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Old 09-03-2014, 05:15 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

Green Bay
24 (+6), SEATTLE 21 - The Packers have been waiting for this one for a long, long time: A chance to avenge the infamous Swan Song of the Scab Officials, who not for nothing robbed them of what would have been their fourth straight win over the Seahawks - and the Pack had won the three prior meetings by a combined 70 points. Green Bay takes control of the NFC playoff seeding race right off the bat - and that's really the only race either team need concern itself with this season, despite the narrow margins by which both won their respective divisions a year ago.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS
31, Oakland 14 (+5 1/2) - Dude, where's my Carr? Starting at quarterback for the Raiders, who not only have not won on an outdoor carpet since October 6, 2002, losing 13 in a row therein, but have been outscored a staggering 402 to 184 in the baker's dozen, with three covers, two of them coming at the same venue at which the aforementioned 2002 victory occurred (Buffalo). Oakland also hasn't beaten the Jets on the road since 1996, going 0-4 straight up and 0-3-1 against the spread. One of the few favorites who not only figure to cover on the traditionally - and this year, specifically, too - underdog-friendly opening weekend, but also one of its best bets.

PHILADELPHIA 21, Jacksonville 16 (+10) - Take the points - and it's lucky for the Eagles that Gus Bradley has seen fit to go with Chad Henne - who has fewer fantasy owners than Tim Tebow! - at quarterback instead of the 2014 draft's third overall pick, Blake Bortles; otherwise, the Jaguars would win the game outright.

PITTSBURGH 27, Cleveland 10 (+6 1/2) - Another Week 1 favorite that is a Week 1 lock, and I don't even know where to begin reeling off the reasons: First, the Browns have by far the longest-active opening-day losing streak in the NFL (nine in a row, and 1-8 against the spread); second, Cleveland's 10-28 straight-up record in September since 2003 is the league's worst over that span; and third, they have dropped ten straight in Pittsburgh (covering but twice) by a combined 270-123. Another best bet.

ATLANTA 26 (+3), New Orleans 20 - The Falcons are one of three teams this season that have a chance to become only the fifth team in the 16-game era (which could be ending soon if, believe it or not, some militant players' union members get their overall way!) to make the playoffs both the year before and the year after a season in which they finished 4-12 or worse (the other two are playing each other in Houston this week) - and they have a decent shot to pull it off if the injury pandemic that scuttled their 2013 season does not recur, plus they were taking the league's biggest jump in strength of schedule a year ago. Matt Ryan resumes his winning ways at home, where he had been 34-4 straight up in the regular season prior to last year.

New England 20, MIAMI 17 (+4 1/2) - Will the "Will he (play) or won't he" drama surrounding Rob Gronkowski ever end? And like the idea that this game is in the early time slot in hot, humid South Florida enough to take a chance on the Dolphins to at least make it five straight spread covers for the home team in this series.

BALTIMORE 30, Cincinnati 13 (+1) - Another series - and a same-division series, as in the above example - in which the home team seeks its fifth straight cover, and not only should get it, but do so as yet another favorite as a best bet in an otherwise underdog-dominated opening week.

CHICAGO 28, Buffalo 6 (+7) - And if four best bets were allowed, this would be number four: The Bills have never won in Chicago - and for good measure have been outscored by more than 19 points per game the five times they've gone there, with Buffalo also not covering in any of the quintet. And since the Bears generally, and Jay Cutler specifically, have been so, how shall we say, shaky in December, that puts added pressure on them to get off to an alert start.

Minnesota 13 (+4), ST. LOUIS 10 - Like Gus Bradley, Mike Zimmer has eschewed opening the season with his rookie quarterback - but even Matt Cassel holds a distinct class edge over Shaun Hill and the home team in this one has been trounced three straight both ways by an imposing average of 38 to 18, rounded off to the nearest point (115-53). And while this one won't be anywhere near as high-scoring or as lopsided, expect the same result.

KANSAS CITY 17, Tennessee 16 (+4) - Didn't the Chiefs just barely beat bad teams with backup quarterbacks all season last year? And Tennessee's backup won't be starting here - and the home team has covered in only one of the last six in the series so why not take the points?

Washington 20 (+3), HOUSTON 13 - You can probably make a lot of money this year betting against any AFC South team not named Indianapolis whenever they are favored to win an out-of-division game.

TAMPA BAY 17 (+1), Carolina 14 - Cam Newton sneezes (and I suppose a hairline rib fracture actually could make him sneeze) and the entire Panther world catches pneumonia. Not thrilled with the value here, but an unusual pattern does inform this series: The two teams have alternated both wins and covers at Tampa the last five years in a row, and the Panthers did win there last season. Furthermore, only Cleveland's current opening-week drought is longer than Carolina's five straight losses, of which 0-4-1 against the line.

DALLAS 31 (+5), San Francisco 24 - Tony Romo is 3-0 lifetime against the 49ers, whose defense is an absolute mess right now; and since Steve Young retired, San Fran is 23-42 straight up on artificial turf, and 17-27 indoors (presumably the roof will be closed at Jerry World).

Indianapolis 33 (+7), DENVER 27 - It can be said that Wes Welker's MDMA use at the Kentucky Derby has left the Broncos and their fans feeling anything but ecstasy (just couldn't resist!) and come to think of it their recent form against the Colts has also been a joke - a very bad one, as in six consecutive losses to them, and no covers either. The seeding race in the AFC - which is all that is seriously at issue here as Indy and Denver figure to win the AFC South and West, respectively, by open games - will waste no time in sorting itself out either, with a win by a road team giving that team a significant leg up after just one game.


MONDAY NIGHT

N.Y. Giants
24 (+5), DETROIT 17 - What? No love for a team that went 5-0 in the preseason (only the seventh time that has happened since only two, or in a few years four, teams have even played five such games in one year, dating back to 1978), even if Eli Manning didn't exactly sparkle therein? But with the NFL's premier power running game (Rashad Jennings was signed as a free agent to join Madden '12 cover adorner Peyton Hillis), Manning the Younger won't even need to sparkle this season, and the Giants have sparkled in Detroit for the longest time, not having lost there since 1983, posting five straight wins and four covers in a row, as well as in domes generally, where they are 16-7 outright and 17-6 pointwise since 2002.

San Diego 27 (+3), ARIZONA 21 - Hey, it was not that long ago that Philip Rivers had the highest passer rating in the NFL (2008), but it has been a long time since the Chargers have sent their backers away with a loss rather than a profit in the desert - as in infinitely long, in that they have never done so (4-0 against the spread, and 3-1 straight up, omitting the 2003 home game that was transferred there due to wildfires in Southern California); and assuming, as in Dallas, that the roof will be closed here too, San Diego's lucrative 22-10-1 spread record indoors going all the way back to 1992 will also come into play. So all told it will be four locks and twelve losses for favorite fanciers in an entertaining opening week.


BEST BETS: N.Y. JETS, PITTSBURGH, BALTIMORE
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Last edited by Anthony; 09-03-2014 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:32 PM   #2
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WOW! What a great preview/prediction for each game!

Packers 13 and 3?! I'll take it!

I sure hope we beat Seattle IN Seattle. it's going to be a tuff game. Big test for the Packer Defense and Offensive line.
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