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I am the Gridiron Great, and I have been handicapping the NFL for a number of years. I've learned the ins and outs of what it takes to beat the bookies at this game, and I know just how difficult it can be. Do you think you can beat me at my own game? Every week that you do, you'll be entered into a grand prize drawing at the end of the season for a $1,000 Oddsmaker Sportsbook account. Even if you don't beat me though, you can still collect a $100 account from Oddsmaker just by having the most picks correct amongst Cappers Info readers.
There is no greater time to try to get into this competition than right now, as every week you beat me gives you another opportunity at that big cash prize at the end of the year. Let's get started right now with my Week 1 picks…
Carolina Panthers @ New York Giants (-7): The G-Men are laying a tuddy in this game, but I'm not afraid to do so. The way you beat the G-Men is by throwing all over their questionable secondary, not trying to run at them. Who is this Matt Moore guy anyway? Gimme a break, Carolina. I'm not buying what you're selling this year. Gimme the Giants -7 on Sunday.
Miami Dolphins (-3) @ Buffalo Bills: The Fins are going to want to get off to a good start this year to prove that they are worthy of all of this hype as the upstart team in the conference. Buffalo might be the worst team in the whole league. I hate laying points on the road, especially in Week 1, but I have no choice this week. Miami -3 for me.
Atlanta Falcons @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+2): I don't know about you, but I trust this Dennis Dixon kid. Sometimes a quarterback just knows how to be a winner. Hell, Vince Young has made a career out of putting up lousy numbers but finding ways to win games. Pittsburgh's defense is healthy again, and as long as that's the case, I'm taking the boys in black and gold at home every time as underdogs. Pittsburgh +2 is my choice.
Detroit Lions (+6.5) @ Chicago Bears: The books clearly aren't as smart as I am with this one. Public perception is going to be all over the Bears, as the lowly Lions couldn't possibly win a road game in division, right? Think again. All Detroit has in this game is the better quarterback, the better running game, and the better crop of receivers, to go with the best defensive lineman on the field. That's right, Julius Peppers. I just called you out. I'm taking Detroit +6.5, though I don't think the Lions are going to need the points.
Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots (-4.5): This one's easy. How is Cincinnati scoring enough points to keep up with the Pats when all it has on the field on offense is a sideshow that is far more interested in talking about Twitter than winning games. Two months from now, the Bungals would be two tuddy dogs in this one… at least. I'm stealing New England -4.5.
Cleveland Browns (+2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Both of these teams played well down the stretch last season, but that doesn't mean that they're going to start that way. It's so hard saying, "In Jake I trust," as I hate Jake Delhomme with a passion… but I'm not laying points with Josh Freeman or anyone else that the Bucs are throwing out there. By default, I guess I'll take Cleveland +2.5
Denver Broncos (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: It's a de facto road game for the Jags, as there will clearly be more blue and orange No. 15 jerseys in the stands than there will be teal and black. Who knows if Timmy Tebow is really going to make an appearance in this one or not, but one thing is for sure, and that's that the Jags are a real mess this year. Here's hoping that Denver is at least 2.5 points less of a train wreck. Denver +2.5
Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans (-2.5): I don't put much stock in the preseason, but something is really wrong with the Indy defense. Forty points per game? C'mon guys, you should be doing better than that. The recipe is ripe for the upset, as Houston has to be tired of getting pushed around by the behemoths of the South. I'm taking Houston +2.5.
Oakland Raiders (+6.5) @ Tennessee Titans: Remember what I said about VY just finding ways to win games? I didn't say that he just finds ways to cover spreads (though it certainly felt that way at Texas). The new look Raiders might hang in this one. Going to the bank with Oakland +6.5 on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers @ Philadelphia Eagles (+3): I don't know why everyone is down on the Eagles this year. Sure, Kevin Kolb probably isn't Donovan McNabb, but the kid is capable of throwing for three bills on this defense for sure. Green Bay is trendy, and trendy teams tend to get killed by the books on a regular basis. You won't trap me, that's for sure. Philadelphia +3.
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks (+3): There's no way that the 49ers are really capable of being road favorites in division yet. I'll believe it when I see it. This is my "Alex Smith is a favorite on the road" alert. Qwest Field is still a nightmare to play at, even if the Seahawks are atrocious. Gimme Seattle +3.
Arizona Cardinals @ St. Louis Rams (+3.5): Alright kid, whatcha got? Sam Bradford makes his first start of his NFL career on Sunday, and it could be a memorable one. The Rams might not be stockpiled with talent, but it's not like Arizona is all bulked up either. Derek Anderson is your answer to replacing Kurt Warner? He couldn't even put away pretty boy Brady Quinn in Cleveland for crying out loud. By default, I'll go with St. Louis +3.5.
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) @ Washington Redskins: Remember to make your tiebreaker pick on this game! The Skins might have a new coach and a new quarterback, but they're still a joke. Name me three other guys on this starting offense. Yeah, that's right. You can't do it. Dallas is stacked and should be able to run up enough points to take this lousy team down. Dallas -3.5 is the SNF selection.
Official Week 1 NFL Lines Courtesy of Oddsmaker Sportsbook:
Carolina Panthers (+7) @ New York Giants
Miami Dolphins (-3) @ Buffalo Bills
Atlanta Falcons (-2) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Detroit Lions (+6.5) @ Chicago Bears
Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5) @ New England Patriots
Cleveland Browns (+2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Denver Broncos (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Houston Texans
Oakland Raiders (+6.5) @ Tennessee Titans
Green Bay Packers (-3) @ Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers (-3) @ Seattle Seahawks
Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) @ St. Louis Rams
Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) @ Washington Redskins