That’s right, we don’t make idle threats. Five BASG contributors will pick every NFL game against the spread this season to determine who’s the best at gambling (with nothing on the line). Feel free to make your own picks and compete against us in the comments, just don’t ask us to loan you any money because you owe your bookie a dime. Even if all you owe is a literal dime, 10 cents. None of us have any change, just a bunch of maxed-out credit cards.

Here’s the format: for the majority of these games, we’ll just give our picks. For each game that involves the San Francisco 49ers or Oakland Raiders we’ll provide an explanation for why we’re leaning one way or the other, plus we’ll do the same for one “Game of the Week.” This week’s premier non-Niner/Raider matchup is the Sunday night game between the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Let the best “Guy” win!

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants (-3.5)
**Cowboys won 24-17**
Bay Area Sports Guy: Giants
East Bay Sports Guy: Cowboys
Bay Area Stats Guy: Cowboys
Ruthless Sports Guy: Giants
Bay Area Duck Guy: Giants

Atlanta Falcons (-3) @ Kansas City Chiefs
Bay Area Sports Guy: Chiefs
East Bay Sports Guy: Falcons
Bay Area Stats Guy: Falcons
Ruthless Sports Guy: Falcons
Bay Area Duck Guy: Chiefs

Philadelphia Eagles (-9) @ Cleveland Browns
Bay Area Sports Guy: Browns
East Bay Sports Guy: Eagles
Bay Area Stats Guy: Browns
Ruthless Sports Guy: Browns
Bay Area Duck Guy: Eagles

Washington Redskins @ New Orleans Saints (-8.5)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Redskins
East Bay Sports Guy: Saints
Bay Area Stats Guy: Saints
Ruthless Sports Guy: Saints
Bay Area Duck Guy: Saints

Tennessee Titans @ New England Patriots (-5)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Titans
East Bay Sports Guy: Patriots
Bay Area Stats Guy: Titans
Ruthless Sports Guy: Patriots
Bay Area Duck Guy: Titans

Miami Dolphins @ Houston Texans (-13.5)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Texans
East Bay Sports Guy: Texans
Bay Area Stats Guy: Dolphins
Ruthless Sports Guy: Dolphins
Bay Area Duck Guy: Texans

Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (-1)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Jets
East Bay Sports Guy: Bills
Bay Area Stats Guy: Jets
Ruthless Sports Guy: Bills
Bay Area Duck Guy: Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Jaguars
East Bay Sports Guy: Vikings
Bay Area Stats Guy: Jaguars
Ruthless Sports Guy: Vikings
Bay Area Duck Guy: Vikings

Indianapolis Colts @ Chicago Bears (-11)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Colts
East Bay Sports Guy: Bears
Bay Area Stats Guy: Colts
Ruthless Sports Guy: Colts
Bay Area Duck Guy: Colts

St. Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions (-7.5)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Lions
East Bay Sports Guy: Lions
Bay Area Stats Guy: Lions
Ruthless Sports Guy: Lions
Bay Area Duck Guy: Lions

Carolina Panthers (-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Bay Area Sports Guy: Panthers
East Bay Sports Guy: Panthers
Bay Area Stats Guy: Panthers
Ruthless Sports Guy: Panthers
Bay Area Duck Guy: Panthers

Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Bay Area Sports Guy: Cardinals
East Bay Sports Guy: Cardinals
Bay Area Stats Guy: Cardinals
Ruthless Sports Guy: Seahawks
Bay Area Duck Guy: Seahawks

Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (-7)
Bay Area Sports Guy: Bengals
East Bay Sports Guy: Bengals
Bay Area Stats Guy: Bengals
Ruthless Sports Guy: Bengals
Bay Area Duck Guy: Ravens


San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders (Pick ’em)

Bay Area Sports GuyThe reason why this is a “pick ’em” is probably because nobody knows what to expect from the Raiders. They’re in the middle of the overall transition they’ve needed to make for years, but will they suffer from depth issues as a result? All I know is this iteration of the Chargers is ridiculously tiresome. Enough A.J. Smith, enough Norv Turner. It’s time for San Diego’s transition. Pick: Raiders

East Bay Sports Guy: Had the Raiders not cut DeMarcus Van Dyke, my answer might have been different. All jokes aside, the Chargers are a more complete team. Pick: Chargers

