Handicapper runs every Friday on SportsPickle during the NFL season.
- - -
1:00 p.m. ET
Kansas City at Cleveland (-1.5)
Kansas City fans have to be excited by Week 1 because the Chiefs look like they have some good young players. But they should really be excited because it's all but a given that Dester McCluster will one day open up a restaurant in Kansas City called Dexter McCluckster's. He has to with that name. He can't let such a name go to waste. Mmmm. Dexter McCluckster's chicken wings. Mmmm. With Kansas City barbecue sauce. Mmmmmmm.
My pick: Kansas City (and to win)
Buffalo at Green Bay (-14)
Yikes. A 14-point spread. I think Vegas might be overreacting a bit to Buffalo's Week 1 loss. They can't use such a small sample size. Oh, what's that? They're taking into account the entire last decade of Buffalo Bills football? Never mind then.
My pick: Green Bay
Baltimore at Cincinnati (+3)
Ray Lewis, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco so much for your average NFL fan to hate. It's just annoying this game is on at 1:00 p.m. I find it hard to come home from church and really get a good hate going. This game should have been played on Monday night for maximum hatred.
My pick: Baltimore
Pittsburgh at Tennessee (-5.5)
The Steelers returned to "Steelers Football" last week and won without Ben Roethlisberger. You'll recall that "Steelers Football" is strong defense and constant run plays. You'll also recall that the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2005 and 2008 by throwing a lot on first, second and third downs. And, finally, you'll recall that most people in the football media are morons who like to spout buzzwords and catchphrases that have no basis in reality.
My pick: Pittsburgh
Philadelphia at Detroit (+6)
If Calvin Johnson scores this week, he has the opportunity for one of the greatest and most understated touchdown celebrations of all-time. He just needs to stand still in the end zone, with the ball, for as long as he possibly can until the official finally demands he hand the ball over.
That would be awesome. Too bad his quarterback is Shaun Hill so we won't get to see it.
My pick: Philadelphia
Chicago at Dallas (-7.5)
Okay, it's time for everyone to lay off of Cowboys lineman Alex Barron. If he was really so terrible, he wouldn't keep getting NFL jobs. For example, if the Cowboys released him, I'm sure the Bears would pick him right up. He'd be a perfect fit there. He would see to it that Jay Cutler would get sacked before he has a chance to throw the ball to the wrong team.
My pick: Dallas
Tampa Bay at Carolina (-3)
The Panthers had five turnovers last week against the Giants. They need to cut down on their turnovers if they want to win. Okay, I fixed that team. NEXT!
My pick: Carolina***
Arizona at Atlanta (-7)
"What's up Gillette fans"? What is a Gillette fan?
Although what was he supposed to say: "What's up Falcons fans"? Those don't exist either.
My pick: Arizona
Miami at Minnesota (-6)
Brett Favre has had 10 days to rest his old-man bones since playing in the Thursday night opener. This is the longest break he's taken without pretending to retire in years. Good for you, Brett!
My pick: Miami
- - -
4:05 p.m. ET
St. Louis at Oakland (-3.5)
Hey! Look! The NFC West and AFC West banged uglies and had a disgusting baby!
My pick: Oakland
Seattle at Denver (-3.5)
Pete Carroll and Tim Tebow finally meet. That will be the most positive, over-the-top handshake of all-time.
"It's a pleasure to meet you!"
"No, the pleasure is ALL MINE!"
"No way, I'm the one feeling the most pleasure!"
"What? You're crazy, pal. I'm the one that's lucky to meet YOU!"
"Well, we're both super lucky. Want to get together sometime and share motivational cliches!"
"Definitely! Also, sorry for talking about pleasure before. Pleasure is shameful outside of the confines of marriage."
My pick: Denver
- - -
4:15 p.m. ET
Houston at Washington (+3)
Arian Foster might be one of my favorite NFL players of all-time, solely because of the rage he must give racists when they hear his name. "What?! An Aryan scored a touchdown? It's about time the white man Ah, dammit! That's no Aryan!"
I just feel bad for the sheep whose anus they take their rage out on.
My pick: Houston
Jacksonville at San Diego (-7)
This game looks like it will be blacked out in San Diego. A) Why should Chargers fans bother showing up before about Week 7 since the team never shows up until then; and B) I am completely shocked that Jaguars fans don't travel better. Come on Kevin and Steve! Get on a plane!
My pick: San Diego
- - -
New England at New York Jets (+3)
So this is a big gray area: If the Jets tackle Tom Brady, is that considered harassing a woman?
My pick: New England
- - -
8:20 p.m. ET
Giants at Colts (-6)
Thank god Goodell is expanding the NFL schedule to 18 games. There are too many awkward Eli Manning videos to fit into that short of a schedule.
Heh-heh. Girls be pretty! Heh-heh.
And don't lie, Eli. Before you walked down the aisle you know your mom told you about the birds and the bees.
My pick: Indianapolis
- - -
8:35 p.m. ET
New Orleans at San Francisco (+6)
Sports Illustrated's Peter King is picking the 49ers to win this game. Now, I know it's tough because most banks aren't open on Saturday or Sunday, but you're going to want to take all of your money out of the bank and put it on the Saints. Let the bank manager know it's a lock and he'll probably open the branch up for you as a thank you.
My pick: New Orleans***
- - -
Last week vs. spread: 7-8-1
Last week just winners: 9-7
- - -
Season vs. spread: 7-8-1
Season just winners: 9-7
- - -
***Lukewarm Locks last week: 1-1
***Lukewarm Locks this season: 1-1