Week 1 NFL Odds and Picks
Tom Brady’s suspension is gone, opening the door to a massive Thursday night clash between the Patriot and Steelers in the first week of 2015 NFL action.
And that’s just the first game of the season.
Things get even more intense from there, as Sunday boasts 13 games and we close the week with a Monday Night Football double-header. It’s going to be a ton of fun no matter what happens, as pro football is finally back.
It’ll be even more fun if we can all win some cash via our NFL betting, so let’s scour the week one matchups, note the lines and see who make for the safest NFL picks and which upsets may be worth a try:
Steelers @ Patriots (Favorite with -7 line, 51 over/under)
This is a tough line to get excited about, but I’m not sure I can work against it. Tom Brady is vindicated and could take any remaining anger out on the Steelers, while Pittsburgh has to march into Foxboro without Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. If New England can contain Antonio Brown and get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger, they’ll easily cover the spread. I like the Pats straight up and I oddly like them to cover, too. The over is the way to go here, as well.
Pick: Patriots 34, Steelers 24
Packers (-6.5, 50) @ Bears
Green Bay owns Chicago. It’s at Soldier Field and the Packers are down Jordy Nelson, but Jay Cutler turns the ball over when he faces the Pack and his best receiver (Alshon Jeffery) is going to be limited (or even out) for this game. I still think a shootout is pretty likely, so chasing the over is fine, but I like the Packers to win straight up and cover the spread.
Pick: Packers 33, Bears 26
Chiefs @ Texans (-1, 40)
J.J. Watt will probably keep Jamaal Charles in check and if Dontari Poe (back) is active, the Texans can forget about running the ball, too. This is probably going to be more of a defensive battle and Brian Hoyer has the better defense backing him at home. The spread is a toss up, so just go with my straight up pick, which will be Houston. I’d go for the under here, too, but betting on the total in this game is probably just asking for trouble.
Pick: Texans 17, Chiefs 13
Browns @ Jets (-3, 40)
Another likely defensive battle here, as two really bad looking offenses go up against two pretty talented defenses. I give the Jets the edge on both sides of the ball, though. Ryan Fitzpatrick has far better weapons than Josh McCown does (he has literally zero), while Darrelle Revis and Gang Green may be the better defensive unit, overall. I’ll take the Jets straight up and to cover, while targeting the under is about as safe as it gets here.
Pick: Jets 20, Browns 10
Colts (-2.5, 46) @ Bills
One of the league’s best offenses heads to Buffalo to battle one of the league’s nastiest defenses. I want no part in predicting this total (although I’d go with the under), and I’m not even sure I like the Colts in this one. They might meet their match here, so I’m taking the Bills straight up and they’ll beat the spread if they do that obviously.
Pick: Bills 24, Colts 16
Dolphins (-3.5, 43) @ Redskins
Kirk Cousins will have fun facing off with Ndamukong Suh (not), so the Fins are an easy pick. They’re on the road and Captain Kirk does have himself some weapons, but this has to go horribly for the Redskins. It just has to. Miami is a fine straight up pick and they should have little trouble covering the spread. Miami will score most of the points, but I do like the over in the total.
Pick: Dolphins 30, Redskins 17
Panthers (-3.5, 41) @ Jaguars
This might be the ugliest game of week one, as Cam Newton has no one to throw to and both defenses are pretty good. Jacksonville’s might be a little better right now if Star Lotulelei can’t suit up for the Panthers. If that’s the case, I think rookie running back T.J. Yeldon finds enough running room to help the Jags spring the home upset. I like the Jags straight up and I’d go for the under in this one.
Pick: Jaguars 16, Panthers 13
Seahawks (-4, 41.5) @ Rams
Another likely defensive battle, but the Seahawks could be in danger of getting upset in this one. Not only did the Rams take Seattle down in their last meeting in St. Louis, but the ‘Hawks may be without their top two safeties. I still like the Seahawks to figure it out, but they’re on upset alert for week one. I’ll have them barely covering and I’ll shoot for the under in the total.
Pick: Seahawks 23, Rams 17
Saints @ Cardinals (-2.5, 47)
Arizona had a nasty defense in 2014. Now they might not. Former DC Todd Bowles is gone, and so are Antonio Cromartie and a bunch of other former starters. The Cards could end up being nasty again, but against Drew Brees and a still solid Saints offense, perhaps not so much. I like a good amount of points (shoot for the over) for this showdown in the desert and I’ll give the Saints the overall nod by a hair.
Pick: Saints 30, Cardinals 27
Lions @ Chargers (-3, 46)
This is another potential shootout, as Ndamukong Suh left the Lions in limbo on defense and San Diego isn’t very impressive on defense. I’m looking for solid days out of both Matthew Stafford and Philip Rovers. Go for the over, while I’ll take the Chargers straight up, but the Lions covering. Yeah, trippy, I know.
Pick: Chargers 26, Lions 23
Titans @ Buccaneers (-3, 42)
The clash of rookie passers, as Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota go to battle. It will end up being a lot less exciting once we actually see it, as I think both will struggle. Doug Martin should run all over a weak Titans run defense, though, so I barely like the Bucs, both straight up and to cover. I’ll take the under in this one, however.
Pick: Bucs 19, Titans 14
Bengals (-3.5, 43.5) @ Raiders
Oakland may very well be on the rise, but they have to prove it to me first. Until/unless they do, I’m taking the Bengals in a rout. They’ve been a pretty good team every year with Andy Dalton under center and this is a good matchup for him with all of his top weapons actually healthy (they weren’t in 2014). I see a mild shootout with Cincy covering. I actually do like the over, though.
Pick: Bengals 31, Raiders 27
Ravens @ Broncos (-4.5, 49.5)
I’m not exactly sure why Denver is such a big favorite, considering they’ve changed their offense, the Ravens have a decent defense and most of the meetings recently between these two teams have been fairly close. There is offensive explosion upside for both teams, but both defenses are pretty good. I’m going to take the under, with the Broncos straight up, but Baltimore covering.
Pick: Broncos 24, Ravens 20
Giants @ Cowboys (-5.5, 51.5)
This is another game where the games are usually a lot closer than the spread might suggest. Dallas is at home and is the better team, but a close shootout could be in the works, per usual. I’ll take Dallas straight up, but the G-Men will keep it close and the two will push for the over in the total.
Pick: Cowboys 28, Giants 24
Eagles (-3, 55) @ Falcons
If any game is meant for the total this week, it’s this one. Two very good offensive systems grace the Monday Night Football stage, while neither team has anything close to an elite defense. If logic prevails in any regard, the Eagles win and narrowly cover the spread, but these two combine to hit the total.
Pick: Eagles 36, Falcons 31
Vikings (-2.5, 41.5) @ 49ers
Adrian Peterson makes his long awaited return, and he does so against a 49ers defense that lost a ton of defensive talent. A lot of people think the Niners will be horrible this year, and they might be right. I don’t think Minny blows them out, but I like them straight up and they should cover. I think there’s a decent chance at the over here, though.
Pick: Vikes 24, Niners 20
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