Joe Budden's forgotten more about sports than 99% of the eggheads talking on TV. In a new weekly column for Complex Sports, Joe picks the four biggest games of the NFL weekend. This week, Joey begins with the four nationally-televised contests that kick off the season.
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers (Tonight, 8:00, NBC)
Line: Packers by 4
Joe says: "Green Bay covers the spread. They're angry from their blowout loss two years ago. They have a healthy Jermichael Finley back. They have a healthy Ryan Grant. They have arguably the best quarterback in the league. New Orleans is still working in some players. I don’t see New Orleans pulling it off in Week 1. And as far as Super Bowl hangover goes, I'm not worried. Not in the least bit. Actually, all information that I have tells me that Aaron Rodgers is one of the few people that had been working out throughout the entire lockout."
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Jets (Sunday, 8:20, NBC)
Line: Jets by 4.5
Joe says: "I’m not sold on Mark Sanchez, especially with a new receiving corps. An all-new receiving corps in Week 1, with the exception of Santonio Holmes. They didn’t look all that great in the preseason. And I really, really like Felix Jones; I really like [new Dallas coach] Jason Garrett. I hate Dallas, so this pains me to say. I think Dez Bryant in his second year is going to emerge. If Dallas loses game one, they might start getting flashbacks to last season, but I don’t think they’ll allow that to happen. So I got Dallas winning."
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (Monday, 7:00, ESPN)
Line: Patriots by 7
Joe says: "New England covers that. New England wins that game by double digits. ‘Cause Miami is all confused. They’re going out there with a quarterback they don’t even want to start. They’re still working in Reggie Bush. Week 1 is always funny with the teams that are trying to work in players. I don’t see it. New England is good old traditional New England, with more firepower every season now. I just don’t see Branch, Welker and Chad out there with Brady losing to a disrupted Miami team. New England is too focused; Miami is too shaky."
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos (Monday 10:15, ESPN)
Line: Broncos by 3
Joe says: "I like Denver. Oakland’s defense is weaker now. They were never good against the run, and I like Moreno and John Fox. He’s not going to do anything but run the ball. Also, I don’t know what’s up with Tim Tebow; he’s third string—what are they doing with him? I never had that big of a problem with Kyle Orton. Kyle Orton actually puts up decent numbers. And I like how Denver ended the season last year."