Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions

Can you smell that??? FOooooOOOTballl is BACK!!!! Honestly not sure how anyone accomplishes anything this week - IF I were running a presidential campaign, my first order of business would be to give everyone a week off from work, school, and any other secondary activities. How's that for government policy? As we did last year, I'll make predictions every week for each game against the spread and at the end of the year hope to have more W's than L's. All lines are courtesy of 5dimes. Without further ado, the week 1 Picks...

Wednesday, September 5th (8:30 ET Kickoff)
Dallas vs. New York Giants (-4) 
This will be the fourth that the teams faceoff to kickoff the NFL season, the Cowboys have won all 3 previous matchups (1986, 1995, 2007).  In ALL three of those years, either the Giants or the Cowboys have won the Superbowl. Basically what I'm saying is - bet the Cowboys for the game - then the Giants / Cowboys to win the SB. Sorry Eagles fans, looks like it'll be another year of misery. 

Sunday, September 9th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
Indianapolis vs. Chicago (-10.5)
Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler have shown great chemistry before during their stretch in Denver together. Then Cutler got traded to the Bears and is best known for sitting out a playoff game in which he was seemingly okay. And Marshall is best known for his rap sheet off the field, most recently being stabbed by his girlfriend. Sounds like the Bears are in for a winning season. All of that being said, I still like the Bears to handle to Colts in their home opener. I'll take the Bears to beat up on what should be a subpar Colts team.

Philadelphia (-9) vs. Cleveland
The "Dog Pound" in Cleveland is usually a pretty tough place to play no matter how bad the Browns have been. Good news for the Eagles in this game - CB Joe Haden, One of the Browns 3 good players, has just been suspended for the first four games of the 2012 campaign. That means Michael Vick and Lesean McCoy are primed for big days against an already weak Browns squad. I like the Eagles to win this one - and any time Vick is surrounded by dogs - you gotta think he'll kill it. I'm just kidding - we're too old for these off-colored jokes. Take the Eagles to cruise in week 1.

New England (-7) vs. Tennessee
This looks like the type of game that I would include in every possible tease. The Patriots are Super Bowl good. The Titans have 4 WRs heading into Sunday. Shouldn't really be a question who will win this early season match up. While I like RB Chris Johnson to have a nice bounce back year - I don't see the Titans being able to compete with the Pats. I'll roll with New England in this one.

Atlanta (-2.5) vs. Kansas City
Anyone that I've talked to about fantasy football this year knows that I'm googely-eyed (not sure what that means) over the Atlanta Passing game. I've tried my best to grab some combination of Matt Ryan & Julio Jones / Roddy White in my leagues and have made some side bets involving these players for the season. With everything pointing in the right direction for Atlanta - I look for them to get off to a good start. I'm a little weary that Vegas isn't as excited about Atlanta as I am, but week 1 is usually where they are off the most - that's what I'll keep telling myself. Take the Falcons to assault the Chiefs through the air.

Jacksonville vs. Minnesota (-3.5)
There it is... the game that I will absolutely avoid watching at all costs. Thank you Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder for this dud. Take the Jags plus the points.

Washington vs. New Orleans (-10)
The first real test for RGIII should be a good one for him. I don't really trust any rookie QB - but after watching Cam Newton torch the NFL in his first two outings, maybe I'm more likely to give a play-making QB the benefit of the doubt. The Saints come into this game after a dismal offseason (see BountyGate) and can finally focus on playing the game. Drew Brees is as good a Quarterback as the league has to offer - but I have to imagine that this past year has been one of extreme highs (breaking Marino's Record) and lows (contract dispute / madden curse). I look for the Saints to pull back a bit this year and to miss the playoffs. It's not likely the Skins will win this game, but I'll take them to cover the generous spread here.

Buffalo vs. New York Jets (-1.5)
Tebow-Mania will be hitting New York this weekend. We'll finally get to see what the hype of the wildcat in Tony Sparano's offense is all about. Wait, the same Tony Sparano that led the Dolphins to a painfully boring offense? Oh sure, that should go well. The Jets have struggled to score and even made history by becoming the first team since the '79 Falcons to go the first three preseason games without a single TD. Meanwhile, the Bills have been torching opposing defenses all preseason. What's that you say? 59 points in 4 games, and a 0-4 record? No worries from this guy. I like what the Bills did this offseason (Mario Williams / brought back a lot of key offensive pieces) and for the first time in a long-long time feel like they will be relevant in December and January. I'll take the Bills to get off to a good start.

St. Louis vs. Detroit (-9) - Best Pick
Madden Curse or not, Calvin Johnson is an absolute delight to watch. He's the reason why fantasy sports are fun. You get to watch stars emerge from teams that used to be 0-16 and are now legitimate contenders in the NFC. Heading into the season the Lions, I'm not sure the Lions are ready to compete with the lofty expectations they have been given. Their offseason was spent bailing guys out of jail (Suh, Fairley, Berry 2x)- They've also been pretty banged up on the defensive side of the ball heading into this game. I like the Rams who I know very little about to cover the spread in this one. Side note: Shannon Eastin, will make NFL history when she becomes the first female to referee an NFL game. Translation: All bets are off.

