Welcome back to Paradise. May there be cocktails and dreams for everybody. Or for the rest of us, may there be parlays and last minute covers.
Sometimes it is good to know that the bookmakers are just as confused as the rest of us. This week we have 8, count ‘em road favorites. Which means that there are 8 home dogs. That used to make us drool like Eliot Spitzer after client #8 had finished.
NY Giants (-4) over Redskins (41) Opening night. I’m sorry but where are the priorities in this world. Mr. Tyree your 15 minutes are up. I do not feel the same about Eli. I’m not sure what it is but he has that ability to make plays when they matter most. 75% of the time he is average at best, and will make decisions like he was wearing Bad Idea jeans. But in the late stages of a game he has found a knack of leading the Giants down the field for a score. It hardly ever looks pretty, but it has become Eli’s masterpiece. He’s not afraid of going for broke. Archie should have named him Rocky. He may not be the prettiest, may look a little punchy, but he takes the hits, the media abuse, the Peyton comparisons, the Tiki potshots, and he still isn’t afraid to fire shots with the best. What he did in 2007 playoffs may be just a precursor to what is in store in the future. Jason Taylor may not be in full paso doble form, and the fact that the defending champion never seems to lose this game makes me feel comfortable that the Ugly Duckling comes through again. Giants 24, Redskins 14.
Jets (-3) over Dolphins (36) I think the bettors are going to get a break for the first couple weeks of the Brett the Jet era in terms of the over/under. Without Jason Taylor the Dolphin D is not the same, and I think Favre will have a few of those 3 TD / 2 INT games. That means a lot of passing, a good deal of points and more importantly, a longer game to help us on the OVER. In terms of the actual game I will take the Jets 27, Dolphins 13.
Ravens (+1) over Bengals (39) The Ravens announced that the Flying Blue Hens alum Joe Flacco will start on Sunday. I see more ducks flying than hens in this one. Senor Ocho Cinco the game starts at uno. I can’t really see the Bengals being favored on the road over anyone, so here goes, Ravens 17, Bengals 16.
Patriots (-16 ½) over Chiefs (46) Welcome back to the giant Patriot point spreads. Oops, Giant, bad choice of words. Because Tom Brady was AWOL in the preseason it may take him a while to acclimate himself back into the swing of the Pats’ offense. I predict it will take a little less time than it did for Randy Moss in 07, which was about a quarter and a half. Patriots 34, Chiefs 10. (Cross your fingers on the under).
Steelers (-6 1/2) over Texans (43 ½) I see a lot of love has been handed around for the Texans. It is much love to the bettor as the spread drops from 7 to 6 ½. Always remember to shop around and try not to get stuck with 7. Houston has improved but got a very difficult task in week 1. Steelers 31, Texans 20.
Titans (+3) over Jaguars (37) This is another toss-up and one the bookmakers threw up their arms and came down with 3 for the number. Unfortunately, some news broke about Richard Collier being shot is not good news. I am pretty sure it was Bill Cosby who said hardly anything good ever happens between midnight and dawn. I feel that this incident will play heavily on the mind and hearts of the Jags and how could it not? But, in this business it’s about winning and losing and leaving your emotions somewhere at the bottom of the ocean. Titans 23, Jaguars 20.
Lions (-3) over Falcons (41 ½) Can someone tell me the last time the Lions were a 3 point road favorite? I think it goes back to the last time we had a Democratic Convention without the Clintons. The Falcons are on the road to recovery, but the Lions will deceive their fans another year with a very good first win. Lions 27, Falcons 14.
Bills (+1) over Seahawks (39) You know this one is coming down to a last second field goal. If there is someone who feels really confident on betting this one, more power to you. If you are at a sports bar and around 3:45 you see someone glued to this game and hear his stomach rumbling as the Bills march down the field for Rian Lindell to attempt a 40 yarder, you’ll thank me for not having you bet this one. From one kicker to another, here’s hoping he makes it. Bills 20, Seahawks 17.
