After a tough go at it in 2007, the "sure-fire" picks return to help you with winners - when you're in Vegas, of course.

After a tough go at it in 2007, the "sure-fire" picks return in '08 to help you with your NFL prognosticating - when you're in Vegas, of course.

As a part of my weekly column in the Hendricks County Flyer, I offered four NFL picks each week last season. The result was disasterous – I was well under .500. With a fresh slate, I can feel my prognosticating skills will be better. So if you’re a gambler (only through Vegas of course, only through Vegas) then listen up. Here are my Week 1 picks … and for my blog, I’ll be picking eight. You’re welcome in advance.

Detroit (-3) at Atlanta, 1 p.m. Sunday

Still suffering from post-Vick syndrome, it will be a long season for the lowly Falcons. Rookie Matt Ryan will start at quarterback and youth will surround him at the skill positions. Sure the Lions’ defense is a sieve and Kitna loves him some interceptions, but they’ll get it done here. Detroit (-3)

N.Y. Jets (-3) at Miami, 1 p.m. Sunday

Chad Pennington will get the start and a crack at the team that left him high and dry for Brett Favre. As much as I’d like to see him slay Mr. Man Tears and the Jets, I don’t see it happening. Jets (-3)

Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-3.5), 1 p.m. Sunday

So what if Jeff Garcia and Joey Galloway’s combined age eclipses John McCain’s, they are efficient enough to keep the clock rolling, and that’s all the Bucs’ defense should need. The Saints were banged up in the preseason and are practicing in another state due to the hurricane, which could lead to a slow start. Tampa Bay (+3.5)

Kansas City at New England (-16.5), 4 p.m. Sunday

The poor Chiefs will be the first victim of the Patriots’ machine this season. Brady don’t need no practice. The Patriots carve up the Chiefs D and the Patriots take a Brodie Croyle interception to the house. Yeah, that’s right … Brodie freaking Croyle. New England (-16.5)

Dallas (-4) at Cleveland, 4 p.m. Sunday

I can’t think of one good reason the Browns will win this game, except that the media and public have fallen in love with this Cowboys team. Almost everyone has them going to the Super Bowl. That makes me think they could disappoint. Cleveland (+4)

Arizona (-2.5) at San Francisco, 4 p.m. Sunday

Starting Kurt Warner was the right choice for the Cardinals and Mike Martz has none of the weapons he needs to get the 49ers’ offense rolling. I think the Cardinals more than cover the number here against the hapless Niners. Arizona (-2.5)

Minnesota at Green Bay (over/under 38.5), 7 p.m. Monday

All the talk will be on Adrian Peterson and Aaron Rodgers, but all the action will come from two powerful defenses. Let the post-Favre Era begin with a boring, defensive battle in Lambeau. (Under 38.5) 

Denver (-3) at Oakland, 10:15 p.m. Monday

Gee thanks NFL, a 10:15 p.m. start on a Monday night football game – we’ll all find out about this one when we wake up Tuesday. I do know this, until they give me a reason to think otherwise, the Raiders are still trash. Denver (-3)

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