Posted 09/13/2007 at 11:50 AM
Look for the underdogs to make some noise in the NFL this week as almost all the big favorites and public teams scored convincing victories last Sunday. Favorites of more than three went 6-1 last week in the NFL meaning that there will be some adjustments this week as the losses for books were likely heavy. Only Jacksonville was a loser, as Indianapolis, New England, Pittsburgh, Seattle, San Diego, and Dallas all earned wins and covers. Be careful if you plan to back popular teams this week as that trend will not hold up and the lines will be inflated. There was plenty of drama on the opening Sunday which made up for a dud of an opening game on Thursday. Three games were decided by late field goals almost concurrently. As always turnovers were a key in many games. Three NFC North teams share first place at 1-0 and the defending NFC Champion Bears are not among them. Both Green Bay and Minnesota had turnovers lead directly to points to deliver wins despite very limited production on offense.
Injuries were unfortunately in the forefront of the Sunday games as well, and most notably thoughts and concern go out to Buffalo tight end Kevin Everett. Both the Giants and Buccaneers had the misfortune of losing their starting QBs and RBs for portions of the opening games which could make for a tough start to the season. Key performances by rookies was another storyline with Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson both scoring touchdowns in their debuts. Marshawn Lynch also played very well for the Bills as the starting RB. The 2006 #1 pick Mario Williams also had a big day with a touchdown and two sacks which should provide some relief for Texans fans after watching Reggie Bush struggle on Thursday night. It may not be long before QB Brady Quinn gets a shot in Cleveland as turnovers killed the Browns yet again.
In the college game this week a couple of big games between 2-0 teams should settle some of the early rankings. USC/Nebraska hopes to live up to the hype and Arkansas/Alabama and Boston College/Georgia Tech become critical early conference battles. A game that is alluring that may not have been at the start of the season is Ohio State visiting Washington. Notre Dame/Michigan certainly lacks appeal this season and one of those traditional powers will fall to 0-3. LSU and Oklahoma impressed voters last week by turning marquee games into complete blowouts which could spark some talk of a BCS championship re-match from a few years back. A few other top teams had close calls with West Virginia, Wisconsin, and California needing strong second halves to pull away for wins. The Big East looks loaded with South Florida and Cincinnati putting together impressive wins. Louisville, Rutgers, and West Virginia are already considered elite teams and Pittsburgh should not be counted out either. It should make for a fantastic conference season with big games coming up in a few weeks. Good Luck.