The Degenerate Report: Football Opening Weekend 2020
Welcome back to another year of the Degenerate Report. We know picking football games can be tough and that’s why you turn to the Degenerate Report. After post back to back season of +60% winning percentage, I am once again giving away my best NFL and College football picks weekly. Let’s face it, we all have a little degenerate in us and every once in awhile, we have to let it out.
Here are your picks for this weekend and make sure to listen to Trophy Kids Podcast to hear additional picks!
UAB vs. Miami -14.5 Over/Under 55: Normally I like sitting out the first week, watching everyone, and getting a feel for the quality of play to make some good picks down the road. This year though, I am jumping in headfirst with a Thursday night throwdown in Miami. UAB is a team that is flying under the radar. They were winners of their division in conference USA and had a defense that ranked eighth last year in fewest total yards and passing yards. They return eighteen starters. This team is no pushover, but they are facing a team with some big question marks but huge upside potential.
The Miami Hurricanes are one big question mark for me entering this year. This is a team that once again has all the potential in the world to make a big splash and compete for an ACC championship. The big question for me is can the offensive line hold up? This unit was garbage last year. They allowed 51 sacks with was the most among the power 5’s. All eight players that started at some point last year are returning though. So can they improve and use that baptism by fire to hold up? I hope so because if they do this team could be special. They have D’Eriq King debuting in their new spread offense which could be huge. Don’t be surprised if D’eriq King plays himself into the Heisman conversation.
Miami has a whole roster full of talent needed to compete on the big stage but will they put it all together? I don’t know and I have been burnt by them one too many times before to bet on them. I am going to wait to jump on the Miami train.
Pick: UAB +14.5
Georgia Tech vs. Florida State -12.5 Over/Under 52.5: This game is all about the number for me. Georgia Tech was horrendous offensively last year. They ranked last in the ACC in passing yards, total yards and points scored. Did we expect much better? No, it was their first year switching away from that famous triple-option attack that Paul Johnson had brought to from Navy. With a new coach and a completely new offense of scheme, you had to expect that transition would be rough last year. This year though, yeah I am expecting Georgia Tech to be better on offense. The strong point for Georgia Tech should be their D-line and if you have watched any FSU football you know the O-line hasn’t been great the last couple of years.
FSU had a rough start to the offense this year. They had the threat of players boycott and criticism about how the program has protected student-athletes during the pandemic. This could have some impact on the readiness of this football team but my biggest concern is the QB play. While head coach Mike Norvell is bringing his high flying, high scoring offensive scheme with him from Memphis, he will have his hands full with trying to coach up James Blackman. Blackman has struggled in limiting turnovers with 23 interceptions in 23 starts. In Blackmans defense though if that O-line is a little more steady he could have a good season. He has tons of potential and being in this new offense of scheme could fit his style of play well. 12 points though feels big for FSU to cover. I expect a close game but both teams offensively struggle. That leads to FSU winning but GT covering.
Pick: Georgia Tech +12.5
Clemson vs Wake Forest +33 Over/Under 60: Let’s not overthink this one guys. Clemson is going to kick the shit out of Wake Forest. They are better in every area. Wake Forest doesn’t have the players to try and keep up. Trevor Lawrence is back and looking too shut up everyone who likes to point out his inconstancies last year. He is out for blood and I can only imagine he is looking to torch every team. Pair that with the return of leading rusher Travis Etienne, who rushed for 1,614 yards and 19 scores last season. I don’t see Clemson having any problem blowing the barn doors off this game.
Pick: Clemson -33
Titians vs Broncos +2.5 Over/Under 41: This line is seeing heavy money flow on the Titians. We saw this line move down to 2.5 after the news of Von Miller potentially being out for the rest of the year. Don’t get me wrong losing Von Miller is a huge blow for the Broncos but for this game it doesn’t move the needle for me.
We have just gone through the strangest pre-season ever. With no pre-season games and way more walkthrough practices, we have to expect conditioning to be all types of fucked up. For me, that means the mile-high advantage will be on full display. You pair that with a late-game time, I think the physical edge goes the broncos way and that’s all I need in this one.
These teams are not that far apart especially starting the season, so I give the advantage to the Broncos to cover this small spread.
Pick: Broncos +2.5
Chargers vs. Bengals +3.5 Over/Under 42: This line feels silly to me. The Cincinnati Bengals were the worst team in the NFL last season, and I do not expect them to make some huge jump out of the gate. Maybe I am wrong and Joe Burrow is about to be absolute fire from the start but I am not willing to bet on that.
The Bengals have a huge problem with their O-line and I don’t know if you have noticed but that D-line for the Chargers is pretty damn good. You mix that with a strong Wide Receiving core for the Chargers and a Quarterback in Tyrod Taylor who is much better than he is given credit for and I think the Chargers should cover this. I also think the under is a strong play here.
Pick: Chargers -3.5
Jets vs Bill -6.5 Over/Under 39.5: I don’t like a 6.5 point spread for week one of the NFL but my distrust of the Jets and my liking of the Bills this year has me rethinking this one.
The Bills are my bet to win the AFC East this year. This team has a top-notch defense and an offense just chopping at the bit to take the roof off opposing defenses with the addition of Stefon Diggs. This team has been trending in the right direction for the last two years and has an opening to breakthrough. I expect them to start off strong.
On the other side, I have zero faith in the Jets. I think Adam Gase is one of the worst Head Coaches in the league. Most people think with the pre-season that the NFL just had that Offenses will really struggle to get on the same page. I don’t think that’s wrong but I expect the Jets to really struggle defensively at least out of the gate. They are dealing with the loss of their two best defensive players from last season with safety Jamal Adams traded away and linebacker C.J. Mosley opting out. Those are two big holes to fill and I believe will lead to big miscommunications on the defense.
Pick: Bills -6.5
It should be a great week of football and may the picks be in your favor.
P.S. If you are going to gamble make sure to do so responsibly. If you feel like you have a problem or might be developing, a problem, please check out the responsible gambling council website for help.