Top NFL Picks Against the Spread: Handicapping Week 1


Welcome back to the greatest weekend of the year next to Christmas, the Beargoggles staff trip to an away Bears game, and well….that’s it I guess.  The NFL started on Wednesday night with an upset already.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t have time to start my new mid-week posts because I would’ve taken Dallas and the points.  I wouldn’t have predicted a Dallas win, but those games are typically close and I would normally take whoever was getting points.  But, rule is, if it is not written down prior to the game, it didn’t happen.  Tell that to all of your “Hindsight is 20-20” friends who always seem to predict the right score or team after the game has taken place.  Tell them to put their money where their mouth is or at the very least, write down their super predictions.

So for those of you who have been following the blog, you know me, Bart the Handicapper.  Boomer introduced me years ago as the guy who always has something going every Sunday – Fantasy, Survival, Confidence, Point Pools, bets with uncles and 8 year old son.  I do enjoy not only watching every game, but also every little aspect of it – including the famous point spreads.  Other Beargoggle Staffers will take you into the world of fantasy and survival pools.  This post is for the hardcore – the Vegas traveler, the “I got a little something-something with Uncle Vinny” guys, and those who feel that sports gambling should be legal in the US (although I’ll still fight anyone that fantasy football is legalized sports gambling instead of “contests.”)


I thought it would be interesting for everyone to break down the numbers and learn a little as we continue to go forward.  Again, here’s how this works.  Assume that every “wager” is $100.  Every wager that is made, when lost, pays “juice” of 10%.  So, if you lose a $100 bet, you are paying $110.  Here is how I’ve done the past 2 years:

2010-2011:     3 Picks: 30-16-2        +1240              2011-2012:  3 Picks:  22-23-1               -$330

2010-2011:      Upset Special: 9-7   +$130               2011-2012:  Upset Special:  6-8            -$280

2010-2011:     Beloved: 6-8-1           -$280               2011-2012:  Beloved: 7-7                        -$70

2010-2011:    Playoffs: 7-5                +$150               2011-2012:  Playoffs   5-9                       -$490

2010-2011:  TOTAL 52-36-3            +$1240            2011-2012: Total   40-47-1                   -$1170

                                                               TOTAL:    +$70

CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  Let me break it down even simpler.  If I were in Vegas, over the last 2 years, I would’ve made 179 bets at $100 each and at the very end, would’ve been up $70.  $70!  Obviously, that’s a little disappointing given my first year positive numbers over $1000, but everyone knows that you do have ups/downs in gambling.  As long as I’m up money, I’m happy.  Well, it’s time to “restart” and add to the numbers.  Here we go:  YEAR 3!


Baltimore -7 vs Cincinnati – anyone that has followed my posts throughout the years probably would’ve realized that I’m a Baltimore “fan.”  They’re like my Bears of the AFC, I don’t know why.  I think it has something to do with their Defense.  Anyway, although larger number divisional spreads typically scare me off, I feel strongly about the Ravens at home against the Bungholes.  The Bengals aren’t going to do much against the Ravens 2nd rated Rush Defense, and if the Ravens utilize Rice the way they should, this one will be at least a 10-13 point victory.

Houston -12.5 vs Miami –alright, I think everyone sees the Houston win as a no-brainer.  They have an exceptionally strong Defense with good special teams.  Foster and Johnson can lite the scoreboard.  What I think may scare people off is the higher spread.  Miami is terrible and the Texans will stack the box against their only “weapon,” Reggie Bush.  The Texans will have this covered by half-time.

Detroit-9 vs St. Louis – I have a hard time betting on the Lions, I do.  However, ask yourself this, “Will the Lions score 31 Point (or more)?”  Yes.  Okay, then ask yourself if the Rams will score more than 21.  The answer is no.  Take Detroit at home.


49ers +5 vs. Green Bay – So, you don’t think Harbaugh has watched film of the Giants defeat of Green Bay last year in the playoffs like 100 times?  I know it is not easy to go into Lambeau and win – especially when you are coming from the West Coast.  However, this game will be a close one that likely could be decided by a field goal.  Point spreads of 5 and 5.5 are cautionary – in this case, I’ll take a solid Defensive Team getting 5 points, even against the “Juggernaut Packers.”


Bears -10 vs. Indianapolis -I’m getting the Bears in a pool at 9.5 which I obviously like a lot more, but I’ll still readily take them giving 10.  I’d rather catch a rookie QB in the beginning of the season than at the end.  As I wrote in my season predictions, the Bears were awfully vanilla in the pre-season.  They are going to come out and show a lot of different things in GAME 1, both offensively and defensively.  You better believe that the Bears have been doing double-prep with the short week coming up as well.  The Bears will coast in this one allowing some starters to rest in Q4, but that won’t impact the spread.

Well, with the exception of the UPSET SPECIAL, all heavily favored home teams this week.  We’ll see you mid-week for Thursday Night Prediction!