September 10, 2011

What an opener! and Week 1 NFL picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

The 2011 season got out to a beautiful start with two amazing offensive displays and a crucial goal line stand with time expiring by Green Bay to keep the defending champions from having to possibly go to overtime. The only thing you can really take away from Thursday night’s slugfest is that either of those could take an honest run at the Super Bowl this year.

All lines are straight from Las Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

Pittsburgh +1 over BALTIMORE
It almost seems unfair to have a game this big for big these teams on opening weekend. The Steelers may be on the road, but are the better team in the AFC North.

TAMPA BAY (pick) over Detroit
A lot of people are on the Lions’ bandwagon, but should this line really be a pick ’em? The Bucs played hard through injuries late last year and showed how deep they are. Now they’re healthy and undervalued in this matchup.

Atlanta -2.5 over CHICAGO
The Bears overachieved last year and will underachieve this year. If you combine that two-year stretch when it’s all done, you’ll find that they’re really just an average squad with an erratic QB.

KANSAS CITY -7 over Buffalo
The Bills are going to be awful this season. The Chiefs may have a regression, but can run wild on Buffalo’s awful rush defence.

Indianapolis +9 over HOUSTON
Is Kerry Collins really that terrible? It’s not the end of the world for Indy, it’s just the end of realistic playoff hopes. Doesn’t mean they can’t cover nine points.

Philadelphia -4 over ST. LOUIS
This could be a nice upset pick, but I wouldn’t want to bet against Michael Vick and this high-flying squad on the fast track in St. Louis.

CLEVELAND -7 over Cincinnati
It’s a big number to cover for such an average squad, but let’s put it this way: Andy Dalton’s rating in Madden 12 is a mere 71 overall.

Tennessee +1 over JACKSONVILLE
By releasing starting QB David Garrard – after showing him off at a board of directors luncheon on the same day – the Jaguars have essentially thrown in the towel on this season already.

New York Giants -3 over WASHINGTON
The Giants have already been riddled by injuries on defence, but does that mean Rex Grossman can take advantage of them? Probably not.

Carolina +8 over ARIZONA
Everybody is discounting the Panthers defence and the amount of pressure on Kevin Kolb. This game should be close.

SAN FRANCISCO -5 over Seattle
Seahawks get no respect after winning a playoff game last year. I guess that’s what happens when you downgrade from Matt Hasselbeck to Tarvaris Jackson.

Minnesota +9 over SAN DIEGO
Since when do the Chargers actually play up to their potential early in the season? A win here, but won’t cover.

NEW YORK JETS -5 over Dallas
Playing the Sunday night game in New York City on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 seems pretty no-win-ish for the Cowboys.

New England -7.5 over MIAMI
The Dolphins stink and the Patriots could win it all. Enough said.

DENVER -3 over Oakland
This game starts at 10:15 p.m. on the east coast, meaning that whoever has a job isn’t going to be able to watch it. Good thing too, since it should be ghastly. The Broncos have a great record in home openers and the Raiders aren’t the same squad that swept the division last year.

This week: 1-0
This season: 1-0
Last season: 138-110-5

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