Don't buy into the Buffalo Bills' hype

RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:58 AM ET

Sun Media handicapper Randall the Handle and Sun Media’s Rob Longley and Ken Fidlin each were awarded a fictitious bankroll of $1,000 to start the season. With that play money, they will be making their NFL selections each week along with a specified amount attached to the games they find most appealing. Our only stipulation was that any wager could not exceed 5% of their respective bankroll. As in the real wagering world, each wager requires the selector risk $11 to win $10.

BEST BETS

Bills (0-0) at Jets (0-0)

LINE: NY JETS BY 2½

The Jets were Super Bowl contenders not long ago, but have since fallen back to the pack. A horrendous pre-season offensively has really soured Jets supporters, but we’re not exactly buying into it. Rex Ryan is sly enough to not show his hand just yet, especially with Tim Tebow’s non-QB athleticism at his disposal and an elite defence to keep opponents within striking distance. The Bills are being touted by some, but a poor secondary and an offence that is devoid of impact players has us doubting. Buffalo won just one of six divisional games last year, including a pair of losses to this host.

TAKING: JETS –2½

RISKING: $33 TO WIN $33

Seahawks (0-0) at Cardinals (0-0)

LINE: SEATTLE BY 3

Seattle fans are all amped up over rookie QB Russell Wilson after the youngster earned the starting job over recently acquired Matt Flynn. Calm down, people. Wilson had tiny shoes to fill with the array of stiffs that paraded through the northwest. We don’t see why the Seachickens should be a road favourite, in division, with a neophyte QB in his first game of regular-season play. The Cardinals have their own QB issues, but they believe in John Skelton and they do have the best player on the field in WR Larry Fitzgerald. Let’s not ignore that Arizona won five of its final six games last year.

TAKING: CARDINALS +3

RISKING: $33 TO WIN $30

Falcons (0-0) at Chiefs (0-0)

LINE: ATLANTA BY 3

The Chiefs won this division just two seasons ago before being decimated by injuries in 2011. A slew of talented players return to KC’s roster, including RB Jamaal Charles, safety Eric Berry and TE Tony Moeak. In addition, HC Romeo Crennel is there from the get-go after replacing the uncompromising Todd Haley last year. The Falcons have high expectations, but they are best on home surface and have dropped three of their past four away. The Chiefs are extremely dangerous as home underdogs with nine covers in their past 11, including six straight when taking points here.

TAKING: CHIEFS +3

RISKING: $22 TO WIN $20

THE REST

Colts (0-0) at Bears (0-0)

LINE: CHICAGO BY 9½

Before he ever takes a regular-season snap, Andrew Luck is better than half of the QBs in the NFL. Granted, it will take time, but with ex-Ravens DC Chuck Pagano taking over and the promise of Luck, expect a rejuvenated Colts squad. It’s early, but the Bears could be overlooking this one with a trip to Green Bay on deck.

TAKING: COLTS +9½

Patriots (0-0) at Titans (0-0)

LINE: NEW ENGLAND BY 5½

The Patriots opened as a 7-point choice, but the line has dropped ever since. Odd, no? That red flag could be attributed to concerns about New England’s offensive line. The sophomore Tennessee coaches have had a year to acclimate after a short introduction to the team last season and reports are promising.

TAKING: TITANS +5½

Redskins (0-0) at Saints (0-0)

LINE: NEW ORLEANS BY 7

The ’Skins are better than advertised, but they enter this one with a glaringly thin secondary. That won’t bode well when facing the high-octane offence that Drew Brees and his Saints bring to the party. RG3’s indoctrination comes at a difficult venue, facing a team with a chip on its shoulder.

TAKING: SAINTS –7

Jaguars (0-0) at Vikings (0-0)

LINE: MINNESOTA BY 3½

At least one of these two dregs will be undefeated for a week. It probably won’t be the Jaguars. Minnesota resides in the difficult NFC North. They at least employ a pass rusher in Jared Allen. Jacksonville’s only star, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, reported to work about an hour ago after a lengthy holdout.

TAKING: VIKINGS –3½

Eagles (0-0) at Browns (0-0)

LINE: PHILADELPHIA BY 9

Not easy to get revved up with these Brownies, but we’ll still lean that way as Eagles cannot be trusted as a prohibitive road favourite, especially until we see the goods. We prefer to go under the total as Cleveland’s only chance is to play good D and control the clock with their ground game.

TAKING: BROWNS +9

Rams (0-0) at Lions (0-0)

LINE: DETROIT BY 7½

This one has a bothersome stench to it. The Lions are highly regarded while the Rams won two games last year and haven’t upgraded much. However, the Rams have new coach and a bunch of enthusiastic draft choices. Taking a touchdown plus is hopefully enough to make the smell go away.

TAKING: RAMS +7½

Dolphins (0-0) at Texans (0-0)

LINE: HOUSTON BY 12

Are the Dolphins run by Miami Seaquarium employees? The Fish have been retooling for years but continue to regress. Houston is good, but this is still an overreaction. Surprisingly, the Dolphins have covered nine of their past 10, including a pair of 3-point losses to both Super Bowl combatants.

TAKING: DOLPHINS +12

49ers (0-0) at Packers (0-0)

LINE: GREEN BAY BY 5

They say defence usually trumps offence. The Packers intend to dispel that theory here. Green Bay gave up miles of passing yards last season, but when you’re facing San Fran’s Alex Smith, it’s not much of a concern. The Pack has covered five straight openers under McCarthy’s tenure.

TAKING: PACKERS –5

Panthers (0-0) at Buccaneers (0-0)

LINE: CAROLINA BY 2½

Prince Harry is less embarrassing than these Bucs after Tampa closed out last season with 10 straight losses. However, former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano appears to have his team focused, something the exiled Raheem Morris couldn’t do. Let’s see if Cam Newton is as good the second time around.

TAKING: BUCCANEERS +2½

Steelers (0-0) at Broncos (0-0)

LINE: DENVER BY 1½

Peyton Manning in a wheelchair would be more effective than an able-bodied Tim Tebow, the latter leading the Broncos to an upset wild card playoff win in Pittsburgh last year. With Denver’s pass-rushing ability and Ben Roethlisberger’s fragile foot, there’s more upside with the host.

TAKING: BRONCOS –1½

Bengals (0-0) at Ravens (0-0)

LINE: BALTIMORE BY 6

It will be interesting to see if Cincinnati’s unexpected success from last year was legit or not. This is a good test as the Ravens are division champs and 2012 contenders. Bengals own an unheralded defensive line and that talented group is enough to accept generous points offered here.

TAKING: BENGALS +6

Chargers (0-0) at Raiders (0-0)

LINE: OAKLAND BY 1

Pick your poison. Neither side can be trusted, but given the choice, we’ll lean to a Raiders team that has renewed hope under new head man Dennis Allen. Only the Chargers could already have so many injuries, including multiple absentees on the all-important offensive line.

TAKING: RAIDERS –1


Videos

Photos