The Labour Day weekend is the unofficial transition from summer sports, to those played in the fall and winter.

Moving from August to September means the return of the NFL after a seven-month absence.

The final pre-season games were played Thursday. Thank Goodness!

The kickoff game to launch the 2019-20 season will be held on Thursday (September 5th) with arguably the biggest rivalry in the league as the Green Bay Packers visit the Chicago Bears.

Did you know that in each of the past 29 years at least one NFL team has increased its win total by five or more games from the previous season?

Last year, for example in the NFC, the Bears went from a 5-11 record in 2017 to a 12-4 mark in 2018, a whopping seven-win improvement.

In the AFC, Indianapolis made a huge gain of six more victories going from 4-12 to 10-6.

With Andrew Luck suddenly retired, the Colts could be closer to reverting back to a below .500 team this year.

In 15 of the last 16 NFL seasons, there has been at least one team go from worst to first in its division.

For instance, Chicago (NFC North) and Houston (AFC South) went from the bottom in 2017
(both 4-12) to the top in 2018 (Texans 11-5 and Bears as previously mentioned 12-4).

The last-place teams in 2018 were New York Jets, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Oakland, New York Giants, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Arizona.

In this group, I give Jacksonville the best chance of climbing from worst to first in its division
while the Jets have the least chance of going from the cellar to division champions.

Since the 12-team playoff format was-adopted in 1990, a minimum four teams have advanced to the playoffs in every season that was not in the post-season the year before.

This year Green Bay and Pittsburgh would appear to be best bets.

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Amidst the culture of the NFL, many fans compete in a growing trend, where participants speculate and pick weekly winners in a popular contest widely referred to as THE FOOTBALL POOL.

Prince George is no different than most cities as interest in the NFL elevates by competing in a pool.

Some, like the one hosted by 94.3 the Goat is free.

The link is right here.

Others have a token entry fee.

There’s a wide spectrum of pools that include:

  • Time frame: weekly winners or season-long chase.
  • Elimination pools: pick one team each week to win, keep going until the last player is left alive.
  • Survivor pools: pick one team each week to lose, keep going until the last player is left alive.
  • Team-win pools: draft certain teams whose wins count for you during the season.                                    Here are some guidelines that I try to follow when picking winners:
  • Know the line: Vegas odds-makers are professionals when they establish a line. Use that as a gauge.
  • Past reputations: Avoid picking teams living off previous reputations that have not been successful recently.
  • Key to Success: The blueprint for winning a pool is “nailing” the games that are close on the spread (three or fewer points). In this realm, upsets are common. Still, it is important to have some basis for believing the so-called better team will lose.
  • Have an even keel approach: Do not get discouraged about having a bad week. Standings fluctuate and it only takes a few games to change the direction of the leader-board.

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Week one is usually difficult picking a team in both an Elimination and Survivor pool. I generally don’t like taking a road team as a lock even if they are 5 point favourites like Baltimore over Miami on Sunday, Sept. 8th.

My best guess for a sure-fire win in week one would be Seattle over Cincinnati although I would suggest the line of 9.5 is too high.

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NFL Odds Week 1 – Week One NFL Football Odds
NFL Game Odds 9/5 – 9/9, 2019

NFL odds was taken from right here.

Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog Total Money Odds
9/5 8:20 ET At Chicago    -3 Green Bay 46 -$170 +$150
9/8 1:00 ET At Minnesota    -4 Atlanta 47.5 -$200 +$170
9/8 1:00 ET At Philadelphia    -9 Washington 46.5 -$440 +$340
9/8 1:00 ET At NY Jets    -3 Buffalo 38.5 -$170 +$150
9/8 1:00 ET Baltimore    -5 At Miami 37.5 -$235 +$195
9/8 4:25 ET At Tampa Bay    -1 San Francisco 49 -$115  -$105
9/8 1:00 ET Kansas City    -4 At Jacksonville 52.5 -$200 +$175
9/8 1:00 ET At Cleveland    -5.5 Tennessee 45.5 -$245 +$205
9/8 1:00 ET LA Rams    -3 At Carolina 51 -$155 +$135
9/8 4:25 ET Detroit    -2.5 At Arizona 47.5 -$135 +$115
9/8 4:05 ET At Seattle    -9.5 Cincinnati 43.5 -$460 +$360
9/8 4:05 ET At LA Chargers    -7 Indianapolis 45.5 -$340 +$280
9/8 4:25 ET At Dallas    -7 NY Giants 45.5 -$340 +$280
9/8 8:20 ET At New England    -6 Pittsburgh 51.5 -$265 +$225

                                               Monday Night Football Odds

9/9 7:10 ET At New Orleans    -7 Houston 53.5 -$320 +$260
9/9 10:15 ET At Oakland    -1.5 Denver 43.5 -$125 +$105

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson says the NFL should replace some preseason games with joint practices.

“Joint practices?” said Josh Gordon (of the New England Patriots) “I’m in!”

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has retired from the NFL at 29; which is ironic that a team with a horseshoe for a logo just had their Luck run out.

*Comedy writer Jim Barach http://jokesbyjim.blogspot.ca/

After Houston talk show host Rick Kamla called Andrew Luck, who went to high school in the area, a “quitter” and a “joke” in a tweet, he apologized and said he used a “terrible choice of words.” Translation, Luck retired, I don’t want to be fired.

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Andrew Luck tearfully announced his retirement, calling it ‘the hardest decision in my life’; which means he’ll be back in time for the playoffs.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Whoever at MLB thought those black/white Players Weekend uniforms was a good idea should be wearing an orange jumpsuit.

*Contributor Marc Ragovin 



IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

An Edinburgh hotel owner was reportedly very upset when she found a rabbit in a guest’s shower. I don’t blame her; I hate finding someone’s hare in the tub.

*Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

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Hartley Miller is the news and sports supervisor and morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97.
He also is the 94.3 radio colour commentator for P.G. Cougars home games.
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to hmiller@thegoatrocks.ca