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The Sportstradamus: Week 1 NFL Game Picks

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Jonathan Bales

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).

Projected Scores

@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.

Over/Under

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

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4 Responses to The Sportstradamus: Week 1 NFL Game Picks

  1. john coleman says:

    I’ll take Minnesota, Atlanta, and Baltimore to win. I’m not talking spread, just who wins outright. I also think the Giants/Carolina game will be closer and maybe even a upset. If Carolina can run the ball it could be a long game for the Giants. One thing for sure is that Carolina can’t get down big and have to play catch up. The Giants defense was pretty bad last year, so we will see. I know taking Minnesota is a risk, but I feel they were at least two scores better than NO last year. Five turnovers and they still should have won the game. I look for Minnesota to give some cheap shots because of the way NO played them last year. There were several plays where late hits/personal fouls could have been called. It’s payback time. The only question is who takes up the slack left by the Rice injury. Traditionally Favre has been able to find new guys. Some of the games like Atlanta/Pittsburgh are really borderline. The middle of the pack teams are just hard to forecast.

  2. john coleman says:

    BTW by middle of the pack, I’m saying they are not legitimate threats to win their division. Both Pittsburgh and Atlanta could end up being wildcard teams.

  3. Not sure if this means anything (it probably doesn’t) but the Super Bowl champ has won its opener the last 10 seasons. Perhaps the momentum (couple with the fact that they often play at home) means something before their likely eventual collapse. I like the Saints simply because of the energy of the game. I think they’ll get up like 14-0 early, Minnesota will come back, and it will go down to the wire. Can’t wait though. . .football is finally back.

  4. Pingback: Five Reasons the Redskins Could Beat Dallas | Dallas Cowboys Times

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