Sliced Spread: 2012 NFL Football Week 1 Picks and Predictions, Plus Bonus Playoffs / Super Bowl Predictions

Hey everyone! Welcome back to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications. Week 1 has really snuck up on us this year, hasn’t it? Not that I am complaining, because football is BACK baby, and so am I.

I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to come back to Inside Pulse Sports for another season of NFL picks. However, after getting some encouraging emails from a few very loyal readers — and because this has been a whole lot of fun the past two seasons — I decided to come back for the 2012 campaign.

Speaking of which, does President Obama really have to interrupt NFL kickoff and force us to have a Wednesday game? Fine, be that way.

Oh, and before I get started with the regular rigamarole, here’s a quick rundown of  my NFL Playoffs predictions along with my Super Bowl pick:

AFC Playoffs:
Patriots
Texans
Bengals
Chiefs
Ravens
Colts*

NFC Playoffs:
Bears
Giants
Saints
Niners
Packers
Lions*

*For each conference, I wanted to have one sleeper pick to squeak into the Playoffs. Would it surprise me if the Colts don’t sniff the Playoffs and the Lions find a way to squander what could be a decent season? Not at all, but sometimes you have to go against the grain a little bit, right? With that said…

Super Bowl Pick: Niners over Texans**

**Why not the Texans? After all, the AFC is wide open this season and if Houston can stay healthy on the offensive side of the ball, it just could be their year to emerge as AFC champs … before getting throttled by San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

And with all of that funny business out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of Week 1. In other words…

Onto the breakdown!

SLICED SPREAD: NFL 2011 SEASON BREAKDOWN

2011 SEASON ATS: 136-120
2011 LOCKS ATS: 28-23

2011 SEASON H2H: 171-85

2011 H2H SURVIVOR RECORD: 15-2
Losses: Weeks 5 and 10

SLICED SPREAD: 2012 NFL WEEK 1 PICKS

WEDNESDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

*LOCK IT UP: NY GIANTS (-4.5) over Dallas — The defending Super Bowl champs will kick off their season at home against one of their most hated division rivals. The Giants are not a team that usually messes around all too much, and I think they will do enough on defense to rattle Tony Romo and easily cover the spread. Yup, I don’t buy the Cowboys at all going into this season, so it will be up to them to prove me wrong. Giants win 28-17

SUNDAY:

Buffalo (+3.5) over NY JETS — I’m a lifelong New York Jets fan, but that won’t cloud my judgment here. In fact, I will actually be attending this game in person, but that STILL won’t cloud my judgment. Honestly, I don’t think the Bills are very good, but I also KNOW the Jets starting offense can’t score. Yes, the preseason means nothing come Sunday, but I can’t overlook Gang Green’s lack of firepower either. This will be ugly to watch on your HDTV screens as it will for me to see in person… Jets win 12-10

Indianapolis (+9.5) over CHICAGO — Poor Andrew Luck, having to travel to Soldier Field to play his first pro game. I’ve been hearing that line all week, and while I think the Bears will be real contenders this season and may go all the way to the NFC Championship game, something just keeps pulling me in Indy’s direction against the  spread on this one. I guess you can call it, well, Luck. Bears win 27-20

*LOCK IT UP: Philadelphia (-8.5) over CLEVELAND — The DREAM TEAM is back baby! I’m sure every Philly fan wants to just forget that moniker ever existed considering how 2011 turned out, but I will say this: If the Eagles had two more regular season games to play with last year — as has long been rumored for the future of the NFL — they just might have snuck into the Playoffs and done some serious damage, even to those destined New York Giants. Alas, that did not come to pass, but what will happen this Sunday is an emphatic Week 1 win over a clearly inferior opponent. Eagles win 31-13

*LOCK IT UP: NEW ORLEANS (-9.5) over Washington — So, anything interesting happen to the Saints this offseason? Even with all of the penalties and punishments and moral fallacies surrounding this team, last I checked they still have Drew Brees and they still play at home in a dome. Some folks think RG3 will make a real splash here and light up the scoreboard down south, but there is NO CHANCE he matches the Saints’ offense point for point. Saints win 41-20

MINNESOTA (-4.5) over Jacksonville — The Jaguars absolutely suck. Period. Vikings win 17-6

St. Louis (+9.5) over DETROIT — The Rams may not light the world on fire, and Detroit is poised for what I think will be a Playoff run. That doesn’t mean weird things don’t happen during the first week of the season, like a home scare when you least expect it. Lions win 28-21

KANSAS CITY (+2.5) over Atlanta — The Falcons aren’t the same team on the road as they are at home. Plus, I feel like this will be the year where Atlanta comes back down to reality while the Chiefs rise up to take their division. It starts on Sunday with a huge defense of home turf on the part of Kansas City. Chiefs win 24-21

*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: HOUSTON (-10.5) over Miami — As much as I love the Texans this year, I historically HATE them as heavy favorites. That being said, I watched Hard Knocks and the Dolphins looked truly laughable all preseason long. Ryan Tannehill certainly has a hot wife, but that won’t help him against the Texans’ solid defense. And since Matt Schaub is back and hungry for competition, I sense a spread cover while logic also indicates that this is the clear head-to-head survivor pick of the week. Texans win 29-10

TENNESSEE (+5.5) over New England — The Patriots suffered yet another deflating Super Bowl loss to those pesky Giants to end last season, and while Tom Brady and Co. still might be the cream of the crop in the AFC, they are simply not automatic ATS winners anymore. Chris Johnson is the key, obviously, and I think he gives the Pats’ defense fits to keep this one close by keeping Brady off the field as much as could be expected. Patriots win 28-24

San Francisco (+5.5) over GREEN BAY — The Niners’ Super Bowl campaign begins with a STATEMENT WIN at Green Bay. It is only September, after all. Niners win 29-28

Carolina (-2.5) over TAMPA BAY — I REALLY wanted to lock this one up, it’s just that I still can’t fully trust Carolina to actually put wins on the board. At least not yet. Panthers win 20-14

ARIZONA (+2.5) over Seattle — This is a tale of two teams that have a lot of question marks heading into this season. When in doubt and the spread is this low this early on in the year, I usually run with the home team, so… Cards win 14-10

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

DENVER (-1.5) over Pittsburgh — I have no doubt in my mind that Peyton Manning will be on a mission here to prove that he can come back into this league and still play at a very high level. I also feel very strongly that Manning will accomplish just that on Sunday night, even if it is against the gritty, gutsy, party-crashing Pittsburgh Steelers. I think the bigger concern for Denver will be later on in the season when Manning has a few more games — and hits — under his belt, but for this week… Broncos win 23-19

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:

BALTIMORE (-6.5) over Cincinnati — I think the Ravens and Bengals will both make the playoffs this year, but the Ravens are still the better team until Andy Dalton shows he can actually win against Baltimore. Not this week. Ravens win 26-17

OAKLAND (+0.5) over San Diego — What will it take for Norv Turner to get fired, anyway? Another slow start for San Diego, perhaps. Raiders win 20-16

That’s it for this week’s season of SLICED SPREAD.

See you next week – CB.

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