This column is lighter fare - I just pick the NFL games like 10,000 other equally handsome dudes. I've been picking NFL games for quite a while now. I play in family and friend pools and on ESPN's public picking games, and sometimes put money on the games too. I've done pretty well, but you'll have to trust me on that I guess! Right now, the plan is to post my picks here for every game against the spread and ESPN's Eliminator Challenge (or any suicide league where you pick winners and not losers).
The Week 1 Strategy
No one really knows anything going in to week 1. I'm not going to tell you I know more than anyone else, either. The only thing I actually know is that Vegas doesn't know much more than you or me. The lines are set to try to get 50% of the people to bet on each side. What does this mean? Take the dogs!
I'm only half serious, its not that simple (and if it was, Vegas would correct for it). Some teams you actually know are good, some teams you actually know are bad (I'd take Packers -15 at Jacksonville). The biggest part of the equation is the quarterback. There are quarterbacks that you assume will win at least 9 games no matter what, and there are quarterbacks that would need amazing luck and defense to win 8 games. I'll go through my thinking on each of the week 1 games, with a special thought on the underdog quarterback.
Favorite listed first, my pick in italics. Lines from footballlocks.com. Basic format stolen from Bill Simmons. The LVH SuperContest picks I would make if I had $1500 to burn are listed as "LVH Pick." My Eliminator Challenge picks are listed as "EC." Other EC picks I would be comfortable making are labelled accordingly. Finally, the EC Gamble of the Week - a team I am relatively sure will win even though they might not be a great team is listed as the "EC GotW."