Week 1 Picks (against the spread)

 

JAX @ MIN (-3.5)

If you believe the “experts” this game might decide the number 1 pick in this year’s draft (Miami and the Browns might beg to differ).  Both marquee RB’s might carry the ball only a couple of times and both Sophomore QB’s are trying to prove that they were worthy of where they were drafted (10th and 12th overall, respectfully). Ponder looked a little better last year, Peterson will get more carries than MJD and Harvin will get more touches than Blackmon so I have a slight edge for MIN on offense. If the Viking defense plays just average they should have no problem with JAX but with that secondary anything is possible.

PICK: JAX (+3.5) (A couple Blair Walsh misses makes it closer than it should but the Vikes leave with a W)

 

IND @ CHI (-10)

I don’t think that Indy will be terrible this year but with Luck going against that Chicago defense on the road for his first start; it’s not going to be pretty. Cutler lights up that defense and Forte and Bush run wild.

 PICK: CHI (-10)

 

PHI (-9) @ CLE

The Cleveland defense was actually really good last year and I don’t see Philly putting up more than 30. Unfortunately for Cleveland fans the Browns will struggle all year to put up 21+. I see this game being surprisingly close at half before Philly pulls away at the end

 PICK: PHI (-9) (but barely)

 

BUF @ NYJ (-3)

Is anyone interested in watching this game? Didn’t think so.

PICK: BUF (+3)

 

WAS @ NO (-7)

I expect all the “RGIII is half Vick, half Peyton” talk to be put to rest after this one. There is no way Washington keeps in competitive for more than a quarter.  That atmosphere combined with an angry NO team spells bad news for RGIII’s Redskins.

PICK: NO (-7)

 

NWE (-5.5) @ TEN

If I knew that we would get the Chris Johnson of two years ago and that Jake Locker would play turnover free football, I would take the Titans here. I’m still not sure of CJ but I’m almost certain that Locker won’t protect the football. There’s a chance it’s close but only giving up 5.5 here has me leaning towards the Pats.

PICK: NWE (-5.5)

 

MIA @ HOU (-12)

If Houston can stop the MIA running game this could get ugly. I don’t see Foster having a huge game but if a healthy Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub show up it won’t make a difference.  The high line scares me but I just can’t see MIA being able to put up more than 14 points

PICK: HOU ( -12)

 

STL @ DET (-7.5)

I think STL is one of the more under-rated teams and DET is one of the more over-rated teams. You won’t be able to tell week 1 but midseason could be another story.

PICK: DET (-7.5)

 

ATL (-3) @ KC

I see this as the blowout of the week. If ATL was giving up 14 points I would still take them with no hesitation. I don’t know where Charles is at physically and the passing game is a huge question mark for KC. Matt Ryan and that passing game will be unbelievably good and the will Falcons roll.

PICK: ATL (-3)

 

SF @ GB (-5)

I have no idea how this game turns out. If Alex Smith can play like he did against New Orleans in the playoffs last year, I would take SF and the points but I don’t know if that was a blip or a trend. SF has unbelievably good weapons but if Smith can’t get them the ball it won’t matter. I have to think that the GB defense will be improved from last year and will be able to put pressure on Smith and force him to make mistakes

PICK: GB(-5)

 

CAR (-2.5) @ TB

I don’t know what the over/under is on this game but I would guess that it’s the highest this week. Both teams had terrible defenses last year and in Tampa’s case a bad offense too. Both teams have improved and could possibly contend for a playoff spot with some help. It’s my game of the week to watch (outside of the Vikes of course) and with the spread at only 2.5 it’s basically a pick ’em. Tampa’s at home so I’ll take them.

PICK: TB (+2.5)

 

SEA (-2.5) @ ARZ

It’s time to see if Russell Wilson is the real deal or a preseason fluke. I like Arizona’s weapons more than Seattle’s but if Kolb gets the start it won’t make a difference. I think ARZ is leaning towards Skelton so I like ARZ in an upset.

PICK: ARZ (+2.5)

 

PIT @ DEN (-1.5)

This is one heck of a Sunday night game; in no way would I recommend anyone bet on it because it’s so close. I still think that it will take some time for Manning to be completely on page with his WRs and the PIT defense is always going to be top 10 worthy. Part of me can’t see Manning losing his home opener for his new team but the other part of me says that logic will reign supreme.

PICK: PIT (+1.5)

 

CIN @ BAL (-6)

I think this game will be close from start to finish and that the Ravens will win, I just don’t know by how much. I could see it being decided by a field goal or by a late Dalton INT with the Bengals driving late down by 7. Since both games last year were decided by 7 and 8 points I guess I’ll take BAL

 PICK: BAL (-6)

 

SD @ OAK (-1)

Both QBs have looked awful in the preseason this year. I trust Rivers a little more than Palmer but with SD historically underachieving during the first half of the year and with Mathews out I have to go OAK.

 PICK: OAK (-1)

 

LOCKS

Getting the majority of picks against the spread is honestly pointless. You could pick with your eyes closed and still manage to get half right. The real challenge and skill is to be able to pick a select few that you are absolutely certain could win you some money (if you were in Vegas). We’ll start out with $100 imaginary dollars and see how far we get, pretend betting on three teams at 6-1 odds.

 

PRETEND BET: $20

ATL (-3)

DET (-7.5)

NO (-7)

TOTAL PAYOUT: $140

 

Have any questions or comments? Feel free to email me at [email protected] or reach me on twitter at https://twitter.com/PHowell02

Topics: Minnesota Vikings

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