We're happy to have the same crew back for the Staff Picks again this year including defending champ Scott Pianowski. We've made a couple changes to the feature - scrapping both the "Break Points" and "Majority Record." The former was essentially a tedious task that didn't add much, and the latter was more or less deducible from the cumulative records of the players, give or take a few games. We are still keeping track of consensus picks, however. This week we have two: the Steelers and the Bills.
Worth noting: Stopa is the sole backer of the Broncos, Colts, Cowboys and Chargers.
Enjoy the games.
|Vikings +5.5 at Saints||Saints||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings||Vikings|
|Broncos +2.5 at Jaguars||Jaguars||Jaguars||Jaguars||Broncos||Jaguars|
|Raiders +6 at Titans||Raiders||Raiders||Titans||Raiders||Titans|
|Bengals +4.5 at Patriots||Patriots||Bengals||Patriots||Bengals||Bengals|
|Browns +3 at Buccaneers||Browns||Buccaneers||Buccaneers||Browns||Buccaneers|
|Colts -2 at Texans||Texans||Texans||Texans||Colts||Texans|
|Lions +6.5 at Bears||Lions||Lions||Bears||Bears||Lions|
|Falcons -2 at Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers||Steelers|
|Dolphins -3 at Bills||Bills||Bills||Bills||Bills||Bills|
|Panthers +6.5 at Giants||Giants||Giants||Panthers||Panthers||Panthers|
|Packers -3 at Eagles||Eagles||Packers||Eagles||Packers||Eagles|
|Cardinals -4 at Rams||Rams||Rams||Cardinals||Rams||Rams|
|49ers -3 at Seahawks||49ers||Seahawks||Seahawks||Seahawks||49ers|
|Cowboys -3.5 at Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Redskins||Cowboys||Redskins|
|Ravens +2.5 at Jets||Jets||Jets||Ravens||Jets||Jets|
|Chargers -4.5 at Chiefs||Chiefs||Chiefs||Chiefs||Chargers||Chiefs|
|2009 Best Bet Record||8-8-1||9-8||10-7||7-10||7-8-2|
|Consensus Pick Record||19-23-1|
We have two consensus picks this week: the Steelers and the Bills.
We finished the year 19-23-1 on consensus picks for the year, and were 24-19-2 on them in 2008.
|Erickson||I hate making the picks so early in the week whenever there's an early game, before the initial injury reports come out. That's doubly true in Week 1, when there are so many unknowns already. But when in doubt, I'll take the points for the early part of the season. I especially like the Bills, a team that I think was undervalued last year. The perception is that the Dolphins are a team on the rise and that the Bills are going nowhere. That might very well be true. But teams change considerably from year-to-year, and even week-to-week. Moreover, home field means a lot in an intra-divisional matchup, even in September... Games I struggled the most with include IND-HOU, CIN-NE and SF-SEA. I understand the reasons why it ended up that way, but I can't help but think getting points backing Pittsburgh at home against Atlanta is still an opportunity.|
|Pianowski||It's Week 1. We're throwing darts. Look at all the low numbers; this looks like a wide-open season.|
|Liss||Especially like the Bills, Bucs and Vikings|
|Stopa||Remember last year how some teams (Bills, Chiefs, and I believe one more) changed offensive coordinators in the middle of the preseason? Those teams all had losing streaks to start the year. This year, the Cardinals just changed QBs and are now giving points on the road. I see the Cardinals as a 5-11 type of team, and it will take a few weeks for Vegas to adjust to their suckitude sans Kurt Warner. Take the home dog... I felt like the Texans were the value pick, but when the line is less than three, does it really matter? (Loyal readers will recall heated debates between me and Liss about that topic last season - how I argued that when the line is less than three, the points matter so infrequently that it's not worth considering - just pick who you think will win the game.) Anyway, Indy always seems to start every year 10-0, so they're my choice... If the Jags have a home game, but nobody is there to watch it, is it really a home game? (Quick aside: You want to know how bad things are for the Jags? I have a foreclosure defense law firm in Tampa. I opened a virtual office in Jacksonville to generate more business. Within a week of doing so, some guy from the Jaguars media team called me, totally unsolicited, trying to get me to buy advertising in the Jaguars official media guide. I declined, and then he basically begged me, telling me to offer whatever I was willing to pay because they had to fill the empty pages of the media guide. When the Jaguars are that hard up for sponsors, I refuse to believe they have a home field advantage.)|
|Del Don||After the Vikings clearly outplayed them in the NFC Championship game, I'm surprised so much money is going on the Saints...The Falcons being favored by two points in Pittsburgh essentially says Vegas views Ben Roethlisberger as a 5-7 point player, which is massive...The Packers could easily win the Super Bowl this season, but giving three points in Philadelphia is a lot to ask. The line opened at Eagles -1... Seems like a lot of good value with home dogs in Week 1, including the Rams. Still, I don't feel great making a bad team with a QB making his first ever start as a "best bet."|