It’s that time of year! You know it’s not officially football season until Doc Brown’s Sports Almanac picks are released. To refresh your memory, last NFL season I served as the handicapper at AOL Sports’ FanHouse, picking 3 games a week against the spread. My record last year was 15-11-1, good for a 58% clip, which means I was making you money even against the vig. That’s like a dude hitting about .290 in the bigs — not quite All-Star status, but good enough to be a top player on any team. Anyway, Doc Brown’s Sports Almanac Picks are back once again, this time in written, not video form, and they’re presented by BetUs.com.
All NFL odds are provided courtesy of online sportsbook BetUs.com. You’ll also notice a new feature — each game is rated on a scale of 1-5 in terms of Doc Brown confidence. Check out the picks for Week 1:
Saints -3 vs. Buccaneers – Even though they’ve been moving around because of Hurricane Gustav, the Saints still have had plenty of time to prep for this game. Their defense is improved between the draft pick of Sedrick Ellis, and acquisitions of Jonathan Vilma and Randall Gay. The offense has always been solid, it was just that Drew Brees was plagued by drops early last year. I lay the 3 with confidence.
Vikings +2.5 at Packers – I’m big on the Vikings this year because I like their defensive additions of Jared Allen and Madieu Williams which should help rattle the shaky quarterbacks in the division, Aaron Rodgers being one of them. Minnesota’s passing game is suspect, but they should be able to run the ball well enough to win straight up — they won’t need a ton of points to do that.
Rams +7.5 at Eagles – I think the touchdown plus the hook is too much in this one — perhaps 5.5 would have been more accurate. The Rams were decimated by injuries last year and it showed. This year with their line healthy as well as Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson at full strength, they should be able to put up the points we’re accustomed to seeing. Don’t forget, they spent their last two first round picks on defensive ends — their pass rush should put pressure on McNabb’s weak line.