NFL Undercover (Week 1 2011)

With the 2011-12 NFL season officially underway, here are what I humbly consider to be the most advantageous betting propositions currently offered for week 1. My predictions are based on the current lines from Las Vegas which change somewhat frequently and may slightly differ from the figures in this article. My breakdown of each game involves an in-depth process which includes extensive statistical analysis, historical probabilities and a bit of good old fashioned gut instinct. I am by no means a professional analyst, but have had great success with my system the past two years and thought I would share my picks with all who may be interested. Enjoy!

New England @ Miami
Current Spread: New England -7

I believe that the bookies are greatly undervaluing New England here. Miami went 7-9 the last two seasons and I believe they will put up a similar record this season as well. Last year, Miami was blown out by over three touchdowns both times they played New England. Chad Henne has more offensive weapons at his disposal this year including the over-hyped Reggie Bush, but he simply is no match for Tom Brady and his many different stellar offensive options. Brady is currently among the best quarterbacks in the league and has a tendency to destroy just about every secondary he encounters. I believe Miami’s already impressive defense will continue to grow stronger this year, but it certainly won’t be enough to compete with the boys from Foxborough considering the Dolphins’ far inferior offense. If you can’t put up some big points, you can’t beat the Patriots. New England is going to be unstoppable in this one, Miami won’t be able to keep up.

My Pick?
Take New England against the spread.


New York @ Washington
Current Spread: New York -3

This spread makes very little sense, but I assume its based solely on home field advantage and the strong pre-season that the Redskins have enjoyed in comparison to the lackluster start of the Giants. However, pre-season games very rarely determine or predict the course of a team’s season and I fully expect Eli and crew to turn it on when it counts. New York is a very different team from last year as injuries and trades have taken their toll. Three key offensive linemen (Seubert, O’Hara, Andrews) are gone which could cause some trouble for Eli, especially considering both Seubert and O’Hara were part of the Giants’ Super Bowl win in 2008. There are other questions regarding New York’s lineup, but the team still sports an incredibly talented core of players which I believe will step up and beat the rather mediocre Redskins. The Giants had the second best rushing totals in the NFC last year and when combined with Eli’s typically potent passing attack, New York has an offense that can often be very hard to contain. The central question of concern at this point is New York’s defense. The pre-season has been brutal for the Giants, with five key defensive players already out for the year. The defense is going to have to step up and find a way to get it done without several vital players. However, whatever issues New York may have are nothing compared to the mess that Mike Shanahan has on his hands with his Redskins. They’ve been mired in the depths of the NFC East for the past several years and I don’t see any real reason why that should change this year. Historically, the Giants have a very strong record when it comes to season openers against the Redskins; they’ve won the last six meetings and are 14-5 in their last 19 games as a road favorite overall. The Giants should have no problem covering on this one.

My Pick?
Take New York against the spread.

Carolina @ Arizona
Current Spread: Arizona -7

I’m quite surprised that the bookmakers didn’t put Arizona closer to -10 or so considering Carolina is the worst team in the whole NFC, and perhaps the NFL. Granted, Carolina did manage to pull out a win against Arizona last year while playing in the comfort of their own stadium, but they failed to put together a single win on the road. I do believe Carolina will improve upon their record this year, but considering the Panthers went 2-14 in 2010, it should be a rather easy task to achieve even though they currently face one of the toughest schedules in the league. I know that many Carolina fans are expecting the arrival of Auburn star quarterback Cam Newton to dramatically turn the tide for the Panthers, and clearly he does have the potential to be a great franchise quarterback in the NFL. However, this is his first ever regular season game and it’s on the road. He’s bound to make a few mistakes and Arizona will be ready to capitalize on every last one. The Cardinals are a much different, stronger team this season on both sides of the ball and I believe, like many others, that QB Kevin Kolb is going to have a breakout season. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he manages to lead the languishing Cardinals to their first playoff appearance since 2009. Kolb’s got one of the best receivers in the game at his disposal in Larry Fitzgerald, who will surely be looking to validate the giant contract he just recently inked. This one ain’t even gonna be close.

My Pick?
Take Arizona against the spread.

So there you have it, these are what I consider to be the most profitable, reliable spreads currently available. Check back each week all season long for the three games that I’m putting my own money behind. I will keep a running tally of my progress and hope to have another winning season under my belt come this January.

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