2012 NFL Picks Against The Spread: Andrew Luck And Colts Are Big Underdog Pick

I will be previewing the Sunday early NFL games against the spread. The lines are from Bovada.com. Our staff started 1-0, picking the Cowboys over the favored Giants.

Chicago Bears -10 vs. Indianapolis Colts

The Bears were 7-3 and on their way to a playoff spot last season before Jay Cutler went down with an injury. Chicago never recovered, immediately going on a five game losing streak. They added a true number one receiver in Brandon Marshall, which should make their offense more dynamic. Brian Urlacher, the anchor of the Bears defense, is a huge question mark with a knee injury.

This is the beginning of the Andrew Luck era for the Colts. They rebuilt their offense adding more speed at the TE and WR positions through the draft. Indianapolis will be much improved this season.

I like the Bears to win the game, but will take the Colts with the points.

Philadelphia Eagles -9.5 @ Cleveland Browns

I expect the Eagles to make huge strides this season now that they've had a year to grow together and aren't a bunch of players thrown together through free agency. Philly addressed its biggest weakness at middle linebacker trading for DeMeco Ryans and adding Mychal Kendricks in the draft. The offense could be even better if Desean Jackson bounces back from a down year.

Another rookie quarterback, Brandon Weeden, will be under center for the Browns. Number three overall pick Trent Richardson is expected to play. Despite a solid offensive line and a higher level of talent on the offensive side of the ball, Weeden will struggle going up against the aggressive style of the Eagles.

I'll give the points and ride the Eagles.

New York Jets -3 vs. Buffalo Bills

Under Rex Ryan the Jets are 5-1 against the Bills and are in the midst of a five game winning streak. They have won those five games by an average of 16.1 points per game.

Buffalo has upgraded their defensive line with the additions or Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. Ryan Fitzpatrick has also put up good numbers early in the season. In the Bills last two openers Fitzpatrick is 37-53 with 445 yards passing, six touchdowns and two interceptions.

I don't think the Bills offense will be able get going against the Jets defense, and despite the preseason struggles, if you really paid attention from games one through three New York improved each game.

I'm taking the Jets and this is one of my favorite lines of the week.

New Orleans Saints -7.5 vs. Washington Redskins

This game has the most storylines out of any game of the weekend. Between the Saints debacle of a coaching situation and suspensions, plus the debut of Robert Griffin III, it's a fascinating game to watch.

As anyone who plays fantasy football knows, Mike Shanahan is playing who will get the running back carries close to the vest. We're looking at three different possibilities in Evan Royster, Roy Helu and Alfred Morris. Washington's defense will need big performances off the edge from Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo to disrupt Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

New Orleans was 8-0 last season at home and won by an average of 23 points. They're a monster at the Superdome.

Saints take this one by double digits.

New England Patriots -6 @ Tennessee Titans

I won't go near this game, it almost seems too easy to take the Patriots, which usually means Vegas knows something we don't.

Titans quarterback Jake Locker will be without his number one receiver, Kenny Britt, who is suspended. Look for running back Chris Johnson and tight end Jared Cook to be the focal points of the offense this week. Tennessee's defense lost cornerback Cortland Finnegan, but improved their pass rush adding Kamerion Wimbley.

New England's offense has the potential to be even better than last year with the addition of Brandon Lloyd out wide to go with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. No Benjarvus Green-Ellis in the backfield, but Steven Ridley makes them better at that position also. While Belichick has now been in charge of a team lacking an even mediocre defense in New England for years it seems like, that all changes this year. At minimum, with the personnel changes on that side of the ball, the Pats will be middle of the pack.

If you hold a gun to my head and make me pick this game I'm going with the Patriots.

Minnesota Vikings -4 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

This game is a 100% stay away, way too many unknowns. How much are running backs Adrian Peterson and Maurice Jones-Drew going to play?

How will the two second year quarterbacks, Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert play in their first start of their second season?

I am looking forward to seeing Jaguars rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon makes his debut.

Houston Texans -12.5 vs. Miami Dolphins

This line is too high for me to go near, but if I had to pick one I would grab the Texans.

I believe the Dolphins are going to be the worst team in the NFL this season, but don't think Houston is as good as others. They no doubt have the talent, but taking away last season under Gary Kubiak they are 37-43.

Detroit Lions -7.5 vs. St. Louis Rams

At first glance this game seems like it should be easy, but the Jeff Fisher led Rams could be able to exploit the Lions main deficiency on defense. Detroit allowed 5.0 yards per rush last year and the Rams will give them a heavy dose of Steven Jackson. The key is St. Louis needs to finish drive with touchdowns because Stafford and Calvin Johnson will score points.

I wouldn't touch this game, but at home I have to take the Lions.

Atlanta Falcons +3 @ Kansas City Chiefs

Picking against home dogs is usually a no no, but I love the Falcons. I picked them to win the Super Bowl and this will be the beginning of the journey.

With Dirk Koetter as offensive coordinator Atlanta's high flying attack featuring quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White will be unveiled.

Kansas City went 7-9 last season despite dealing with a massive amount of injuries. With a 1-2 punch of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis in the backfield and the return of safety Eric Berry the Chiefs are interesting.

I give the three points and take the Falcons. I like this game a good amount also.

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