The Gambling Gurus, our maverick duo of opinionated NFL addicts, are back. Here are their picks for the first week. Also take a look at their picks for the year.
Skins at Giants (-3.5 and 40.5)
ST: In support of my Giants pick earlier (See the preview), I see them coming out pissed and putting some points on the Skins, who will be OK, but typically take some games to hit their stride. I like the straight Giants pick.
B: I like the Champs to help the city focus on the Mets and Wall Street. False hope grows in DC. Skins.
Bengals (-1) at Baltimore (39)
ST: I liked Baltimore to sneak one out here, but since the Flacco announcement it’s hard to see the way clear. Bengals and avoid the points.
B: Baltimore is starting its third string Rookie QB. Dear Mr. Flacco, you aren’t in Delaware anymore. Bungles by a Bundle.
Jets (-3) at Dolphins (36)
ST: Jets, even in the heat. The Dolphins don’t know each other’s names, either because they’re new or because they’re senile.
B: The Jets aren’t very good and neither are the Phins, but Pennington is slick and 4 to 10 weeks from his season ending injury, and Favre really does wonder why he isn’t mowing his lawn. Phins.
Chiefs at Patriots (-16.5, 46)
ST: Chiefs to beat the spread. I think the Pats will have some trouble gelling despite the predictions of an easy return to dominance. You can always tease the Chiefs with something else (Eagles, for example) if 16.5 isn’t enough for you, but it should be.
B: Perfect game for the Pats to start their title defense. Oops. I mean to start down the road to redemption. I’ll take the under and let the points fall where they may.
Texans at Steelers (-6.5, 43.5)
ST: I have no idea what the Texans have been up to in the off season. Chances are, neither do they. Steelers until they prove otherwise, or a tease of the Curtain with the Under.
B: That’s too many points! A TD at home is tasty, but real tasty is the under and Pitt as complimentary bets.
Jaguars (-3) at Titans (37)
ST: Jags, baby. Take the 3 points before they’re getting saddled with huge spreads. Stay away from the points as the Titans have a knack of keeping the score low even when it shouldn’t be.
B: Ditto. Sort of. I’m staying away from this one. Oh OK. Tease the Jags w/ Under.
Lions (-3) at Falcons (41)
ST: Nice of the league to pit these guys against one another, creating the only drama in their schedules. Between two forlorn teams, give me the home dog. Atlanta.
B: Pretty crazy that one of these two teams will be undefeated at the close of week 1. It makes me warm and fuzzy to take the Falcons and I like to feel warm and fuzzy. “It is what it is.” Falcs for a C-note.
Seahawks (-1) at Bills (39.5)
ST: Bills, all the way. A pedestrian AFC team with a level-headed quarterback should be more than enough to beat the best of the NFC West.
B: Despite all the ridicule heaped on the NFC West in this column, the Hawks are a good team. Good QB and a very good D. The Bills may be a good team. May have a good QB and may have a very good D. But they do have a very good runner, and a great return game. The short field and jet lag tilt this into the Bills column. The Hawks will go 7-1 at home and 3-5 on the road. This is one of the 5. Bills, all the way.
Rams at Eagles (-7, 44.5)
ST: The Eagles are going to live up to the lavish predictions of the cognoscenti, this week anyway. The Rams don’t look like they’ve been able to reload in the off season. 7 is steep, and don’t go near it if the line creeps any higher. Wouldn’t be the first game I bet this year.
B: Eagles will run and pass and sack all over the poor Rams. Stephen Jackson is not nearly enough.
Tampa at New Orleans (-3.5, 42.5)
ST: This brings up one of my favorite season picks. The O/U on New Orleans is 8, and I like the over plenty. Assuming the game happens in New Orleans (I’m writing on Sunday), I think an emotional and excited Saints team does pretty well.
B: NO averages 27.3 pts per game this year. Tampa averages 18.9. Take the over and Tampa separately and all you will owe is the vig.
Panthers at Chargers (-9, 42.5)
ST: I dunno. The Chargers are a lot better than the Panthers, but 9 is steep. Pick a tease, any tease or pit the Panthers against the Over. 17 Panther points gets you one side or the other.
B: Chargers start slow. They win, but probably not by 9. Tease the nine to 15 with and give the Niners below the points.
Cards (-2.5) at 49ers (41.5)
ST: A healthy Warner wins this game, and he ain’t getting any healthier than this week. Of course, betting this game might entice you to watch it, so probably best to pass.
B: Watch the Panthers play the Chargers tight and check in on this one. Small bet big tease.
Boys (-4) at Browns (48.5)
ST: The Browns are banking on a defensive front that was doing keg stands in Sigma Phi last year and their secondary doesn’t appear to have improved. Anderson likes the warm weather so they’ll still be putting up points but the Cowboys are months away from folding. 4 is steep on the road, but that’s why it’s called gambling. Drop the Over with that Chargers extra six and enjoy the airshow.
B: This one has 31-28, 28-24, 35-14 written all over it. Bet the over and root for TO to dance 3 times.
Bears at Colts (-9, 44)
ST: The Bears will be absolutely dreadful this year. They have actually managed to get worse in the off season. Really. The Colts should be healthy and plenty powerful enough to make the spread. If Manning is out, all bets are off.
B: The Colts may have the best D in the league. (I’m not kidding.) Chicago has the worst O in the league. (You know I’m not kidding.) Manning may be on the shelf or he may just hand off a bunch of times. I like this Under a lot. I like the tease of Bears and the Under just slightly worse.
Vikes at GB (-3,38.5)
ST: If the Vikings are really looking at 13-3 as some have projected, it should start here. I like the tease of Minny and the Over.
B: The people in the Bay will forgive AAAron Rogers of many sins, but losing the home opener to the Vikes is not one of them. “They tried to steal Favre, and now they beat us on opening day,” cries Chrissy Sorensdaughter. Can’t happen. Won’t happen. The Pack reaffirm there is life after Brett. GB.
Broncos (-2.5) at Raiders (41.5)
ST: I’ve read a lot about the Raiders hoping to find some reason they’ll be a surprise, but it’s tough going. The mediocre Broncos can certainly lose just about any game on their schedule, but this probably isn’t it. At less than a field goal it’s as good as it’s going to get. If you want to watch but not pin your hopes on either, just play that over – these are the defenses you’re looking for.
B: Al Davis is starting Broncos wide outs and we know how well that has worked for the Broncos. On the other hand the Broncos will be starting Bronco wideouts also. I think JMark Russel breaks a piece off this year. I also think McFadden will be this year’s Peterson. I’ll take the Black and Silver.