Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Return of Dolla Dolla Bills Yall: Week 1

The Shark has returned! That’s right folks, your favorite sports betting mascot has arrived right on schedule and, as always, has provided you with a full slate of picks. Please excuse the banner as we’re in the process of giving the Shark a bit of makeover. He’ll be staring back at you in pristine business-casual attire in no time.

For some of our newer readers, this feature was insanely successful last season. Winners were picked at professional handicapper levels. Go back in the archives and see for yourself if you don’t believe me. I'll wait....

Not bad, right?

I’m going to caution everyone once – the Shark, while supremely in tune with handicapping, is still just some dude. Don’t come crying when you blow your paycheck -- we sharks don't feel sympathy. Instead, try and dig yourself out of that hole by going BIG on the Monday nighter you pansy. As always, TheWizWit will accept all donations should you win a lot of “points” one weekend. And “points” I mean “dollars”. And by “dollars” I mean “doll hairs”. But YOU know what I really mean.

Week 1 is one of the hardest weeks to pick games since even Vegas doesn’t have a read on which teams will be good and which will suck. Don’t get frustrated if you get off to a rough start. We’ve got a long season ahead of us.

Let’s do the damn thang.

As always, home teams are in CAPS.

SAINTS (-6) over Vikings
For all the success I had picking games last year, admittedly, the Saints were a team that I never got a good read on when it came to handicapping. Six points is a lot to give and I'm honestly not totally comfortable making this selection – but I’m going with Drew Brees and Friends. I wouldn’t be surprised if Minnesota shit the bed this year, Brett Favre throws 22 picks, and is forced into retirement on account of no team wanting him.

Browns (+3) over BUCS
I pity anyone who's forced to watch this shit-show. Jake Delhomme is going to throw interceptions, but so is Jay Cutler, and the Bears are sticking with him. The Browns have no other options at QB, so Delhomme has a long leash and has actually looked pretty good in the preseason. The Bucs will be again be turrible, so I’m going with the city formerly known as LeBron.

Dolphins (-3) over BILLS
Question for you - do the Bills have a quarterback? Stop thinking… the answer is no. How one could trust the Bills on the opening week of the season is beyond me. You have to go Dolphins here. Maybe when they meet later in the year and we actually know more, I'll recommened them. But probably not before they’re getting at least a 6.

PATRIOTS (-4.5) over Bengals
It's going to be funny when the Bengals are only mediocre all season. I can’t express how utterly annoyed I am of T.O. and Ocho's Batman and Robin shtick. It’s so so painfully lame. I'm also surprised people still think Carson Palmer is a big time quarterback and will be able to lead this team deep into the playoffs. The Patriots may end up with one of the absolute worst defenses in the league this year, but as long as Tom Brady remembers to wear his seatbelt, they should be fine and out-score most teams.

TEXANS (+2.5) over Colts
We're going Texans, but not because I'm like everyone else that says - "this will be the year get over the hump!". They'll disappoint the 'experts' and win 8 or maaaaaybe 9 games, like every other year. But I have a hunch the Colts will not start the year with their traditional 10 consecutive wins. I think this could be the start of slight drop off in quality of play for them.

Broncos (+3) over JAGUARS
Call me wacky, but I feel like this is an easy choice. I was surprised to see many people picking the Jaguars here. In case you didn’t notice, it’s not 2005 and the Jaguars are a below average football team with no fans. The Broncos always seem to start the season hot and their first team offense has looked good in the preseason. I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting them to win this game outright. Mix in the fact the Jaguars only good player, Maurice Jones-Drew, has to keep denying he’s injured, and I’m going with the team that has Jesus on their side.

Falcons (-2.5) over STEELERS
I think the Steelers are going to regret starting Dennis Dixon over ole reliable Charlie Batch. I’d really go the other way if it were Batch starting. Dixon is just too erratic and completely unreliable at this point in his career to have confidence betting on him. I’d rather not give myself a heart attack. Expect a very low scoring, very close game where one of these teams wins by a field goal.

Raiders (+6) over TITANS
I think the Raiders have enough talent to be a seven win team this year. Now that they have a competent starting quarterback to go with really fast receivers who can only run in a straight line down the field, the Raiders could be a pesky opponent. I don’t think they’ll win this game at all. But as long as Tom Cable can hold off on punching Jason Campbell in the face, I do think they’ll hang around long enough to cover.

Panthers (+7) over GIANTS
The last game the Giants played in old Giants Stadium was against the Panthers. They lost 41-9 and I loved every second of it. Jonathan Stewart ran for over 200 yards and Matt Moore didn’t screw up and threw 3 TD’s. Coincidently these same Panthers are coming to town for the christening of New Meadowlands Stadium. Here’s to them smashing Eli in his dopey face and winning outright. Both would make me super happy.

Lions (+6.5) over BEARS
Don't get me wrong, the Lions are not a good team. But they do have the makings of a great offense. I think nearly getting a touchdown is a mistake by Vegas and Matt Stafford is gonna stick in their cramhole. Or Jay Cutler will throw 3 picks as the Bears win 20-17. Either way… potato/potahto. Lions will cover.

Cardinals (-4) over RAMS
It's the Rams. I can't recommend them to you in confidence. If you must bet this one, go with Zona. By the way - I have to say I have a sneaky feeling Derek Anderson is going to flourish this year. Or at least that's what you can tell yourself to make yourself feel cozy inside when you call this one in. (But seriously, I think Anderson is going to surprise this year).

EAGLES (+3) over Packers
I tussled with this pick over the last couple days. Prior to seeing the Vegas line, I figured the Packers would be giving 5 or 6. I was shocked to see them at the bargain of -3. And that’s what worried me. I immediately checked to see where the betting consensus is going – nearly 78% of bettors are going with the Packers. If there’s one thing I’ve said over and over in these posts, it’s that you GO AGAINST THE GENERAL PUBLIC. The average Joe is a frickin moron and Vegas loves to tempt idiots. When you see a consensus for a game over 65%, you need to think about going the other way. It won’t always work, but you’ll be thanking me more times than not.

SEAHAWKS (+3) over 49ers
Meh. Another game I don't care about. A lot of people are going with the Niners. That worries me. The 49ers are no powerhouse by any means and should never be bet on with such favor the way they have been this week. The Seahawks are at home, seem to like their new coach, and will have a healthy Matt Hasselbeck for a least 20 minutes before a horrific injury. Should be enough to cover.

REDSKINS (+3.5) over Cowboys
Is there any team in the league that comes into each new season with so much hope, only to end up being continuously pitiful? Seems like each year, the Redskins always make one big free agent move, and their confidence is at an all-time high till the first game is played. Then shit goes wrong from there. But I do have a hunch here, and think that McNabb will deliver his new team a win via his patented mistake-free, passes-in-the-dirt style of football.

Ravens (+2.5) over JETS
As much as I like Hard Knocks and as much as I wish Rex Ryan coached the Eagles, I think the Jets will take a step back this year. I just see a big let-down after all the media hype coming into the season. Teams are going to key the run and force Nacho Sanchez to beat them. And I don’t think he can. I really think he’s nothing more than an utterly average quarterback. Expect the Ravens to come with tons of pressure and expect Sanchez to throw three picks.

Chargers (-4.5) over CHIEFS
The Chiefs are a bad football team, and the Chargers seem to always get off to a slow start each season. I’ll cautiously lay the points and assume Chiefs head coach Todd Haley won’t end up putting his team anywhere near a position to actually win the game.

Enjoy the games everybody!  Good luck and we'll see yall next week.  Shark OUT.

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