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NFL Week 1 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 9th, 2009 | 4 Comments

MIAMI DOLPHINS @ ATLANTA FALCONS -4.5

Both teams were surprisingly strong last season.  Miami had some struggles on the road.  Falcons have way more offense than Miami.  Both defenses are relatively the same.  Go with the stronger offense at home.  You have to go with the Falcons.

Prediction: Falcons 24 – Dolphins 16

Free Pick: Falcons -4.5 (Confidence: 3/5)

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS -13

Matt Cassell is doubtful Sunday, which explains the high spread.  The Chiefs could be absolutely dominated by the Ravens defense, but I don’t want to give up 13 to take the Ravens who may just put up 21-24 points and call it a day.  This is a great game to put in a 7-point teaser.

Prediction: Ravens 27 – Chiefs 13

Free Pick: Ravens -13 (Confidence: 2/5)

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

This game is a pick ’em and I’m an Eagles fan, so I’ll have to pass on this game.  I’m obviously optimistic this Sunday, but I hate having to open on the road.

DENVER BRONCOS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS -4

These aren’t your 2008 Bengals.  Carson Palmer is looking good and Chad Ochocinco may actually try and play this season.  The Broncos defense is pretty horrible, no more Jay Cutler, and Brandon Marshall is suspended indefinitely.  I like the Bengals at home and so does 96% of the betting public.

Prediction: Bengals 23 – Broncos 13

Free Pick: Bengals -4 (Confidence: 3/5)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS -3.5 @ CLEVELAND BROWNS

The spread on this game is surprisingly low it made me think whether this is a “trap game.”  I would ordinarily suggest sticking to home teams in week 1, but the Browns should be picking in the top 4 of the draft next season — they’re going to suck pretty bad.  The Browns can’t stop the run and they have to face Adrian Peterson in week 1. 98% of the money is on the Vikings to cover.  The Browns averaged 6.2 PPG in their last 5 games of last season.  The Vikings have a top 5 defense, especially with that defensive line.  Look for the Vikings to run the ball down the Browns throat and dominate the line of scrimmage.  I like this pick a lot.

Prediction: Vikings 27 – Browns 10

Free Pick: Vikings -3.5 (Confidence: 4/5)

NEW YORK JETS @ HOUSTON TEXANS -4.5

I think the Texans have a chance to make the playoffs this season led by their potent offense, but the Jets won’t be too shabby either.  With a new defensive minded coach, an excellent offensive line, and a solid running game, the Jets will be able to hang in any game.  I expect this one to be a tight battle throughout the game with the Texans getting a late win.  I want to see how both teams play before taking either one of them. My gut is telling me the Texans will escape with the win by a field goal, but their offense is capable of putting up enough points to cover comfortably.

Prediction: Texans 24 – Jets 17

Free Pick: Texans -4.5 (Confidence: 1/5)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS -7

Jaguars always play the Colts tough.  The Colts defense can be a bit of a liability and I don’t think the Colts have a top 3 or even top 5 offense anymore.  I like the Colts to come out on top and win by 10, but I’m wary of picking them.  MJD usually tears the Colts up too.  Only 64% of the money is taking the Colts to cover, so that supports my skepticism about this one.

Prediction: Colts 27 – Jaguars 17

Free Pick: Colts -7 (Confidence: 2/5)

DALLAS COWBOYS -6 @ TAMPA BAY BUCS

The Bucs always put together a solid team despite not having any real stars stand out.  Leftwich is named the starter and has Antonio Bryant and Kellen Winslow to work with in the passing game.  The trio of RBs on the Bucs will also run the ball well.  I don’t see the Cowboys being more than a 9-7 team this year.  They lost LB Ellis, have some secondary issues, and of course, no T.O.  The Bucs just have to double-team Witten and stuff the Cowboys run.  I like taking the points in this one, but 97% of the money likes the Cowboys to cover the spread.  I’m going against the grain and going with the home underdog — never underestimate a home underdog (especially when the away team is on a different type of field service).  Disclaimer: As an Eagles fan, I’m bias since I hate the Cowboys.

Prediction: Cowboys 23 – Buccaneers 20

Free Pick: Buccaneers +6 (Confidence: 2/5)

DETROIT LIONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS -13

The Saints have the best offense in the league and they’re up against the worst defense in the league.  Matthew Stafford is making his first NFL start and I don’t think he’s ready for it.  According to the Saints, Stafford is fresh meat.  Stafford threw 3 INT’s in the preseason, 1 INT in each preseason game.  The Lions should get pummeled, but with the high spread, a debut for Matthew Stafford like like Matt Ryan’s form last year could put the Lions in the money.  This game is an excellent choice to throw into any teaser, I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would argue that the Saints won’t cover 6 point in this game.

