERS
Pretty damn sure that the Steelers are terrible. Enjoy the last week that Vegas bumps them up 6 points on the basis of the Steelers alone. Actually, what am I saying. STEELERS NATION is a bunch of jackass alcoholic gambling psychopaths, so they’ll Pittsburgh will always be overvalued.
Lions (PICK ‘EM) over REDSKINS
All the controversy around the Redskins holding RG III back during the preseason makes sense now; they weren’t being cautious…Superman genuinely isn’t ready to play. Watch him on the field, and you see a quarterback with seriously screwed up mechanics. He’s scared to plant that reconstructed knee, which has nothing to do with toughness. It’s a psychological thing. We got spoiled by Adrian Peterson’s resurgence last year, and forgot that most players do need 18 months to fully recover from ACL tears. It’s been 9 months. RG III is nowhere near capable of carrying a team with such a bad defense—heck I’m not sure Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers would be, either. Write this year off for the Skins.
(Those words are totally going to come back and bite me in the ass, aren’t they?)
Raiders (+15) over BRONCOS
I’m sharing an apartment here in Tel Aviv with my friend Marina, and our friend Bella is coming to visit tomorrow. That means that we’re probably going to go out clubbing, and I’m going to stumble home at 4 AM, flip on this game, and spend three hours going nuts for Terrelle Pryor as two jet lagged girls threaten to kill me if I don’t shut up. Good times!
ARE THEY GOOD? ARE THEY BAD? DOES A TWO-GAME SAMPLE SIZE MEAN ANYTHING?
Bucs (+7) over PATRIOTS
The Pats are another team that Vegas overvalues on reputation. After this game, the Pats face a formidable slate: @Falcons, vs. Bengals, vs Saints, @Jets, vs. Dolphins. That last tilt will likely be for the AFC East lead and lead to Bill Simmons breaking down crying on his podcast. Just kidding. He’ll stop following football the minute NBA preseason starts.
Giants (-1.5) over PANTHERS
Eli Manning can’t throw 4 interceptions every game, but Ron Rivera CAN blow every game with ridiculously and dangerously cautious coaching decisions.
DOLPHINS (-1) over Falcons
After two impressive road wins to start the year, the Dolphins are my pick for the 12-4 team that comes out of nowhere. Especially since Ryan Tannehill is finally playing like he deserves his ridiculously hot wife. (Who happens to make me feel super self-conscious about my abs. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET, LAUREN?)
Miami (+250) to win the AFC East is my favorite divisional bet on the board right now.
Rams (+3.5) over COWBOYS
Speaking of divisional odds, the Cowboys are the favorites to win the NFC East right now at +170, followed by the Eagles and Giants (both +275), with those pitiful Redskins (+350) bringing up the rear. I stared at those odds for five minutes feeling like we were missing a team. They’re all kind of terrible! Thank god I’m in Israel with no ESPN because that NFC LEAST pun really pisses me off.
Colts (+10) over 49ERS
Let me channel my inner Phil Simms…
You know, Jeeeem, the 49ers aren’t the football team we saw get just shaaalacked by the Seahawks last week, but they’re not the dom-e-nent team we saw against the Packers either. And that Andrew Luck kid is someone I wanna take a look at in this week’s Simm’s Spotlight…
(Entire CBS audience changes channel and watches 30 seconds of a MASH rerun.)
MEDIOCRITY DEATH MATCH
Chargers (+3) over TITANS
I had a dream last night that the Chargers hung around on the playoff bubble and then snuck into the postseason as the AFC’s inevitable 8-8 wildcard team. Seems pretty plausible, right?
(Just kidding. I dreamed about a threesome with Taylor Swift and this crazy actress I used to date.)
And yes, I’m picking a west coast team playing a 1PM East Coast game. Why would I actually want to keep my hard-earned money?
Browns (+7) over VIKINGS
Mediocre would be a huge compliment to both of these teams. Who else is excited for the Brian Hoyer era? Fun drinking game, Browns fans: take shots until “Brian Hoyer” looks like “Bernie Kosar.” Enjoy the 80s flashbacks.
JETS (-2) over Bills
The Jets defense is genuinely good, and if there’s one thing Rex Ryan is good at, it’s confusing rookie quarterbacks, and not just by asking them if they want to star as a policeman in a “specialty interest” video with his wife.
Instead, he’ll do it with crazy coverages that combine safety blitzes and defensive ends dropping into robber zones. Muhammad Wilkerson is going to have a fun fat-man interception at some point in this one. I can feel it.
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