I'll be reviewing the lines each week and giving you three bets I don't think can lose. Of course, I'm no professional bettor. Actually, I'm not a bettor at all; it's a lot easier making these picks when I'm basically playing with your money. Have I lost all credibility yet?
Anyway, here are your three bets for this week. I don't think you can go wrong. Of course, these are all for, um, research purposes. I'd hate to have any broken kneecaps on my conscience. And don't come to me if you bet the farm (I envy you if you even have a farm to bet) and lose. Have fun, degenerates.
Bengals (+2) over CHIEFS - The Chiefs are highly overrated coming into the season -- Vegas is caught up in the "Hey, Trent Green is still good!" and "Larry Johnson will rush for 3,500 yards!" hype, and they're home, which is why they're giving the points. Though the Bengals still have their questions, Herm Edwards is not as good of a coach as people think, the Chiefs secondary isn't THAT much better than last year (certainly shouldn't be able to stop the Palmer/Johnson/Housh trio), and the Kansas offensive line has taken a battering this offseason -- it's questionable at best whether or not they'll be able to hold up to Cincinnati's swarming 3-4 defense.
Saints (+3) over BROWNS - The Browns are on their fourth center of the offseason, and Hank Fraley, the latest, has only been with the team for about a week. The Browns' offensive line was a question last year, and because of the LeCharles Bentley injury it won't be too much improved. The Saints' new aggressive blitzing defense will get a lot of pressure on Charlie Frye, and in his first seaosn opener with a lot of expectations on him it'll be interesting to see how he responds. The Browns should be able to run well on the Saints, but I think New Orleans will win in a shootout.
Chargers (-3) over RAIDERS - I don't even know why the Raiders aren't getting 6 or 7 points in this game. Yes, Philip Rivers is an unknown entity. But he's got two great safety valves for a young quarterback, and the Chargers defense will be one of the best in the league this year. Aaron Brooks will not be able to handle himself when Shawne Merriman, Donnie Edwards, and Igor Olshansky are coming at him, meaning there should be a lot of fumbles and interceptions to go around for the Chargers.