NFL Over-Under Predictions and the First Thursday Night Pick

Survivor Pick of the Week:

I'll first reiterate my survivor pool philosophy: win now and worry about everything else later. It doesn't pay to get too fancy with your picks. Upsets happen on occasion, but these survivor pools generally don't last long enough for you to worry about saving teams. (Plus, there's the mental mind fuck of being upset that you took a chance with a team that wasn't so good and ended up losing. You can live with yourself better if a good team loses.) I also like to pick home teams because life on the road is tougher than you think.

With all that said, I think the Colts are the obvious choice this week. They're at home (check), they haven't changed much from last year's playoff team (check) and they're facing one of the three worst teams in the league (check). Oakland's quarterback situation is laughable. Terrell Pryor won the job by sucking less than Matt Flynn, which is saying something considering Pryor only completed 53 percent of his passes in the preseason while throwing more interceptions (2) than touchdowns (1). The Colts may struggle at times this year, but it won’t be this week.

Thursday Night Pick:

Baltimore +8.5 over DENVER
Revenge is a dish best served cold, but it’s going to be 85 degrees at kickoff in Denver tonight. I still can’t get over the blunder Rahim Moore made that allowed Baltimore to win last year’s game. It’s the worst safety play I’ve ever seen and somehow he’s not only still in Denver, but he’s their starting safety tonight. The shame is Baltimore is missing two of their major weapons from last year in Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta. They’re also missing that Ray Lewis guy on defense. Thankfully, they took advantage of Denver’s brain fart and picked up Elvis Dumervil to enhance their pass rush.

Denver, on the other hand, will have no pass rush in this game. They not only lost Dumervil, but they lost Von Miller to a suspension for the first four games. Not that Joe Flacco needs to look good after locking in one of the most ridiculous contracts in NFL history, but this definitely helps. (The Super Bowl is nice, but he’s still never thrown for 4,000 yards or more than 25 touchdowns in a season.) Denver’s offense should hum along, but their defense isn’t good enough to make this a blowout. Baltimore’s no pushover.

NFL Team Win Total Predictions:

Arizona Cardinals: 5.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
Carson Palmer isn't great, but he's good enough to stabilize the offense while the defense holds its own.

Atlanta Falcons: 9.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
Everything went right for the Falcons last year and the schedule is much tougher this year.

Baltimore Ravens: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The Ravens lost Ray Lewis, Anquan Boldin, and Dennis Pitta (injury), but they've added Elvis Dumervil and the defense is more mature.

Buffalo Bills: 6 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Push
I'm interested in E.J. Manuel from a fantasy perspective, but he'll have his struggles and the defense isn't exactly a force.

Carolina Panthers: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
It's more of the same in Carolina as the team continues to not make the necessary offseason improvements.

Chicago Bears: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
I'm on board with Marc Trestman as coach, but the defense will lack leadership without Brian Urlacher.

Cincinnati Bengals: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The Bengals could be the first team to overcome the Hard Knocks curse because they're making the right moves on both sides of the ball.

Cleveland Browns: 6.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The offense should improve and the defense is still there, so this could be a team that is quite frisky.

Dallas Cowboys: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The Cowboys always seem to win you over with talent and not execution, but I'm buying what they're selling since everyone's healthy this year.{pagebreak}

Denver Broncos: 11.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The departure of Dumervil, the loss of Von Miller for four weeks, and the age of Champ Bailey worry me enough to think they won't get to 12 wins.

Detroit Lions: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The Lions still can't play defense and their offense can only take them so far.

Green Bay Packers: 10.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
This will be close, but I expect a bounce-back year from the Packers with an improved running game.

Houston Texans: 10.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The addition of DeAndre Hopkins and Ed Reed will positively impact both sides of the ball.

Indianapolis Colts: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The Colts won too many close games last year to convince me to believe in a bad offensive line and a mediocre defense for 2013.

Jacksonville Jaguars: 5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Push
I think we all know how bad the Jaguars are, so we'll leave it at that.

Kansas City Chiefs: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
Everyone's getting on this Chiefs' bandwagon, but I'm not completely convinced with Alex Smith and a slightly above average defense.

Miami Dolphins: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The Dolphins still lack defensive punch and their offense isn't good enough to win more than 7 games.

Minnesota Vikings: 7 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Push
We'll need to see improved play from Christian Ponder to believe the Vikings can sniff the playoffs.

New England Patriots: 11 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The offense may be missing weapons in the passing game, but Tom Brady's overcome that before and the defense has been solidified.

New Orleans Saints: 9.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
Sean Peyton is back and Jimmy Graham's wrist is healthy, so I'm prepared for a big “Eff You” season after bounty-gate.

New York Giants: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The Giants had a brutal schedule last year and it's weak enough this year to think they'll get to 10 wins despite their issues in the secondary.

New York Jets: 6 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
I dare you to take the Jets over 6 wins given the circus occurring these days.

Oakland Raiders: 5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
See: “Jets, New York.”

Philadelphia Eagles: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
Chip Kelly is going to confuse defenses in his first year and the Eagles still have scary offensive weapons.

Pittsburgh Steelers: 9.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The Steelers' defense will suffer from not starting Jarvis Jones right away and the offense will continue to slug along with a bad line and questionable running game.

San Diego Chargers: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
San Diego is in rebuilding mode and won't be the team they were in the late 00s.

San Francisco 49ers: 11 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Push
The loss of Crabtree will prevent the 49ers from taking off offensively, but they'll still get to 11 wins with the running game and defense.

Seattle Seahawks: 10.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
Like the Falcons, the Seahawks took advantage of an easier schedule and will drop to 10 wins with tougher opponents to face.

St. Louis Rams: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
The Rams are knocking on the door, but they won't get past 7 wins as long as they don't have legit weapons for Bradford to throw to.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 7.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Under
There's going to be a QB controversy in Tampa if Josh Freeman doesn't get off to a great start.

Tennessee Titans: 6.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
The offensive line is improved and Chris Johnson looks like his old self.

Washington Redskins: 8.5 Wins – Mr. T's Pick: Over
I'm not completely convinced that RG3 will be back to normal after his knee injury, but the Redskins are a well-rounded football team.

Best Bets: Arizona, Cincinnati, Detroit, N.Y Jets, Oakland, San Diego