By Dan Leach
@dtmleach

Season’s greetings to one and all! It seems like it took forever, but the 2014 NFL campaign is finally here and not a second too soon. As the NFL season heats up, so do my NFL picks, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being. I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding lock of the week 1-10 scale. And……Away….We…..Go!

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DTM Song Of The Week: “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift.

This song has a double meaning as I need to shake off my disappointing Week 2 after the 4-1 start to the year, but also I simply can’t stop listening to this T-Swift Rumpshaker.

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS 62 (Seahawks -4.5)

Ever hear of a revenge game? Well this is the epitome of one as the Broncos were absolutely sand-blasted by the Seahawks in last year’s Super Bowl. While this is just a regular season game early in the year, you know Denver had this circled on their schedule from the second it came out. Seattle comes off a surprising loss at the hands of the Super Chargers, while Denver picked up right where they left off before last season’s annihilation from Seattle. Look for the Broncos to be razor focused and not make the same mistakes they made against the Hawks last year. Having WR Wes Welker back is huge and the Denver offense as been as balanced as you can ask for so far this year.

5.5 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Broncos (+4.5)

Dallas Cowboys at St Louis Rams  1 p.m. EST Sunday, FOX (Cowboys -2)

The ‘Boys finally looked like an NFL team last week, as they exploded on the road against the Titans. The Rams are playing a third string QB (sorry Shaun Hill backers), and have looked about as good as a 4-year-old tub of cottage cheese so far this season. The Rams simply don’t have the firepower on offense to hang with the Cowboys if they simply play their game. This game could be over early and might just end up giving Dallas the false confidence that they are primed for a good season. They will take it though in a week three romp over the hapless Rams.

6.5 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Cowboys (-2)

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints 1 p.m. EST Sunday TV Fox (Saints -10)

I rarely ever favor a team with a double-digit spread, as the overall NFL average of teams covering with double-digits spreads has been stuck in the thirty percent window over the past 10 years plus. This game is different though, as the Vikes are in tailspin mode as a result of the horrible mismanaging of the Adrian Peterson situation and the Saints need a win as bad as Scotland wants their Independence. Sadly for some Scotland remains part of the UK, but the Saints will not remain part of the winless NFL teams as they will be up by double-digits before you can say “Wille the Groundskeeper.

7.1 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Saints (-10)

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Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars  1 p.m. EST Sunday TV CBS 62 (Colts-7)

The Colts have definitely been one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL through the first two weeks, posting their first 0-2 start since 1998 in the beginning of the Manning era in Indy. They had a tough start, opening with Denver in the Mile High City in a game which they almost came back to win after trailing huge early. Last week, they seemingly had it all in check before letting the Eagles fly all the way back into the game and stun them at home as well as crush a Delaware bettors heart.

It will be much different in Jacksonville for Indy as the Jags can’t block for whatever QB is playing under center and so far have the 32nd ranked defense and offense in the league. That will come into play in a Colts romp as there is no way Andrew Luck will let this team go to 0-3. It helps to be playing a team just a shade above College Football’s FBS division though.

7.4 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Colts (-7)

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions 1 PM EST Sunday TV Fox (Lions -1.5)

Can’t have much more at stake between these two teams in the early NFC North race than with this game at Ford Field on Sunday. The Packers D has looked about as good as many of France’s War defenses throughout much of the first 2000 years of human existence so far this year. Conversely the Lions running game — especially Reggie Bush — was almost as bad last week in Carolina.

The winner of this game will have a huge leg up in the North and if you’re the Lions you simply can’t lose at home to any of your division mates if they have designs on being a playoff team this season. Look for the Lions to find that running game again like they did in Week One against the G-Men and for the Packers to struggle to score against the improved, but thin, Lions secondary. This won’t be quite the romp the Rodger’s-less Pack felt last year on Thanksgiving, but Ford Field will be insanely loud and the Lions will be super angry after what transpired last week in Cam-Cam Town.

DETROIT 38 PACKERS 20

8 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Lions (-1.5)

ODDS TIDBIT

The Lions’ odds to win SB XLIX have actually improved from the start of the season which were at 42-1, down to 40-1. With a W against Green Bay, odds experts expect it to go down to 30-1; a loss, up to 50-1. Lions sit at +$300 to win NFC North, which was +$200 last week. Packers still favorites at EVEN money. 

DTM’S 2014 Record ATS:6-4

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DTM’s 2013 Record ATS:43-26