I am always happy when the NFL season arrives, but especially happy this weekend, because it gives me a diversion from college football for my best bets of the weekend. I'm not sure if you noticed (Yes, I know ALL of you noticed), but I came out of the shoot in Week 1 of my football Best Bets 1-5.
So take every snarky thing I've said about Mark Sanchez, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker, apply it all to gambling, and that's me right now. The clown prince, über scrub, crap donkey selector of against-the-spread winners.
So as I sit here and watch Peyton Manning go all "Big 12, up tempo" dunking of the Ravens head in the toilet water on a Thursday night, here is an all-NFL version of the Best Bets:
(And yes, I need a week off from college to recalibrate my compass. Last week was jarring for me. I usually do pretty well the first week of the season.)
And let's start with the safe play here and bet against some rookie quarterbacks, shall we?
Patriots -10 over BILLS I have no idea if there's one of those "when he has over a week to prepare" statistics out there for Bill Belichick. That always feel like more of a college thing to me. (Nick Saban is 153-0 with two weeks to prepare!!) But I'm guessing that if there were a metric for Bill Belichick with an entire summer to prepare for a rookie quarterback who missed most of the preseason with an injury, it would be very scary for E.J. Manuel's parents. Also, Tom Brady gets the "Tony Siragusa at Golden Corral" look on his face anytime the Pats square off against the Bills. I know, I know....Buffalo is a quadruple D -- double digit division dog. Whatever.
Buccaneers -3 1/2 over JETS The long, slow road to nowhere for the Jets begins here, and my guess is that by the end of the day on Sunday, Jets rookie quarterback will remember the name "Darelle Revis."
COLTS -10 over Raiders If you can't bet against a rookie quarterback in Week 1, you bet against the next best thing -- a third year quarterback making his second career start for a Raiders team that looks like it's still being run via proxy by some sort of Al Davis force ghost. I think the Raiders have the inside track for the number one overall pick, and might even make a run at 0-16, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. After all, you can't go 0-16 without going 0-1.
Chiefs - 3 1/2 over JAGUARS Actually, I take back what I just said. The next best thing to betting against a rookie quarterback is betting against Blaine Gabbert. This isn't even up for debate.
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49ERS -4 1/2 over Packers The Packers have Colin Kaepernick this week and RG3 next week. Holy read option, Batman! The 49ers have to take care of their business at home early in the season because the early part of their schedule is pretty hellacious (after this week, at Seattle, Colts at home, Thursday night at St. Louis, home for Texans).
Falcons/SAINTS OVER 54 Highest total on the board, and I ain't scared. You hear me, Vegas? I ain't scared of your 54! I think this game will be our first taste of a recurring theme in Saints games, and that's that I will a) never, ever take the "UNDER" in any of their games and b) just about every offensive skill guy short of the backup tight end will see the field in fantasy games. Saints games will be like a blackjack table with all face cards and aces coming out of the shoe.
Last week: 1-5 Season total: 1-5
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.