Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week One NFL Picks

Fall is here. Leaves are changing colors, the heat isn't quite as unbearable, and football season is upon us. The NFL is the most exciting sport of the year, but what makes it even more compelling is how well it conforms to sports betting.

You can bet the total number of points in a game. You can bet on a team to win the game straight up or giving or taking points. And those are just the simplest bets. Think Eli Manning will go the entire game Thursday without throwing an interception? You can get 3-to-2 odds on that in sportsbooks.

But the bread and butter of sports betting is playing the point spreads. It's what separates the men from the boys, and this season, I'm willing to offer three picks every week to throw myself at your mercy. Will I prove myself to be a handicapper you can trust? Or am I just another wanna-be who will keep writing articles anyway?

Find out after week 17.

Buffalo -1 over Seattle

Buffalo is an up-and-coming team in the AFC with Marshawn Lynch at runningback complementing a pretty good defense. Seattle is flying all the way across the country with a completely banged up wide receiving corps. Matt Hasselbeck is a very good quarterback, but he has no weapons to throw to, and the Seahawks are not as good as advertised, especially right now.

Cincinatti -1.5 over Baltimore

Cincinatti is a road favorite, but Baltimore is starting a rookie quarterback and their offense is simply atrocious. Chad Johnson might not be able to play all season, but he's in now, and Chris Perry should be an upgrade at runningback over Rudi Johnson as long as he's healthy. The Bengals have fallen out of favor, so they represent decent value, while Baltimore is simply awful.

New York Jets -3 over Miami

Call me a homer if you want, but I'm not buying Miami. They won 1 game last season, and their team is no better than it was last season. I've seen what Chad Pennington does without a lot of talent around him. It isn't that pretty. The Jets really want this game with New England and San Diego next on the schedule, and Miami simply is not a good team. I hate going against a home underdog week one in a rivalry, but I think the Jets can win 10-11 games while Miami will win 3-5. I'll give the 3.