It’s so good to have the NFL back. What a week in Week 1. Nearly every single game was close and came down to the wire. It was a great week for the dogs. I tried to pick a spot with calling an upset with the Panthers over the Seahawks. They almost did it if it wasn’t for DeAngelo Williams fumbling the game away.
The close week in all games really shows the parity between teams in the NFL. Early in the season, the dogs usually have the edge when every team is 0-0 and each team thinks they’re going to make the playoffs. Huge improvements among the Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Titans, Rams, Chiefs, Chargers, Cardinals, Lions, Eagles, and many other teams that were written off last year and in past years. There is one certainty among teams in that last half of the power rankings last year, the Jaguars are still the worst team in the NFL! How quickly coaching changes and drafting well can turn around teams immediately.
Last week, nearly all the advice I dished out was sound. I did extremely well picking games straight up, but those (-4.5) spreads cost you when your team pulls off a win by 3-4 points. Not a big deal as it’s only Week 1 and I like to take the first 4 weeks to evaluate things. I continue to believe that the books have the edge weeks 1-8 and that turns around in weeks 9-17 which has always been my bread and butter. The playoff teams step it up a notch while teams whose playoff hopes are defeated give up on the season, which is where I always try to capitalize.
I really like the primetime games this week with Broncos (-4.5) and 49ers (+3). There’s a lot of good opportunities to take points with Redskins (+9.5), Jets (+13), and Titans (+10). Other spreads I like are Saints (-3.5), Panthers (-3), and Cowboys (+3). Good luck this week.
New York Jets (+13) over NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
The Patriots will win this game no doubt. Last week showed me that the Patriots offense is taking a huge step back this season. Tom Brady will pull it off in the clutch, but they sure are going to be punting a lot more often than they did last season without Gronk, Welker, and Hernandez. This is a division game and the Jets have a decent defense to keep them within (+13). I’m not expecting much from the Jets offense, but if they can score just 2 TDs throughout the entire game, which may be asking for a lot, they should be able to cover this spread. I don’t necessarily want to bet on them, but this could be an easy spot to take the points, especially early in the season when the Jets are pumped after winning last week and their self-confidence is high. Only risk is the Patriots offense looks like a machine this week and dominates, making you feel like an idiot for even thinking of taking the Jets.
PICK: Jets (+13) – Confidence 7/10
ATLANTA FALCONS (-7) over St. Louis Rams
I can see the public loving the Falcons in this one. They can’t start the season 0-2 against a weaker opponent at home after just barely losing to the Saints on the road. Just no way!. I really like the Falcons at a pick ‘em if you want to tease the spread down to 0, but I think there’s a chance the Rams get a sloppy/”backdoor” cover. Initial lean on Falcons, but I may flip-flop to Rams (+7)
PICK: Falcons (-7) – Confidence: 5/10
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-9.5) over San Diego Chargers
I can’t believe I threw my own team under the bus last week. As a fan disappointed in the season they had last year, I was only looking at their flaws rather than where they improved. Chip Kelly will definitely make this offense dynamic. They’ll be picking up tons of yards and scoring tons of points this season. I was concerned with their defense, especially their new 3-4 against the run and how their revamped secondary will look. All positions played a good game. I was happy with the defensive line, the linebackers, and the secondary. One of those units will usually sh*t the bed like last year and usually the run D and secondary. The Eagles looked like a legitimate playoff team yesterday. The Chargers also looked good for most of the game before letting the Texans get back into it. I like the options they have on offense. They have a group of roleplayers that are capable of making some great catches and moving the chains. I have to go with my team here, but 68% of the public is taking the Chargers. I’m just happy to see that Vegas believes in this team as much as I do right now. I can’t remember the last time the Eagles were 9.5-point favorites.
PICK: Eagles (-9.5) – Confidence 6/10
Dallas Cowboys (+3) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Early lean in the Cowboys here. Although the Chiefs were impressive against the Jaguars, let’s not get ahead of ourselves — the Jaguars are the league’s worst football team. It will be a much different game when the Cowboys roll into town coming off a big win with expectations high. Their defense is much better and their offense is looking nice! I like the ‘boys (+3)
PICK: Cowboys (+3) – Confidence 7/10
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-3) over Miami Dolphins
I wanted to go with the Dolphins last week as I was very high on their team going into the season, but I had to go Browns at home who I also thought was a team that has improved. The Dolphins may have a defense worth picking up in fantasy leagues: 10 points allowed, 6 sacks, and 3 interceptions. The Colts got the job done against the Raiders last week, but their D didn’t look good against run. However, that was against a running quarterback, something the Dolphins do not have. I thought Luck would light up the Raiders D, but that didn’t really happen since the Raiders controlled the football for most of the game. Slight lean on the Colts, but I may flip-flop and go Dolphins (+3) here.
