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Ladies and gentlemen, introducing your featured and distinguished NFL handicapper of the week, Mr. Betting Mann!  …Now that you’ve been introduced properly, come have a seat, relax, and I’ll get your report.”

Well, just as John Q. Public has always been able to write “Letters to the Editor” to express various feelings, ideas, rebuttals or whatnot, such is the aim here in that it is a need of mine to offer up my two cents into the winds of cyberspace in hopes of stirring up some genuine gameday fun and argument ammo with those loud and obnoxious know-it-alls we all seem to know. Without further ado, let’s get you locked and loaded.


The Line: Cardinals -2.5  This is tough because we don’t know how well the Cards O-line will protect Carson Palmer against Cameron Jordan & Co. but assuming the Saints have yet to improve on their 25th placing in team sacks a year ago, trust Palmer gets his. Drew Brees, although not quite the track record of Tom Brady, is someone I personally hate to bet against. My choice for Game of the Week, take Arizona to beat the spread. Home field advantage (6-1 W/L against the spread in last seven home games), too many fast weapons and the defense is capable of getting that one game-saving turnover. AZ 31 – 24


The Line: Vikings -2.5  The 49ers have a rough season ahead (Que the Captain Obvious voice) but until Teddy Bridgewater proves he can win when the pressure’s on (his record is on the negative side at 1-5, road games), go with the offensive advantage and experience of the ‘Niners’ core. S.F. 28 – 27


The Line: Seahawks -4  The defensive heavyweight fight of the week figures to be bruising and may lead to week 2’s insights. Members of the Seahawks have expressed how playing the Rams is exhausting and lingers well into the following week…but they don’t play the Rams week 2. Despite the Rams being the leading team on sacks of Russell Wilson since he entered the NFL, and ignoring that St. Louis has won two of the last three, the Seattle Seahawks have upgraded enough on offense to risk expecting an additional TD against this defense, and Pete Carroll and staff is said to be on high alert special teams wise. Mid-season goals met, my opinion would be different but the Rams newly-led offense is still a mysterious entity until we see how they click with limited weaponry. S.S. 20 – 13


The Line: Packers -7  In 2015 a somewhat depleted Packers team is at least a touchdown better than a somewhat depleted Bears team. G-Bay 27 – 13


The Line: Colts -2.5  Another weekend must-see. [Not-so] Sexy Rexy and his potential Black’n Blue Crew staying home to face the youngest penthouse resident QB Andrew Luck and his new and improved cast. The Bills hope to continue where they left off last season, winning four of their last five home games, covering spreads in five of their last six. Not too shabby either, the Colts (5-2-1 against the spread, last eight vs. The Bills) are the early favorites to make the Super Bowl. The Bills and Rex are on a mission but LeSean McCoy’s availability is a bit of a hush-hush. Gore is expected to play…Enter Tyrod Taylor. I was impressed enough during preseason to pencil him in as the starter before it was announced. With that added, defensive comparisons are the key for me here. Not a game I’d want to touch, but for you, Mr. Betting Mann, I recommend… Buff 21 – 17


The Line: Eagles -3  The Falcons are banged up at running back and the Eagles are banged up at linebacker so giving the edge to the Eagles with DeMarco Murray and looking elsewhere, this may be a shoot-out. Atlanta has more pure talent at WR but the Chip Kelly/healthy Sam Bradford factor evens the odds with me. Until Sam Breakable is broken, Eagles all day. Philly 34 – 27


The Line: Cowboys -6  As many question marks as I can find for the Cowboys to lose this game, at least spreadwise, I find equal or more for the Giants starting with that bonehead off-season move of their top defensive lineman (still can’t bring myself to say his name). Victor Cruz is ruled out and that inspires Beckham double-teams, and despite the huge contract, I can’t can’t choose this Manning over Romo consistently enough. Dal 17 – 10


