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Old 09-04-2013, 05:06 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 1 NFL Pointspread Picks

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


THURSDAY NIGHT

DENVER 34, Baltimore 31 (+8) - Both teams weak defensively, although Denver will get some help when Von Miller returns from his six-game suspension. This one goes back and forth until the Broncos win it with a late field goal, so take the points.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS
16 (+3 1/2), Tampa Bay 14 - Maybe it's just as well that Geno Smith gets thrown in there right away (Mark Sanchez, shoulder, doubtful). Tough to go against Josh Freeman on artificial turf (12-3 against the spread as an NFL starter), but the Jets have won the last seven meetings here, also covering in all seven, and the Bucs have never won or covered against the Jets in New Jersey or New York (0-6 both ways).

New England 23, BUFFALO 10 (+11 1/2) - Who covers the spread in this one probably comes down to who wins the race to make it into the starting lineup as between Rob Gronkowski and E.J. Manuel. Not to be ignored is New England's 7-1-1 spread record in their last nine at New York State's only NFL venue. The Patriots have also won a league-high nine consecutive season openers, albeit with a rather modest 5-3-1 spread record.

PITTSBURGH 27, Tennessee 13 (+7) - The Steelers as a pass-first offense is going to take some getting used to, but at this point they don't have much of a choice. And it might actually help them cover when they're substantial favorites, as they are here.

Seattle 31, CAROLINA 24 (+3 1/2) - Cam Newton has done more than his fair share of covering as an underdog, often doing so by engineering a late, garbage scoring drive. But the Seahawks looked downright scary in the preseason, and may sprint to an early lead in the NFC West.

JACKSONVILLE 17 (+4), Kansas City 14 - Since when should a team coming off a 2-14 season be a four-point road favorite over anybody on opening day? And remember that Andy Reid lost his first four games as head coach of the Eagles.

Miami 23 (P), CLEVELAND 20 - Meet the Browns, who have won their last four over Miami but also own the NFL's longest-active Week 1 losing streak at eight games, in which they went 1-7 against the spread. Ryan Tannehill has much greater upside than Brandon Weeden, and when the Dolphins signed Mike Wallace as a free agent it gave them a huge edge over Cleveland at the wide-receiver position.

INDIANAPOLIS 24, Oakland 17 (+10) - Only twice all season a year ago did the Colts win by more than a touchdown, and one of them was a "Siesta Bowl" for the opponent (over Houston at home, to whom they have never lost at home, in the regular-season finale). And the hot weather forecast for Indiana this weekend may warrant the closure of Lucas Oil Stadium's retractable roof - a key issue because the Raiders have covered in each of their last three indoors, including running top NFC playoff seed Atlanta to a field goal last season.

Minnesota 23 (+5), DETROIT 21 - And even if the Vikings don't win outright, no way can you lay five points on a defending 4-12 team against a defending 10-6 playoff team in the following year's season opener. Lions are 8-17 straight up since their bye week in 2011 after having gone 10-2 in their dozen games prior.

Cincinnati 30 (+3), CHICAGO 20 - Cincinnati is 4-1 straight up and 4-0-1 against the spread lifetime in Chicago, whose defense figures to be porous in Brian Urlacher's absence. Natural grass doesn't seem to bother the Bengals either - they're 9-5 outright and 10-4 pointwise on it since 2011. Best bet.

NEW ORLEANS 45, Atlanta 34 (+3) - If anything, Atlanta's defense is even worse than the one that ranked twenty-something across the board - in total defense, against the run, and against the pass - in 2012; and wins in the Big Easy haven't been easy to come by for the Falcons of late: They've won only one of their last nine in bayou country. Look for Drew Brees to light it up.

Arizona 20 (+4 1/2), ST. LOUIS 13 - As usual, very few late-afternoon games in Week 1 due to CBS thinking covering tennis instead is a good idea. But picking the Rams to win their opener is definitely not a good idea: They've dropped six straight of those, with only one cover (last year, at Detroit).

Green Bay 27 (+4 1/2), SAN FRANCISCO 24 - Yes, the 49ers pulled off a regular season-postseason sweep of the Packers last year. But I say let's hold off on proclaiming Colin Kaepernick the next great thing just yet - and can defending Super Bowl runners-up really cover two in a row on opening day the following year after having covered none of the last eleven before that?

N.Y. Giants 34 (+3), DALLAS 27 - As is often the case in what the NFL has officially labeled "Kickoff Weekend," good favorites can be hard to find - if for no other reason than many Week 1 "upsets" turn out to have been anything but once the entire season is in the books. Until the Giants actually lose one in Jerry World, you have to assume that they can't, or won't (they're 4-0 there).


MONDAY NIGHT

WASHINGTON
48, Philadelphia 14 (+3 1/2) - What will prove to be worse - Chip Kelly's offense, or his defense? No light whatsoever will be shed on that question here. And not even QuiBids offers the kind of bargain that this line represents. Get your bets against the Eagles in early and often - before the oddsmakers wise up, and/or their quarterbacks start leaving the field in body bags.

SAN DIEGO 28 (+4), Houston 21 - One of the hallowed principles of betting on anything is to never bet on somebody as a favorite to do something they have never done before - and since the Texans are not only 0-4 (both ways) lifetime against San Diego, but have been outscored 115-56 therein ...


BEST BETS: CINCINNATI, NEW ORLEANS, WASHINGTON
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Last edited by Anthony; 09-04-2013 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 09-04-2013, 08:19 PM   #2
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Hope you're right about GB/SF. Can't wait!
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