Week #2 in the league where they play for pay. We'll try to peek over .500 after a lackluster 2-3 last week. Home teams in CAPS:
GREEN BAY (-13) over Buffalo
After seeing the Eagles put Aaron Rodgers on his back several times last week, I'd be a little apprehensive about the Packers here, but there may not be a number too large to lay with Green Bay in their home opener against a putrid Buffalo team. Should the Pack get up by anything more than 7 points early, this game can be put to bed. Buffalo, armed with a head coach (Chan Gailey) and quarterback (Trent Edwards) who've never met a 3-yard dump pass they didn't like, appears to lack both the athletes and the attitude to come back from any sort of deficit.
Miami (+5.5) over MINNESOTA
I know the Vikings were undefeated at home last year, but the team we saw last Thursday against New Orleans didn't look very much like the 2009 Vikings. Brett Favre looked every bit the part of a banged up, ancient quarterback who skipped camp and didn't get the time to re-develop a rapport with his depleted receiving corps. Adrian Peterson ran well but part of me thinks the Vikings miss Chester Taylor more than they let on, because it looked like they were still gun-shy about AP's fumble-itis. Miami seems like a team who will play a ton of close games this year and may be able to run the ball a little bit here if the Saints' second half from last week is any indication.
New England (-2.5) over NY JETS
Say it with me: the Jets are not that good. Last Monday night's game was a nice refresher on exactly who the Jets are - a plodding offensive team that rides the coattails of its defense and fails to take advantage of its opportunities to take control of games (see the sack-fumble on Baltimore's 10 yard line that resulted in only a field goal, as well as the 68-yard interception return by Antonio Cromartie followed by Shonn Greene fumbling the ball back to the Ravens 2 plays later). The Pats looked like they dialed back the clock to 2007 last week against Cincinnati, and succeeded in making me look like a moron for taking the Bungles. Hopefully they don't do that to me two weeks in a row.
INDIANAPOLIS (-5) over NY Giants
Anyone who has paid attention to NFL wagering in the past few years knows that you don't go against Peyton Manning in a primetime regular season game. The Giants were bumbling all over the field with the Panthers last week for 2.5 quarters until Matt Moore started coughing the ball up like a hairball, so the G-Men victory looked a lot prettier than it actually was. Hakeem Nicks, who scored three touchdowns last week for the Giants, is likely a gametime decision for this one.
New Orleans (-5.5) over SAN FRANCISCO (Monday Night)
Gambling history says to go to town on home underdogs in Monday Night games, but it is quite possible that axiom goes out the window when said home dog just took a 25-point whipping at the hands of Seattle and has the whole Schwarzenegger State wondering where exactly all that preseason hype came from. Simply put, the Saints have reached "ride them until they lose" status and will be quite rested after an 11-day gap between games. Anyone else want to see Reggie Bush strike a Heisman pose if he scores a touchdown in this game?
Last Week/Season: 2-3-0