Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 1 NFL Picks

2 winning seasons in a row for me. This year, I'm going to try to pick every game. I hit Saints -4.5 Thursday barely, and I hope to keep picking winners this season.

Let's start with my three top picks as usual.

Chiefs +5.5 over Chargers
San Diego has ruled the AFC West for years, but that success usually doesn't start in the first week. Kansas City has playmakers on offense in Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe, and for a home opener, the fans have some hope for an improved season. San Diego started off last season with Oakland and struggled on Monday night before winning late. Every year they seem to start slowly before figuring it out late. Without OT Marcus McNeil and WR Vincent Jackson, this year should be no different. In front of a home crowd, look for the upset in the last game of the week.
Chiefs 24, Chargers 20

Bengals +5 over Patriots
This shapes up to be one of the best games of the week. New England is a perennial power, but Cincinnati is shaping up to be a lot better this season. The defense, which was ravaged by injuries at the end of last year, is healthy again, and they still have Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL. Terrell Owens might still have something left, he might not, but it's safe to say he's better than Laveranues Coles at this stage. Jermaine Gresham also adds an interesting athlete at tight end, making the Bengals a very well-rounded team offensively. New England can pass, but Cincinnati can slow down it down, and New England's defense has too many question marks to keep up with Chad Ochocinco, Owens, Cedric Benson, and Gresham. They could even get the road win, but somehow I think Brady pulls it out in the end.
Patriots 28, Bengals 27

Steelers +2.5 over Falcons
No Roethlisberger and no Holmes means that Pittsburgh is suddenly a home underdog week one. However, Dennis Dixon is an interesting mobile quarterback who should give Atlanta fits and be better than expected. But the bigger question is how does Atlanta score? Pittsburgh's defense is stout up front, and with Troy Polamalu healthy, the secondary should be a lot better than it was last season. The Falcons also have struggled on the road in the past few years, so facing a Steelers team in their home opener will not be easy for Matt Ryan and company. This game will be close, and it very well could be a field goal fest. Take the better team and the points.
Steelers 17, Falcons 16

Now, for the other games.
Bears (-6.5) 31, Lions 24
Colts (-2.5) 24, Texans 20
Browns (+2.5) 20, Buccaneers 17
Giants 20, Panthers (+6.5) 17
Dolphins 24, Bills (+3.5) 21
Rams (+3.5) 17, Cardinals 13
Jaguars (-2.5) 24 , Broncos 20
Titans (-6.5) 28, Raiders 17
49ers (-3.5) 20, Seahawks 14
Packers 20, Eagles (+4) 17
Cowboys (-3.5) 21, Redskins 14