Welcome back to another season of SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.
For those of you who missed it, you can check out my regular season preview right here, which includes some quick and dirty Playoff predictions as well. The bottom line is that I personally think that the Green Bay Packers are primed to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. As we all know, however, you just never really do know what will happen as the NFL season unfolds.
Either way, it’s going to be a wild ride, and it all starts with Week 1…
Onto the breakdown!
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 1 BREKADOWN
THIS SEASON ATS: 0-0
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 0-0
H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 1 PICKS
Home teams are shown in CAPS
Point spreads shown in ().
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
GREEN BAY (-4.5) over New Orleans – I think the Packers are going to pick up where they left off and do what they do best: win big games. Drew Brees and the Saints will definitely pose a challenge to Green Bay, but Aaron Rodgers and the defending Super Bowl Champions will be too hard to overcome at home in this spot, both head to head and against the spread. Packers win 31-23
CHICAGO (+2.5) over Atlanta – I have the Falcons doing very well this year. However, Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense are much better at home than they are on the road, and this will be one of those games where the Bears do enough to out-duel Atlanta. Of course, the broken-hearted Jay Cutler could very well implode because he has no line protection, but I think that will come at another (and more crucial) time this season. Bears win 17-14
Detroit (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY – I am really not sold on either of these teams, but I do feel that if the Lions really want to make an impression that they have changed the losing culture up in Detroit, they will have to start by winning on the road against teams like Tampa that aren’t all that good. Bottom line here is I think the Lions will want this one more than the Bucs will – especially on defense – and it will show in the final score. Lions win 23-13
*LOCK IT UP: Philadelphia (-4.5) over ST. LOUIS – Do you believe the hype? In Week 1, my answer is YES. I’ll let you know how I feel later on during Weeks 10 through 17 when Vick is increasingly banged up because of the way he plays, but for now, consider me a believer in the Eagles. I see this one being a shootout in the dome that Philly winds up winning with their impressive offensive weapons clicking on all cylinders. Eagles win 32-21
CLEVELAND (-6.5) over Cincinnati – I HATE the Browns as such huge favorites, but it’s a testament to how awful I think the Bengals will be this season that I am picking Cleveland in a runaway victory here anyway. Browns win 24-6
Tennessee (+3.5) over JACKSONVILLE – Which Jaguars team will show up this week? That’s the question that I always have to ask every time for the past few years. As for the Titans, I think Chris Johnson will have a huge chip on his shoulder this week to show everyone his holdout will not hurt his effectiveness. Advantage Titans. Titans win 28-16
Pittsburgh (+2.5) over BALTIMORE – This will be a dogfight to say the least, but I can’t go against the Steelers as underdogs in many situations, including this one, as they just shine in that role. Steelers win 21-20
*LOCK IT UP: KANSAS CITY (-5.5) over Buffalo – I know the Chiefs may have an injury issue at QB, but the Bills – along with the Bengals – are just going nowhere fast this season. The Arrowhead crowd and the Chiefs’ running game will be more than enough to top Buffalo this week. Chiefs win 21-3
Indianapolis (+8.5) over HOUSTON – Peyton Manning is out indefinitely, which is why this spread sees the Texans as heavy favorites. However, Kerry Collins is no slouch, and I have a feeling the Colts will keep this one closer than most people think. Is it that unrealistic to see Indy win this one outright too? Probably, but I’ll take the points here against the spread. Texans win 28-21
ARIZONA (-6.5) over Carolina – Just like the Browns, I am not crazy about the Cardinals being big favorites. At the same time, there is no way the Panthers are ready to compete seriously just yet, especially on the road. So… Cardinals win 17-10
WASHINGTON (+3.5) over NY Giants – The Giants did absolutely nothing this offseason to better their team, and they also did absolutely nothing this preseason to make me think they are ready for this road game against a division rival. Even if the G-Men survive this one, they aren’t going to win by more than a field goal, so I am very confident in taking the points already. I’ll go one step further and say the ‘Skins win, just so that Rex Grossman can brag to the world how amazing he is during the post-game media session. Redskins win 24-23
Seattle (+5.5) over SAN FRANCISCO – The Seahawks aren’t great on the road, but the Niners giving 5.5 points just doesn’t scare me away all that much. Niners win 21-17
*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: SAN DIEGO (-8.5) over Minnesota – The Chargers are going to come out swinging at home to make sure they don’t fall behind the eight ball this season. I predict big things for Philip Rivers and company this season, and it starts this Sunday. Chargers win 31-21
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
NY JETS (-4.5) over Dallas – Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of the horrific September 11th attacks, and as a native New Yorker, I know it is going to be an extremely emotional day. In terms of football, I guess it’s fitting that the NY Jets open their season at home against “America’s Team”, more formally known as the Dallas Cowboys. It’s also the battle of the twins as Rex Ryan and his brother Rob will be on opposing sides for this contest, and all of this is going to add up to one riveting main event come Sunday night. Mark Sanchez may or may not be ready to become the efficient passer and team captain the Jets need him to be this season, but he’s won some pretty meaningful games the past two years, and this one has meaningful written all over it. Therefore, my gut-feeling pick of the week is… Jets win 24-17
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
*LOCK IT UP: New England (-6.5) over MIAMI – The Patriots may not hate the Dolphins as much as they despise the Jets, but a division game is a division game, and Tom Brady will handle his business here like he normally does, by beating an inferior opponent into submission. Patriots win 38-13
DENVER (-3.5) over Oakland – I think the Broncos are a little bit better this season, while the Raiders lost a key defensive cornerstone in Nnamdi Asomugha that could set them back a bit. I would normally take the points here, but I have a feeling Denver will be fired up at home and Kyle Orton will be on a mission to quiet his critics as quickly as possible. Broncos win 26-10
That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.
See you next week – CB.
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