Baseball is boring in Chicago, I’m getting pumped for NFL season, more than I expected. With that in mind I’m going to try my hand at picking NFL games this season against the spread. We’ll see if I have a bright future wagering on games or not, I’m guessing not.
I’m using the opening line found on ESPN.com here. Yes, all three players pictured are former Missouri Tigers, deal with it.
Vikings at Saints (Saints -4.5)- The Dome will be rocking following the pre-game Super Bowl celebration, and the Saints should be able to win this game by a touchdown. Without Sidney Rice, the Vikings are going to have one less weapon, and I expect the Saints to bring the pressure early and often to try and abuse Favre.
Miami at Buffalo (Buffalo +2)- I spent the first few years of my life in downstate New York, but my family is from the Buffalo area, and they are all Bills fans. I too became a bit of a Bills fan, and claim them as my AFC team, I’m bad at picking favorite teams. Even though the Dolphins aren’t a high scoring team, they will be able to beat the Bills by more than two points, even if the final score is 3-0.
Detroit at Bears (Bears -7)- I think this game will be close, I also think it will be high scoring. Neither team has a secondary that inspires a ton of confidence, and I think both Cutler and Stafford can generate a few touchdowns. I’m tempted to pick the Lions straight up, but this is still a game the Bears should win, even if it comes down to a last second field goal.
Oakland at Tennessee (Titans -7)- Vince Young is one of my favorite NFL players, I just love watching him play QB, even if he really hasn’t been that good at it during his NFL career. I think Young is going to have his breakout season, and the Titans are going to be really good all year long. The Raiders might be improved, but I don’t see them staying within a touchdown this week.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh (Even)- This is a really good game, even without Big Ben. Everyone is in love with the Falcons (and who wouldn’t be, they have two Mizzou guys on their defense), and people seem to also be in love with Dennis Dixon. To me, it comes down to the fact that Troy Polamalu is healthy. He’s the best safety in football, and I’ll take my chances with him at home.
Cincinnati at New England (Patriots -6)- I know the Patriots defense is old, I know that the Bengals have a really good looking offense on paper, but I just don’t think Carson Palmer is that good anymore. Randy Moss sounds motivated this season, even if it is so he can get out of town when the season is over, and that usually means plenty of points for the Patriots.
Carolina at New York Giants (Giants -7)- The Giants are okay, but I don’t really think of them as anything special. The Panthers aren’t going to be that bad, and I think they will surprise in the first week. Enough to win? No, but I think their running game will allow them to control the clock, which will keep the score close.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay (Bucs -1)- I know the NFL schedule is automatically generated each season, but can’t Roger Goodell step in and stop games like this from happening? An over the hill, interception prone QB against an extremely raw, interception prone QB. I think a national blackout is in order.
Denver at Jacksonville (Jags -1.5)- For the first six weeks of last year I really liked Josh McDaniels, since then his team collapsed and he drafted Tim Tebow. May the bad karma continue, though I think Jacksonville is a total suckfest, which means bad karma will have to wait a week.
Colts at Texas (Texans +3)- I think the Colts are something like 15-1 all time against the Texans (all time being the eight years the Texans have been around). Bob Sanders is healthy, or at least he is right now, which means the Colts defense will actually be pretty good this week.
Arizona at St. Louis (Rams +3.5)- I’ve been against Kurt Warner being in the Hall of Fame for a long time, but this training camp I changed my mind. Somehow the Cardinals have gone from a possible Super Bowl contender to a total turd. Warner was the only big time player they really lost. Meanwhile, Sam Bradford starts his Rams’ career. I think he is just good enough to keep this game within a field goal.
Packers at Eagles (Even)- Talk about conflict. My favorite team (the Packers) against my favorite NFL player (Jeremy Maclin). The Packers historically suck in Philly, and their defense is prone to giving up the big plays that the Eagles thrive on, but my inner homer can’t ignore the Packers offense.
San Francisco at Seattle (Seahawks -1)- Forget this game, actually forget the entire NFC West. Seven wins could win that division, and none of the four teams are any good. I hope the Rams win the division.
Dallas at Washington (Redskins +3)- Donovan McNabb is a good quarterback and the Eagles were stupid to get rid of him. If I thought Albert Haynesworth was going to be awake I would pick Washington to win the division. They have some nice weapons, they have a really good QB, and I think the Cowboys are going to have a down week. That is bad news for the team that plays them next week though (sorry Bears).
Baltimore at New York Jets (Jets -3)- I know that watching Hard Knocks has made it difficult for me to see the Jets’ flaws. I’m totally in love with Rex Ryan, and I know that defense is going to kick a ton of ass. Too bad that offense needs a lot of work, and honestly, I don’t think they can win the Super Bowl with the current version of Mark Sanchez as QB. The Ravens are also a really good team: they thrive in situations where they are doubted, and Joe Flacco finally has a wide receiver to throw to.
San Diego at Kansas City (Chiefs +5.5)- I realize the Chiefs are terrible, I realize they have drafted 20 defensive tackles in a row and all of them suck, but I still don’t understand why they are the biggest underdog this week. Chiefs fans will fill up Arrowhead for this game, and I’m not sure who Phillip Rivers is throwing the ball to. The Chiefs will keep this game close.