NFL Gridiron Guide Week 1 picks: Take the Giants and points, but not Jets

Eli Manning celebrates a touchdown pass to teammate

Eli Manning celebrates a touchdown pass to teammate Domenik Hixon late in the first half against the New Orleans Saints at MetLife Stadium. (Dec. 9, 2012) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

BUCS at JETS, 1 p.m.

Bucs by 3 1/2; O/U: 40

TV: Ch. 5; Radio: ESPN

Is there any better team to write about in New York than the Jets? I think not! Trade their best player (Darrelle Revis) to Tampa Bay in April? Check. Draft a QB (Geno Smith) in the second round? Check. Allow your possible starting QB (Mark Sanchez) to get hurt in the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game? Check. I think Revis -- who promised to "spill the beans" on the Jets' offensive tendencies -- leads a Bucs team that went 10-5-1 ATS in 2012 to a season-opening road win.

The pick: Bucs

GIANTS at DALLAS, 8:30 p.m.

Cowboys by 3 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

TV: Ch. 4; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

Unlike their New York counterparts, the Giants are boring, solid and professional. Just the way Tom Coughlin likes it. This is a tough divisional opener for both teams, whose goal is to be playing in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Ultimately, I believe a Manning will be playing in the big game, but it won't be the one Giant fans want. Justin Tuck and Big Blue don't get intimidated by playing at Jerry's House. Maybe they like the way they look on the big screen! The Giants have won five of their last six in Dallas, including all four in the new stadium. The trend continues.

The pick: Giants

OTHER 1 PM GAMES

PATRIOTS at BILLS

Patriots by 9 1/2; O/U: 51

TV: Ch. 2

The Patriots have had some major off-the-field issues, but they're still the Pats and they always seem to handle their business when it comes to on-the-field issues. That's especially true in Buffalo: The Pats have covered 13 of their last 15 games there.

The pick: Patriots

BENGALS at BEARS

Bears by 3; O/U: 42

I'm hoping my newfound admiration for the Bengals after watching HBO's "Hard Knocks" doesn't influence my picks. (Disclaimer: It already has. I picked the Bengals to reach the AFC Championship Game the other day in Newsday's NFL preview section). The Bengals were 5-1 against the spread last season when they were underdogs of four points or less.

The pick: Bengals

FALCONS at SAINTS

Saints by 3; O/U: 54

Welcome back, Sean Payton! We missed you last season, but not as much as your Saints, who went 7-9. A huge divisional game in Week 1, and maybe the best game of the weekend. The Saints are 11-3 vs. the Falcons since Payton took over in 2006.

The pick: Saints

SEAHAWKS at PANTHERS

Seahawks by 3 1/2; O/U: 45

Seattle was 13-5 against the spread last season, including the playoffs. Seattle can be shaky on the road (10-9-1 ATS last 20 roadies), but I think its 'D' will be ready for Cam Newton & Co.

The pick: Seahawks

VIKINGS at LIONS

Lions by 5; O/U: 46 1/2

The key number here is 2,000. In fact, after Vikings RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards last season, he now has his sights set on . . . wait for it . . . 2,500! Another key number: The Vikings are 5-2-1 against the spread in their last eight games in Motown.

The pick: Vikings

RAIDERS at COLTS

Colts by 9 1/2; O/U: 47

It doesn't really matter who starts at quarterback for the Raiders. Why? Because the other team's quarterback -- Andrew Luck -- will look to start Year 2 on a high note. Indy has covered its last six home games.

The pick: Colts

CHIEFS at JAGUARS

Chiefs by 4; O/U: 41

The Chiefs, under new coach Andy Reid, must improve on the road -- 27-53 overall since 2003. They get a cupcake here against the Jags, who could very well be the NFL's worst team.

The pick: Chiefs

TITANS at STEELERS

Steelers by 7; O/U: 42

The Titans were 2-6 ATS on the road last season, but I think they'll keep this one close enough against the Steelers, who ended last season 2-4-1 ATS in their final seven home games.

The pick: Titans

DOLPHINS at BROWNS

Pick-em; O/U: 41

The Fins are 5-15-3 in their last 23 September games, but I expect good things from Miami this season. Worth a play here.

The pick: Dolphins

4 PM AND LATER GAMES

PACKERS at 49ERS

49ers by 4 1/2; O/U: 48 1/2

TV: Ch. 5

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews talked about putting hits "as early and often" on read-option QBs like San Fran's Colin Kaepernick. Now, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is talking to the NFL to ensure his prized QB won't become a target. Sorry, coach, he probably is. San Fran is 13-5-1 ATS at home since 2011, including the playoffs.

The pick: 49ers

CARDINALS at RAMS

Rams by 4 1/2; O/U: 41

The Rams were 11-5 against the spread last season, but Arizona has won 7 of its last 8 in St. Louis. Look for Carson Palmer-to-Larry Fitzgerald to have a big season.

The pick: Cardinals

MONDAY NIGHT

EAGLES at REDSKINS, 7 p.m.

Redskins by 3 1/2; O/U: 51 1/2

TV: ESPN

In my best Jerry Seinfeld voice: "Whaatt's the deeaall with QBs in D.C.? Do Robert Griffin III and coach Mike Shanahan even like each other? The 'Skins hold more news conferences than the nearby White House. As for Philly, as much as everyone is excited about new Iggles coach Chip Kelly's no-huddle offense, I'm just as terrified by his no-tackle defense.

The pick: Redskins

TEXANS at CHARGERS, 10:15 p.m.

Texans by 4; O/U: 44

TV: ESPN; Radio: WFAN (660, 101.9)

San Diego has a new coach, GM and offensive coordinator, but that won't help against Houston.

The pick: Texans

STAFF PICKS

JOHN BOELL: Bucs Giants Patriots Bengals Saints Seahawks Vikings Colts Chiefs Titans Dolphins 49ers Cardinals Redskins Texans

BOB GLAUBER: Bucs Cowboys Patriots Bengals Falcons Seahawks Lions Colts Chiefs Titans Dolphins 49ers Rams Redskins Texans

KIMBERLEY A. MARTIN: Jets Cowboys Patriots Bengals Falcons Seahawks Vikings Colts Chiefs Steelers Dolphins 49ers Rams Redskins Texans

TOM ROCK: Bucs Giants Patriots Bengals Falcons Panthers Lions Colts Chiefs Titans Dolphins 49ers Cardinals Redskins Texans