UnScene Comedy’s Weekly NFL Gambling Column
by Rich Karski
Welcome to a special Season Preview Edition of DICK PICKS! The only online gambling column that Floyd Mayweather Jr. can actually read.
Guys. Guys. GUYS! The NFL is almost back! I mean, it’s still a few weeks away, but it’s close enough that everybody is already starting to ignore baseball, which is fantastic because baseball sucks.
Let me start off this season’s preview by saying that Roger Goodell is a gaping red asshole. He made this apparent yet again by suspending Ray Rice for a comically lenient two games after he literally knocked his fiancée unconscious, then basically wagged his dick at everyone and said he thought the suspension was fair. It has been clear for a while that the NFL doesn’t give a shit about ANY of its fans, let alone women, but the arrogance and ungiveafuckability (sp?) displayed in this instance was staggering. It left a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths about the start of this season, and made a lot of people reconsider their allegiance to a league that could not care less about the safety of women. I was one of these people.
In the end, I decided that I’m still going to enjoy the NFL this year. I came to this decision in about ten seconds too. It wasn’t even close. Maybe it’s because I’m a hypocrite, and maybe it’s because I’m just a garden variety shit-head, but just because Roger Goodell, Ray Rice, and numerous other people in or associated with the league are despicable doesn’t mean I should have to stop enjoying something I’ve loved since I was a kid. I’m sure people justify watching Woody Allen and Sean Penn movies in the same way. We are all complicit, your heroes are lies, everything sucks, and we are all going to die.
BUT YOU GUYS IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR FOOTBALL AGAIN! WOOOOOOOO!!!
For this season preview, I am going to go through each team’s over/under win total and pick whether I think they will surpass or fail to meet Vegas’ expectations. Since there are like, a lot of teams in the NFL (even Cincinnati and Jacksonville have one, which is BANANAS) I’m going to break this up into two parts. This week I’ll be looking at the NFC, because since I cheer for an AFC team I don’t even know what the fuck is going on over there. ON TO THE PICKS!
ARIZONA UNDER 7.5 WINS
Arizona won 10 games last year, which seems absolutely ridiculous because they couldn’t have scored more than 40 points total on the season. But it’s true! You can look it up! They even beat Seattle at home when nobody was supposed to beat Seattle at home because it’s very loud there, you see. Arizona got by last year on a quietly excellent defense, so why would I pick them to win at least three fewer games? Well because most of their defense spent the offseason getting suspended or having various body parts turn green and then fall off. Having that stingy D around to make up for Carson Palmer turning the ball over on every other possession was essential. Carson Palmer is still here! Most of the defense is not.
ATLANTA OVER 8.5 WINS
I’m predicting a bounce back year for the Falcons, which sucks because I love to root against this team. Their quarterback is a boring Mormon dickbag, their coach would punt on second down if his coordinators hadn’t unplugged his head set, their star wide receiver has feet made of glass, oh and they drafted Prince Shembo this year, who is a rapist in the eyes of everyone not directly employed by Notre Dame. Unfortunately, an improved offensive line and the return of injured players will probably push this team to a very boring nine wins. Just enough to miss the playoffs due to a pass rush that couldn’t get to the quarterback if he lined up in the wrong backfield.
CAROLINA UNDER 8.5 WINS
Okay, so I loved the under on this before Cam Newton broke his rib, and that affirmed one of my main reasons for liking it. Carolina’s offensive line is dogshit. They lost their entire right side, and replaced them with scrubs off their own bench. Newton also no longer has anyone of note to throw the ball to, so he was going to be running for his life all season regardless. Now that he’s already injured this line may come off the board entirely, but expect a rough season for the Panthers in a division where every other team improved and they got considerably worse. This is not how you treat a franchise QB, and this along with NASCAR and ACC basketball fans is why Carolina shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things.
