NEW YORK, NY – NFL lines-makers were on the mark in what is normally an unpredictable first few weeks of kickoffs, as five games were within two points of the Vegas line and as a result, had me on the losing end of two of them. But thems is da breaks, on the way to an even 2-2 mark. Improving the record this week is the main priority and happens with today’s picks.
OVER: Hey, whadda ya know! I actually hit on the “over” play last week (ARI/STL) for what seems like the first time ever! Liking what transpired in Orchard Park last week in the Bills pocket around rookie QB E.J. Manuel, even though selecting the “under” in the game, was the presence and cool he displayed and ultimately led to three touchdowns against the Pats. This week the Panthers roll into Buffalo fresh off a tough 12-7 loss to the much heralded Seahawks who boast one of the top three defenses in the pro ranks. They still allow teams to play defense in today’s NFL? Seattle can make a very good offense look pedestrian so don’t read too much into last week’s Panther output. This one shapes up to be a track meet so put on the appropriate footwear and join in the fun by betting the OVER 43 1/2.
UNDER: Gamblers learn lessons quicker than most folk since their mistakes involve losing greenbacks and that is my feeling. The Saints, after an impressive win against Super Bowl hopeful Atlanta, hit the road to play a Tampa Bay team that lost to the frickin’ Jets last week. Red flag #1 is the Saints being instilled by favorites of only three points in the game. Red flag #2 is any total under 50 points involving the chucking-loving offense and flood gate-opening defense of the Saints arouses suspicion. This caution also comes off of a surprising under last week while the TB-Jets game was a snoozefest. The OVER looks too good–fool me once, ah… never mind, UNDER 47 1/2.
FAVORITE: The Falcons can possibly be without the services of both their top two wide receivers Julio Jones and Rowdy Roddy White for their tilt against the upstart Rams. So long as Tony Gonzalez is on the field as Matty Ice’s security blanket and the venerable Steven Jackson runs the ball with expected payback on his mind against his old employer, I would lay up to ten points in this home opener for ATL. The Rams showed up late against the Cards last week and got the W against a no-run Arizona team led by Carson Palmer. Matt Ryan is not to be confused with the former USC flunkee. FALCONS -6 1/2.
UNDERDOG: Normally, I’d rather grab a bunch of points dogs are known to get rather than the paltry few being thrown the bettor’s way in Indy-no-place, Indiana today. The Dolphins are one of my picks to reverse their fortunes this year and after a nice victory over the Browns last week despite the poor performance of RB Lamar Miller, I like them to chalk up another win against Andrew Luck & Co. MIAMI +3.
West Coast Craig, tomorrow.