Bucs (+3 ½) over Saints (43) After Gustav forced the entire city of New Orleans to evacuate, it must be tough to get back to football on Sunday. I am not sure anyone can get a feel for this one. I just sense it may be a little lower scoring of a game than most think and that should favor Tampa Bay. Bucs 20, Saints 17.
Eagles (-7) over Rams (44) Once again, shop around, see if there is somewhere foolish enough to give you -6 ½, unfortunately I don’t think you will find it, but if you do you know where to reach the Commish. Rams usually are on hillside or up on mountains, and this mediocre bunch performs better indoors. Welcome to Philly, St. Louis Rams, now get the %$ #@ out and don’t make it close at the end. Eagles 27, Rams 14.
Cowboys (-4) over Browns (48 ½) My advice before selecting is watch the weather forecast. It looks like Partly Cloudy and around 75 degrees at kickoff. That makes for good passing weather. Let’s hope both of these team’s offenses can reach a total near the degree mark. I am hoping that the guy who put up the sign “T.O. has B.O.” will bring it back out of the closet. It was one of those things that anyone could have made, but only one had the sagacity to make it happen. Because of that moment of brilliance I like the Browns to score 24 points, but I like the Cowboys to put up 34. Cowboys 34, Browns 24.
Chargers (-9) over Panthers (42 ½) Unpredictable east coast team travels 3,000 miles in week one to meet the team that most think are the juggernaut this year in the NFL. Oh, and did we mention that Carolina is going to be without their best player on offense? If Ken Lucas thinks the beating he had from Steve Smith was bad, this may hurt just as much. Get in on the Chargers while Shawne Merriman can still say that he does not regret having surgery. Chargers 31, Panthers 15.
49ers (+3) over Cardinals (41 ½) Ah, for gamblers and Fantasy Football lovers only. Curl up and join 8 of your friends and watch this poor excuse for an NFL football game. Maybe if Fox got Frank Caliendo to do the whole game as Madden people would watch this and think this was an important game because John Madden is there. You know FOX will bring its worst crew there, my question is why bother? Why not just do what NBC did with badminton, soccer and some other not so important events, get a couple of good people to do the game from the tv studio. They have a dozen people talking for one hour for the pre-game show, why not get more time out of them and announce it right there in the studio. Why waste the plane tickets? We do not really need to get a pulse of the excitement in Arizona, I think most of us are smart enough to figure that one out. Unfortunately, FOX will roll out a couple of stiffs, pay for their airfare, hotel, assorted expenses, etc. and get the lowest rated game of the week. Or, I say have a couple of married announcers do the game from a sports bar and make it look it like San Francisco and see if they go home straight after the game. They could come back hours later and their wives would never know it. It would be a free pass. Eh, what do I know? Oh, 49ers 24, Cards 21.
Colts (-9) over Bears (44) – Speaking of Big John. How many times will he drool over Peyton in this one. “And, uh, and, uh you got Peyton Manning and he’s one of the greats.” “And, uh, and, uh, you got Kyle Orton who used to play football in Indiana at Purdue. And Purdue makes me hungry for turducken.” Turducken makes me hungry for an NFL fix and a Sunday Night Dungy-Peyton lovefest. Colts 28, Bears 10.
Packers (-3) over Vikings (38) Hey Look, in week one at Lambeau there will be a quarterback with a confusing R and V combination in his name. No, it’s not Brett Favre’s 12<sup>th</sup> retirement ceremony, it’s Tarvaris Jackson, and on a gimpy knee I might add. Look for the Pack to stack the box to stop the Purple Jesus. The Aaron Rodgers era officially begins with a win. Packers 24, Vikings 13.
Broncos (-3) over Raiders (41 ½) Personal note of sadness for me in this matchup: Last season, I made it through 12 weeks in a thousand people Survivor Pool; we were down to under 20 people. I took the Broncos that week, they lost 34 – 20. I lost out on about $10,000. I haven’t forgotten that and likely never will. I hope Mike Shanahan didn’t forget either. Broncos 24, Raiders 13.
So there you have it my not for profit picks for week one of the season. I am currently undefeated! That may last until Thursday night at 10 pm.