Sunday, September 9, 2012
Robalini's Week 1 NFL Picks
A little note: I'm not a big fan of parlay bets. In the long run, they have a smaller payout than if you bet one-on-one each game like I prefer. I also have found the "sure" bets tend to not do that much better than ones I don't have the 100 percent conviction of. With that disclaimer attached, here's my favorite three games:
Atlanta Falcons (-3) over Kansas City Chiefs
This one, believe it or not, started as a pick 'em. The Chiefs are getting a lot of hype at the start of the season, but I don't buy it at all, even if they're at home. The Falcons, on the other hand, are a real Super Bowl contender. Note the Dirty are also a even payout and not -110, so that makes them a better value.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) over Arizona Cardinals
An even greater point spread swing, the Cards actually started favored by 2 1/2. Again, the big bettors got this right: the Seahawks have a great coach, a great and an a rookie QB who looks to be very efficient. Seattle also is an even payout and not -110.
San Diego Chargers (+1) over Oakland Raiders
Besides the Raiders home field advantage, the point spread must be due to the Charger deserved notorious rep of starting slow. But the Chargers are still a seriously talented team who should take care of a Raiders team that has had too much coaching turnover.
Here's my other six picks:
Philadelphia Eagles (-9 1/2) over Cleveland Browns
9 1/2 is a lot of points, but the Eagles are very good and the Browns aren't.
New York Jets (-3) Over Buffalo Bills
This is a tough game, but I'll take the Jets a field goal at home over a Bills team that looks like a playoff threat. The real selling point: the Jets are another even payoff team rather than -110, making this a great rate of return game. (If it isn't even payout where you bet, I advise a pass on this game.)
New Orleans Saints (-7 1/2) over Washington Redskins
This game started as Saints -11, and that would've still been a tempting bet. I love RG3, but a rookie on the road in the Superdome against the most frightening offense in football? Forget it.
Detroit Lions (-7 1/2) over St. Louis Rams
The Lions like to beat up on weaker, helpless teams. The Rams fit the bill.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1 1/2) over Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning should have a tougher time in his return to the NFL against last year's number one defense than Tim Tebow did the last time they played.
Baltimore Ravens (-7) over Cincinnati Bengals
I just don't take the Bengals seriously yet. Sorry.
Here's the games I passing and why:
Chicago Bears (-9 1/2) Indianapolis Colts
The Bears are a serious Super Bowl threat, but 9 1/2 is a lot of points, and before I give those points to the Colts, I want to see just how good Andrew Luck is. (My guess is he'll be, like RG3, real good from the start.)
Tennessee Titans (+5 1/2) New England Patriots
There's a lot of experts picking the Patriots to go undefeated this season and it's not an implausible scenario. Still, they looked out of sync in preseason, and 5 1/2 points are a lot on the road against a team that had a winning record last season.
Minnesota Vikings (-4) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Vikings were much better last year than their 2-14 record would suggest, and they are at home. But the Jags have MJD back, and running backs miss preseason less than other players.
Houston Texans (-13) Miami Dolphins
The Texans are my AFC Super Bowl pick, and the Dolphins look really bad. But 13 points is too much, especially against a Houston team that had real trouble last year covering big spreads.
Green Bay Packers(-4 1/2) San Francisco 49ers
The spread start with the 49ers +6 1/2, which made this a real attractive dog bet. But 4 1/2 make this a tougher sell, especially since the Packers did have an amazing track record last year covering spreads.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2 1/2) Carolina Panters
Surprisingly, the question mark here isn't Cam Newton, who I expect not to have a sophomore slump. My question is the Bucs, who ended last year with a 10-game losing streak. I think they're much better than their record last year would indicate, and want to hold off on TB games until I see just how good they are.
All bets are placed at Station Casinos:
To check Las Vegas odds, The Konformist recommends VegasInsider.com: