All my bets will stick with road teams although I will take one shot at a road dog. I was tempted by another pair of road favorites. The Niners in Seattle and the Chargers in Kansas City. But I could see the Seahawks playing above their heads in the home opener for Pete Carroll and am not completely sure how the Chargers will react to the roster turmoil created by the hard line negotiating stance of GM AJ Smith. Plus Norv Turner coached teams have been known to get off to slow starts in addition to choking in the playoffs. Why is he still the Chargers head coach exactly? I was also seriously tempted by the Steelers as a home dog in the opener. Even with Dennis Dixon at the helm I believe they match up well against a pretty good Falcons team. At least barring the kind of horrific string of mistakes that cost them so dearly last season against the likes of the Raiders, Chiefs and Browns.
home team in bold
Best BetMiami Dolphins (-3.0) over Buffalo Bills
The Bills lack talent. They just hired Chan Gailey as their coach. Basically this is CJ Spiller and the twenty-one dwarfs. Except they all play like they are Sleepy. And their coach is Dopey. I don't think the Dolphins are great. They are competent. Enough against the Bills in Buffalo when only giving up a field goal.
OthersIndianapolis Colts (-2.5) over Houston Texans
Peyton Manning and the Colts win regular season games. That's just what they do. I have thought the Texans were going to take the next step for the past two seasons. Yet they are coming off a 9-7 season preceded by two straight 8-8 seasons. The Texans are competent. Like the Dolphins actually. Not enough getting less than a field goal against the Colts.
Baltimore Ravens (+2.5) over New York Jets
I am not on the Jets bandwagon. Replacing Thomas Jones with LT and letting Alan Faneca walk without a legitimate replacement can't help the running game. I am also not sold on the Sanchize being ready to take the next step. Getting Darrelle Revis back into the fold of course doesn't hurt. Alas he can't cover Boldin, Mason and Houshmanzadeh. Calvin Pace being out of the lineup means more blitzes will be necessary to generate pressure and I think Joe Flacco can handle what Rex Ryan throws at him.
Super BowlI probably shouldn't bring this up, but can admit my defeats. I will also admit to being very happy that I was wrong. Breesus over Pey-pey with Manning the elder settling things by throwing a horrific interception. Priceless.
Indianapolis Colts (-5.5) over New Orleans Saints LOSS
2009 Playoff record: 5-6 2009 regular season record: 27-24 Best bets: 9-8