MONEY FOR NOTHING—AND THE PICKS FOR FREE—VOLUME ONE

There are too many games and not enough televisions. Sure, you could do the split screen, or even NFL Redzone, but I’m talking about like maybe seven or eight contests where I want to see every snap in a full border-line cinematic fashion.

Prime-time television has become a can’t-miss affair, too, with every contest giving us heavyweight bouts—or at least one title contender on display.

Okay then…

San Diego @ Oakland (-1). There’s something fishy about a line that doesn’t move, or one that moves closer and closer to a pick ‘em than anything else. The Raiders aren’t perfect, but neither are the Chargers; you could listen to the pundits, however, hear all the great things going one for the Lightning Bolts, but remember: They’re historically slow starters: Sometimes awful even. So relax for Monday’s nightcap Raider Nation, because this might be one of their finer moments.

Dallas @ New York Giants (-4). This line moved for a reason, and that reason is clear: Dallas can’t handle this big a spot. Big D may have flashes of brilliance over the first month of this early NFL season but not here. The defending world champs have been hearing about how they’re lacking something from the rest of this division—not an uncommon theme, the media undervaluing the G-Men, but still this is getting old—so look for a statement from the boys in blue.

Atlanta @ Kansas City (+3). This can’t be right, for if you do the math, this would mean that the Falcons are a touchdown minus the extra point better than the Chiefs—and that just isn’t the case. In fact, the story with both the divisions in which these teams find themselves are the opposite: ATL going backwards and KC going forwards. And to quote Dennis Miller, “But that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong.”

Carolina (-3) @ Tampa Bay. As one of the few games of which this writer is nearly completely sure, the Panthers at the Bucs had to be on this list. Week Ones are always unusually hard but ask yourself this: Would you pick the work in progress, or the team looking to make the next step? Don’t bother answering aloud; it’s rhetorical.

Pittsburgh @ Denver (-1 ½). This line’s movement is just odd. Denver coming out with a little rust is understandable, but this is a team of preparation, and they’ve been waiting to really show everyone of what they’re really made. The Steelers got adjustments of their own about which to worry—all only made worse by being on the road for an opening week when the fans in Mile High just can’t wait to go completely bonkers.

A wise man once said, “If you can’t be good be careful”, so take heed and pace yourself, for there’s a lot of football to be consumed this year and it’s way too early in the season to OD.

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