You want easy money? Just take however much money you plan on gambling this week, split it 16 ways and bet against all my picks. You'll grind a steady, reliable profit.
6-10 last week, which means if you'd followed the advice above, and bet, say, $100 against my every pick, you'd have come out about $350 ahead. That adds up, you know?
Raiders (+3) over CHIEFS
When in doubt, take the points. I still don't trust the Chiefs at all.
FLAMING THUMBTACKS (-7) over Texans
Last week the Texans served notice that they might really, really suck (partly because I'm still not a Jets believer) and the Flaming Thumbtacks served notice they're good enough to battle the Steelers to a draw. I know I'd happily lay 7 if the Steelers were at home against the Texans.
Patriots (-3.5) over JETS
Sanchez mania has gone way, way too far. When the line came out as Patriots -4.5 I was ready to take the Jets, suspicious that Vegas REALLY wanted me to take the Patriots. Action came in overwhelmingly on the Jets. This makes no sense. The Patriots are better than the Jets. Sometimes I think Belichick intentionally lays stink bombs in week 1, then bets half his salary on the Patriots in week 2.
PACKERS (-9) over Bengals
I really hate to lay so many points on a bad coach, but the Bengals are so painstakingly awful in all respects.
Vikings (-10) over LIONS
I'm just going to pick against the Lions every week until about week 7 or so and then re-evaluate. They were ugly against the Saints last year, and watching Matt Stafford try to play quarterback in the NFL makes one cringe.
EAGLES (+1.5) over Saints
Quarterback notwithstanding, the Eagles are still a pretty good team, and there's some overreaction to the Saints' performance last week. You'd think everyone had forgotten that the Lions are the friggin' Lions.
FALCONS (-6) over Panthers
I'll be surprised if Delhomme throws more than 15 times. You have to think now that John Fox--who, remember his job is always on the line because Koach Koacher is openly waiting for it--is just going to hand the ball to DeAngelo Williams and DeJonathan Stewart 25 times each and hope the other team screws up. Anyway, this is an NFC South matchup, which means home team wins.
REDSKINS (-9.5) over Rams
I had the Rams down first, but two things changed my mind: I'm still feeling burned over using the same logic to pick the Rams over the Seahawks last week (do the Redskins ever beat anybody by 10 points?) and you saw how well that turned out; and the Redskins are at home while the Rams are going to a different time zone.
JAGUARS (-3) over Cardinals
The effect when a west coast team travels to the east coast is so severe it even overrides Rule 5a (always bet on the underdog in all Jaguars games).
Seahawks (+1) over 49ERS
The Seahawks are just a better team. Don't get too excited about the 49ers benefiting from the Cardinals taking last week off. The Cardinals do that a lot.
BUCCANEERS (+4) over Bills
The Bills always manage to win six games against bad opponents every year--they're reliable like that--and the Buccaneers are terrible. On the other hand, the Bills are also terrible, and their home field advantage isn't much in September; I'd happily pick the Bills over the warm-weather Buccaneers in November. But here... when in doubt, take the points.
BRONCOS (-3) over Browns
This is close again and I probably should take the points, but I think Denver's home field advantage should be enough to carry the day.
Ravens (+3) over CHARGERS
I could see strong arguments in favor of either team (The Ravens defense isn't as awesome as it used to be and Phil Rivers is one of the best in the game; the Chargers defense ain't so hot, either, and Joe Flacco is good enough). In doubt; taking points.
BEARS (+3) over Steelers
Of the 13 teams on the Steelers' schedule, two of them present by far the worst matchup for them: The Bears and the Vikings. Competent QB who likes to attack downfield; that's the kind of QB that routinely rips up the Steelers' defense, and that's without accounting for Polamalu's absence. It's just the nature of the Steelers' defensive strategy. They attack the QB and leave downfield open, figuring if the QB can get it in there, power to him. On the other side, they have a hellacious defensive line that is going to beat the daylights out of the Steelers' o-line and make a pinata out of Ben Roethlisberger. The Bears will win by double digits, probably approaching 20.
Put it this way: If the Steelers win this one, I will feel very good about their prospects of running 12-4 or 13-3 and going for the repeat. Even if the Bears win 34-13--which is likely--I won't feel that bad about the Steelers; I'll feel about the same about them, which is 10-6 or so if Roethlisberger plays most of the year. This is just a very, very bad matchup for the Steelers.
COWBOYS (-3) over Giants
BE CAREFUL! IT'S A TRAP!
The Cowboys are going to be good the first half of the year before undergoing the usual Phillips/Romo Collapse. I like them to beat the Giants at home here; the Giants are good-not-great.
DOLPHINS (+3) over Colts
I went back and forth on this one, too. If I assert that the Dolphins suck, that's great... but the Caldwell Colts, I don't have a lot of confidence in them, either, not in September when it's starting to become clear that Old Peyton Manning stays off the throttle until November (a pretty smart move, by the way). But if I pick the Dolphins, I have to believe they're better than they looked last week (they looked AWFUL last week), which means I have to believe the Falcons are awesome (and I don't). So many quandaries. In doubt; taking points.