2010 NFL Game Predictions: Week 1 Spreads and Picks

Christopher SchmidtContributor ISeptember 12, 2010

Everyone knows the NFL point spreads are posted in the newspaper for entertainment purposes only. In that vein, the following is for your reading enjoyment and not to be used for the purpose of, nor at all intended to encourage gambling. Right.

Trying to predict the outcome of a game in the first week of the football season is as hopeless as betting Jimmy Johnson is going to win the upcoming Survivor series. There is simply no future in it. That said if you happen to take issue with any of the included objective observations, feel free to respond in the comment field below. Know that you stand a better chance of being taken seriously if you respond before the games are actually played.

THURSDAY, September 9, 2010

Minnesota Vikings vs New Orleans Saints (-4.5)
The Saints approached the preseason as if each game was a continuation of the Super Bowl. The Vikings are entering the regular season firmly in the befuddling grips of Brett Favre the Fickle Quarterback. Even if the two sides had a similar focus, New Orleans might still be the more talented team. Hosting the opening game of the season as the Super Bowl Champions, driven by an already emotional Drew Brees, the Saints are a sure five-point favorite. Pick: New Orleans Saints -4.5

SUNDAY, September 12, 2010

Miami Dolphins vs Buffalo Bills(+3.5)
One of several novel Week-1 Divisional match ups. Perhaps this one is designed to generate some interest in the Buffalo Bills in anyone other than Chris Berman. With Bill Parcels now diminishing influence, the Dolphins have assembled a team that could legitimately compete for second in the AFC East. Buffalo on the other hand has lost T.O., their only player that sold jerseys last year. If the Bills want to score, they are going to have to do it returning one of the Dolphin's many kickoffs. Pick: Miami -3.5

Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears (-6.5)
Hope springs eternal, even in Detroit. Decades of high draft picks have amounted to several big name players on the Lions roster, though have yet to contribute anything other than disappointment. It will be strange watching this game in a September sun dappled Soldier Field (see Novel Week-1 Divisional match ups). Yet, with the great number of games on that will not feature the odious play of Jay Cutler, what will be truly odd is if we watch this one at all. Pick: Chicago -6.5

Oakland Raiders vs Tennessee Titans (-6.5)
After the year they had, after the decade they have had, the Raiders could have hoped for an easier opening contest. Tennessee only boasts the most dangerous offensive player in the league, and a home field advantage of which even the Duke Blue Devils are envious. Something upon which Raider fans might hang their hats, their sweat stained, beer scented hats, is how they are mere seven point dogs in a game that they could lose by triple digits. At least there's that. Pick: Tennessee -6.5

Cincinnati Bengals vs New England Patriots (-5.5)
When was the last time the Bengals played a meaningful marquee game in September? There is as much hype surrounding this team as there has ever been, which surely has something to do with a few of their media-savvy (read Dependent) receivers. Pity, right out of the gate they face the Patriots; a team that commands its own share of press coverage, and generally beats the life out of lesser teams (read Hype). Pick: New England -5.5

Carolina Panthers vs New York Giants (-7.5)
The Panthers are getting less respect that the Raiders and Lions. That has to be insulting. The Giants and Panthers played a game last December which Carolina won by 32-points. Granted, Carolina has a new starting Quarter Back this year, but it is not as it their former Quarter Back was Peyton Manning. To his own lifelong chagrin, New York's Quarter Back is not Peyton Manning either. Pick: Carolina +7.5 (ridiculous)

Atlanta Falcons vs Pittsburgh Steelers(+2.5)
Atlanta is favored in Pittsburgh. Our research team could not identify a single precedent. Nor could they uncover the last time the Falcons beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh. The research team is not pulling their weight, and shall be blamed for any incorrect predictions contained herein. The unlikely spread likely has something to do with Pittsburgh's Quarter Back..uh..issues. The Steelers have some twenty remaining starters who aren't on suspension, and who also can't remember the last time they lost to Atlanta. Pick: Pittsburgh +2.5

