Last week we were all over the moon at the fact that the NFL was back. Now, we're all grappling with the moral ramifications of watching a league that enables domestic violence and then lies about that enabling. In other words, we need football to relieve the stress caused by football.
It's the perfect crime by Goodell, really. Take your product that is absolutely indispensable to the American public, use your media cronies to turn it into a 365 day per year spectacle, and use that undeniable addiction to the sport to alleviate any screwups on your part. In other words, the NFL is cigarettes in sport form, right down to the premature deaths and insufficient ways to make the product safer for its participants.
Of course, it's perfectly fine to enjoy a sport (or anything else) that you like while acknowledging that the people in charge of it are total shitbags. If that weren't the case, Walmart wouldn't exist and stuff. So let's all have a beer, utter some well deserved profanities about Roger Goodell, and watch the game.
Line: RAVENS (-2.5) over Steelers
Much like Roger Goodell's credibility, I'm going under here. The Ravens didn't give up or score a touchdown until late in their first game against a Cincinnati offense that is definitely superior to Pittsburgh's. This will be a low scoring one.
Over/Under: UNDER 44.5
Against the spread, over two thirds of bettors have Pittsburgh on the road. The line has not changed from its original 2.5 point starting position. That certainly isn't indicative of a betting majority that features the big money.
This game comes after a Week One slate that saw Baltimore struggle to score against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh score in bunches against Cleveland. Casual bettors look at those two things and will fail to factor in the strength of the Bengals defense and lack there of in Cleveland's unit. Smart people will place greater importance on Baltimore's decent job against a pretty good Cincinnati offense and Pittsburgh's struggles against Brian Hoyer and a bunch of backup running backs.
You'd have to imagine, by the way, that Baltimore is going to be an absolute madhouse tomorrow night, in a rivalry game while the franchise's integrity and credibility are under the fire it deserves. If we have learned anything about Baltimore Ravens fans during this process, it's that they'll defend anyone in their team's uniform, whether they've killed two people, punched out a woman, or otherwise. The crowd will have an impact on this game.
Pick: Ravens -2.5
Week 1: 8-8