Jim Harbaugh

NFL picks, Week 1: grain of salt edition

Even though after the lockout nobody really knows what’s going on, I’m going to jump back into this NFL picks thing. Partly because I’m pretty much all blogged out about the Giants at this point, and also because writing these posts makes me feel like I’m a badass gambler with a bookie and stuff, even though I don’t even feel comfortable playing on slot machines that require more than a nickel per play.

The only gambling I really get into is when I head out to Golden Gate Fields, but that just might be due to the fact that we go on Sundays when beers are a dollar each. And even though I’ll probably finish this year with a record well below .500, at least I’m picking games against the spread. LIKE A REAL BLOGGER. My odds we’ll use are from 5dimes.com, because I think the name sounds cool.

As always, don’t wager any money based on these picks. But you already knew that.

Saints @ Packers (-4.5)
New Orleans upgraded from one Heisman winner (Reggie Bush) to a more NFL-relevant back (Mark Ingram), and are out to prove they weren’t a one-year-wonder.
Pick: Saints

Bills @ Chiefs (-7)
The Bills are terrible until they prove otherwise. Adding Shawne Merriman and Nick Barnett to bolster the defense shows they’re still a few years behind the times.
Pick: Chiefs

Lions @Buccaneers (PK)
Let’s see, everyone’s excited about the Lions making a major leap this year, and the Bucs DID make a major leap last year but nobody cared.
Pick: Buccaneers

Falcons (-2.5) @Bears
Jay Cutler may get sacked five times in this game. Maybe more.
Pick: Falcons

Eagles (-4.5) @ Rams
Sorry, not a believer in the Rams yet.
Pick: Eagles

Colts @ Texans (-9)
Peyton Manning’s neck is the NFL equivalent of Mark DeRosa’s wrist these days, but I’m sick of the Texans being the next big thing and 9 points is a lot in week 1.
Pick: Colts

Bengals @ Browns (-7)
Meh, whatever. The Bengals have a rookie QB and they signed a bunch of ex-Niners. Good luck with that.
Pick: Browns

Steelers @ Ravens (-1)
James Harrison mouthing off and coming into camp out of shape; Hines Ward dancing with the stars … this is the year the Steelers start to slide.
Pick: Ravens

Titans @ Jaguars (-1)
This line shows the oddsmakers have no idea what’s going on with either of these two teams, but Jack Del Rio’s been coaching the Jags for far too long and they cut their incumbent starting QB a week before their first game.
Pick: Titans

Panthers @ Cardinals (-8)
I know the Panthers were terrible last year, but so were the Cardinals.
Pick: Panthers

Giants (-3) @ Redskins 
Still on the Rex Grossman train. What the hell happened to Mike Shanahan, anyway?
Pick: Giants

Vikings @ Chargers (-9)
The battle of future L.A. teams! Pretty savvy of the Vikings to pick up Mike Singletary once he became available. Surely they faced stiff competition for his expertise…
Pick: Chargers

Seahawks @ Niners (-5)
Do I believe the 49ers are more talented? Yes. And if I believe that’s the case, and this game’s in SF, do I expect Jim Harbaugh to try to make his first win a blowout victory over Pete Carroll? Yes.
Pick: Niners

Sunday Night
Cowboys @ Jets (-5)
No matter who loses, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving team.
Pick: Jets

Monday Night
Patriots (-7.5) @ Dolphins
Quietly a very good draft pick: New England taking Cal RB Shane Vereen in the second round.
Pick: Patriots

Raiders @ Broncos (-3)
You know Tim Tebow will be in there at some point, and home losses to divisional rivals will hasten the process.
Pick: Raiders

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