Gambling! Betting Lines for the First 16 Weeks of the 2014 NFL Season!
Every diehard NFL fan thinks that he (or she) is smarter than the next guy (or gal).
Photo by Wendy Let's put in our NFL picks.
To that end, Las Vegas is fully aware of the intellectual narcissism of Joe NFL Fan, especially the Joe NFL Fans who like to gamble, and therefore tries to take advantage by sucking
us them into the game by game wagering four months before the season even begins.
Because it's never too early to start picking winners!
Because we need this. I need this. You need this.
(NOTE: The book doesn't put out spreads on Week 17 games this far out because of the likelihood of teams resting players for the postseason or putting players on injured reserve if they've been mathematically eliminated. In case you were wondering.)
Let's start with the part I know most of you in Houston are curious about -- the spreads on the first 15 Texans games. Here they are, observations and musings afterward:
WEEK 1: Washington Redskins at Houston Texans (-2.5, 46)
WEEK 2: Houston Texans (-2.5) at Oakland Raiders
WEEK 3: Houston Texans at New York Giants (-4)
WEEK 4: Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans (-5)
WEEK 5: Houston Texans at Dallas Cowboys (-4.5)
WEEK 6: Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (-1)
WEEK 7: Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
WEEK 8: Houston Texas at Tennessee Titans (pick 'em)
WEEK 9: Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans (pick 'em)
WEEK 10: BYE
WEEK 11: Houston Texans at Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
WEEK 12: Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (pick 'em)
WEEK 13: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans (-5)
WEEK 14: Houston Texans (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars
WEEK 15: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-4.5)
WEEK 16: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans (-1)
Okay, my thoughts on these numbers:
1. Immediate reaction is kind of "Holy shit," right? I mean, a team that was 2-14 last season, let pretty much all of their significant free agents walk, cut Owen Daniels and Danieal Manning, and enters the season with the quarterback position essentially forfeited over to Ryan Fitzpatrick is favored in seven of its first 15 games? And is the underdog in only five of the games? Crazy, right?
2. Well, yeah, until you realize that there's not one spread any higher than five points either way, so this is a team, the Texans, that is playing in a bunch of coin-flipper games....a lot like the final ten weeks of last season when the games were all, what? A bunch of coin flippers!
3. Texan head-scratcher lines:
* Week 2, -2.5 at Oakland: I know it's Oakland, but still. The Texans are road favorites traveling to the black hole? God, Vegas must really (correctly) think Matt Schaub sucks.
* Week 6, -1 vs Indianapolis: Favored against Andrew Luck and the Colts, eh? Okay.
* Week 7, -3.5 at PIttsburgh: This game is on a Monday night. Clearly, Vegas has not been paying attention to how the Texans play in prime-time games on Sunday and Monday nights. I would pound this one right this very instant. In fact....be right back....
Okay, I'm back...
* Week 14, -4 at Jacksonville: I think Vegas is sleeping on the Jags. More on this in a minute.
4. These odds (7 games favored, 5 underdog, 3 pick 'em) confirm my greatest fear for these Texans -- that their schedule is so soft and they drafted so well at every position except quarterback that they will stumble into 6 or 7 wins and will have essentially played their way out of the mix for a franchise quarterback like Marcus Mariota or Brett Hundley. The Texans' best path to a franchise quarterback, I hate to say it, is another 2-14 clunker. Just sayin'.