COMMENTARY | With the start of the NFL season comes millions and millions of dollars wagered throughout sports books across the country.
Football is where the money is made. Plain and simple.
With that being said, there's no better way to start your NFL season than with a few extra bucks in your pocket. This is a weekly column that I will run every weekend until the end of the regular season.
Here are my three picks for Week 1:
All lines courtesy of www.footballlocks.com
Why is nobody showing Tampa Bay any respect? Yes, the Buccaneers finished with a 7-9 record last season. But they did it in arguably the toughest division in the NFL.
Not to mention that seven of those losses came by a touchdown or less.
And let's be honest, the Jets are absolutely horrible. After a very busy preseason, the Jets found out that Geno Smith isn't that much better than Mark Sanchez.
That can't be reassuring for Jets fans who wanted Sanchez out. Do they really feel good about starting a rookie who wasn't that impressive to begin with?
Last year, people were betting against the Jets when Sanchez was in, so why is this line only at 3.5?
The Bucs' offense is loaded and all they did was bolster their defense in the offseason. The Jets have nothing going for them at this point and are in the middle of an ugly rebuilding stage. Take the Bucs.
Yes, 54.5 is an extremely high total. But have we forgotten who's playing?
The New Orleans Saints have one of the highest-flying offenses we've ever seen with Drew Brees at the helm, and the Atlanta Falcons can score plenty of points themselves. Not to mention that neither defense is anything to write home about.
The two teams combined for 58 points when they met in New Orleans last year, and the Saints opening week total for three of the last four seasons is 72, 76 and 72.
Oh, and the Falcons have Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and the newly-acquired Steven Jackson.
Atlanta scored at least 30 points in six games in 2012, and look for that offense to keep its foot on the accelerator against a division rival.
For some reason, there are still people out there who think the New England Patriots will struggle because Tom Brady doesn't have many good receivers on the field.
Since when has this ever been an issue?
Brady is like Peyton Manning. He doesn't need Pro Bowl receivers to make things work. He just makes them work.
The last four times the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills have played the totals have gone as such: 68, 80, 70, 65. Ridiculous.
With the Denver Broncos stealing the spotlight on Thursday night, people are really forgetting that New England is still a force to be reckoned with. Especially with Tom Brady at quarterback.
He and Bill Belichick would love nothing more than to come out with a huge game to show the rest of the NFL that the Patriots are still here.
Remember, Belichick likes to run up the scoreboard.
The Bills have the electrifying C.J. Spiller on their team, and their quarterback problems shouldn't be too big of an issue when it comes to scoring points. E.J. Manuel is raw and extremely talented, and although he's been limited because of injuries, he'll still keep the Patriots on their toes.
This means he'll be able to beat them with his arm, his legs, or just by simply handing the ball off to Spiller.
Either way, serious points will be scored in this one.
Steven Slivka is a freelance writer for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.
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- New York Jets
- Atlanta Falcons
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- New Orleans Saints
- New England Patriots