Under the most poignant moment in NFL history (see photo), your Uncle Spleefy will break down the games for you and make the hard choices that each week provides.
My advice to you? Bet hard and bet often. Call DiTech, refi that humble abode of yours, and let's turn it into a castle. We can do this...Got a hunch? Bet a bunch!
Last week I went 10-6. You'll have to trust me on that because I hadn't started this gig as of yet, but I did in fact go 10-6. A great accomplishment? Yeah, but not really.
Vegas likes to set the spreads a little easier the first week so people get reeled in, letting them think it's child play and then as the season goes on they start betting heavy. Which of course is my advice to you as well. Bah bah bah bet? Yes yes yes yes!
There really is no better way to test your NFL knowledge than to try to beat Vegas. These guys don't give money away, so if you come out +50 percent, you're really doing something. It would really be something to establish a +75 percent, but that's dreaming.
If a guy could do that, he'd sell everything and move to the desert. Which of course, is exactly what I recommend to you, dear reader...
With no further fluff, here's your unk's picks with short reasoning...
ATL cover CAR (-6.5)
Home game for Atlanta; Jake Delhomme has 11 turnovers in his last 51 attempts. Can Carolina afford to keep him in the game, much less pay that crazy contract they gave him after single-handedly throwing all post season aspirations out the window last year? My only trepidation is why is this line only 6.5?
When that happens, Vegas knows something and they are suckering you in. I'm going to bite on this, however. I see Jake getting benched after turnover three and AJ Feel-me mopping up the loss. Give the points, take the home team.
MIN cover DET (-10)
Ten points is a big spread against a divisional rival at their home. More times than not you are going to take the points and usually walk away with the money. However, Stafford's a rook, Kevin Smith ran for only 20 yards last week against a weak defense, and the Vikings are going to run, run and run for TDs.
The last two games were nail biters against Detroit, but the Vikings won't let that happen this year. Give the points, take Minny.
CIN cover GB (+9)
Going against the reasoning in the Minnesota game, the points are too great in this one. The Bengals have a very good defense, their offense is used to the 3-4, and they have two dynamic WRs in Ocho and Henry.
If Palmer can stay upright, and his two WRs stop dropping balls, the Bengals have a good chance at winning, no less covering. Take the points, watch your friends call you a lunatic. Cash in Monday.
TEN cover HOU (-6.5)
This is another classic case of Vegas begging you to take the points. Do they know something? They might. The line started -7 and dropped a half point Wednesday. The Titans by all means should crush Houston Sunday. They played very well against the Steelers, and Houston was embarrassed and beaten hard by the Jets.
Why this wouldn't be more like a -10 spread is what has me worried. But I've never understood why the Texans are getting as much positive press as they have lately. I really don't like Schaub, and their defense is less than spotty. I'm calling Vegas on this sucker bet and taking it.
It's the case where they're making it easy so the bettors gain confidence. Give the points, take the Titans.
OAK cover KC (+3)
I can't believe I'm saying this, but the Seymour trade looks like it might be a good idea. While they'll have to give him a contract extension, at least they know what they're getting. Signing another top ten pick that should have been a fourth-rounder to $40 million has got to be killing Al Davis.
Give it to a proven vet, because you obviously can't draft with the rest of the league. I get it, I like it...for the Raiders this year anyway. In addition, Russell looked good in spots last Monday. McFadden might just pan out. They don't need Heyward-Bey this year, which is a good thing. Take the points, pick Oakland.
NYJ cover NE (+3.5)
I ought to have my head examined for this one. I just have a gut feeling. I like the Junior Ryan's mouthy approach to this, and I think the Pats are licking their wounds from last Monday. They were absolutely lucky to get that win, and a more disciplined team takes it from them.
I see that team in the Jets. Plus, you get 3.5 points for the home team. Of course, the Pats could always go off to shut the Jets mouths up for this past week. Nah, take the points, take the Jets.
