Why wait?!? Seriously, I’m looking at the lines and I don’t want to wait any longer to make these picks. Sure, more injuries could and will occur. But they could happen to your advantage just as easily as your disadvantage. For some reason the last few years, I do really well early in the season with my NFL picks. Last season I was pretty hot all year, 62% during the regular season, and as far as against the spread I was pretty hot in the playoffs too (however I idiodically also picked the over/under in the playoffs which drug me down). So here we go, week 1 picks. I suggest to bet these now because come game day, these lines won’t be nearly as generous. 7 picks to start this season as opposed to the norm of 5.
Baltimore at Denver
I swear I read this line wrong. First of all, there aren’t many blowouts at the start of the season. You may get one or two week 1. This is the defending champs, with pretty much the same parts on offense, and an improved defense. Denver will win the game here I’m pretty sure, but there is no way they win it by more than a TD. This line should be Denver by 3.5, I can’t for the life of me understand why it’s at 8.5 and oh yeah…the Broncos likely won’t have Von Miller! Pretty vital piece to their puzzle. Take the 8.5 and run.
Cincinnati at Chicago
I can’t help but remember getting burned bad by picking against the Bears week 1 at home the last few years. Detroit in 2010 in the infamous “Calvin Johnson TD continuation”, then they blew out the Falcons in 2011, and last year they dominated the Colts. I’m pretty sure I picked against the Bears in 2 of those games, and likely all 3 (unsure about 2011 vs the Falcons). But I’m doing it again I guess now that Marc Tressman is the head coach. I think the Bears offense is going to be amazing this season with a great offensive mind having all that talent at his disposal, but that defense isn’t what it was. The Bengals have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball and I can’t help but believe they keep this one within a field goal, if not walk out with a win.
Kansas City at Jacksonville
Kansas City -3.5
Hey my first favorite of the season! As you will find out in the next few weeks, I am a big believer in the Chiefs this season. Mind you, I was last year and got humiliated. But this season, Andy Reid is a game changer, and Alex Smith will be a massive upgrade over Matt Cassel. This team has a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, but they haven’t had the right people running the show…now they do. Meanwhile the Jags are such a mess. They’ll play hard in week 1 I’m sure, but this is more so about how I believe the Chiefs are going to surprise a lot of people this season and challenge for a playoff spot. Might not get in, but they’ll be in the hunt right down to the wire.
Miami at Cleveland
Cleveland outright (+1.5)
I think this is the first time I’ve ever said to take a team outright, at least for the official pick. Like the Chiefs, I’m a big believer in what the Browns could do this season. They have put together something pretty nice in Cleveland, and while I’m still not a big Brandon Weeden guy, I do think that with Norv Turner where he should be as an OC, he can coach up Weeden enough to give them solid QB play. Richardson is a beast when he’s healthy, and that defense could be among the league’s elite this season…they’re simply LOADED with talent on that side of the ball. Tough game for a young Miami team to start with and I think the Browns take it at home.
Seattle at Carolina
I’m not a believer in the Seahawks. Now, I’m not a believer in Cam Newton either, but I’m even less of a believer in the Seahawks. East coast game which is never kind to the Seahawks (even though I believe they beat the Panthers last season in Charlotte), and this line to me suggests that Vegas wants you to take the Seahawks. The lines aren’t designed to say what they believe will happen in the game, they’re designed to get betters on both sides and sometimes they’ll bait betters into taking what appears to be an easy bet. The Seahawks are expected to be among the league elite this season, while the Panthers are somewhat of an after thought coming into this season. Don’t buy it. This is a TOUGH way for the Seahawks to start and I like the Panthers to at least keep this one really tight if not win it outright.
Tampa Bay at NY Jets
Tampa Bay -2.5
Take this and RUN!!! This is easy money. The Jets are SUCH a mess and the Bucs could easily be a playoff team in the much deeper NFC. I won’t waste much time breaking down this one, but I don’t see any area where the Jets have the advantage on the Bucs. I really believe the Bucs don’t just win this game, but they blow out the Jets.
NY Giants at Dallas
NY Giants +2.5
Its in Dallas so I guess I understand why the Cowboys are the favorites. But the Giants will remember last years opener where the Cowboys got the best of them on a national stage. Now I haven’t been a Cowboys apologist, but I have liked them better than most the last few years and do again this season. But I have the G men winning the NFC East and I believe they’ll be a much better team this season than they were last when they missed the playoffs. Better coach, better QB, Papa John’s…sorry, pick the Giants getting the points. But if you want Papa John’s I’m told they make great pizza.
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