BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!! It is FINALLY here!!! For the next 20 weeks and 21 of 22 weeks we have N.F.L. football games that MATTER!!! I’m just a LITTLE geeked about this….just a TAD! Thursday night was nice, but Sunday’s are where it’s at! I heard Bill Simmons on Colin Cowherd’s show on Thursday talking betting. Last year, I did bad and so did most people picking games because most people who pick games love the underdogs. The favorites (as always American spelling, I know I’m a rebel) really dominated last season. But I believe it was something like in the last 20 years that has only happened 3 times, and the season after the underdogs were great again. So EXPECT a good season out of me. But don’t bet what you don’t have. Bet your beer money, not your mortgage money!
Cincinnati at Baltimore
So I just went on a rant about how I’m going underdog heavy this season and pretty much go against every rule I have. In division, I normally take the dog. That’s just the rule, because divisional rivals simply play each other harder. But the Ravens favored by less than a field goal at home, I’m taking the Ravens. They’ll view this as a revenge game. It’s no longer the Steelers and the Ravens going at it for the AFC North, it’s the Ravens and the Bengals. The Bengals stole what the Ravens believe is their division in 2013, and the Ravens had a really nice offseason that should get them right back to the top in the AFC North.
Jacksonville at Philadelphia
I know Philly has a high octane offense. I know the Jags are the Jags. I get that, which is what Vegas wants you to think and put money on the Eagles. But the fact of the matter is that this is the first game of the season. The Jags went 4-4 in the 2nd half of last season and while the QB situation is going to be a work in progress, the rest of the roster is pretty solid, especially on D. This team is going to play very hard like every team does to start a season because they feel like they have a shot at the playoffs….as they should playing in the horrible AFC South!! This is a pretty easy pick to be honest.
New Orleans at Atlanta
I found this game at 3.5, which is gold. That half point is vital. So now you have a team playing at home, against a division rival, who don’t play well on the road, and the Falcons are coming off a nightmarish season and have something to prove. Love this bet. I love the Saints this season, I believe they’re a 12 win team, and may win this game. But as always it is all about the smart bet and the smart bet is taking the Falcons getting points at home.
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay -2.5
This is a lot like the Ravens/Bengals game. I don’t like betting divisional games, I don’t like taking the favorites, but you have to look at everything here. Newton is beat up entering this game. They have no proven weapons on the outside. They have big question marks on the O-line. And Tampa is going to have a great D under Lovie Smith this season. I could see the Bucs holding the Panthers to 10 points or less, and they’ll put up 14-21 despite the Panthers still having a great defense.
San Francisco at Dallas
I know Dallas is going to be awful this season. And I know that even though I have the Niners falling off this season that they’re still a very good team. But getting 4.5 points at home on week 1, against a team that is a mess off the field right now, that’s too many. This is one of those games that you look at on paper and say “the Cowboys are getting smoked. Better coach, better D, Niners in a route”. But it’s the start of the season and teams always believe they have a shot in week 1. So I’m saying the Cowboys keep this one tight, maybe even win it, and then fall apart as the season goes along.
NY Giants at Detroit
Bonus pick! I don’t normally pick over/under while doing these picks but when I came across this one I couldn’t resist. 47 for a game indoors matching two teams who have gun slingers for QB’s, I just can’t see this game staying under 50 points. The Giants are going to bounce back this season. I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs but I know that Eli Manning isn’t nearly as bad as he was last season. As for the Lions, the one thing we know they’ll be doing this season is putting up points! Eric Ebron and Golden Tate join what was already an explosive offense, and Jim Caldwell isn’t a coach who is going to limit what they can do either. The Lions might put up 40 in this game all by themselves.
Follow me on twitter @TJ_Soups