|This is what I look like on game day.|
I am. This is the year the Raiders turn it all around! Or it could just be the year where they do pretty much the same as the last few and finish 8-8. In fact, I predict the AFC West will be four 8-8 teams with tiebreakers deciding who gets to go to the playoffs. Seems like a reasonable prediction considering the Raiders have a new coach, new GM, new defensive philosophy, and new blocking scheme. The Chargers have Norv Turner and a rapidly declining Philip Rivers- their window of opportunity shut two years ago. The Broncos have Peyton Manning, who has played in a dome his entire career. Let’s see how well his body holds up to freezing in Denver. And the Chiefs? Well, they have Romeo Crennell- did we all forget what he did as coach of the Browns? Seems like a mediocre division all the way around.
As an avid gambler that actually hardly does any gambling, I’ll list my picks for as long as it’s interesting to do so. I’m using the spreads from ESPN Pigskin Pick’Em game, which may or may not match up with actual lines in Vegas. And don’t forget- I don’t really know anything, so I’m guessing I’ll finish up with roughly 50% winners, but let’s see if I can beat the odds.
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants -3.5
I’ll stick with Eli Manning at home, Giants should win this game by more than 4. Lay the points.
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears -10.5
The Bears will win, but I don’t see them winning by that large a margin. Take the Colts and the points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns +8.5
I expect the Browns to be awful once again, and I thing Philly has their defense figured out after that debacle last year. Vick and the Iggles will roll. Lay the points.
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions -8.5
The Rams are a mess. I feel bad for Sam Bradford, since we have no idea if he’s actually any good or not. Detroit will stomp them. Lay the points.
New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans +6.5
Tennessee isn’t that bad, and New England isn’t that good. The Pats have a shaky defense, so I expect this to be a shootout. The Patriots will win, but not by a touchdown. Take the points.
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs +0.5
The Chiefs at home are always a tough team to play. Take the half point and KC.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings -4.5
The Jags are a mess, and I’m going to assume that AP is back for about 15-20 carries. MJD will be a bit rusty with no training camp, so lay the points and take Minnesota.
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints -9.5
This is a tough game to call- how much are the Saints going to lose without their head coach? I think we need to wait and see with them, so I’d take the points and assume that Washington will lose a close game.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets -3.5
The Jets offense is pathetic right now. I suspect that the Tebow chants will start by the second quarter. Take the points.
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans -7.5
The Dolphins are looking to be one of the worst teams in the league yet again. Houston is many experts pick to make it to the Super Bowl. I’m not convinced they’re that good, but I am convinced they’re going to crush Miami. Lay the points.
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers -6.5
The Packers are the better team, and I expect some regression from San Fran (and Alex Smith, in particular). That being said, they have a defense and Green Bay doesn’t. Green Bay will win, but not by a TD. Take the points.
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals -1.5
Arizona spent a ton of money and draft picks to get Kevin Kolb from Philly. Then they found out that he’s terrible. Larry Fitzgerald is going to have a frustrating year yet again. Seattle will probably win outright, so I’ll gladly take the points.
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5
Carolina isn’t as good as their record last year made it seem, and their record was lousy. I’m not sold on Cam Newton as being a franchise QB, so let’s see if he puts up great numbers again this year. I’ll take Tampa and the points.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos -1.5
I think Denver will be a middling team, and the Steelers will be a good team. The good team normally wins, so I’ll take the points.
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens -6.5
The Ravens are another popular Super Bowl pick- again, I don’t think they’ll go that far, but I do think they’re MUCH better than the Bengals. Lay the points.
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders +1.5
OK, I’m a huge Raider fan, so I’m totally biased. But they’re at home on Monday night with a healthy Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer has had a chance to learn the offense. Take the points and the Raiders.
We’ll see next week how well I did. Don’t actually make these bets- that’s probably a bad idea.