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It’s finally time to get nasty with some Pro Football betting free picks! I can’t tell you how excited I am for this week, but I probably don’t even need to expand on that because you probably share my sentiments. During the season, I’ll be here to guide you threw some big time matchups in the EndZone. Here are my favorite games of Week 1. Is it Sunday yet??
The two best teams in the NFC last season square off in Sunday afternoon’s biggest game. People like me love to pick holes in a team like the Packers, even though they went 15-1 SU last season, and there’s every reason to believe that they’ll finish on top of the NFC like they did in 2011. However, San Francisco’s ease of schedule makes them just as likely to climb atop the mountain and plant their flag which makes this matchup so pivotal for both teams.
San Francisco took the league by surprise in Jim Harbaugh’s first year as a head coach. The scary part? The got even better this offseason by adding some good wide out options like Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. While Brandon Jacobs is injured, it’s not like the team needed him last year anyways.
Green Bay has almost always started off the season well, going 5-0 SU and ATS in their last 5 season openers. That’s a pretty damn good trend. It also helps that they’re 5-1 ATS in their last 6 meetings with the Niners. So why do I like San Francisco to take this game?
I think people undersell just how good the Niners are. Alex Smith is a terrific quarterback, and I’m not embarrassed to say that at all. He’s one of the best red zone generals in the league (go look at the numbers) and finally enters a season with consistency at the coaching level. This is a chance for Smith to prove that his team can rely on him.
The one factor in this game that I love is the San Francisco defense, which embarrassed teams last year. They return with almost everyone ready to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke. What better team to prove that you’re worthy than the Packers? While Green Bay might very well win this game, I love the point cushion for San Francisco, which makes it their bread and butter to either keep games close or push the limits of the scoreboard. Don’t act surprised as Green Bay will be when San Francisco tests their mettle and proves that they’re every bit the NFC Championship contenders the oddsmakers peg them to be.
If you thought the Jets were entertaining last year as they crumbled under the weight of their own stupidity, just wait for 2012. Neither Sanchez nor Tebow scored a touchdown in the preseason despite having plenty of chances, and this team has looked out of sync throughout the exhibition run. Everything about last year has seemingly returned to haunt them, and I think Rex Ryan has built himself an early coaching grave. You just can’t run your team like a frat house.
The Bills weren’t all the impressive in the preseason, but they’re going to be a force this year. I’m willing to be optimistic about the Bills for once, especially with a defense that can keep them in games. Buffalo completely imploded last year after Fitzpatrick signed his extension ending the year 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games. They did, however, get off to a rousing start and I expect them to do so again in this AFC East divisional matchup.
The Jets have dominated this matchup by going 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in the last 5 games against the Bills. But this Buffalo team is different. They have a ferocious front seven, that is perhaps the best in all of football. Their offense is incredibly capable, and there’s nothing going on for the Gang Green that warrants a smidgen of confidence.
The road team in this matchup has gone 8-1 ATS in their last 9 meetings and the Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing in the New York. The last thing I ever expected to write was something hopeful for Buffalo, but I fully expected the Jets to continue their decent in to their own living hell in 2012. You’ll see why both opinions deserve credence when the Bills smash the Jets on Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers will seek a modicum of revenge for getting bounced from the playoffs last year, but they’ll be doing it against a much different Denver Broncos team. Instead of Tebow, they’ll have to deal with one of the best quarterback ever to play the game in Peyton Manning (note: before you get your panties in a bunch, the conversation is Manning, Brady and Montana). How Manning fares in Denver is largely dependent on how much this team adapts to his insanely unique style of play, but it also hinges on how well they can protect him.
That’s a tall order when you’re going against a Pittsburgh team that has almost always had Peyton Manning’s number. The offensive line is not going to be what Peyton had in Indianapolis and he doesn’t have a running block that can serve as an extra blocker like he’s used to. Decker and Thomas are great weapons that will be thrilled to be catching passes from a quarterback that actually knows how to throw the football, but keeping Manning upright is going to be an insanely difficult task.
Pittsburgh has typically done badly as a road dog. They’re 0-4 ATS in their last four games on the road, and 0-4 ATS in their last four road games when they post as the underdog. However, this is a special matchup because their new strength is actually Denver’s biggest weakness.
The Broncos have a lot of trouble stopping the pass and haven’t done much to fill out their secondary. Their front seven is especially brutal (in a good way) but I wouldn’t expect Pittsburgh to test Von Miller all that much. The Steelers have a new look this season as a pass-first team, and while there will be a lot of fresh faces on this team, we still have a sense that they’re going to be play Steelers Football.
You can’t make that argument about Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Not only has Denver been a pathetic team for the past five years, we haven’t seen Manning suit up for over a year. How can you bet on a completely unknown commodity like that? You can’t and you shouldn’t. Peyton looked great in preseason, but that means nothing in a real game. Pittsburgh will be thrilled to avenge the last loss of the playoffs and get their season off to a big start as the questions and doubts surrounding Denver begin to surface.