The Sportstradamus: Week 1 NFL Game Picks
The majority of sports picks you find online are basically useless. They’re slapped together in minutes and have no real connection to the actual outcome of the games.
So I figured I’d give you some more useless projections.
In all seriousness, I will pick the games and totals each week and compare my results to those of other writers and sports types around the internet. They’ll be listed in the “Game Picks” tab under the “Gameday” category. I just want to show you guys how a real statistician does work. . .
Notes before reading
- An’@’ symbol is listed in front of the home team.
- Game lines alter slightly based on the source.
- The winner versus the spread is listed in bold.
- I don’t advocate gambling. These picks are simply for fun (and to prove I’m better than 95 percent of “experts” at picking games).
@New Orleans 31 Minnesota 27 (+5.5)
This is going to be one heck of a game. The Superdome is going to be rocking, but if Minnesota can keep it close early, I at least like their chances to cover the spread.
@New York Giants 27 (-6.5) Carolina 13
Unfortunately for Dallas, I’m more confident about this game than almost any other. The Panthers’ defense won’t be able to stop New York.
Miami 21 (-3) @Buffalo 17
As you can see from my final 2010 standings predictions, I like Miami this season. Their running game should be enough to hold off Buffalo.
@Pittsburgh 21 (+3) Atlanta 20
Pittsburgh to win outright with Dennis Dixon starting at quarterback? You bet. In general, a team’s starting quarterback is worth about three points over the backup (granted, that is a very broad generalization). Even without Roethlisberger, the Steelers should be about even money here.
@Chicago 31 (-6.5) Detroit 24
I do like Detroit to improve this season, but their pass defense won’t be able to stop Cutler & Co., even in the Windy City.
@New England 24 Cincinnati 21 (+4.5)
Cincinnati is a fan favorite this year, so it is a little shocking to see them getting 4.5 points. Remember, lines aren’t set based on a team’s chance of winning, but rather the public’s opinion of their chances of winning.
Cleveland 21 (+3) @Tampa Bay 20
This is such a tough game to forecast. It could go either way, but I definitely like Cleveland with the points.
Denver 21 (+2.5) @Jacksonville 20
Denver should be the favorite here. I know the game is in Jacksonville, but the Jags are not a good football team.
Indianapolis 31 (-2) @Houston 27
General rule of thumb: if Peyton Manning is ever favored by less than three points, take the Colts. This one could be a shootout.
@Tennessee 17 Oakland 14 (+6)
I think Tennessee is going to cause match-up problems for Oakland, but they shouldn’t be six point favorites.
Green Bay 30 (-3) @Philadelphia 20
It may take a few weeks for Kolb to get rolling. I just can’t see Philly’s D holding Green Bay to under 24 points.
San Francisco 23 (-2.5) @Seattle 17
San Fran is the better team, although Seattle’s small, quick running backs could be useful against the Niners’ 3-4 defense. Still, I like the 49ers to start out hot.
Arizona 24 (-4) @St. Louis 13
The Cardinals lost a lot of weapons, but the fact that they are only four point favorites against a rookie quarterback is shocking to me.
Dallas 21 (-3.5) @Washington 17
Here’s the big one. I’ve already published my Game Day Manifesto for the contest. On paper, Dallas should dominate, but something tells me the ‘Skins are going to come out firing.
@New York Jets 19 Baltimore 17 (+3)
Will Baltimore test Revis? It’s probably not a great idea, even with their new wide outs. If the Jets can stop Baltimore’s running game, it will be tough for Baltimore to score.
San Diego 23 @Kansas City 20 (+4.5)
I’m down on San Diego this year and high on K.C. I do think the Chargers will end up winning the game, but a Monday nighter at a division rival on opening weekend is no easy task.
New Orleans/Minnesota OVER 48.5
New York Giants/Carolina UNDER 41
Miami/Buffalo UNDER 38.5
Pittsburgh/Atlanta OVER 37.5
Chicago/Detroit OVER 43
New England/Cincinnati OVER 44
Tampa Bay/Cleveland OVER 37
Jacksonville/Denver OVER 39.5
Indianapolis/Houston OVER 48
Tennessee/Oakland UNDER 40.5
Green Bay/Philadelphia OVER 47.5
San Francisco/Seattle OVER 37
Arizona/St. Louis UNDER 39
Dallas/Washington UNDER 40
New York Jets/Baltimore OVER 35.5
San Diego/Kansas City UNDER 45