CHICAGO UNDER 8.5 WINS
It has been almost 30 years since the 1985 Bears gave this city an unwarranted football superiority complex, and for the first time in almost three decades the team has decided that you need an offense capable of scoring points to win football games. Unfortunately, this will also likely be the worst defense the Bears have fielded in 30 years, so be prepared for Chicagoans to hate this team more than any they’ve ever had. Seemingly overnight this team has transformed into the outdoor Detroit Lions, and no amount of Canadian voodoo from Mark Trestman is going to stop them from losing games 38-35. Bears fans are going to pine for those 9-7 victories over mediocre teams, but it’s okay! You just gave Jay Cutler a billion dollars to play nine games a season, so that’s something, right?
DALLAS UNDER 8 WINS
Speaking of hideously overmatched defenses… The Dallas Cowboys everybody! This might be the most pathetic defense ever assembled to compete in actual NFL football games. Their starting defense would get torched in the fourth quarter of any preseason game. This is “The Room” of NFL defenses. It will be bad. It will be laughably, comically, enjoyably bad, and everyone will put forth so earnest an effort for such a lost cause that it will be that much more fun to watch this train-wreck unfold. This team plays the Saints in week four and Drew Brees is going to break the damn scoreboard.
DETROIT OVER 8.5 WINS
Every year I have faith in the goddamned Detroit Lions and every year they lose me a ton of money. So why break tradition? Can this team win nine games? Sure. Are they going to? Probably not. But if I didn’t pick them to I know they would and then I’d get real mad and probably hurt my foot kicking a door. I’ll probably do that anyway. Fucking Lions.
GREEN BAY OVER 10.5 WINS
Somebody needs to win this fucking division, and since Green Bay has the best quarterback and some semblance of a defense I’ll just pick them. It’s odd that this division has turned into one of the premier passing divisions in the NFL, considering the Midwestern tradition of being the Soviet Russia of sports. Everything has always been slow, deliberate, cold, calculated, and technical, in an effort to break your spirit on the off chance that the weather fails to do so. But now? BOMBS AWAY MOTHERFUCKERS IT’S SHOWTIME! DEEP BALLS FOR EVERYONE! Because what could go wrong with building your team around high scoring offenses and weak defenses? It’s not like you’ll ever have to play an important game outside in December or January…
MINNESOTA UNDER 6 WINS
I wanted to go over on this one until I looked at the schedule and realized this team is virtually guaranteed to start no better than 1-4. Their first game against the Rams is a toss up, but then they get New England, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Green Bay. Ooof. Convincing losses in those games could end the Matt Cassel Era, leading to Teddy Bridgewater getting thrown to the wolves too early, leading to more Matt Cassel later in the season, or maybe even an appearance by Christian Ponder, which is a great euphemism for a doctor finding cancer on one of your scans. “We looked at the results, and I don’t know how to say this… but there was an appearance by Christian Ponder.” Then everybody cries and cries and cries. Because he’s that bad at football, you see.
NEW ORLEANS OVER 9.5 WINS
Now this team is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They have Drew Brees! They have Jimmy Graham! They have various wide receivers who will rotate 200 yd/2 TD performances and make fantasy owners mad! They have numerous nameless and faceless running backs who better be able to catch a flare in the flat! They have Rob Ryan, the NFL’s drunk uncle! They have NFL OUTLAW Sean Payton, who visibly smells like too much Drakkar Noir! They can’t win football games outside! Oh shit, that’s right… *counts outdoor games on Saints’ schedule* FIVE! Mark them down for 11-5!
NY GIANTS UNDER 8 WINS
I have no idea what the hell is going on with the Giants (not that I really know that much about the other teams but hey shut up.) Eli Manning looks like he might actually be terrible. And not regular-Eli-Manning-terrible either. He looks out-of-the-league-by-November terrible. Tom Coughlin’s heart might not make it through the year. With all of that in mind, I’m picking this team to finish with fewer than eight wins which means I can probably look forward to them beating the Patriots in the Super Bowl in February.
PHILADELPHIA OVER 9 WINS
Everyone is drinking the Chip Kelly Kool-Aid and thinks this team will score 20,000 points this season, and since they get to play the Cowboys twice that’s not so far-fetched. I think the Eagles are slightly worse than last year, but will finish with a better record because sometimes that’s just how the NFL works. Especially when you get to play the AFC South and the rest of the NFC East twice. They cut DeSean Jackson in the offseason because he was maybe in a gang or maybe just an asshole but probably because Chip Kelly is an asshole. Nick Foles will get to throw passes without feeling any pressure and probably put up inflated numbers again which is good because when you pressure Nick Foles he evaporates into a cloud of dust. This team will be fun to watch but mark my words everyone will hate them by week 8.
