Every year, I try to predict games based on what I know. Most of the time I don’t really know what I’m talking about.
But, I do understand betting lines, and given the increased parity in the NFL this year behind New England, this should be a fun year for betting on games. That being said, here are your Week 1 picks (in bold):
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-9) — Kansas City usually plays New England close, but this starts the demise of Alex Smith and the current version of the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes should be starting, but probably won’t get in till Week 7. Alex Smith won’t be able to manage this game to a win… or come close. (Editor’s note: pick was made before yesterday’s game)
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+1) — I don’t think this game is close. I still have questions about Carson Wentz that have not been answered in a season. Let’s pump the brakes on Philly here.
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-8) — Nathan Peterman is the litmus test of NFL fandom. If you know who Nathan Peterman is, then you are a pretty hard core NFL fan. If you don’t, you’re just not as good as us. I believe in Nathan Peterman. However, the Bills shouldn’t be an eight-point favorite against anyone this year.
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears (+7) — I’m not sure what to think about the Falcons. I shied away from picking any Falcons in my fantasy leagues (other than Austin Hooper as a backup tight end) because I just don’t know what I’m going to get. The first game after that big of a collapse on the biggest stage could still be PTSD’ish.
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions (+1.5) — Matthew Stafford, now the highest paid player in NFL history, is really good. The Detroit Lions, however, are not that good. They won a bunch of close games last year. The only positives on that team are the tremendous coaching minds on either side of the ball. However, this is offset by the presence of Jim Caldwell. Arizona seems ripe for a return to the playoffs and this game can be a statement win.
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (-2) — The Raiders seem to be everyone’s automatic pick to make the playoffs, but let’s hold on here. This isn’t the Jon Gruden-led Raiders. The talent level is not near the Broncos, Chiefs, or Chargers. The Titans are in the same boat. But Tennessee is at home.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3) — The Bengals are much more talented and I expect them to quietly challenge for the AFC crown. This is most likely Marvin Lewis’s last year and I think they have something to prove. Specifically for this game, I don’t think the Ravens offense resembles anything close to a playoff teams. I’m not sure John Harbaugh knows how to fix it.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (+8.5) — This is the year when the Browns start competing with really good teams and beat some of them. They’re not beating the Steelers though.
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) — Both teams suck. I have no idea what Jared Goff is, but I do know Scott Tolzien is crap. Todd Gurley wins this game singlehandedly.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3) — Best game of opening weekend. This is Lambeau in September (and not December), so I don’t expect the Seahawks to die a slow painful death. Actually, Seattle will probably win – they’re that good.
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers (+5.5) — A few Brian Hoyer picks and the Panthers cover easily. Expect Christian McCaffrey to eat on his return to the Bay Area against his possible prior babysitter, Kyle Shanahan.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-4) – Ezekiel Elliott is playing, so I expect him to run wild before he sits for another six games (HAHAHAHA). I’m not sure either of these teams is as good as people think they are. Dallas is going to be fired up for this.
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) — Adrian Peterson’s return to Minnesota should be a fun one, but Drew Brees will steal the show. Dalvin Cook should make people in Minnesota forget about AP pretty quickly.
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-3.5) — Denver’s offense is garbage and the Chargers can put up points. I expect the Broncos’ QB situation to be absolutely hilarious this season.