Prediction: Saints 38 – Lions 16

Free Pick: Saints -13 (Confidence: 4/5)

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ NEW YORK GIANTS -6.5

Neither team really impresses me this season.  I want to see what the Giants are capable of without Plaxico Burress.  Giants should average 20 PPG this season and possibly less.  The key matchup here is Brandon Jacobs against Albert Haynersworth.  That should be incredibly interesting to see — the immovable object against the irresistible force.  This game should be a low-scoring affair.  The Giants still have a tough defense and the Washington defense is solid too.  Under 37.5 may be the way to play this one, but a deep ball by Eli to Hixon or Campbell to Santana Moss can quickly ruin the under.  I like the Redskins to cover and would like it a lot more if the line were to move to 7.  I see the Giants winning by 3-6.

Prediction: Giants 16 – Redskins 13

Free Pick: Redskins +6.5

ST. LOUIS RAMS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS -8.5

I don’t like the game.  Rams have former Giants defense coordinator who worked on the Eagles defense with Jim Johnson.  He can really turn that squad around led by Chris Long.  Pick something else.  Seahawks -1.5 in a teaser works well though.

Prediction: Seahawks 24 – Rams 16

Free Pick: Pass, Seahawks -1.5/Saints -6/Ravens -6 Teaser is 1 way to play this (3 home teams against weak opponents).

SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS -6.5

The Cardinals offense is ridiculous at home, averaging over 27 points a game last year.  However, the 49ers covered last year in Arizona.  Anquan Boldin is listed as questionable.

Prediction: Cardinals 27 – 49ers 16

Free Pick: Cardinals -6.5 (Confidence: 3/5)

CHICAGO BEARS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS -3.5

I think the Bears are going to be a good team this year.  Matt Forte is one of the NFL’s elite backs, they have Jay Cutler working with Greg Olson, Devin Hester, and an incredible defense.  I don’t think their no-name receivers will hold them back much. The Bears have the strongest chance to win this division this year in my opinion.  I’m not going to jump on them and take the 3.5 points just yet, but keep on eye on them as a good team to bet on this season.  They just never get the respect they deserve.   40% of the money is on the Bears spread, so there’s not a ton of confidence with Green Bay.

Prediction: Green Bay 20 – Chicago 17

Free Pick: Chicago +3.5 (Confidence: 1/5)

BUFFALO BILLS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS -10.5

Will the Patriots be the Patriots of 2007, when Tom brady put up 50 TD’s?  If Brady is 100% from the injury, the Patriots are poised to be the class of the NFL.  There’s the T.O./Monday Night factor that I’m concerned about, but the Bills don’t have Marshawn Lynch (suspended).  I like the Patriots to cover, but I’m not in love with the pick.  The Bills defense isn’t too shabby.

Prediction: Patriots 27 – Bills 13

Free Pick: Patriots -10.5 (Confidence: 3/5)

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -9 @ OAKLAND RAIDERS

I love the Chargers this season.  L.T and Antonio Gates are healthy again, Philip Rivers is at the peak of his career, Shawne Merriman is back (although he may possibly be suspended this game for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend Tila Tequila).  The Chargers have spanked Oakland each game in the last 2 seasons and they covered the spread in those 4 games.  I see no reason why things should be different this year unless you think JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darius Heyward-Bey are one trio to be reckoned with — that looks dangerous on paper, but they still have a while to develop together.

Prediction: Chargers 27 – Raiders 13

Free Pick: Chargers -9 (Confidence: 4/5)



4 Responses to NFL Week 1 Predictions, Picks Against the Spread:

  1. Brandon Phillips

    Date: Sep 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Zach. . I would love to post again this year with college picks. I am off to a great start going 4-1 last weekend in the college ranks. I am now living in Vegas and feel that my handicapping is at its best. I still struggle with the Pros, but my college has been spot on so far.

    I am leaning towards Pitt (-6) tonight. As I think Kerry Collins and the Titans are a team to FADE for most of the year, coming off their performance last year. I think their defense is weaker and Collins will likely not be as solid as he was either. So I would lay points with Pitt.

  2. Vegas Martin

    Date: Sep 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Glad to see that you’re still keeping tabs on the site. Living the dream, huh? That sounds awesome. I wwould love to have you post your college picks. I put money on Pittsburgh as well — Super Bowl champs at home. I did a write up on that game. I agree, Tennesee ain’t going 13-3 this year. Maybe 9-7 or 10-6 as best-case scenario. I’ll e-mail you.

  3. Brandon Phillips

    Date: Sep 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Can you please e-mail the details of how to log onto the site and password again as I seem to have lost it? Thanks! Living the dream for sure! Been in Vegas since June and loving every minute of it.

  4. Maya Pralle

    Date: Dec 05, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Maybe for you, but not for him. He’s the genius.

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