Welcome to Year Three of NFL picks.
Picking games against the spread is harder than it looks. Growing up in Buffalo led me to believe that the favorite teams always beat up on the underdogs, home or away. Games were won by a touchdown or three, not a fourth-quarter field goal.
Turns out that a seven-point spread is a lot. Any team getting double-digits is a team you should seriously consider picking. And those garbage time points are the ones that will often make or break your picks. Playing at home really does make a difference, but when in doubt, take the points.
I’m learning here. Even though I interned with the Buffalo News this summer, I still doubt they have any idea I make picks and keep standings along with them. It happens.
Last year’s results (we all have the same amount of ties for games that are a push):
Always Game Seven 118-119-9
The Bills start this year at the Jets, who are yet to reveal exactly what Tim Tebow’s wildcat is going to look like. The Bills’ new defensive line gets the first crack at the shirtless rain runner, and I’m taking the Bills.
Bills +2.5 at New Jersey Jets — Bills
Indianapolis +9.5 at Chicago — Colts
Philadelphia at Cleveland +8.5 — Eagles
Washington +7 at New Orleans — Redskins
New England +5.5 at Tennessee — Patriots*
Jacksonville +4 at Minnesota — Vikings
Miami +12 at Houston — Dolphins
St. Louis +7 at Detroit — Lions
Atlanta at Kansas City +3 — Chiefs
San Francisco +5 at Green Bay — 49ers
Carolina at Tampa Bay +2.5 — Panthers
Seattle at Arizona +2.5 — Seahawks
Pittsburgh +1.5 at Denver — Broncos
Cincinnati +6 at Baltimore — Bengals
San Diego +1 at Oakland — Raiders
Largest line of the season: Miami +12 at Houston (Week 1)
Other note: Tim Graham replaces Rodney McKissic in the News’ picks this year.