Here's what a buddy(D) 'n' I have made as our early picks:
MIA -3 @BUF
Over 37.5 ATL @PIT
Over 47 IND @HOU
CLE +3 @TB
NE -4.5 vs CIN
DET +6.5 @CHI
GB -3 @PHI
SF -3 @SEA
BAL +2.5 @NYJ
Thurs night NFL
I'll take NO -5.5 and under 48.5
I'm unsure w/MIN O passing game, sure they can run the ball and maybe Peterson will get 'fumblitis', but w/D MLB EJ Henderson coming back from inj is one of the key players I'll be closely watching. Back to O, Favre should be able to get some nice catches w/current crop of WR's, due to in part NO D w/o Sharper and maybe even MLB Vilma, but I think it'll be stalemate for the most part and MIN O will really need to use run O to score.
If Favre gets an INT, everything favors NO, it's just not likely for Brees and Co to misfire, preseason shows they are near mid-season form (GB is the only team that appears to have more weapons).
NO D is their only weakness due to inj's, but scheme wise they are excellent and a top 5 D IMHO. I agree -5.5 maybe a bit much to give up, but I'm expecting a miscue or two by MIN O as this year they start out this season w/a much tougher schedule than last year (LY CLE, DET 1st 2 games almost like preseason for Favre and Co). So for me it came down who appears to be more ready for the season? The answer is obvious, NO and I'm thinking if true then 'will they cover a less then TD spread?' and again I'm thinking very likely.
As far as over and under total, normally on isolated games (Thursday night, Sunday night and MNF) I lean toward the over, but in this case, if MIN O is not hitting on all cylinders, they may not score 20pts, so going over 48.5 or 7 scores, could happen, but again I think not likely, it may go over 48.5pts, but 10 scores may need to occur, something like 30-20 [3TD,3FG - 2TD,2FG], but I'm thinking more likely 27-17.
Let the games begin....