The Wife Hates Sports is back – and hopefully there are people out there that noticed that we went on a little bit of a vacation.
Also back is the NFL – as Week 1 kicked off on Thursday night with the Saints and Vikes – and the rest of the league hits the turf today.
Here are KP’s picks against the spread for Week 1 (spreads as they appear through CBS Sports) – and going forward, I will post my picks earlier in the week through the season.
National Football League Week 1 Picks Against the Spread
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-5.5)
OK, so the game has already been played, but I couldn’t post my pick while away – and I did have the Vikings (believe it or not). All in all, I felt it would be a close game and a shootout, with the Saints winning by 4. OK, so I was half right.
KP’s Pick: Minnesota
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (2.5)
The Bills have too many question marks, especially at the QB position. The Dolphins, with newbies like Dansby on defense and Marshall on offense, seem like the obvious pick to win by at least a field goal on the road.
KP’s Pick: Miami
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-6.5)
I personally think the Lions will be the most improved team in the NFL this year, and expect them to keep it close against a Bears that is overrated on defense. They might just steal a win in Chicago, too.
KP’s Pick: Detroit
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans (2.5)
The big talk is how the Texans have struggled against the Colts in the past – but also how there’s enough talent to potentially make a playoff run. But this is Peyton Manning and company, and with their success against Houston in the past… the Colts by 3? Yeah, it’s in the bag.
KP’s Pick: Indianapolis
Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5)
This one seems like a tossup with two teams that are likely to struggle throughout the 2010 season. I give MJD the edge at home – and a Denver team that struggled against the run last year. Call it an opening week win for the Jags at home.
KP’s Pick: Jacksonville
Cincinnati Bengals at New England Patriots (-4.5)
The Bengals bring in a lot of hype and star power, with Owens and Ochocinco running patterns forCarson Palmer. But this is New England at home, with Brady healthy – and it’s hard to not think the Pats won’t leave the opening week with a W.
KP’s Pick: New England
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (-6.5)
I like the Giants to win at home – and think that New York is sliding under the radar a bit thanks to the way they faltered in 2009 (mostly due to injuries). However, Carolina will keep this game close – thanks to its running game.
KP’s Pick: Carolina
Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers (2.5)
I like the Falcons to make some noise in the NFC this year. The Steelers may be at home this week, but with Holmes gone and Dixon starting due to the Roethlisberger suspension, I’m going with the Falcons.
KP’s Pick: Atlanta
Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)
I don’t expect Cleveland to be a contender this year, but many also forget that the Browns played well at the end of last season. I also think Jake Delhomme is an improvement at the QB position, and therefore this tossup game goes to Cleveland.
KP’s Pick: Cleveland
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (-6.5)
The Raiders made some improvements in the offseason, both through the draft and via acquisitions. Still, it won’t be enough to handle Vince Young and the Titans – who finished 2009 strong. Expect Tennessee to win by at least a touchdown.
KP’s Pick: Tennessee
Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (2.5)
Expect a shootout in the “City of Brotherly Love” today, with the Packers torching the Eagles defense, giving Kevin Kolb a loss in his first start in the McNabb-less era in Philly.
KP’s Pick: Green Bay
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (2.5)
Pete Carroll’s career in Seattle starts – and while the Seahawks have been a solid home team over the last few years, I think Singletary’s Niners will provide enough balance to eek out a close victory – mostly thanks to a solid performance by RB Frank Gore.
KP’s Pick: San Francisco
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (3.5)
I’m going with a slight upset here – as I poise and preaseason improvement by rookie Sam Bradford, most notably against the Patriots. On top of that, the Cardinals are dealing with some injuries. Larry Fitzgerald is banged up, plus Beanie Wells is too – and may not play. Derek Anderson is also not Kurt Warner. Rams keep it close.
KP’s Pick: St. Louis
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (3.5)
The Cowboys struggled on offense during the preseason and the Redskins have been a solid defensive team the last few years. Still, McNabb isn’t 100% and the Redskins have some other question marks in the receiving group heading into Week 1.
KP’s Pick: Dallas
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets (-2.5)
Expect a defensive struggle here – and while the Jets have to like their chances with Revis signed, this one looks like it could come down to quarterback play. I like the combo of Boldin and Flacco over Sanchez and his crew.
KP’s Pick: Baltimore
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs (4.5)
The Chiefs have consistently been more competitive at Arrowhead, but the Chargers have too many weapons – even with the Vincent Jackson not headlining the WR group and Tomlinson off to the Big Apple. Philip Rivers leads San Diego to a lopsided win.
KP’s Pick: San Diego