Aug 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
Starting a new column at The Jet Press this afternoon. On this, and every “Football Friday”, I am going to pick three games against the spread. We will keep track of my record, and we will see how we do. Whether you enjoy gambling on the games, play in a survivor pool, or just find the spreads interesting, this one is for you. Feel free to share your opinions in the comment section as always.
Remember these are my personal opinions, not necessarily the opinions off all staff writers, and we are not responsible for any gambling losses based on these picks. That being said, let’s get to it. The picks for this first Football Friday in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!
BEARS -3 OVER BENGALS
We start this week at Soldier Field in Chicago, with the Bears hosting the Bengals. The Bears are favored by a field goal.
The Bears have gotten tougher, even with the retirement of Brian Urlacher. Brandon Marshall set a career high of 118 receptions after being reunited with former teammate Jay Cutler. Marshall recorded over 100 receptions each season he spent with Cutler, as they are a lethal combination. Matt Forte is healthy and running well, averaging almost 10 yards per carry in the preseason.
However, do not underestimate the Bengals’ offense. Andy Dalton stepped up in his sophomore season with 27 TDs. His primary weapon, AJ Green, had a huge season with 97 catches and 11 TDs. The scary part is that these two are going to grow together and only get better. Jermaine Gresham is back for another year as well, and will be teamed up with Tyler Eifert for a talented pass receiving duo. Combine these passing weapons with the law firm Ben Jarvis Green Ellis at running back, and you have a team that will steal one on the road week one.
Take the Bengals +3 over the Bears
COLTS -10.5 OVER RAIDERS
Normally, I recommend taking the underdog when the spread is over 10 points. Most NFL teams are so close, and it only takes one play for the team not to cover the spread, so I say take the underdog.
I am not normally talking about the Raiders.
The Colts have Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne. They have Vick Ballard coming out of the backfield, along with the newly acquired Ahmad Bradshaw. Don’t forget about TY Hilton either.
The Raiders have Darren McFadden and…., well..hmmm. Terrelle Pryor starting at quarterback? There is no way that the Raiders will be able to keep up with the Colts.
Take the Colts -10.5 over the Raiders
RAMS -4.5 OVER THE CARDINALS
Frankly, was surprised to see the Rams favored in this one, other than for the fact that they are at home. The Cardinals are always a bit underrated to me. No matter what has happened, they will always be decent on offense with Larry Fitzgerald on the outside. Combine him with the addition of a healthy Rashard Mendenall and you have quite the one-two punch.
The X-factor is Carson Palmer. He is clearly the best QB the team has had since the Kurt Warner days. The question will be, how much does this guy have left? Whatever he does have left will be the key to Arizona’s success this fall. For the moment, however, they could easily steal one in St. Louis.
Take the Cardinals +4.5 over the Rams
So there you have it. I have 2 underdogs and a favorite for week number one:
Bengals +3 over the BearsColts -10.5 over the RaidersCardinals +4.5 over the Rams
What do you guys think?