NFL Picks for Week 1

NFL Lines For Week 1 – NFL Football Line Week One
NFL Game Dates 9/10 – 9/11, 2006

Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total
9/10 1:00 ET Denver -4 At St. Louis 46
9/10 1:00 ET At Tennessee -2.5 NY Jets 36
9/10 1:00 ET At New England -9.5 Buffalo 41
9/10 1:00 ET At Tampa Bay -3 Baltimore 34
9/10 1:00 ET At Kansas City -2.5 Cincinnati 46.5
9/10 1:00 ET Seattle -6 At Detroit 45.5
9/10 1:00 ET At Carolina -5.5 Atlanta 39
9/10 1:00 ET Philadelphia -5 At Houston 37
9/10 1:00 ET At Cleveland -3 New Orleans 35.5
9/10 4:15 ET At Jacksonville PK Dallas 36.5
9/10 4:15 ET Chicago -3.5 At Green Bay 34.5
9/10 4:15 ET At Arizona -8 San Francisco 42.5
9/10 8:15 ET Indianapolis -3.5 At NY Giants 48

Monday Night Football Line

9/11 7:00 ET At Washington -4.5 Minnesota 35
9/11 10:15 ET San Diego -3 At Oakland 43

1) The Atlanta Falcons are better than people think.  They’re faster and tougher than last year.  They will have a pass rush and they have better depth and quality at wide receiver than they’ve had in four years.  Sure, they’ll miss Brian Finneran, but the team is focused and now has an identity that centers on Warrick Dunn and Alge Crumpler.  I like the Falcons to cover the spread and win by 3 or 4 at the Panthers today.  You can throw all of that out the window if DeShaun Foster gets off.  I like the Falcons run defense, though.  Take the Falcons and take the under. 20-17 sounds good here.

2) I’ll take another road dog…the Ravens over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  I think Steve McNair’s relationship with an elite route runner like Derrick Mason will pay huge dividends.  In effect, McNair has two safety nets: Mason and a healthy Todd Heap.  The Buccaneers cover-2 is all about those defensive linemen getting upfield to pressure the quarterback.  That approach will not be too effective with Jamal Lewis and Mike Anderson is the backfield.  Tampa’s undersized d-linemen will have to choose: pack it in to slow down Lewis and Anderson OR play to form and try to take away the passing game.  The Bucs don’t have enough offense to get ahead big and make the Ravens one dimensional.  I’ll take the Ravens and the over.

3) I am going to the Manning Bowl tonite.  If this game lives up to the hype, it will be that rare game where everyone says they were there.  Well, classic or not, I’m going.  I like the Colts experience, but I don’t like going up against Strahan, Umenyora, Arrington, Pierce, Madison, Webster, Wilson and Kiwanuka without Edgerrin James.  Peyton Manning crumbled under the pressure that my Steelers were able to bring.  The Giants are “Pittsburgh Heavy.”  They run a 4-3; they hired the Steelers former defensive coordinator; they have about 3 or 4 former Steelers on the defensive side of the ball; and, they will absolutely get tons of pressure on Manning tonite.  The biggest question for me is whether or not Eli can take a page out of Roethlisberger’s book and beat the Colts down the field with accurate, timely passes to former Steeler Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey.  I think Corey Simon could have a huge game in the middle for the Colts.  If Simon dominates, the game will go down to the wire because the Giants won’t be able to run the rock.  If Barber gets 22 carries, that should get it done.  Anything more than that and the Giants win in a walk.  Take the home dog and the under!!

4) The Cowboys are a pick ’em at Jacksonville.  The Jaguars are probably going to play without two of their elite defenders: Marcus Stroud and Mike Peterson.  Stroud and Henderson can stuff every running attack in the league.  Without Stroud, they’re still tough, but not as tough.  Peterson is a dominant LB.  They’ll miss him.  I think Julius Jones and Marion Barber will have decent games.  By the way, I like my favorite DB (Rashean Mathis) to get a couple of picks today covering Terrell Owens.  Dallas’ vaunted defense will face a stiff challenge in defending Fred Taylor (fragile, but awesome when he’s healthy) and tall receivers like Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones and Reggie Williams.  I like the Cowboys to win by four or five.  Mike Vanderjagt didn’t make the trip to Jacksonville, so I doubt the Cowboys will win by a field goal.  I like the over.

5) Give me the Chiefs over the Bengals.  That’s right.  The Chiefs over the Bengals.  I believe the addition of Ty Law to the Chiefs makes their defense considerably better.  If the Chiefs play an aggressive Cover 2 with Law and Patrick Surtain, it will be prohibitively difficult to throw against this team.  The Chiefs linebackers (Derrick Johnson and Kendrell Bell) are players and with the new scheme, the d-line should have more time to get to the passer.  Last year, I went to Buffalo and watched Larry Johnson run all over the Bills.  The Bills won the game because the Chiefs couldn’t cover Lee Evans.  The Bengals will probably win 12 or 13 games this year, but Arrowhead has to be one of the three toughest places to play in the NFL.  Take the Chiefs and the over.

In other games, I’ll take Denver, Tennessee, Seattle, the Iggles, the Saints (that’s right, the Saints), Chicago, the Cardinals, the Chargers and the Washington Foreskins.

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