looks like vegas thinks that philly can't recover from the T.O. debacle. i know he looked good in the first pre-season game he played, but it there any question that he's going to blow up at some point in the season? and won't that cost the team dearly in terms of wins? also doesn't losing corey simon really really hurt. i already have 7 teams winning ten games which already sounds like too many to me. i definitely can't see 8 teams winning ten games. under.some not so good predictions
i think that pittsburgh disappoints in a big way this year. give me the under.and a very entertaining trip down memory lane, highlighted by this masterful bon mot from fredo:
dallas (8.5) - over all the way, and take it to the bank. i know drew bledsoe seems old, but he's only 33. do you know who else was 33 when he won the super bowl against sin and death? jesus h. christ, that's who.man that still cracks me up. anyways, as i've said before, these bets have always intrigued me because you have to take into account so many things like scheduling, off-season moves, injury recovery, long term trends, etc., etc. plus it's a good way to get ready for my fantasy drafts. anyways, we'll start with the west divisions and then over the next four posts, we'll work our way to the east divisions. anyways, let's pass out the x and the roofies and get this party started.
denver - 10: over (-130) under (even)
first off their non-division schedule is brutal. pittsburgh and seattle, indy, cinnci, and the pats. i know that schedules mean less than they used to, but day-umn. anyways, the real problem in denver is two fold. first the running back situation. seriously, should ron dayne be inthe mix for any real contender? my guess is that this is a psychological ploy by shanahan to motivate tatum bell. but more pressing, as always, is one former ASU sundevil lining up at QB (i was going to say a former bone-headed ASU sundevil, but that would be redundant). if i were samuel l. jackson, i'd call up shanahan and scream, "i'm so tired of this motherf*ing jake on this motherf*ing team!" fortunately for the snake, the addition of javon walker will help out a bunch. of course the caveat is that guys are never ever almost as fast after major leg injuries, so as donald rumsfeld would say, this is a known unknown. what really helps is having oakland and san diego in this division. i think that denver will be decent this year, vegas seems to be predicting a flip flop with KC and 9 wins, and i concur. under.
kansas city - 9.5: over(-115) under(-115)
as much as i like old white coaches who can cry in public, herm edwards is a definite upgrade at this position (although i'm inclined to think that he's still overrated). but there's a lot of known unknowns for the chiefs as well. with willie roaf retiring, can LJ have the same kind of season he did last year. seriously, they ran that stretch play to perfection last year, for 12 yards just over and over. but the more important question - how old is trent green and tony gonzalez. gonzalez definitely lost his best-at-his-position title last year. and trent green seems like he's been in the league forever. the schedule however, is a little bit easier than denver's in that they don't have to face indy and new england. defense reigns supreme with edwards in charge and i think the change in philosophy is good enough to get the chiefs over the top. over.
san diego - 8.5: over(-140) under(+110)
this is the first number that i'm suspicious of. is there no dropoff between drew brees and philip rivers? i know they have LT and gates, but seriously, does rivers to mccardell, rashaun rogers, and eric parker do anything for you? me neither. and my prediction for philip rivers is complete and utter failure. rivers reminds me more of the prototypical NFL bust - chris redman, tim couch, kyle boller, and jp losman, guys with really good skills but never seem to catch up to the level of NFL play. i don't have any feelings about the schedule either way. this is a very good value pick though, so give me the under.
oakland - 6.5: over(-105) under(-115)
with aaron brooks now calling the plays, it's easy to see why vegas thinks that the raiders are going to suck this year. and vegas is right, they are going to suck. but, what the raiders have going for them is that i think lamont jordan is going to have a much better year this year, after having a halfway decent one during his first stint as feature back. and i just can't see randy moss having this many bad seasons in a row. this is a really good number, because i think 7 is about the top-end of their potential talent wise. and with houston, cleveland, and the jets on the schedule, i think they can reach it. i have very little confidence in this pick. over.
seattle - 10.5: over(-110) under(-120)
one of the biggest numbers on the board. to me, there's a lot not to like about the seahawks this year. i think the loss of that lineman is going to hurt more than people think. i also think that matt hasselback still doesn't have any good receivers to throw to. and as good as lofa tatupu was last year, those undersized linebackers always seem to wear down in year two a la brian ulracher. but that doesn't mean they're still not the favorite to win their division (and one of the favorites to make it to the super bowl at 10-1). the division sucks, shaun alexander is real real good and they have a pretty easy schedule. i'm not sure what to make of the money lines, but i'll take the over.
st louis - 7: over(-110) under (-120)
again, with these weird money lines...anyways, i really haven't kept up with the rams much in the offseason. all i know is that they underperformed last year. steve jackson had a somewhat inconsistent season in his first as the man, but i think that this is the year that he makes some real noise. in fact, i think that he'll go in about the 4th to 5th round in most fantasy drafts and be a steal there. bulger is a decent qb and torry holt is simply a stud. he's still underrated. so knowing little to nothing about this team, the schedule seems a bit tough to me. ummm...i guess i'll go with the under here.
arizona - 8: over(-115) under(-115)
i'm a little surprised at the money lines here. it seems pretty clear to me that with edgerrin james, the cardinals are a much much better team. great receivers, a stud back, etc. of course, there's kurt warner who is about as good as maybe half the quarterbacks out there, but as we all know is quite prone to injury, despite his intense faith in the lord jesus christ. apparently, jesus wants kurt to be injured. however, i actually think that him getting hurt will be a good thing for the cards. seriously, leinart was ready for the pro's two years ago. he basically has played not only in a pro-style offense at USC, he basically played with pro caliber players. there's a lot of reasons to think that he'll not pan out in the NFL, but i think when he ineveitably gets the starting nod this year, he'll be fine. did i mention edgerrin james is real good? i think the cards are going to vie for a playoff spot this year. give me the over.
san francisco -5: over (-115) under(-115)
let's see here...lost their best wide receiver, check. lost their best defensive player, check. 2nd year QB that wasn't any good in college, check. i'm almost starting to feel bad for niners fans. they've been in football hell for a while now. under all the way.