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Recent posts by Mike Wilkening
Do you believe in Matt Moore? Do you think Matthew Stafford is ready to take a major step forward in his second NFL season? Are you confident Jason Campbell will be the steadying force the Raiders' offense needs?
If you checked "Yes" in all three boxes, you're going to like the Week One lines.
The Panthers, Lions and Raiders are the biggest opening-week pointspread underdogs at the Las Vegas Hilton, per VegasInsider.com. All are getting seven points. The Panthers open at the Giants, while the Lions travel to play the Bears and the Raiders are on the road at the Titans.
All three favorites missed the playoffs a season ago, and all were just 6-10 against the spread. All three teams had stretches where they surprisingly struggled. The Giants' defense disappointed late in the year and surrendered 41 points in a loss to Carolina in December. The Bears started well but won just seven games overall. The Titans finished strongly to get to 8-8 but regressed defensively. (And, certainly, anyone looking at Raiders-Titans will have to see if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell disciplines Titans QB Vince Young after he was cited for misdemeanor assault after being involved in a fight at a strip club Sunday morning.)
The underdogs also missed the playoffs last season, too, but Carolina (9-7 ATS) and Oakland (8-8 ATS) played better as the '09 campaign progressed. Also, many expect the Lions to be better this season after winning just two games in '09. However, the Lions were just 4-10-2 ATS.