September 4, 2008

NFL Picks Week 1

For the second year we'll be doing a weekly against-the-spread pickoff. Each of us will pick five NFL games ATS, and we'll track our records. Hopefully we won't all lose to the Magic 8 Ball like last year.
Lines are taken from Sheridan's Odds as of the day before the games. For this week, that means Wednesday night.  
The NFL is back, baby!  For the first few weeks, remember that the goal is not to outsmart Vegas, it's to find overrated teams.

PHILADELPHIA (-7) over St. Louis - The Eagles are going to do a lot better than people think, and the Rams will do a lot worse

GREEN BAY (-3) over Minnesota - I really don't think Aaron Rogers will be that bad - certainly not as bad as Tavaris Jackson

Tampa Bay (+3) over NEW ORLEANS - The Bucs surprised some teams last year, and they just might do it again.  They certainly shouldn't be getting 3 points at New Orleans.

ATLANTA (+3) over Detroit - The Falcons aren't going to be that bad this year.  I mean, a home dog to the Lions?

MIAMI (+3) over NY Jets - I don't have a ton of faith in the Dolphins, but I have to think this line is inflated because of Brett Favre
The first week is a killer. We only know what we think we know about each team, and those opinions are likely to really change by Week 4.  That being said, Vegas also has to account for general sentiment. The whole world is on the Cleveland Browns bandwagon. If you disagree, you're probably getting 3 points from Vegas.
Arizona (-2.5) over SAN FRANCISCO - Warner v. O'Sullivan? I don't think Frank Gore can dominate enough.
PHILADELPHIA (-7) over St. Louis - There isn't much to like about St. Louis, even with Bulger and Jackson healthy.
Houston (+7) over PITTSBURGH - I have a feeling Houston will be a wild card contender this year.
MIAMI (+3) over New York Jets - I just get the feeling the Dolphins will be fired up to erase the taste from last season. No pressure.
Jacksonville (-3) over TENNESSEE - I don't expect Vince Young to progress, but I do expect Garrard to.

Jeremy & Magic 8 Ball
I have barely been following the preseason aside from the Redskins and aside from individual statistics to aid in my fantasy draft.  So unlike J-Red, I can't even profess to know what I think I know about each time, because that's nearly nothing.  Nonetheless, I'll forage on.  It seemed to work for me last year. 
Cincinnati (-1) over BALTIMORE - Rookie QB starting in his first-ever NFL game.  The Bengals might not be great, but they're no Hofstra.
Kansas City (+16) over NEW ENGLAND - Pats win, but it'll be difficult for Tom Brady to cover this huge of a spread without playing in the preseason.  Of course, this does depend on the Chiefs actually putting up points.
Arizona (-2.5) over SAN FRANCISCO - Even Leinart could beat O'Sullivan/Hill/Smith with the weapons the Cards have surrounding him on offense.
Dallas (-5) over CLEVELAND - According to Hard Knocks, the Dallas first teamers have been looking very good.  Of course, Hard Knocks made the Chiefs look presentable last year.
Washington (+4) over GIANTS - Winning at the Meadowlands in September is much easier than winning there with swirling winds in December.  And Campbell should have much more time than he had against the Panthers.
Magic 8 Ball:
I'm back to beat you all again.  That is all.  Wasn't my winning percentage at 70% or something at some point last year?
NOTE FROM JEREMY: For those of you who didn't read us last year, my trusty Magic 8 Ball picks against me on the same games that I pick.  The question posed to the Magic 8 Ball is "Will the [home team] beat the spread?"  The Magic 8 Ball beat all the human prognosticators last year.
BALTIMORE (+1) over Cincinnati - "Signs point to yes" (Ravens beating spread)
NEW ENGLAND (-16) over Kansas City - "My sources say yes." (Patriots will beat spread)
SAN FRANCISCO (+2.5) over Arizona - "Yes." (49ers will beat spread)
CLEVELAND (+5) over Dallas - "My sources say yes." (Browns will beat spread)
GIANTS (-4) over Washington - "My sources say yes." (Giants will beat spread)
A new season and a new strategy for Week 1.  This year, it's a little harder to pinpoint the best teams and the mediocre teams, but the bad teams seem pretty obvious.  So this week I'm taking all mediocre teams on the road over bad teams.  I doubt anyone actually wants to watch any of these games, unless McFadden gets some PT on Monday night. 

Cincinnati (-1) over BALTIMORE - Flacco's a rookie and he didn't even start all of preseason.  The Bengals should be good enough to take advantage. 

NY Jets (-3) over MIAMI - Favre is better than Pennington, and the same goes for the supporting casts.  Jets could be playoff-bound, Dolphins not so much. 

Detroit (-3) over ATLANTA - Having no corners is bad when facing Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, plus the coach, QB, and RB are all new to their roles at this level. 

Arizona (-2.5) over SAN FRANCISCO - JT O'Sullivan?  This isn't NFL Europe. 

Denver (-3) over OAKLAND - Jamarcus will not be able to exploit whatever issues there may be with Denver's D.

Brien - PHI, GB, TB, ATL, MIA
Jeremy - CIN, KC, ARI, DAL, WAS
Russell - CIN, NYJ, DET, ARI, DEN
Magic 8 Ball - BAL, NE, SF, CLE, NYG

9 Responses:

J-Red said...

Haha. Magic 8 Ball says Jeremy goes 0-5 in Week 1.

I think Brien and I are both on the anti-Favre wagon for at least the early season. It just seems like Favre puts a huge bullseye on the Jets in this game, a division road game, yet they're not completely up to speed. It's a bad combination for them.

Brien said...

I think Favre is a net plus for the Jets. I just feel like other bettors (and therefore Vegas) are going to overestimate his impact, which makes me go the other way.

big tuna said...

I think the Lions suck more than any of you do. (more than any of you think the Lions suck not more than any of you suck). Anyway, they take care of business in the ATL on Sunday. No doubt they score at least 4 more points than the even more hapless Falcons.

"ben" said...

Yes, four more points with two safeties, a score of 4-0.

Brien said...

Jeremy and Russell both picked all road teams.

Russell said...

I was very explicit about that. All mediocre road favorites, all quite capable of losing.

J-Red said...

Week 1, when we don't know anything. On the road, where confused teams get more confused. What could possibly go wrong?

Russell said...

Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

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