Pudge’s Picks – Thursday Night Kickoff 2014
The idea of picking games came after a 2012 season where I correctly picked against the spread to the tune of sporting an impressive 146-110 record. Of course, that resulted in my record falling to 123-133 last season. But I don’t feel so bad, since it appeared to be a tough year for many others. Hopefully I spring back this year.
As I did a year ago, I’ll be posting my picks for all 256 regular season games this year, picking spread and straight winners. Straight up, I posted a 161-95 record last season.
I should also state that I’m not a gambler. This is merely an intellectual exercise for me, as opposed to one where I’m expecting myself or others to make money based off these picks.
As I will do all year long, I will post my picks for each week’s Thursday Night contest separate from Sunday/Monday’s picks. That’s because injury reports matter, and of course for Sunday and Monday those don’t come out until Friday. On Thursdays, I will also review how well I did from the previous week.
For all these games, I will be using the spreads provided by ESPN.com in their Pigskin Pick’em Challenge. By the way, we have a group every year if you want to throw your hat in the ring and see if you can out-pick me or other Falcon fans. Using a site like ESPN for my spreads should be proof enough that I’m no professional gambler.
Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
Thursday, September 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Line: Seahawks (-5.5)
The NFL began the Thursday Night kickoff event in 2002, and every year except two: 2002 and 2012, the home team has won the game. And technically, the 2012 game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants wasn’t played on Thursday night. Last year was the first time since 2003 that the home team was not the previous year’s Super Bowl, due to a scheduling conflict with Major League Baseball. The Denver Broncos had no problem rolling over the Baltimore Ravens in the second half to a tune of a 49-27 beatdown.
So given the very famous home-field advantage of the Seahawks, they should be an easy pick in this one. I could sit here and try to explain why the Packers will cover in this one. They certainly could, as any team helmed by Aaron Rodgers has the ability to put plenty of points on the scoreboard. And I suspect the Packers will be highly motivated for this one given that they are in a similar boat as the Falcons, and desperate to prove how “tough” they are. Against a physical team like the Seahawks, there is no better a test.
But in the end, while I suspect the Seahawks throughout this year will have a tough time covering their favorable leads given that opposing teams will try their best to prove themselves against them (as the Oakland Raiders did in the preseason finale), I think for tonight, the Seahawks defense and Russell Wilson will be too good. Everyone around the country is super-excited that football is back, can you imagine how frenzied the “12th Man” will be? That’s 67,000 people I’ll bet on every time.
Spread Pick: Seahawks
Straight Pick: Seahawks