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Shutdown Corner

The weekly NFL spread picks: The Giants are the way to go in Week 1

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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You're never going to make money regularly taking the Dallas Cowboys.

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Mock the Cowboys all you want, but like the Lakers and Yankees, there's always someone willing to put their hard-earned cash on them. Likely someone with a big belt buckle. Dallas is 18-29-1 against the spread over the last three years, according to Covers.com. Some of that is because Dallas has been mediocre. But it's also worth noting that oddsmakers in Vegas know that people will bet on the Cowboys no matter if that point spread is shaded a point or two too high.

That's the only reason I can possibly come up with for the Cowboys-Giants line moving from 3 points to 3.5 points this week, according to the lines used on the Yahoo Pro Football Pick 'em (those are the lines we'll use here all season). The point spread moving up means most people are taking the Cowboys this week, and ... well, you've got me why that would be.

Maybe there's worry about limited practice participants Victor Cruz and Jason Pierre-Paul for the Giants, or Bad Eli showing up on "Sunday Night Football," but I still don't get it. The Giants are the superior team, and are you going to feel good about having Tony Romo and the 'Boys in a close game? Me either. Giants +3.5 is the pick of the week.

And now onto the rest of Week 1:

New England (-9.5) over Buffalo: The picks will be a regular Friday feature, with Thursday's game going up on the Yahoo Shutdown Corner page on Twitter. Last night, I took Baltimore +7.5. Seems like as good of a time as any to say: This is just for recreational purposes only, folks.

Cincinnati (+3) over Chicago: Two of my favorite teams for this season right here. And if they're fairly even, I should take the points. This will be a fun game.

Cleveland (pick) over Miami: Maybe when Brandon Weeden sees some blitzes he'll fall apart, but I'm still willing to ride the underrated Browns at home.

Minnesota (+5) over Detroit: See Vikings fans, I don't constantly hate on your team.

Indianapolis (-9.5) over Oakland ... SURVIVOR PICK: Way back when, some NBA fantasy leagues made Michael Jordan illegal to own, because he gave one team too much of an edge and screwed up the game. The same rule should be applied to picking against the Raiders in survivor pools this season.

Atlanta (+3) over New Orleans: New Orleans' defense against Atlanta's offense? You don't even need the points in this one, the Falcons are going to win.

N.Y. Jets (+3.5) over Tampa Bay: Just ask yourself one thing – have you heard one person pick the Jets? Ask one more thing – do you think Las Vegas gives away money?

Pittsburgh (-7) over Tennessee: The Steelers have their issues, but the defense is still good, and I don't trust Jake Locker yet to keep it close.

Carolina (+3.5) over Seattle: You didn't expect me to pick against Carolina getting points at home, right?

Kansas City (-4) over Jacksonville: This game seems like a trap, too good to be true, but taking Jacksonville means taking Blaine Gabbert with a hairline fracture in the thumb on his throwing hand.

St. Louis (-4.5) at Arizona: I'd take the Rams up to a touchdown. Just because Carson Palmer is better than Ryan Lindley, who took way too many snaps at quarterback for Arizona last year, doesn't mean he's good.

Green Bay (+4.5) over San Francisco: Yes, the thought of the Packers' offensive line trying to protect Aaron Rodgers from this 49ers defense is very frightening.

Washington (-3.5) over Philadelphia: Maybe Robert Griffin III will be rusty, but he'll look just fine against that Eagles defense.

San Diego (+4) over Houston: I don't love the Chargers' chances this season, but you can generally do pretty well rolling with home underdogs in primetime games.

Year to date: 0-1

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