There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but I have to seriously disagree after watching the NFL chase its own tail like a brain damaged rabid german shepherd all summer. The NFL desperately needs the season to start so fans will remember why they love football — because they can bet on it.
Now, anyone dropping any significant cash on the first couple of weeks of the NFL season has a problem – because it’s just not a good idea to try handicapping teams until seen them screwing up live on Sunday when it counts. Still, I was able to boast my second straight winning season, picking 57% of the games correctly and 58% of my Best Picks, so you won’t hear me complaining none. I’d be lucky to finish over .500 a third year in a row, but I’ll give it my best shot.
So let’s just take a peek at the Week 1 betting lines.
Kansas City (pick ‘em) @ Houston (MGM Mirage)
This game will be a test for the Texans. The Chiefs are pretty much average on both sides of the ball. Can the Houston offense generate some points to let their defense play aggressive. Will it all be on J.J. Watt every game like last year?
I’m taking Houston here because I do think they will play like a competitive team and I’m expecting a down year from the Chiefs.
Houston Texans 20, Kansas City Chiefs 17
Cleveland (+3.5) @ NY Jets (Westgate Superbook)
I don’t get this line. The Browns are relatively poor, but the Jets are relatively piss poor. The only decent unit that will be taking the field in this game is the Browns’ defense. Why are the Jets giving 3.5? I don’t know, but I’ll take it.
Cleveland Browns 16, New York Jets 13
Indianapolis (-2.5) @ Buffalo (Westgate Superbook)
I like Buffalo this year, but I don’t like them enough to take them against the Colts and that high powered offense. It is nice to see the Bills getting the kind of respect I think they deserve, only getting 2.5 against the Indianapolis machine.
Indianapolis Colts 24, Buffalo Bills 20
Carolina (-3.5) @Jacksonville (MGM Mirage)
I have to tell you, I like the Jaguars in this game almost enough to pick them to win outright. I’ll stick instead with having them cover, but don’t be surprised if Jacksonville finally starts a season the right way.
Carolina Panthers 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Seattle (-4) @ St. Louis (Westgate Superbook)
I love Seattle, but the Rams fight like mad and I just don’t see a cake walk here. I’ll take St. Louis to stay within a field goal of the Seahawks.
Seattle Seahawks 20, St. Louis Rams 17
New Orleans (+1) @ Arizona (5Dimes)
I don’t know what to make of either of these teams this year. The Saints look like a team in rebuild, but they still have Drew Brees under center. The Cardinals impressed last year, but won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season. I’d stay away from this game until we know more about these teams.
Arizona Cardinals 24, New Orleans Saints 21
Detroit (+2.5) @ San Diego (5Dimes)
Detroit doesn’t have the personnel on defense they used to, and they wasted that unit playing the asinine wide 9. The Lions are also a franchise that no longer believes in its quarterback and that’s never good. I don’t love the Chargers, but they’ll take care of business here.
San Diego Chargers 27, Detroit Lions 21
Tennessee (+3) @ Tampa Bay (Westgate Superbook)
Two bad teams, two rookie QBs… Who the hell knows? If you bet on this game, you should seek professional help.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23, Tennessee Titans 17
Cincinnati (-3.5) @Oakland (MGM Mirage)
Time for some fun. I like the Raiders as a team on the rise, and I think the Bengals are due for a letdown. Watch Oakland not only cover the 3.5, but win this one outright.
Oakland Raiders 24, Cincinnati Bengals 21
Baltimore (+5) @ Denver (Carbonsports.ag)
Denver still has the juice to win the AFC West, but I don’t think they’ve got what it takes to knock off the Ravens. I like Baltimore to win this one outright.
Baltimore Ravens 27, Denver Broncos 24
NY Giants (-6) @ Dallas (MGM Mirage)
The Giants met the Cowboys twice last season, and gave up 31 points both times. I bet they do it again, and I don’t think they’re ready to keep up with Dallas just yet.
Dallas Cowboys 31, New York Giants 24
Philadelphia (-3) @ Atlanta (Wynn Las Vegas)
Watch out Eagles fans, I know you’ve all already marked this one off as a win. Better check again after the gun.
Atlanta Falcons 34, Philadelphia Eagles 28
Minnesota (-1) @ San Francisco (5Dimes)
The 49ers whole defense has defected, and Minnesota is a team that is ready to take a major step forward. I like the Vikes here.
Minnesota Vikings 21, San Francisco 49ers 17
BEST PICKS OF THE WEEK
Green Bay (-6.5) @ Chicago (CG Technology)
Divisional games can be tricky, but this one isn’t. Green Bay is one of the top five teams in the NFL, and the Bears are bottom-10, if not bottom-5. Plus, Jay Cutler has only ever beaten the Packers once, and he was a lot better back then. The Bears suck. Green Bay is going to kill them. Give the measly 6.5. 16.5 would be more like it.
Green Bay Packers 31, Chicago Bears 14
Cleveland @ NY Jets o/u 40 (CG Technology)
40 points? These two teams couldn’t score 40 points combined if they played a doubleheader on Sunday. The early weeks are a good time to look at unders because teams are sloppy and don’t know what works, especially bad teams, and both of these are.
Cleveland Browns 16, New York Jets 13
Miami (-3) @Washington (CG Technology)
Miami has a stellar defense, and a capable enough offense. Washington has… nothing. I’m not kidding. Washington has a sort of running game but everyone in the league is going to overstack against it because the RacialSlurs have no passing game to fear with a quarterback who is the definition of mediocrity under center. Washington football is going to be really, REALLY horrible to watch this year. I almost feel sorry for that bunch of sycophantic homers who root for them.
Miami Dolphins 28, Washington RacialSlurs 0
Miami @Washington o/u 43.5 (CG Technology)
Did I mention the great Miami defense and the non-existent Washington offense? The only way this game gets to 40-plus points is if the Dolphins score them all themselves and they ain’t that good.