Miami vs. Houston (-13.5)
Everyone been watching Hard Knocks? If so, then anyone who has knows why I'm picking against Miami in probably every matchup this year. They're awfully bad to watch as a team - and quite frankly, while he seems like a nice guy, Joe Philbin, has shown little proof that he knows what he's doing. I'm high on the Texans this year and think they have a legitimate shot to contend with the Patriots for the AFC Championship this year. I also have Arian Foster in my big money league, so take that with a grain of vegan. I'll back the Texans and lay the two touchdowns in this one.

Sunday, September 9th (4:25 ET Kickoffs)
San Francisco vs. Green Bay (-5)
This could be a preview of the NFC Championship - but most likely it wont be. How's that for hard hitting analysis? I'm like the Sanjay Gupta of sports analysis. I just tend to agree with some of the 'experts' out there that say that the 49ers will regress this year. No way that they get back to 13 wins with their schedule (Saints, Patriots, Packers, Giants, Bears, Lions, Bills) all tough out of division opponents. Yep, threw the Bills in their to make myself feel better about 2012. While I love the job Jim Harbaugh did with this team last year - I don't think to offense will be enough to contend with the potent Packers in Lambeau. Take the Packers in week 1.

Seattle (-2.5) vs. Arizona
One of the best stories of the preseason has been the emergence of 3rd round rookie QB Russell Wilson winning the starting job over the recently acquired Matt Flynn in Seattle. I've had an affinity for Wilson dating back to his Wolfpack days at N.C. State and thought he was a legitimate Heisman candidate last year until that hail mary loss to Michigan State. Now Wilson will get a chance to show that he can make it in the pros. I like his chances and I like the Seahawks to have a strong year. Meanwhile, the Cardinals are in limbo with their QB situation (John Skelton and Kevin Kolb), but somehow think they can contend for the NFC West. Sorry Cards Fans - I don't see it. Take Seattle to win by a FG in this one.

Carolina (-1) vs. Tampa Bay
To be completely honest, I bet my roommate (a HUGE Panthers fan) that the Bills would have more Wins at the end of the season than the Panthers. In making that friendly wager, I'm hoping that the Bucs will be able to revert back to the bucs of 2010 and not so much the Bucs of 2011 - a team that LOST the LAST 10 games of the season. To Tampa's credit, they added WR Vincent Jackson, RB Doug Martin, and have replaced the vacant head coach position with New Jersey's very own Greg Schiano. I like those moves a lot and with a healthy Josh Freeman, I'm going in on the Bucs bandwagon this year. So for the sake of my season long bet, and a new everything in Tampa, I'll back the Bucs in this one.

Sunday Night Football - 8:20 PM EST Start
Pittsburgh vs. Denver (straight up)
A revenge game for the Steelers who were bounced from the playoffs thanks to a miracle from Tim Tebow. With Tebow, no longer with the Broncos - they'll look to another pretty accomplished QB to take the helm in the Mile High City. Peyton Manning makes his first start since 2010 - honestly this game could go either way (that's why it's a pick em). The Broncos season could go either way. That's what's great about week 1 - I've written about 2,000 words and I still have no idea what's going to happen this year. One of my favorite fantasy plays of the year is on the Steelers - WR Antonio Brown who finished 2011 strong and has looked really really good in the preseason. I'll be rooting for him to get some touches, but ultimately how can you root against the older Manning in his first game back from a nearly career-ending Neck Surgery. I'll take the Broncos to win at home in this toss-up.

Monday Night Football - 7:00 PM EST Start
Cincinnati vs. Baltimore (-7)
Sweet, just when you thought you couldn't handle more there will be 2 Monday Night Football games to satisfy that hunger for Football. In the first of two divisional matchups, the Ravens and Bengals - 2 playoff teams from last year should provide for a solid game. The Bengals will rely on their core duo of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green to carry them again, while the Ravens are primed for another deep playoff run. They just gave Ray Rice, but losing All-Pro DE Terrell Suggs will hurt this already aging defensive unit. I like the Ravens to win the game - but the Bengals to keep this closer than a TD.

Monday Night Football - 10:15 PM EST Start
San Diego vs. Oakland (straight up)
With Ryan Mathews still looking doubtful for week 1 - the Chargers will be relying on RB Ronnie Brown to carry the load. Sounds to me like the Chargers will try to establish the passing game early and often. I doubt I'll be able to stay up for the finale of this game, so I'll just go with the better QB in this one - Phillip Rivers. Take the Chargers on the road - but more importantly don't forget the 4 cups of coffee on Tuesday Morning to help you stay awake.

Enjoy week 1 of the season! Fooootball is back!

Season Record: 0-0-0
Best Picks: 0-0-0


  1. Nice! Glad to see this back. Would love to see some fantasy analysis too.

  2. Good work my man! Where can I bet again huh