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September 12, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
“The only monster here is the gambling monster that has enslaved your mother! I call him Gamblor, and it's time to snatch your mother from his neon claws!” --Homer Simpson
From a gambling perspective, it was a very interesting Week 1 in the NFL. The team that you could always count on to quench its thirst on the blood of the poor by mercilessly crushing weaker opponents on a weekly basis lost its leader, Tom Brady. Other favorites, the Colts and Chargers, lost to a team led by a quarterback whose best known for his “neck beard,” and a team missing their best player, respectively.
Week 1 went about as well for me as The Mighty Ducks first game against the Hawks (ya know, before Adam Banks joined the team). I even overlooked picking the Jaguars-Titans game, so that counts as a loss, but in my defense, I was at a friend’s house eating wings.
Last week: 5-11.
Lock of the week: 1-0.
Home team in CAPS
CHIEFS (-3.5) over Raiders
Was it diagnosing and treating his diabetes that made Jay Cutler look so good last week, or was it Oakland? The way the Raiders played, I think Wilford Brimley could have put up those numbers last week. One thing is for sure: the loser of this game is in no way good at football.
Titans (+1.5) over BENGALS
Vince Young is out, but that might be the best thing for the Titans. He played poorly, and his “please stop booing me, I can’t take criticism, maybe I should quit” routine has no place in football. As long as Kerry Collins isn’t too liquored-up, this should be an outright win for the underdog Titans, who still have one of the best defenses in football (as long as Albert Haynesworth plays…and actually remembers doing so), regardless of who their QB is at any time. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Colts (-2) over VIKINGS
I hope Peyton Manning hasn't been focusing too much of his time and energy on the Double Stuff Racing League.
Saints (even) over REDSKINS
I can’t in good conscious actually take the Redskins after the way they looked last week.
Packers (-3) over LIONS
The Lions allowed 34 points and 474 yards to the Falcons last week. The Packers are better than the Falcons, and have owned the Lions in Detroit for years.
PANTHERS (-3) over Bears
Are either of these teams for real? The worst part is, we probably still won’t know after this week, but if the Panthers go 2-0 pre-Steve Smith, that’s more than they could have asked for.
Giants (-8.5) over RAMS
I don’t know how, but the Rams looked worse in Week 1 than all of last year. Two quick nuggets: the Giants have been better on the road than at home the last few seasons, and the Rams went 0-11 on 3rd down in Week 1 – that is simply deplorable. The Chiefs, Rams, Lions, and Raiders should be allowed to form into one team, called the Chamionders. They would go 5-11.
Bills (+5.5) over JAGUARS
I liked the Jags as a possible Super Bowl pick at one point. Now they have lost their two starting guards and a backup guard. That’s a lot of damage to the interior of your O-Line to overcome.
BUCCANEERS (-7) over Falcons
Did anyone know that Jeff Garcia would not start due to injury this week? I don’t think it’s been mentioned on ESPN once due to Tom Brady. Despite that fact, I expect them to cover. Yes, the Falcons looked impressive in Week 1, but they were playing the Lions. This week Matt Ryan will face a real NFL defense, on the road.
SEAHAWKS (-7) over 49ers
The Seahawks should bounce back from their Week 1 loss, now that they are at home and playing a team in the NFC West. The 49ers are only slightly better than the Chamoinders.
Dolphins (+7) over CARDINALS
I might like the Cardinals to win the NFC West, but they don't deserve to be favored by 7 pts. over anyone other than the Raiders (seriously, I would struggle to get out of bed if I’d been an Oakland fan the last five years).
Patriots (+1.5) over JETS
Yes, they are missing Tom Brady, but having an advantage at 21 of the 22 starting positions should still make you the favored team.
TEXANS (-4.5) over Ravens
Like Matt Ryan and the Falcons, Joe Flacco is another rookie-QB who got a Week 1 win against a bad team at home, will now go on the road, and lose. (Note: Hurricane Ike has moved this game to Monday night. The Texas might want to watch out – now Ray Lewis is angry he is not the most dangerous hurricane in town.)
BRONCOS (+1.5) over Chargers
Brandon Marshall is back to help the Denver passing game. The Chargers are admittedly better than the Raiders, but they still let Jake Dellhomme and a Steve Smith-less Panthers team repeatedly drive down the field. It might be “lights out” for the Chargers’ Super Bowl hopes (who doesn’t love bad puns?).
Steelers (-6) over BROWNS
Dare I say after this week we might have to start the Brady Quinn watch?
COWBOYS (-7) over Eagles
The hype on the Eagles is a bit high for one win over the Rams. This week should really prove if they are going to contend for the NFC Championship or not.