These are projected lines for Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season. Follow @walterfootball
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos: Broncos -6
The public is down on the Ravens after they lost Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and countless other veterans in free agency. The Broncos, meanwhile, will want revenge for their heartbreaking playoff loss. I have a feeling there is going to be a ton of betting action on Denver.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills: Patriots -4
The Patriots have won 18 of their previous 19 matchups against the Bills. They were favored by four points early last season in Buffalo, so I don't see why this situation would be any different. The public will pound the visitor, just as it did when New England opened laying six at Tennessee in 2012.
Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers: Steelers -9
Last year's Tennessee-Pittsburgh matchup is one of my favorite games of all time because of a personal matter. Based on what happened on the field, however, it was a weird matchup that the Titans somehow won in overtime. The Steelers should be a pretty big favorite in a revenge situation.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: Saints -3
With Sean Payton returning to the Saints, these teams could be perceived as equal. You give three points to the host, so that's how I came up with this spread. This will be a difficult game to handicap, but it'll be a blast to watch.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets: Jets -2
This may change based on what happens during the preseason, but everyone is really down on the Jets, just as they were going into last year. This might be for good reason, but the Buccaneers could be viewed as the superior squad.
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars: Chiefs -1.5
Wow, what an exciting matchup. I can hardly wait for Alex Smith to take on Blaine Gabbert. The Chiefs made a ton of noise this offseason, so I expect them to be favored in Jacksonville.
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers: Seahawks -1.5
The Seahawks were kings of the offseason, so they have to be favored at Carolina - even if they are playing in an unfavorable 1 p.m. game on the East Coast. I'm not sure why the NFL couldn't schedule this matchup at 4:25. This goes against the macho football mentality, but the league office needs to realize how difficult it is to overcome circadian rhythms.
Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears: Bears -3
Though the Bengals made the playoffs and the Bears didn't, both teams went 10-6 last year. Chicago and Cincinnati seem about equal, so that's why I made the host a three-point favorite.
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns: Dolphins -2
The Dolphins have to be favored based on what they've done in free agency. The public has seen how many players Miami signed in March, so it will likely bet them heavily against the Browns, who are always perceived to be awful.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Lions -1
The Vikings made the playoffs last year, while the Lions were a woeful 4-12. The visitor might be favored in a normal situation like this, but Detroit has stars like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh. Bettors will expect them to rebound.
Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts: Colts -9.5
Oakland is viewed as the worst team in the NFL, and that may likely be the case. The Colts, who will be expected to take another leap forward, will probably be favored by close to double digits.
Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers: 49ers -4.5
The 49ers were three-point favorites over the Packers in the playoffs. This number has to be higher based on the way San Francisco dominated Green Bay in that contest. The 49ers also had the stronger offseason.
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: Rams -3.5
The Rams went 11-5 against the spread last year. They were a covering machine. However, they're still not viewed highly by the public because of Sam Bradford. With Carson Palmer quarterbacking the Cardinals, these teams could be viewed as being close to equal.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys -3
Everyone knows about the Cowboys' late-season struggles, but they're just fine at the beginning of the year. The public may remember how Dallas defeated New York to kick off the 2012 campaign. These teams are probably publicly perceived to be equal, so I'm going to have the Cowboys laying three points.
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: Redskins -2.5 (Cousins) or Redskins -6 (Griffin)
Two different spreads here, obviously because of the Robert Griffin uncertainty. He's probably worth 3.5 points or so compared to Kirk Cousins. There likely won't be a posted line on this game until a few days prior to kickoff.
Houston Texans at San Diego Chargers: Texans -1
Based on the talent of these two teams, the Texans should probably be -3 or -3.5, but the Chargers are always publicly hyped because of Philip Rivers. I still think Houston will be a short favorite though.
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