Week one was very, very bad for me. Let me explain.
First, I went 6-10 overall in my straight bet pool. Second, my loser pool pick was the Chiefs, so I’m out of that pool already.
Third, I lost every bet I made. First, I three-team combo-ed the Colts (-2.5), 49ers (-3) and Dolphins (-3). Lost two of those three games. Then, trying to make up for the early game loss, I combo-ed the 49ers and the Packers (-4.5). While I won the Packers and Dolphins, the 49ers and Colts screwed me. I should have known better than to bet on Alex Smith, especially on the road. I’m officially done doing that… until he upsets the Saints this week. Than I’ll jump back on the bandwagon.
Anyway, it is said that your best chance of beating Vegas is in week one and two, because they’re just as clueless as you are. But when you’re clueless, it makes things just as hard. Which was my problem. Hopefully I’ll do better this week. Here are my picks.
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-7)
The Cardinals survived against the Rams last week on the road, and face an even tougher challenge against a Falcons team that is coming off of a loss and will be playing its home opener. The Falcons being heavily favored is no surprise, and while their offense had its concerns last week against the Steelers, I think it will have no problem against a far worse defense in Arizona’s. I’ll take the Falcons to win and cover.
Baltimore Ravens (-2) at Cincinnati Bengals
This is one of the tougher games for me to pick this week. I think the Bengals aren’t nearly as bad as they played last week, but I’m also extremely high on the Ravens and their defense. By making the Ravens a two-point road favorite, it gives me the sense that Vegas is pretty clueless, as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bengals come out firing in their home opener, but I’m still going with the Ravens, and if they win, I think they’ll cover. I’m taking the Ravens to win and cover.
Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-14)
The Bills are who we thought they were, which is really, really bad. And while the Packers are still pretty good, their defense is pretty banged up right now. I hate taking teams to cover when they’re favored by as much as the Packers are, plus, the Packers tend to lay an egg against weak opponents, but still, I really think the Bills are that bad, so I’m taking the Packers to win and cover.
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (-8)
The Cowboys legitimately worry me after their week one loss. While I think they will beat the Bears, I don’t have any confidence in their offense. Consequently, I do like the Bears’ defense quite a bit, and I think this game will be a lot closer than the eight points the Cowboys are giving. I’m taking the Cowboys to win, and the Bears to beat the spread.
Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns (-1.5)
How the Browns are favored in this game is beyond me. Sure, they’re at home, but they just lost to Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are coming off of a very impressive victory and have a number of speedy weapons that will give the Browns fits. I don’t see any way the Browns come out of this contest on top, especially when Seneca Wallace will likely be their starting quarterback. I’m taking the Chiefs to beat the spread and win outright.
Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings (-6)
I liken this game to the Bears-Cowboys game. I like the Vikings to bounce back with a home victory, but I think it will be closer than the six points. The Dolphins’ defense is pretty solid, and should cause problems for the Vikings. Still, I think the Vikings will escape and avoid falling to 0-2. I’m taking the Vikings to win, and the Dolphins to beat the spread.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6) at Detroit Lions
This is one of two games this week I will undoubtedly be betting on. The Lions will be playing with Shaun Hill at quarterback, while the Eagles will be using Michael Vick. Advantage: Eagles. I think Vick picks up where he left off last week and torches the Lions defense. I think the Eagles will impress a lot of people with a resounding road victory over a struggling team. I’m picking the Eagles to beat the spread and win outright.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (-5)
This is another spread I don’t quite understand. Sure, the Titans looked mighty impressive in a victory over the Raiders, but the Steelers were equally impressive against a better team (at least on defense). As good as Chris Johnson is, I don’t see him getting going too well against this unit, and I also don’t see the Titans run defense than struggled against Darren McFadden doing so well against a guy like Rashad Mendenhall. I’m picking the Steelers to beat the spread and win outright.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
This is the other game I will surely be betting on this week. Sure, the Bucs beat the Browns, but their rushing defense was miserable. The Panthers’ duo of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart should have a hay day against that defense. The only thing that worries me is if John Fox gets too pass happy with the putrid Matt Moore, which he has done in the pass. Keep the ball on the ground, John, and get an easy home victory. I’m taking the Panthers to win and cover.
Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
Another clueless game, both for me and for Vegas. I don’t think the Seahawks are nearly as good as they played last week against the 49ers, but I also don’t think the Broncos are any good, period. I will likely just have to go with the home field for the Broncos and take them, but I’m not confident about it. I’m taking the Broncos to win and the Seahawks to beat the spread.
St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders (-3.5)
This game compares a lot to the Seahawks-Broncos game. But my mindset is that I think the Raiders are a step below teams like the Titans, who destroyed them last week, but still pretty far ahead of bad teams like the Rams. Couple that with the fact that they’re playing at home, and I think this is a pretty safe bet for the Raiders. I’m taking the Raiders to win and cover.
Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins
I’m staying so far away from this game it’s not even funny. We don’t know if either of these teams are as good as they played last week, and we don’t know if either is due for a letdown. If I had to guess as to which team is more likely to be the real deal, I’ll go with the Texans, but Washington being at home is the wild card. I’m not confident, but I will take the Texans to win and cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-7.5)
I know Norv Turner & Co. are notoriously slow starters to the season and that killed me last week, but I think suffering a loss as demoralizing as last weeks was will light a fire under the very talented Chargers. I also think that playing at home against a really bad Jaguars team will do wonders, and the Chargers will roll. I’m taking the Chargers to win and cover.
New England Patriots (-3) at New York Jets
I compare the Jets to the Cowboys in that they may not be as good as everyone says they are, and I think they’re in trouble. All the Jets trash talk has fired up a Patriots team that always does great when there is a fire lit under their collective butts, and this is no different. I think Bill Belichick is out to teach Rex Ryan a lesson and is going to do so with a resounding victory on Ryan’s own turf. I’m taking the Patriots to win and cover.
New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (-6)
There’s no way in hell Peyton Manning and the Colts open the season 0-2, right? The Manning-Manning combination makes this game appealing, and anything can happen. I think the Giants are a pretty good team this year and will keep this game competitive, but, again, there’s no way in hell the Colts start 0-2. I’m taking the Colts to win and the Giants to beat the spread.
New Orleans Saints (-6) at San Francisco 49ers
I’m actually a little surprised this line isn’t higher after how poorly the 49ers played last week. They were one of my sleeper picks this season, and I’ve already given up on them thanks to
Last Week: 7-9 against the spread; 6-10 in straight picks.