SAN FRANCISCO UNDER 10.5 WINS
This was tough, because the 49ers are a deep and well-coached team, but the second level of their defense is going to be non-existent for most of this season. Their two best linebackers are out for extended periods of time, after one’s knee tried to defy the laws of physics in their NFC championship game loss, and the other decided it would be a good idea to say he had a bomb at an airport (it wasn’t.) Their secondary also lost basically everybody and replaced them with basically nobody, which isn’t a good strategy. One of their top offensive linemen is holding out and could be traded, their running back is older than time itself, and Richard Sherman broke their best receiver’s brain and spirit. I don’t think ten wins is impossible for this team, but I do think it’s their ceiling.
SEATTLE OVER 11 WINS
With the seeming decline in the rest of their division, the Seahawks should have an inside track towards the number one seed in the conference. That is assuming their deceptively terrible offensive line can keep Russell Wilson out of the morgue for 16 weeks. Marshawn Lynch is unhappy, but he’s at that age where a running back’s wheels fall off and they turn into the New York Jets version of LaDanian Tomlinson, which is always depressing. BUT they still have the Legion of Boom! Two of whom got huge contracts and one of whom was on the cover of Madden so a season ending injury is all but guaranteed! Wow, maybe I should have gone under on this one… nah. Somebody in this division has to win 12 games, and Seattle is still in the best position to do it. Now if Pete Carroll can only prove that 9/11 was a joint effort perpetrated by the US Government in conjunction with the Saucer People and the Reverse Vampires, he’ll finally be able to rest easy.
ST. LOUIS UNDER 7.5 WINS
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA this team gave Sam Bradford $65 million HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. But seriously they’re probably not much worse off with Shaun Hill, which is to say they’re still probably a 6 or 7 win team at best. Missouri residents would rather get tear-gassed by police than watch this team, so it will be nice to see them move to LA in a couple years where they can be ignored by another city with a history of police violence towards African Americans.
TAMPA BAY UNDER 7 WINS
Okay, so I’m not down on the Buccaneers this year, but I think seven wins is right about where they’ll land in an NFC South that should see the Saints and Falcons at the top. Lovie Smith is an adequate coach if you’re looking for seven wins, and the defense has some playmakers. The offense also has some big play guys in Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, and maybe Mike Evans, but the game plan of running Martin up the middle and heaving long balls to the two guys on the outside can only get them so far. Especially when those long balls are coming from Mike Glennon or Josh McCown.
This team should be better than last year, and everyone will laud the improvements Lovie has made, and then when they continue to win 7 and 8 games over the next few years everyone will remember why Lovie Smith got fired in Chicago. Mediocrity looks great after your previous coach almost killed the whole team with MRSA, but eventually people will get sick of it, unless your name is Marvin Lewis.
WASHINGTON UNDER 7.5 WINS
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA NO. This team hired Jon Gruden’s brother to be their coach and salvage Bobby Griffiths Jr.’s career which if I were a betting man (AND I AM!) I would wager is not going to go well. Fans are already screaming for Kirk Cousins to start because they’re just as racist as their clueless owner (“This guy looks kinda dark skinned and HE doesn’t care about the team name!”) but they might actually have a point since Bobby Griffiths Jr. is eventually going to get croaked trying to turn a six yard loss into a three yard gain and puncture a lung.
I think the only reason this team gainfully employs Brandon Merriweather is so he has a 50% less chance of actually murdering their quarterback on the field. Maybe Bobby Griffiths will silence his doubters and lead this team back to the playoffs, but this is the guy who turned the ball over ten more times in two fewer games last year. The division could be wide open, but so are most receivers against the Washington secondary. This team is gross and I hate them and don’t want to look at them.
JOIN US LATER THIS WEEK FOR PART TWO: THE AFC