Sunday, September 7, 2014

NFL Picks: Week 1

Photo courtesy of USA Today
I'm feeling great right now. There will be 13 football games on between the hours of 1 and 11:30 PM, and I'm now writing my picks column, which is always fun to do, and one of the highlights of my week.

I had a great bounce-back season last year, finishing 132-119-5 in the regular season, and 138-124-5 overall.

And I've already gotten a great sign with my opening night pick, because I got absolutely demolished with my pick on Thursday. And that's what happened last year, so it looks like I'm in for a nice year.

As always with Thursday games, I tweeted my pick because there's no use in writing a full article to talk about one game. Here's the pick:

Follow me @WilliamBotchway for these picks and much more.

Now it's time for the rest of Week 1's pick. I'm pumped, so let's get on with it.

UPSET ALERT if I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.

Saints (-3.5) over FALCONS. The Saints will still be playing in a dome, so being the road team won't have too much of an effect on them. They're also a lot better than the Falcons.

Vikings (+3) over RAMS. This is hilarious. The Shaun Hill-led Rams are not as good as the Vikings, and I'm getting points. Thank you, Vegas. UPSET ALERT.

Save a screenshot of those three sentences for when the Rams win 47-10 and Shaun Hill gets his jersey retired immediately following the game.

Browns (+7) over STEELERS. I'm higher on the Browns this season than most, and I'm also lower on the Steelers than most, so this is a perfect pick for me. Cleveland's defense should slow down Pittsburgh just enough to keep this game relatively close.

Jaguars (+10.5) over EAGLES. Jacksonville's offense is going to be horrible, but the defense is actually pretty good, which matches up well enough with the offensive-centric Eagles that I can't bring myself to lay double digits here.

JETS (-6) over Raiders. I have my Jets in the playoffs this year, The put it lightly, I don't have the Raiders anywhere near the playoffs. In fact, they're closer to the CFL than the postseason. I'm excited to see what Derek Carr can do, but when Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are bearing down on him every play, it's going to be a tough day.

RAVENS (-1) over Bengals. All signs point to the Bengals winning this game. They're the better team overall, and the Ravens will be without their top corner and an established running back.

But you know what?

In a relatively even divisional matchup, my strategy always has been and always will be, home team home team home team.

BEARS (-7) over Bills. Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall will make the Bills regret the fact that they didn't care to replace Jairus Byrd this offseason.

Washington Professional Football Team (+3) over TEXANS. I would even lay points with Washington in this game. I have absolutely no hesitations about this one. Washington's offense is going to have a great year, and this game will be an interesting test. UPSET ALERT

CHIEFS (-3.5) over Titans. This week's "I'm going with the home team because I don't know what else to do" pick: the Kansas City Chiefs.

Patriots (-4.5) over DOLPHINS. This pick makes me nervous, but I'm just going to have to take the better team to cover in this game. Rob Gronkowski is actually playing, at least for a week.

BUCCANEERS (-3) over Panthers. This pick might be unfair, because now the news is coming out that Cam Newton will most likely be out for this game. That means that Derek Anderson will be starting for Carolina.

I believe that if I were making this pick at 3:30, the line will be something like Bucs -7.

Cam is the best playmaker on that offense, and without him, they will struggle to score against this very talented Bucs defense.

49ers (-4) over COWBOYS. The Cowboys defense is an abomination, so I expect the Niners to fully take advantage of this in what should be a shootout.

BRONCOS (-8) over Colts. The Broncos are significantly better than the Colts, and while I know that Andrew Luck will pull off a backdoor cover because he absolutely hates me, I have a lot of confidence that the Broncos will dominate in this game.

Giants (+6.5) over LIONS. I don't really like the Giants this year, but I think they'll keep it close in this game. The Lions will want to throw it all over the yard, but the Giants' secondary is pretty good.

Chargers (+3) over CARDINALS. A depleted Cards defense will be eaten up by Philip Rivers and the Chargers. UPSET ALERT

This Week: 0-1

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