Every Friday in the paper, The Buffalo News publishes its football picks. And every Friday when I read the paper, I think I can do better.
Now that I’m the sports editor for a newspaper and a bona-fide blogger, I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is–or at least my pride. I’ve never picked games against the spread before, but how hard could it be? Famous last words if I suck, famous first words if I’m good.
Home teams in CAPS. Read ’em and weep.
BUFFALO (+3) over Miami
I have a hard time picking against my team, no matter how dire the situation. But is Chad Henne really the quarterback of the future for Miami? Can Ricky Williams hold up? If the Bills can prevent the big play to Brandon Marshall, they have a shot. Squish the Fish! You know that Wildcat’s about to get neutered!
NY GIANTS (-6.5) over Carolina
I like Eli, and I like Carolina’s duo ground threat. Matt Moore hasn’t been horrible in replacing Jake Delhomme, but nobody who breaks their arm playing flag football gets to win week 1 on the road, let alone get within a touchdown.
Atlanta (-2.5) over PITTSBURGH
Up on Matt Ryan, down on anyone under center for the Steelers not named Roethlisberger. Rashard Mendenhall, who?
CHICAGO (-6.5) over Detroit
Look out for Cutler to Aromashodu. I mean it. Still pretty mad at Matt Forte for killing my fantasy team last year, but Megatron wasn’t great either.
Cincinnati (+4.5) over NEW ENGLAND
I feel like I’m making a mistake here, and the fact that the Bengals are the sexy pick for the year only makes matters worse. I’m not sure if four and a half points is enough to overcome the Belichick factor, but Cinci’s my pick and I’m sticking with them.
TAMPA BAY (-3) over Cleveland
Yikes. The good news is that neither of these teams will go 0-16 this year. The bad news is one of them will “earn” a win. It looks like Josh Freeman will play, and I’ll take him over Delhomme, who passed for just 65 yards last year against the Bucs.
Denver (+2.5) over JACKSONVILLE
Not a big fan of David Garrard, and Kyle Orton actually wasn’t as bad last year as commonly believed. Demaryius Thomas could be the next Brandon Marshall.
Indianapolis (-2.5) over HOUSTON
This game gives me problems. I reallllyyy like the Texans this year, but Indi hasn’t lost much. Game could be decided by a late field goal, but I give the AFC champs the nudge.
TENNESSEE (-6.5) over Oakland (Best Bet)
I’ll settle for a clean mouth here and just say Oakland is not a good football team. Chris Johnson rolls start to finish.
Green Bay (-3) over PHILADELPHIA
Another game I’m struggling with. I like Kevin Kolb and LeSean McCoy a lot this year, but Aaron Rodgers and the Pack are just too much in the end.
San Francisco (-3) over SEATTLE
I love Mike Singletary and I love Frank Gore. Pete Carroll joined Mark McGwire this summer in the “timing is everything” Hall of Fame, but I don’t think Matt Hasselback will be on the ballot any time soon.
Arizona (-4) over ST. LOUIS
See also: “Oakland.” Even with Derek Anderson at the helm, the Cardinals have enough to spoil Sam Bradford’s debut.
Dallas (-3.5) over WASHINGTON
Washington became the only team in history last year to start the season off against six consecutive winless teams, and went just 2-4 in the process. They upgraded at QB by bringing in Donovan McNabb to replace Jason Campbell, but filling in one hole just exposes others. Dallas has the potential to be lethal this season, and I like Tony Romo to lead the ‘Boys to victory.
Baltimore (+2.5) over NY JETS
The Ravens are another team this year that I really, really like. I’m big on Joe Flacco, especially now that they added T.J. Who’syourmama. I may be looking for reasons to hate on the Jets because they’re a division opponent, but they’re banking on a QB who threw for 200 yards only four times last year and added a whopping 30 turnovers, as well as a running back who ran for only 540 yards and two TDs last season. Anquan Boldin could be on of the first receivers not to get voted off Revis Island.
KANSAS CITY (+4.5) over San Diego
Whoa! Kansas City is a slight complete reach here, but there’s something about San Diego I don’t like this year. Plus I love Jamaal Charles. I still don’t think Matt Cassel is that good, but anything can happen on Monday Night Football.
Let’s hear it. Comment below.