The 2012 season was a record breaker for our picks against the spread weekly column. We finished at over 50 games above .500 for the season – a record that had some of you playing our weekly picks in your betting pools and had an email death threat for an off week. As the 2013 season gets underway, we look to continue the hot streak.
New England (-9.5) at Buffalo
E.J. Manuel has been announced the starter of this contest – if that’s of any consolation to Bills fans. A week one contest against the division rival Pats awaits the rookie signal caller. Even if Manuel is fully healthy, I like the Patriots in this contest.
New England 31, Buffalo 17
Atlanta at New Orleans (-3.5)
All logic points to this one going to Atlanta. As most of you know by now, we been successful by going against logic. The New Orleans defense is scary bad but Atlanta hasn’t sold me on their defensive prowess either. I’m taking the Saints at home in a back-and-forth contest of division rivals.
New Orleans 38, Atlanta 31
Minnesota at Detroit (-5.5)
I think a fair share of Vegas dollars will be on the Vikings with the points. That said, Christian Ponder is going to have to avoid an enormous letdown as Detroit’s front four can get after it. While I’m not sold on the Detroit offense, I think they’ll score enough to cover the 5.5.
Detroit 24, Minnesota 17
Oakland at Indianapolis (-9.5)
Terrelle Pryor gets the nod for the Raiders – which sadly is a good thing. I could see this one getting out of hand early as Andrew Luck and company looked to be in midseason form this preseason.
Indianapolis 38, Oakland 17
Tennessee at Pittsburgh (-7.5)
Pittsburgh has been one of the most polarizing teams this offseason. Some have predicted a Super Bowl run, while others have them finishing in the AFC North cellar. I think they narrowly edge out the Titans in week one but not nearly enough to cover.
Pittsburgh 24, Tennessee 23
Kansas City (-3.5) at Jacksonville
Jacksonville kicks off the Gus Bradley era at home against a popular sleeper team around the NFL in Kansas City. I’m not sold on the Chiefs being a huge sleeper but I think they are good enough to post a week one win on the road.
Kansas City 20, Jacksonville 13
Seattle (-3.5) at Carolina
I’m worried about the Panthers this season. I have to think Vegas knows something we don’t as the Seahawks outman the Panthers at almost every position. I just can’t go with the Panthers, although I’m tempted.
Seattle 30, Carolina 24
Cincinnati at Chicago (-3.5)
Cincinnati is the media darling and for good reason. If Andy Dalton can take a step forward this season – it’s conceivable that they have enough weapons around him and a solid defense to compete in the AFC. New HC Marc Trestman looks to get off on the right foot in his first head coaching stint with the Bears. I’m torn on this one, so I’m going with the home team – in my stunner of the week as many think Cincinnati will roll. The Bengals keep this one tight enough cover but can’t sneak out a week 1 victory on the road.
Chicago 27, Cincinnati 24
Tampa Bay (-3.5) at New York Jets
Geno Smith first NFL start will steal the headlines but Josh Freeman steals the show in this one. Freeman is looking to prove he’s a more than capable starter in his contract year and it starts with the hapless Jets.
Tampa Bay 30, New York 17
Miami at Cleveland (-1.5)
I think this one is decided in the trenches. Specifically, if the Browns OL can keep the Dolphins front four at bay to give Brandon Weeden time to feed Greg Little, Davone Bess, and Travis Benjamin. Josh Gordon will be serving a two-game suspension in this one – leaving me a bit weary but I think Jordan Cameron rewards fantasy owners in this one. The Browns D stifles Ryan Tannehill and Lamar Miller.
Cleveland 21, Miami 17
Green Bay at San Francisco (-4.5)
Green Bay has had an offseason to think of the beatdown Colin Kaepernick and the ‘Niners put on them to bounce them from the post-season. Revenge has been on their mind since Kaepernick ran all over the Packers defense and they’ve spent all offseason tightening up their defensive gameplan. Harbaugh and Roman will have some new wrinkles but I’m going with my Super Bowl pick – the Pack.
Green Bay 27, San Francisco 24
Arizona at St. Louis (-4.5)
The Rams are another popular sleeper pick and will be looking to prove they are legit. I really like what the Rams have done over the last two offseasons, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. I like the Rams at home in Carson Palmer’s Cardinal debut but I think Arizona keeps this one close.
St. Louis 24, Arizona 21
New York Giants at Dallas (-3.5)
I really think the Cowboys are in for an enormous letdown this season – forcing Jerry Jones to take accountability (yeah right). I like the Giants on Sunday night on the road.
New York 34, Dallas 24
Philadelphia at Washington (-3.5)
Robert Griffin comes in ready to prove he’s 100 percent – a very bad thing for Chip Kelly’s pro debut. I think this one is closer than the experts think as Chip unveils his offense to the world. The ‘Skins win but by the slimmest of margins.
Washington 28, Philadelphia 27
Houston (-4.5) at San Diego
This was a spread that really shocked me. I figured the Texans to be 8-to-9 point favorites – even on the road. That makes me overthink this contest but I’m going to avoid Vegas sucking me into this one.
Houston 24, San Diego 13