Bay Area Stats GuyMy projection system is a bit baffled that this game is a pick; in the simulations the Chargers won the game 61% of the time with an average margin of victory of 5 points. The median margin of victory came out at 3 points with the most common margin at 7 points in favor of the Chargers. This is the first iteration of my projection model, so maybe I unknowingly biased it against the Raiders. If I was going to sell you my picks this would be my gimme game that I sold as my “stone cold lock.” Pick: Chargers

Ruthless Sports Guy: The Raiders love playing under the lights, and as East Bay Sports Guy pointed out, Philip Rivers has struggled against Dennis Allen’s defense. Darren McFadden is healthy, so Oakland’s offense won’t have to rely on Carson Palmer’s arm all night. Pick: Raiders

Bay Area Duck GuyThe Raiders are obviously a new team without Al Davis and under the leadership of Dennis Allen. Oakland’s defense should be better, and Carson Palmer has now had an entire offseason to learn the offense. For some reason, the public always loves the Chargers at the beginning of every season, but they always fail. They will again Monday. Pick: Raiders


San Francisco 49ers @ Green Bay Packers (-5)

Bay Area Sports Guy: This game is about how many Green Bay drives end with field goal attempts. If the Niners keep the game close, and I think they will, the Packers will actually have to stop the run — something Green Bay’s defense wasn’t particularly good at in 2011 (4.7 ypc allowed). Pick: 49ers

East Bay Sports Guy:  I wonder how many “Guys” will make the homer-49er pick? I’m not, clearly. Given that I’m still hoping to kindle a friendship with Aaron Rodgers, I’m taking the Packers.  Pick: Packers

Bay Area Stats GuyI like the Packers to win the game but I believe that the 49ers will be able to keep it pretty close. The projected score after 10,000 simulations came out to 24.6 for the Packers against 21.0 for the 49ers. The median and mode for the winning margins was also 3 points, with the 49ers winning outright a little higher than 30% of the time. It should hopefully be a good tight game. Pick: 49ers

Ruthless Sports Guy: The 49ers are either going to win this game or lose it by more than a touchdown. Jim Harbaugh likely has a whole bunch of wrinkles, both offensively and defensively, to throw at Mike McCarthy. Something tells me that they’re due to finally win a game in Lambeau Sunday, so I’ll take the points and win regardless. Pick: 49ers

Bay Area Duck GuyI honestly expect Alex Smith to regress this year after the league has had an entire offseason to study Jim Harbaugh’s offense, and beginning the year against a blitz-happy defense won’t help. The right side of San Francisco’s offensive line is not spectacular, and that’s exactly what Clay Matthews will exploit. Plus, Aaron Rodgers is the best in the league. Pick: Packers


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos (-1)

Bay Area Sports GuyI really wanted Jags/Vikes to be our first game of the week, but I was outvoted. A vicious coup, I tell you! I thought Pittsburgh might miss the playoffs last year. I was wrong. However, a young Broncos team beat the Steelers in the postseason with Tim Tebow … they aren’t going to win at home on Sunday night with Peyton Manning? I find that very hard to believe. Pick: Broncos

East Bay Sports Guy:  This is a classic battle between unbridled nature and the encroaching industrialization. Though William Faulkner would have chosen the Steelers, I’m no Faulkner.  Pick: Broncos

Bay Area Stats GuyMy projection system actually likes the Steelers to win this game outright so being able to even take a 1 point and the chance for a push in the event of a late Payton Manning comeback makes me feel pretty good. The projected score came out to 20.2 against 20.0 favoring Pittsburg, with the Steelers winning about 52 percent of the time. It’s not a slam dunk bet but I feel pretty good especially with that extra point in my back pocket. Pick: Steelers

Ruthless Sports Guy: This game is a pick em with the line at Denver -1, and I like the Broncos to win this game handily. The Broncos offense is clicking and the Steelers offensive line will struggle against Denver’s ferocious pass rush. Pick: Broncos

Bay Area Duck GuyWe still don’t know, really, how effective the new Peyton Manning will be in Denver, but it’s really hard to bet against the guy. However, Roethlisberger has a talent for winning as the underdog, and that’s exactly what he’s going to do in prime time. Pick: Steelers