Week 3 of the NFL season is here.
While 3-2 doesn’t get us all the way back to a winning record, it went a long way to bringing us back into the heart of the standings. Last week was a particularly brutal week for many SuperContest bettors, with the five most commonly picked teams in the contest going 0-5.
It feels good to have fought our way out of the depths and into the pack, but the goal of the SuperContest isn’t to out-pick 60% of the field. We’re trying to out-pick everyone and win a million dollars.
So we’re back at it again this week.
Below are our picks for Week 3 of the Westgate SuperContest, along with some of our other favorite bets on the slate.
SuperContest Pick 1: Carolina Panthers (-3) over Cincinnati Bengals
There’s plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the Panthers in this spot. Most notably, the team has a Greg Olsen shaped hole in the offense, immediately upping the pressure on Christian McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, and other Carolina skill position players.
But the Panthers usually find a way to win at home, having gone in 19-6 over the past three seasons at Bank of America Stadium. And while the Bengals have looked impressive so far this season, this feels like a letdown spot for them after dismantling the Ravens on national television last Thursday.
With the NFC South so packed with contenders, the Panthers can’t afford to slip up at home. They need it more, and I expect Cam Newton and company to figure it out.
SuperContest Pick 2: New Orleans Saints (+3) over Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans has failed to cover a spread this season, but this is a perfect spot to bet they find a way to bounce back. Atlanta is coming off a hard-fought win against the Panthers and back-to-back division games is always a tough stretch.
The Saints need a win to keep pace with the NFC South. Drew Brees and the New Orleans’ offense has been operating just fine and will be facing a Falcons defensive front that is missing a few key pieces. Trust that the Saints’ defense can wake up from whatever spell they’ve been under and get enough stops to help New Orleans win in a shootout.
SuperContest Pick 3: San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
We got burned by the Chiefs last week after they took the Steelers to task in Pittsburgh, but we’re running it back against them again, this time backing Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers.
The Kansas City offense is one of the most intimidating forces in football right now, with Patrick Mahomes taking the world by storm and possibly the most talented collection of skill position players in the NFL between Tyreek Hill, Kareem Hunt, and Travis Kelce. But Mahomes can’t sustain the pace he’s on — unless he plans on throwing for 80 touchdowns.
The Chiefs’ offensive explosion has also covered up for what has been a questionable-at-best defense so far. While Kansas City was able to hold on for the win in Pittsburgh, they did give up a 21-point first quarter lead before halftime. Jimmy Garoppolo will likely have his favorite target, Marquise Goodwin, back in the lineup on Sunday, and I think he keeps pace with the Chiefs.
SuperContest Pick 4: Arizona Cardinals (+6) over Chicago Bears
Sometimes you have to close your eyes and take the ugly home underdog.
The Cardinals are a disaster. They’ve only managed six points through two games this year, and earning just 137 total yards and five first downs against the Rams last weekend.
But it is too early to back Mitch Trubisky and the Bears’ offense as a 6-point road favorite.
Chicago is coming off a huge win on national television and might get off to a slow start. Everything about this looks like a relatively low scoring affair, so give me the home team and the points.
SuperContest Pick 5: Seattle Seahawks (-2) over Dallas Cowboys
Some may doubt the merits of home-field advantage, but Seattle’s is rather undeniable. Since drafting Russell Wilson in 2012, the Seahawks are 38-10 when backed by the 12th man at CenturyLink Field.
Dallas had what might go down as the least impressive win of the season last Sunday night, taking down the Giants thanks to one long Tavon Austin touchdown, and both teams subsequently forgetting how to play football for 40 minutes.
The Seahawks’ offensive line is as bad as advertised, but Seattle has already put up 24 points against Von Miller and managed a respectable 17 against Khalil Mack. The Cowboys can’t throw anything at them that’s more difficult than what they’ve already faced.
LAST WEEK: 3-2
Eliminator Lock: Minnesota Vikings
Teams used: Saints, Rams
This week, we’re taking the easiest bet on the board — the Vikings at home against the worst team in the league. If this one costs you your entry, at least you’ll be able to say you witnessed one of the most absurd upsets in recent football history.
Money Dog: Denver Broncos (+200) over Baltimore Ravens
If you’re looking for a live underdog to bet this week, there are quite a few options on the board, but the Broncos traveling on the road to Baltimore.
The Ravens are a dangerous team at home and have the advantage of a few extra days rest after playing on Thursday night last week. But we hardly know anything about Baltimore right now as their win was over the dismal Bills, and on Thursday they got kicked around by the Bengals.
The Denver defense should be the best unit on the field in this game, and if Case Keenum can make a few plays, it’s not tough to imagine the Broncos winning this one outright. At +200 odds, it feels like it’s worth a few dollars.
Weekly Tease: Eagles (-0.5) and Rams (-1)
Another week, another six-point teaser.
This week, we’re bringing the Eagles down to a half-point favorite over the Colts and the Rams down to a 1-point favorite against the Chargers in Los Angeles.
While the Eagles are struggling with numerous injuries — they might not even have a running back ready to go on Sunday — I’m a homer, and Philadelphia is going to be electric for the return of Carson Wentz. It might be close, but I think Philly finds a way.
As for the Rams, they are the most complete team in football, and I won’t believe they can lose until I see it with my own eyes.
Monday Night Chaser: Steelers @ Buccaneers Under 53.5
Last week, our Monday Night Chaser came up just two points short of hitting the over. This week, we’re back on the under, with Las Vegas putting the number at a whopping 53.5 between the Buccos and Steelers.
According to the Action Network, 93% of the money on this total is currently on the over. When the world zigs, we zag.
Now check out our best value plays for your daily fantasy leagues this Sunday
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.