The Line: Broncos -4.5  The one’s rather simple in my opinion. Peyton Manning’s form is said to be sharp and out of the gate, how do you go against this fact: The Broncos haven’t lost more than one home game since Manning arrived, including unbeaten at home last season. A detail that makes the spread rather low to me. Den 27 – 17


The Line: Bucs -3  Mariota vs. Winston, the rematch. Most experts keep repeating how Jameis Winston is currently more pro-ready and has a better supporting cast around him, but that’s what I thought in that last college showdown. What I see in Marcus Mariota is that extra something that just gets the job done. With a less experienced but talented and mostly tall-ish group of WRs, and the preseason play I’ve seen, Tennessee mainly need to stop the Bucs ground game led by Doug Martin. No easy task, but made easier if Bucs’ receiver Mike Evans does not play. Tenn 17 – 16


The Line: Panthers -3  The Jaguars are expected to bring up the rear in the NFL by many and with three of their weapons hurting, RB T.J. Yeldon, TE Julius Thomas and WR Marqise Lee, well… Car 27 – 7


The Line: Jets -3  Not sure why more analysts aren’t seeing Cleveland in a better light…and yes, I’m serious, there is talent on this team. However, until QB Josh McCown gets his INTs way lower than his TDs (or just lower period!) I can’t begin to back against the upper half of secondaries of the league, let alone against Revis Island. N.Y. 16 – 9


The Line: Bengals -3.5  A.J. got the new huge contract extension. Now he just needs a QB he clicks with better. I like Marvin Jones as the X-factor here, and RB Jeremy Hill turned out to be a blast towards the end of last season. Guess what, the Raiders closed last season with warnings of the future and the future starts Sunday. Big time offensive upgrades, not-sucha-rookie WR Amari Cooper and WR Michael Crabtree, should aid Latavius Murray in being as effectively, especially at the goal line. The Raider defense needs to step up but in The Black Hole, Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton may continue he inability to cover spreads (losing 12 of 18 last away games). Oak 27 – 24


The Line: Dolphins -3.5  Confused by the spread here? Me too! Feels like a Vegas trap. Miami’s still-improving defense faces Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. I had to back and check the injury reports of both teams, two names stood out on the Redskins’ side, TE Niles Paul and LB Junior Galette. Only WR DeVante Parker got noticed on the Miami side, and he is “probable” so why the…Oh, who cares? Mia 24 – 10


The Line: Chargers -3  I’m not sold on the Chargers overall ground game but I love QB Phillip Rivers and RB Danny Woodhead in open space. Rivers is another quarterback that has that rare will and finds ways to win. Not unlike Rivers, Lions QB Matthew Stafford has that same drive, and despite no longer having running back Reggie Bush to keep opposing defenses guessing, the latest RB committee seems capable enough to manage. Still, you can’t ignore the numbers here; Road games under Stafford, the Lions are 0-18. Hard to believe. S.D. 23 – 17


The Line: Texans -1  Brian Hoyer at QB for the first time in Houston, no Arian Foster and experienced Andre Johnson, and I’m not sold on the Texans ability to do something they already don’t do well, win at home. The addition of WR Jeremy Maclin seems to have helped the Chiefs figure out how to insert a receiver into the end zone area this season. Both teams have some meat-eaters on defense, but unless J.J. Watt can also play Brady-like quarterback, I’m liking the Chiefs here. K.C. 16 – 13


The Line: Patriots -7  NOTE: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS WON 28 – 21. The score was a bit misleading. The Steelers, with all of their weapons and less blunders—a.k.a. better coaching (all off-season/training camp to prepare and they play like that?) might have even won the game outright.

That’s a wrap! Good luck, Mr. Betting Mann! 


About Author

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez is a die-hard Rams fan and Rams representing writer at Fanosis, as well as an avid fantasy football player that has won championships at Yahoo, ESPN, NFL(dot)com and FOX. An ex-employment specialist at Goodwill of Southern California's main headquarters, he has work with prison programs and has L.A. certified training to aid people with disabilities. He is also a poet and ghostwriter.