Cleveland Browns vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3.5)
Every Minnesota v New Orleans and Dallas v Washington is going to leave a Cleveland v Tampa Bay and Arizona v St. Louis (see below) sized hole in the schedule. Unless one of your children plays for the Rams, Browns or Buccaneers, find another game to watch, there will be lots of them. Pick: Do not watch, and certainly do not gamble on this game. Aren't you paying attention? Okay, for posterity, Tampa -3.5

Denver Broncos vs Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
Denver has injury issues that would unnerve Patrick Dempsey (we're hip). Jacksonville employs a Running Back who can score like Tom Dempsey (did we lose you?). Obscure references aside, 2.5-points is a shockingly low spread. History dictates, when faced with a confounding spread, bet the other side. It pains us, but who are we to dispute history. Pick: Denver +2.5

Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans(+2.5)
The Colts are better than the Texans. The Colts consistently beat the Texans. The Colts consistently beat the Texans by more than 2.5-points. In deference to the advice above, one should go the other way and take the Texans. If the Texans weren't playing a team with Peyton Manning on its roster, we just might do that. Pick: Indy -2.5

San Francisco 49ers vs Seattle Seahawks(+2.5)
The '9ers have an established coach that is not being hounded or haunted by the NCAA, a Running Back with several years noteworthy experience, and have not recently lost their only serviceable pass catcher. The Seahawks can make none of these claims, and may not score this week. Pick San Francisco -2.5

Green Bay Packers vs Philadelphia Eagles(+2.5)
Packer fans that have yet to embrace Aaron Rodgers should. Packer fans that watch Rodgers dismember the Eagles this weekend will have mere clouded memories of a fantastic past upon which to lean for their inability to forget Brett Favre. That the Packers will be 6-0 going into their game against Minnesota, and that Rodger's reputation will hinge upon his performance in that game is revealing; poor kid. Pick: Green Bay -2.5

Arizona Cardinals vs St. Louis Rams(+4.5)
This game is as hard to predict as it will be to watch. Two of Arizona's more intriguing players, Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin, have moved on, another, Larry Fitzgerald, is hurt, and the last, Matt Leinart, was sent packing. The Rams are just as devoid of marquee stars, which should leave this game relatively free of viewers. Pick: St. Louis +4.5

Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Redskins (+3.5)
The world cannot get enough of the NFC East. That is ABC, ESPN, TNT and now NBC are under the impression that the football viewing public possesses a ratings-driving obsession for the NFC East. Ergo, the football viewing public can once again look forward to a surfeit of nationally televised Cowboy, Giant, Redskin and Eagle games. One approach is to pick an NFC East team to despise particularly, whereby you can count on a weekly telecast featuring either that team, or a team within its Division for whom you can root. Pick: Dallas -3.5 (though don't feel it necessary to root for these mutts)

MONDAY, September 13, 2010

Baltimore Ravens vs New York Jets (-3.5)
Most everyone with a microphone has again embraced the New York Jets. Not entirely surprising as New York is the de facto capital of the broadcast world. The Jets have an excellent defense, and a quality offense with a serviceable Quarterback, but a brutal schedule. The schedule begins hard and gets worse. The Jets are going to need to win the early home games or risk disappointing every reporter west of the Atlantic. In Baltimore, though, the Jets face a team similar to their own, and will have trouble winning by 4. Pick: Baltimore+3.5

San Diego Chargers vs Kansas City Chiefs (+5.5)
Despite losing a significant portion of their most important play makers, the Chargers are enjoying a fair amount of positive press. San Diego is picked by many to win the West, whence it is assumed by most they will again lose an early heartbreaking playoff game to a lesser team. At least their schedule begins favorably. An unproven offense and porous defense await in Kansas City, as does a likely victory. Pick: San Diego -5.5

For more semi-accurate sports reporting see Christopher's articles on Sports Haze.