Yo! Welcome to the first edition of The Picks Six. This is a new concept, so bare with me whilst I figure it out. But each week I’m gonna give 6 types of picks or tips for the upcoming slate of games. Each category is a little different; some are sure fire “this is definitely going to happen,” and some are long shots “this is a bit of a dream but it’s plausible at least.” Like for example last week. I thought the Dolphins had a great shot at upsetting the 49ers. And they did. Wish I’d started this column last week now… We’ll keep track of how I do in each category so you can know which ones to trust and which ones to laugh at.
Anyway… for us Brits, this week’s Sky Sports Slate of games is absolutely electric. Steelers vs Browns, Buccaneers vs Packers, Rams vs 49ers (ehhhh okay not great), Bills vs Chiefs AND Cardinals vs Cowboys? 4 out of 5 are legitimately must see. But if I can avoid watching Jimmy G I will absolutely do so, so let’s just pretend that game isn’t happening for the rest of this article? Cool! Let’s get stuck into my picks.
1) The 1st and Goal from the One
This is my lock of the week. A sure fire winner surely.
I’m very tempted to pick the Panthers to beat the (extremely fraudulent, sorry not sorry Wade) 4-1 Bears, but I’m not quite as confident in that as a couple other options this weekend. It’s two AFC East teams, and I just cannot see any way they lose this weekend. I’m talking about the Patriots and the Dolphins. New England have seemingly survived Cam’s corona scare… and he’s back this week to face the fairly unfortunate Broncos, who have been decimated by injuries and then this week had the story of Melvin Gordon getting a DUI. It’s not been great for Denver, and I don’t think their luck changes on Sunday. Belichick can see a glimmer of light at the top of the AFC East after the Bills lost on Tuesday night. I’m taking the Patriots to win in comfortable fashion. BUT – as a bonus for the first week of this column, I’m also taking the Dolphins, who face the newly LeVeon Bell-less Jets. Adam Gase man… where do you even start? Probably best to make this quick. Brian Flores has the Dolphins playing great football and winning games. The Jets are absolutely horrific. I feel (for once) very confident that my Fins get their 3rd win of the season on Sunday.
2) The 45yd Field Goal (around even odds)
This is my mid-range, toss up of the week.
So my pick is going to Green to beat Tampa in the matchup I’ve dubbed “battle of the bays.” I’m sure that’s copyrighted by someone else but hey, it sounds good. Tommy B has been up and down since relocating to Florida, and AA Rod is in the middle of his “how dare you not rank me in the top 10 of the NFL 100” revenge tour. It’s hard for me to understand why the Packers are ONLY favoured by a solitary point here coming off a Bye last week. I know the Buccaneers defense is tasty, but Aaron Jones and the (hopefully) returning healthy Davante Adams are too electrifying to stop, and they’ll both benefit from having the other in the lineup. Let’s go for Green Bay -1.0.
3). The Hail Mary (4/1 or longer)
This is my shot from half field. Unlikely, but you never know.
The AFC North is fast confirming itself to be – alongside the NFC West – the best division in Football. The Ravens, Steelers AND (surprisingly) Browns are all proving themselves to be playoff calibration teams, with potential SuperBowl aspirations. Big Ben’s comeback player of the year campaign is off to a flyer, and rookie WR Chase Claypool set the Fantasy Football world on fire last week with 45 points in his 4TD demolition of the Eagles. Cleveland faced their toughest defense (since the Ravens in week 1) and dismantled the Colts with relative ease. Baker looked good, Kareem Hunt is running like he did in Kansas City, and OBJ has maybe got his mojo back. I’m so excited for this matchup. BUT I think this really means a lot to the Browns. They’re used to getting eviscerated by Pittsburgh and, after the “contentious” ending to last season’s second matchup (you know, the one with the attempted murder??), I think Myles Garrett will be out for… errr… sacks!? Cleveland are the underdogs but if they can get the run game going they can limit the Steelers’ time of possession. Ben will always air it out to try and catch up but I think the Browns have enough to not only upset the Steelers but win by a wider margin than expected.
We’re gonna go Cleveland Browns to win by 7-12 points.
4) The Over
I like points. Sue me. Give me 45-44 over 17-14 every day. I’m a Big XII guy. Points points points. Throw the ball. So, I’m using this section to look at the points totals and pick an over that I like.
Cardinals @ Cowboys – Over 55.0
Yeah, it’s a high line, but this has “shootout” written all over it. I love the Cardinals. I absolutely love them. They’re so exciting. Kyler is a speed demon. Hopkins is – for me – the best receiver in the league. Their run game has struggled but we all know Kenyan Drake could just turn it on one week and blow people away again. And then you’ve got Dallas. Firstly, get well soon Dak. Secondly, Andy Dalton is… not Dak Prescott, but has a better set of weapons in Dallas than he EVER had in Cincinnati. Lamb, Cooper & Gallup can cause Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals DBs a lot of issues, creating space for Zeke between the tackles, especially now Chandler Jones is done for the year. But Kyler and Hopkins will feast on a suspect Cowboys secondary that made the Giants look like an offensive powerhouse at times last week. I’m excited to see these two offenses beat up on the defenses on Monday Night.
5) The Parlay
A little 5 team accumulator for the people.
Titans -3.5 (how are Tennessee, who are 4-0, only -3.5 against a 1-4 Houston team?!)
Dolphins -10.0 (yeah, it’s A LOT of points for the Dolphins and Fitzmagic to cover… BUT… I mean… have you SEEN the Jets?)
Patriots -9.5 (Cam’s back, and the Broncos are broken. Even if Drew Lock plays, the New England defense is nasty enough to give him nightmares)
Browns +3.5 (I think they win outright, but the FG + a half point here makes this feel like a safe bet)
Lions -3.0 (Golladay back, Sacksonville ain’t what it used to be, Lions managed to beat the Cardinals – a GOOD team – earlier this year. I trust Stafford to win this game)
£10 on this pays about £260 depending on your Bookmaker.
6) The Full English
This is just gonna be my straight up, nice and simple, prediction for who wins every single game each week. We’ll keep a rolling total and win % for me and hopefully it’ll be a number significantly higher than 50…
ATL vs MIN – Atlanta
BAL vs PHI – Ravens
CHI vs CAR – Panthers
CIN vs IND – Colts
CLE vs PIT – Browns
DEN vs NE – Patriots
DET vs JAX – Lions
HOU vs TEN – Titans
WAS vs NYG – Giants
NYJ vs MIA – Dolphins
GB vs TB – Packers
LAR vs SF – Rams
KC vs BUF – Chiefs
ARI vs DAL – Cardinals
And that’s it! Can’t wait to get absolutely none of these right this week. Hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts. Fingers crossed you come back next week. I’m @callumjdsquires on Twitter and Instagram if you wanna chat further. Have a good one!
All Lines and Totals accurate as of Friday 16th October at 15:00.
Callum Squires is a London based writer, Dolphins fan and regular contributor to NFL in London.