Throughout the NFL and college football season, I’ve been tracking ESPN radio host Colin Cowherd’s Blazing Five picks and posting them (along with his explanations) each week.
Not once in any of the 18 or 19 weeks of the football year did Cowherd ever have an opinion as strong as the stance he took Friday morning.
“I never, ever want to push anybody towards gambling. That’s a dark abyss that we should all be frightened of,” Cowherd said with a sarcastic smirk on his face. “So I won’t encourage wagering at all, but I’m telling you right now — I may bet 40-grand on my first pick. Holy mackerel! Stealing money!”
That first pick, as it turns out, is the San Francisco 49ers catching four points at home against the red-hot New Orleans Saints.
Cowherd loves the Niners as a home underdog and predicted a 24-22 outright victory. More than a field goal, he said, is way too high of a spread.
“Let me get this straight,” he said. “I get the better defense, better special teams, arguably as good a coach. I get a team that makes no mistakes. I get a team that’s significantly better in the front seven that’s allowing less than 11 points per game at home.
“Don’t get caught up with Drew Brees against Alex Smith. New Orleans has no pass rush; San Francisco has a great pass rush. To some degree, that neutralizes the quarterback edge for the Saints. I’m telling you right now, it’s my favorite bet of the weekend.”
Take this for whatever it’s worth, but it should be pointed out that Cowherd had quite a “blazing” year with his picks, posting a 45-34-5 record through the regular season and then opening up the playoffs with a 4-1 week (only missing on the Bengals +3 at Houston and correctly calling Alabama’s win over LSU in the BCS Championship Game).
Here are all of Cowherd’s “Blazing Five” (or four) picks this week:
Saints at 49ers +4
Broncos +14 at Patriots
Texans at Ravens -7.5
Giants +7.5 at Packers
Note: You can listen to Cowherd’s ESPN radio show by clicking here.