It’s been almost two years since I left the content side of the “sports consultation” business. While I’m a more established content guru today, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it slightly.
That combined with the fact that I watched Boiler Room yesterday fueled the fire for… you guessed it… an NFL Week 1 Parody Pick ‘Em.
Without further ado, here’s Joaquin The Racially Ambiguous (Jimmy the Greek’s unofficial foil) from “Nevada” with his thoughts on how Week 1 will unfold (lines via scoresandodds.com, home team in CIZAPS).
Panthers (-3) over BRONCOS: *****
Maybe you’re on the “Super Bowl Letdown” train, but do ya really think Cam Newton drops a season opener against Trevor Siemian? Admit it: ya just bopped “trevor siemian” on your Google machine. It’s okay: most people who aren’t in the know did. Overrate the Broncs if you want, but I’d like this game at -7.5. -3 is a GIFT!
FALCONS (-3) over Buccaneers: ***
When in doubt, PLAYMAKERS (Julio Jones) and HOME FIELD make all the difference. For what it’s worth, I’m expecting a BIG-TIME BOUNCEBACK YEAR for Matt Ryan. Look for the market to undervalue the Falcons early, and their high-powered “O” threatens that total everytime out!
Vikings (-3) over TITANS: ***
Maybe Teddy Bridgewater is out for the year, but it’s not like the Vikings had to SWITCH out Adrian Peterson (Editor’s note: that happened in 2014 and it still seems too soon, Joaquin humbly apologizes). Am I underrating Marcus Mariota in Year 2? Maybe, but this is a nice soft spot for the Vikes.
Browns (+7) over EAGLES: ****
All I hear is “Browns suck this” and “Browns suck that” all over the Internet. I also hear you can find love there, too (not you Kevin… not even LeBron can find you, buddy). Home or road, you’re tellin’ me rookie Carson Wentz is GIVIN’ SEVEN for a crappy Eagles’ team? No way. Philly might win, but the seven points is EASY. MONEY.
Bengals (-2) over JETS: **
Look, normally I’d tell my clients to run for the hills on this one, but since Justin is making me pick this handicapper’s nightmare, I gotta roll the proverbial dice and take Cincy. More PLAYMAKERS on both sides of the ball!
Raiders (+1) over SAINTS: ***
Although I’m using this space as a brief respite from the “all caps” intensity, I’m totes stoked for this season. I think my Raiders finally have the personnel to bust out of mediocrity. I’m a little weary of a 1:00 EST start in a historically hostile environment against one of my fantasy starting QB’s (Drew Brees), but with the right mix of subjective fandom and objective football knowledge, I like my boys this season… and also in Week 1. I know, I know… stick to hoops, right?
Back to Joaquin.
Chargers (+7) over CHIEFS: ****
This line is a joke, right? A Week 1 RIVALRY GAME with an ultra-inflated spread and (most likely) NO JAMAAL CHARLES!? Take the points and go to sleep.
RAVENS (-2.5) over Bills: ***
Not as crazy about Baltimore’s other Birds as some people (especially when Joe Flacco’s comin’ off a serious injury), but can’t see them layin’ an egg in their home opener against Rex Ryan and crew. Not with “Seven Nation Army” pumpin’ in Tyrod Taylor’s ears after every halfway decent play.
TEXANS (-5.5) over Bears: **
J.J. Watt is active, leading a stifling “D” that will give Jay Cutler and Co. all sorts of trouble. This one gets a two-star only because I trust Brock Osweiler as much as I trust Olive Garden to make a good veal parm!
(Editor’s note: Olive Garden doesn’t currently offer veal parmigiana on their menu.)
Packers (-4) over JAGUARS: *****
The Jags are better than last year, that’s for sure… but is Vegas for real on this one? Drop EVERYTHING you’re doing and GET THIS GAME AT FOUR BEFORE VEGAS WAKES UP!!!!! If you grabbed Aaron Rodgers with your first pick in a two-player keeper league, you’ll start reaping the benefits THIS WEEK!
(Editor’s note: Thanks, Joaquin.)
SEAHAWKS (-7.5) over Dolphins: ****
This one opened at -10.5, and action came in HEAVY on the other side. “10.5″ is a scary number, but 7.5 is a BARGAIN in my eyes! The ‘Hawks lost a little spice on “D” and in the backfield, but when in doubt, trust in Russ(ell Wilson).
COWBOYS (-3.5) over Giants: *
Not a huge fan of this one. Maybe Dak Prescott’s preseason was a fluke, maybe it wasn’t. Maybe Eli Manning throws five TD’s, maybe he tosses four picks. Maybe these two teams break the scoreboard. Maybe I fall asleep after the collective 9th consecutive “3 and out”. Look, even the world’s best ‘cappers get confused and get tired of writing like this. I’ll grab my rosary and take the ‘Boys.
(Editor’s note: Bruh, I feel like I’m losing brain cells.)
COLTS (-5) over Lions: ****
Gotta love Andrew Luck in a BOUNCEBACK SEASON!!! Meanwhile, Matthew Stafford’s only hope is that Megatron comes back… like Galvatron. BOOM!!! Like this one at seven… LOVE IT AT FIVE!
Joaquin’s Lock of the Week: CARDINALS (PK) over Patriots: ******
My SIX-STAR LOCK OF THE WEEK, and it’s in PRIMETIME! I normally stay away from the TV games and feast on the under-the-radar gems, but my clients will be laughing ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK on this one! Vegas really SCREWED THIS ONE UP!!!
[More explosive hyperbole]
Steelers (-3) over REDSKINS: ****
A make or break year for Kirk Cousins starts with onetotherightofthehyphen! Look for Ben Roethlisberger to ra-… um, DESTROY the Skins’ secondary!
Rams (-2) over 49ERS: ***
We learned it was a “Hard Knock Life” for Jared Goff, and he’ll be watching this game just like we watched him all summer. Doesn’t matter who starts for L.A., they’ll have more than enough to get past the ‘Niners.
Speaking of which, I know you’ve all been dying for at least one more opinion on Colin Kaepernick. Ready?
It’s an extremely polarizing issue, and regardless of how you feel, there’s always going to be someone who vehemently disagrees with your view.
The best course of action? Respect everyone’s opinion. Listen to their rationale for why they feel a certain way. Embracing debate is fine, but trying to degrade or minimize EITHER SIDE’S VIEW (sorry, that crazy “all caps” thing has me all sorts of messed up) isn’t conducive to a healthy debate.
It’s like picking against the spread: maybe Cards/Pats seems obvious to me, but I’d be more than willing to listen to reason. I’m less likely to listen to you if you blindly say, “Pats are superior because Gronk… and nothing else matters.”
Open-mindedness, everybody. That’s how we’ll come together as a country.