The first week of the NFL is over, and there’s only one thing people care about:
The only thing I care about? I am 6-1 in my picks against the spread this season. I nailed last night’s pick, saying on Twitter, “Official prediction: Take the Jets +12.”
Going 6-1 can only mean one thing: I’m due for a crash. This week’s games are a lot harder to pick. Vegas has figured out who’s good, who stinks, and who’s somewhere in between.
I’ve gone through the lines and picked a handful of games I think are interesting. I don’t want to do every game because that seems excessive, but if you people want me to start doing that, I suppose I can do it.
San Diego is on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are 7.5-point favourites.
The Chip Kelly era is exciting. It’s so exciting that when ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio did his weekly hit on ESPN’s local Philly radio station, the first thing he talked about was which hotel Philadelphians should stay at during the Super Bowl. He was kidding, but only slightly. The Eagles looked awesome.
HOWEVER, they were playing a hobbled quarterback in RGIII. And they just barely won the game. Was that because Chip eased of the gas? Or is it because his system isn’t as good as we think? (The eased off the gas theory makes no sense. Why not put your opponent away?)
And what about the Chargers? They came out firing against the Texans and probably should have won. Which is the real Chargers?
In this case, we say take the Eagles, despite a fairly large point spread. The Eagles are good enough. And the Chargers are travelling across the country to play an early game. That’s can’t be helpful.
The tooth pick: Eagles, -7.5.
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the Eagles win by 8 points or more.)
The Bucs will stink this year.
New Orleans is on the road against the Tampa Bay Bucs, who are getting 3 points.
The Bucs are going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year. There are rumours flying that the head coach, Greg Schiano rigged the vote for the team captain so that QB Josh Freeman wouldn’t get picked. Yikes! The Saints have a good offence and much improved defence, this feels like Saints by 10, but we don’t need that many points since Vegas has the line at 3.
The lead pipe lock: Saints, -3.
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the Saints win by 3 points or more.)
Dallas is on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are 3-point favourites.
Are the Chiefs for real? I have no idea. Are the Cowboys any good? I don’t think so. They barely eeked out a win against a hapless Giants team. The Chiefs offence will be as good as the Giants’, and its defence will be better. But, the Cowboys tend to be pretty good early in the season, so one could make the case for them winning… but I will not.
The softest, least secure lock on the market: Chiefs, -3
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the Chiefs win by 3 points or more.)
San Francisco is on the road against the Seattle Seahawks, who are 3-point favourites.
I am struggling to find upset picks, but I know they’re out there, so I’m going to go with this one. The Seahawks have a great home field advantage. They hate the 49ers. They know the 49ers well. There’s a very good chance they win this game handily. But, Kaepernick seems super motivated and he posted gaudy numbers last week. The 49ers have a good defence, which will hound Russell Wilson.
The master lock: 49ers + 3
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the 49ers either win, or only lose by 3 points or less.)
Detroit is on the road against the Arizona Cardinals, who are getting 1.5 points.
This is a flawed strategy for picking games, but in search of underdogs, I’ve landed on the Cardinals. I think their defence is good enough to keep the inconsistent Matthew Stafford in check, and the offence under the guidance of Bruce Arians is good enough to win. Essentially, with a line this low, it’s a pick ’em, which makes it a stay away. But, I’m giving the slight edge to the Cardinals.
The Lock Ness Monster: Cardinals + 1.5
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the Cardinals either win, or only lose by 1 point or less.)
Denver is on the road against the New York Giants, who are getting 4.5 points.
The Manning Bowl! Always more fun in theory than in practice. Take the Broncos, give the points. Peyton Manning’s opening game performance wasn’t a fluke.
His lockness: Broncos, -4.5
(For non-gamblers like my boss Henry Blodget, that means I think the Broncos win by 5 points or more.)
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