PHI cover NO (pick)
New Orleans is not playing the Detroit defense this week. I also am not a fan of their own defense. I liked the offseason additions of Vilma and Greer, but Sharper is way past his prime. Payton has had Reid's number the last few years, which is a little unnerving, but it's at Philly.
Even if Kolb does start, I like the Eagles D to trim the offensive production and swarm Brees. Everyone is taking the Saints based on McNabb's injury, but I'm picking Philly's D over the Saints O. A straight up winner here, I like the home team.
STL cover WAS (+10)
These are the picks I hate making. You know the Redskins are going to win, just not by how much. St Louis is just an awful team, one that makes you wonder how a franchise gets this bad this fast. My survivor pick, the Redskins, could very well cover this week, but I see them running the ball over the Rams.
They were right in courting other QBs. Campbell is not the answer. And unless you have Adrian Peterson on your team, you're looking at a low-scoring, win by a touchdown/FG victory here. I usually will tell you to bet your wife's car, but on this one take it easy. If you must, take the points, and take the Rams to cover.
JAC cover AZ (-3)
Hangover. 38-year-old QB with a bad hip on a passing team. Mighty Mite. Passes will stop deflecting off Fitzes' hands soon enough, but Boldin is really hurt this time. His routes were sloppy and slow, and he should not be on the field this weekend. Give the points, take the home squad.
BUF cover TB (-5)
Another tight one; Buffalo is coming off a huge emotional letdown. Tampa is a very young team led by a capable Leftwich. In games like this I look for the better defense to prevail. I like where Buffalo is going and if they don't let last week affect them this week, they'll win going away.
Even though I'm not a fan of Jauron, or Wilson for that matter, give the points and take the home team.
SEA cover SF (+1.5)
Don't get me wrong here, I like where Frisco is going with Singletary, even though he dropped his drawers last year in front of 75 grown men. San Fran is an unglamorous sleeper that is very underrated at this point. It's just that Hasselbeck isn't hurt yet.
The early reports that Houshmandzadeh was out seem to be wrong and looks like he's going to suit up. Keep your eye on that right to the line. Take the points, pick the Seahags.
CHI cover PIT (+3)
Obvious = no Troy. Chicago is at home, and they're coming off being embarrassed—wait, no—Cutler is coming off being embarrassed against the Pack. Even though Chi fans don't like his attitude after the game, I do.
It's the same kind of "oops, oh well" Eli Manning spouts off after making terrible decisions. But a bad memory is a good thing when you were that bad. I like Chicago for my upset special this weekend.
Take Chicago at home, and take the three.
DEN cover CLE (-3)
The home team usually automatically gets a three-point gimme, and that's what this is here. A quick look at the QB situations for both teams, and you have to give the edge to Orton. At least he's serviceable.
"Noodles" Quinn last week attempted no less than five downfield passes before the fourth quarter, and Mangina's game plan was absolutely horrible. Give the points, take the home team.
BAL cover SD (+3)
I'm a little concerned about Baltimore's defense. Maybe they're feeling the loss of Rex Ryan. Letting KC score at all last week was a surprise to me. I'd tread lightly on this pick, and if you have to bet, bet low.
I know, I know, no balls.
OK, bet the f'n farm, big boy. San Diego played a late Monday night game, and I look for the Ravens to bounce back defensively. Take the points, take the visitors.
NYG cover DAL (+3)
If the Giants are going to live up to their NFC expectations, there is no time like the present. Going to the new Taj Mahal of stadiums in Big Texas, they need to get after Romo early and often. Romo is an incredible 8-1 in September, but not against this team. Take the points, take the Giants.
IND cover MIA (-3)
While I've been picking a lot of visiting teams this week, I think this one has merit. Miami isn't as bad as last week, and the Colts aren't as good as they were last year with their new coach. Manning will miss Gonzalez, but they just made a great move in getting Baskett, and of course they have Wayne. Take the visitors and give the points.
Now remember, these are FOOL-PROOF PICKS. You CAN'T LOSE. Mortgage, sell, liquidate, raise that cash and get on the horn.
Run, don't walk.