Before we get to this week's picks, let's acknowledge the announcement on Wednesday of the end of an era. Hell, I'm even willing to give this monumental bit of news proper noun status — it is the End of an Era, with the announcement from former Texans (and Browns and Dolphins and Broncos... twice) quarterback Brock Osweiler that he would be hanging up his cleats and retiring
because nobody has called him this offseason to hire him anyway.
Here is his positively Brock-ian statement issued to Mike Klis of 9 News in Denver:
“I’m extremely grateful for the time I did receive playing in the National Football League,’’ Osweiler said. “The experiences I did have, people I did meet, relationships I did make — I’m not going to dwell on the things that didn’t happen in my career. Being a kid from Kalispell, Montana, playing for the Denver Broncos, winning a Super Bowl, having the opportunity to sign a second contract – when you look back on it, I couldn’t be more appreciative. It was great.”
A few thoughts on the Brockster and his statement:
1. The statement is ten times funnier if you read it in Brock's voice, because in a casual setting he would absolutely say the entire name "National Football League" instead of just "NFL," and he would absolutely mix in superfluous "did"s in front of each verb. That's just how Brock does English, people. Deal with it.
2. Whether intentional or not, his inclusion of the "opportunity to sign a second contract" as one of his career highlights is a fabulous troll job of the Houston Texans and the fans of Houston. First, he doesn't mention the team that gave him all that money, that's number one. Secondly, who includes the signing of a contract as an out and out career highlight worthy of a retirement statement. It's tantamount to saying "Also, that time I stole all that money."
3. Whenever I see "Kalispell, Montana," I think of the press release the Texans sent out before the 2016 campaign announcing all of the affiliates in the Houston Texans Radio Network for that season. They send that memo out every year, and usually it's just a bunch of small towns scattered throughout Texas with the occasional Louisiana town. Well, in 2016, Kalispell, Montana was a Texans radio affiliate, so Brock's hometown got to live the nightmare with the rest of us. Awesome!
Brock, congrats on retirement. See you in the XFL sometime in the next two years! Now onto the picks:
Texans +1 over COLTS
As most of you know, I already gave my full blown analysis of this game in yesterday's post, and I am picking the Texans to win this game outright by a score of 27-20. I think the Texans are just a little better in all three phases of the game (offense, defense, special teams) than the Colts, and most importantly, the Texans have Deshaun Watson and the Colts do not. From a wagering perspective, know that Watson is 9-3 ATS as an underdog, and 8-2 ATS as a road underdog. I am cautiously optimistic that this is the beginning of a stretch of football that takes the Texans into the bye week in Week 10 with lots of momentum.
Rams -3 over FALCONS
This is a battle of two teams trying to stop a losing streak, with the Rams having lost three in a row and the Falcons four in a row (including a 53-32 loss in Houston two weeks ago). The Rams are still getting enough respect to be a road favorite, and if we're being honest, the Rams feel like a good team just going through a rough patch, while the Falcons may be on the verge of cashing the chips in on their beleaguered head coach, Dan Quinn, who finds himself at the top of this ignominious odds board:
Week 7 Player/Coach Props
Next NFL Head Coach to Leave Position
Dan Quinn 3/2
Anthony Lynn 3/1
Jason Garrett 3/1
Mike Vrabel 4/1
Doug Marrone 5/1
Freddie Kitchens 7/1
I'll take the team still playing hard for their head coach on the road, to win the game by a field goal or more.
Chargers +2.5 over TITANS
Normally, I don't like betting underdogs of 2.5 points or fewer because that extra half point to get to a spread of +3 (a full field goal) is so huge, but the Titans just flipped their starting QB position over to Ryan Tannehill from Marcus Mariota, which is like swapping out Lindsay Lohan for Otis the Town Drunk as your designated driver. You want to see a beleaguered head coach? Observe, Mike Vrabel....
The Chargers are used to being on the road, since their home field is basically one gigantic party for the road team, so whatever atmosphere exists in Nashville won't be an issue for them.
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Cardinals/GIANTS OVER 49
The top two quarterbacks taken in the 2019 NFL Draft square off at MetLife Stadium as Kyler Murray and the Cardinals take on Daniel Jones and the Giants. Both rookie signal callers have had their moments thus far this season, and both will be going against one of the worst defenses in the league against the pass (Arizona 28th in pass defense DVOA, Giants 29th). Let's get ready (and cash in on) some offensive fireworks!
LIONS +1 over Vikings
Vikings/LIONS OVER 44
I was on the wrong side of the Vikings last week, but this week we get them right where you want them — with expectations as a road favorite against a frisky division opponent. The only thing that could make this better would be if it kicked off in prime time, or as Kirk Cousins probably calls it "time to puke."
LAST WEEK: 2-4
SEASON NFL ATS RECORD: 19-17 (52.8 percent)