I’ve never been particularly good at picking NFL games, especially when you get into the spreads.  More times than not, I’m left dumbfounded by how teams couldn’t cover a +17 spread or why I picked the Lions ever last season (I picked them to cover almost every week…they usually didn’t).  However, this doesn’t mean I can’t try and pick the winners.  That and I’m feelin’ lucky after calling that Miami win over FSU Monday night in front of a couple of people.  Also, throughout the season, I’ll be putting my record up against some of the so-called “experts” to see how much more they actually know about football than myself.  So here we go, my NFL Week 1 picks (Picks in Bold, Home Team listed 2nd):

Thursday Night
Titans (+6) vs. Steelers – Pittsburgh will win this game, but it’ll be a close one. I’m thinking 20-17 for Big Ben and Co.

Dolphins vs. Falcons (-4)  I see very good things for the Falcons this year. I think they win this one by at least a TD.

Broncos vs. Bengals (-4) Cincinnati isn’t a very good team, but I don’t think there is a less prepared team in the league than Denver.  Cincy by 10.

Vikings (-4) vs. Browns – Much like their AFC North-mate Cincinnati, Cleveland isn’t very good and we don’t know who their QB is yet. Unfortunately, they run into Adrian Peterson in Week 1.

Jaguars (+7) vs. Colts – The Colts really struggled at the beginning of last year and that was when they still had guys like Dungy and Marvin Harrison. Expect this one to be closer than it should be.

Lions (+13) vs. Saints – It’s hard to forget about the 2008-09 Lions, but this is a new team and that could mean the start of better things in Detroit.  They’ll manage to keep it close at least.

Cowboys (-6) vs. Buccaneers – Tampa Bay is a complete mess.  Then again, Dallas is always a mess.  Still, Tony Romo will manage to keep his eyes focused on the field long enough to beat the hapless Bucs.

Eagles vs. Panthers (-2) I really like the Eagles this year, but whenever there’s a spread of 3 points or less, I usually stick with the home teams.

Jets vs. Texans (-4.5) Ah, yes I get to pick against my team once again.  Seriously, though, Houston is going to turn a lot of heads this year and I think it’s going to start against the Jets.  Texans by 7-10 points, in a game where the score will be deceiving.

Chiefs vs. Ravens (-10.5) The Ravens are a tough team to have to open up a season against, especially in Baltimore.  Worse, if Matt Cassel can’t go that means Tyler Thigpen will be under center that means a couple of INTs at least. (Editor’s Note: Special Thanks to my brother, Eddie, who is a Ravens fan and pointed out that I initially missed this game.)

Redskins (+6.5) vs. Giants – A division game to open up the season is rough on any team.  I expect both teams to come out and play very well, which usually means a close game.

49ers vs. Cardinals (-6.5) This is a classic defense vs. offense battle, but I’ll take the Cards passing game against any team that looks like it can’t score.

Rams vs. Seahawks (-8.5) Seattle is going to be a lot better this year than they were last year.  St. Louis might be worse than they were last year.

Bears (+3.5) vs. Packers – I was surprised to see the Bears getting 3.5 here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go into Lambeau and get the W.

Monday Night
Bills vs. Patriots (-10.5) – This is going to be a big welcome back party for Tom Brady. I expect to see the Pats win by three TDs and make it very tough on T.O. in his Bills debut.

Chargers (-9) vs. Raiders – This is some gift for the Chargers to open up against Oakland.  By the end of this one Tom Cable might get punched by Al Davis.