We hate week one. The preseason is useless for predicting what will happen in the regular season. Well, the preseason is actually useless for more reasons than but that's another post. Nobody knows who will surprise by being better than expected or which team with high expectations will lay an egg.
If at all possible, our strategy is not to pick road teams or games involving teams in the same division. That is not always possible, but it is a good place to start.
Not Touching with a Ten Foot Pole:
Atlanta (-3) @ Kansas City - Road game for the Falcons. This one is just doesn't make sense in a survivor setting. Much better choices.
Jacksonville (+3) @ Minnesota - Both of these have so many issues. The Viking's Adrian Peterson (off-season surgery) and the Jaguar's Maurice Jones-Drew (holdout), each team's start running back, will not be at full strength.
Pittsburgh (+1.5) @ Denver - The Peyton Manning era begins in Denver. Who knows what to expect. Out of either team actually.
Buffalo (+3) @ NY Jets - What a hot mess the NYJ QB situation is. The Bills spent the offseason getting better (at least on paper). No thank you.
Seattle (-3) @ Arizona - Rookie QB for the Seahawks. Never know what to expect in that situation. Plus the favorite is on the road.
Carolina (-3) @ Tampa Bay - Division game with the favorite on the road. Nuff said.
San Diego (+1.5) @ Oakland - We don't even know what to say about this game. Therefore, we will stay far, far away.
Kinda Looks Good on Paper:
San Francisco (+5) @ Green Bay - The Pack at Lambeau is usually a pretty good choice. But the 'Niners play tough defense and there are safer picks out there.
New England (-5.5) @ Tennessee - The Tom Brady led Patriots are, well, the Patriots. They're good. But they're also on the road. Tennessee is not horrible. But still, no need to risk that much in week one.
Cincinnati (+6.5) @ Baltimore - Division game. Plus, we don't thing the Ravens are as good as last year's record indicated.
More Than a Touchdown Favorites:
Philadelphia (-9.5) @ Cleveland - This should not be close, but..........we don't trust Michael Vick to stay healthy at any point in the season. Who's to say what could happen if he goes down? Plus, this a road game for the favorite. It's probably safe enough, but this is week one.
Indianapolis (+9.5) @ Chicago - The Colts without Manning last year were awful. Now Indy puts their trust in the hands of rookie Andrew Luck. How good is Luck? Pretty darn good. But this is the NFL. We don't like venturing into the unknown when we can help it.
St. Louis (+8) @ Detroit - This is the first of two games that we really like. The Rams are better, probably good enough to cover the spread, but we still like Detroit to win. The only caveat is, these are the Lions. But they are not your father's Lions.
Miami (+11.5) @ Houston - The only double digit spread of the week. The Texans' are many people's Super Bowl pick. The Dolphins seem to be in a state of disarray. This may be as close to a sure thing as there is this week.
Washington (+8) @ New Orleans - We could have easily put this in another section, but the spread precludes us from doing so. But do not touch this game. Don't even think about it. The Saints are without their head coach and defensive coordinator from last season. There is the whole bounty situation hanging over their heads. RGIII will be the starting QB for the Redskins, and who knows what he'll do. See Cam Newton from last year. This game just has too many variables for week one.
The name of the of game is Survivor, so the goal is to survive. For us, it comes down to Houston or Detroit. Houston seems like the surest thing (as least as much as there can be in the NFL), but we hate using such a good team in week one. On the other hand, Detroit is still Detroit and that scares us. So, from the Cheap Seats, we will go with Houston in week one.