PICK: Colts (-3) – Confidence: 5/10
Tennessee Titans (+10) over HOUSTON TEXANS
I loved betting on the Texans last season. I took down a lot of games with them, but they let me down against the Chargers on Monday Night. They struggled against the pass, but they’re a completely different team at home compared to on the road. The Titans just got a big road win against the Steelers and their D is looking much better. I have to take the double-digit points. No doubt Texans win this one, but I think the Titans will pull off the cover.
PICK: Titans (+10) – Confidence: 6/10
Washington Redskins (+9,5) over GREEN BAY PACKERS
Another chance to take points here. RG 3 and out struggled in the first half as he was clearly rusty to start the game, but it only took one half of football for that rust to wear off. The Eagles picked him off twice and Alfred Morris fumbled the ball once or twice. Take the turnovers away and have RGIII play in the first half like he did in the second and the Redskins probably could have won that game. The Packers offense will score a ton of points, but their D couldn’t stop the 49ers to save their life. Anquan Boldin put up what? 200 yards! RGIII was spreading the ball around well in the 2nd half and he was even making plays with legs despite the knee injury. I think you see the Packers win by a touchdown at best so I see this as another good spot to take points.
PICK: Redskins (+9.5) – Confidence: 7/10
BALTIMORE RAVENS (-6.5) over Cleveland Browns
Browns did not look good last week thanks to the poor play of Brandon Weeden. I see this as a big rebound game for the Ravens in their home opener after a demoralizing loss last week. Browns defense may contain the Ravens with the spread on the line, but I think you see a much better performance from the Ravens D against this Browns offense. The Ravens have the benefit of 3 extra days of rest and preparation. I’m not expecting the Ravens to run away with this one, so I don’t like betting on this game, but I do think you see them win by a TD.
PICK: Ravens (-6.5) – Confidence: 6/10
Carolina Panthers (-3) over BUFFALO BILLS
I’m just seeing the Panthers dominate this game. The Panthers just had to take on the Seahawks defense and will have a much easier defense to face this week. Cam just has to outplay E.J. Manuel in this one and that’s all this game is to me. Cam Newton or E.J. Manuel? I’m going Cam.
PICK: Panthers (-3) – Confidence: 7/10
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The public is pounding the Saints, which is seeing 81% of the action. I like the Saints here as well, but don’t act like this is a lock. The Bucs have covered and outright defeated the Saints many times in the last few years. This is a division game. It’s likely going to come down to the wire. I’m a big believer in the Saints rebound this year. Sean Peyton is back as the head coach and vengeance will be his! Bucs keep it close, but Saints win by 7.
PICK: Saints (-3.5) – Confidence: 7/10
CHICAGO BEARS (-6.5) over Minnesota Vikings
The public is favoring the Vikings here but I’m going with DA BEARS. DA BEARS were actually a pretty good team to bet on last season, especially at home. They won last week 24-21 to a team that many people, including myself, claim has “Super Bowl potential.” Potential is a silly word though. The Bears had what it takes to get it done against an AFC Playoff team last week. I think you see them handle the Minnesota Vikings just fine this week.
PICK: Bears (-6.5) – Confidence: 7/10
ARIZONA CARDINALS over Detroit Lions
We have ourselves a toss up and in typical fashion, the public is all over the Lions after they were oooohed and ahhhhhed by Reggie Bush’s razzle dazzle last week. I love the Lions this year, I love what Reggie Bush brings to their football team, I love what Calvin Johsnon can do, but the Lions still have major holes in their secondary and Carson Palmer should be able to exploit that in this game. Both Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Flloyd are due to have big games. The Cardinals have one of the best corners in the league to matchup against Calvin Johnson. Their front seven can focus on Bush. I think they have what it takes to get this win at home. I’m going against the grain and picking the Cardinals here. I may end up regretting it, but they deserve more respect at home.
PICK: Cardinals – Confidence: 6/10
OAKLAND RAIDERS (-6) over Jacksonville Jaguars
Like I said before, the Jaguars are the league’s worst football team. I’m 100% convinced that they will have the league’s worst record this year and will have the #1 draft pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders may not win a ton of games this year and Terrelle Pryor is not going to be a great passing quarterback, but his legs give him enough to pick up first downs, control the clock, and open up opportunities for this offense to score. They hung with a playoff team from last year on the road and nearly won outright. I really like the Raiders here, but can your money trust them? I don’t know that yet.
PICK: Raiders (-6) – Confidence: 7/10
Denver Broncos (-4.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
Giants looked like a trainwreck last week in Dallas, but they fought back a little. Peyton Manning: ties an NFL record with 7 TDs. Giants have a lot of issues on defense and the injuries aren’t helping them. Peyton should pick them apart in this one. I think Eli won the last duel between Manning Brothers so it’s Peyton’s turn this time around.
Pick: Broncos (-4.5) – Confidence: 8/10
San Francisco 49ers (+3) over SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Everyone is all over the Seahawks this year, thinking they’re a top 3 team. I don’t think so — they’re a playoff team, they’re a good team, they’re a contender, but I don’t think they’re the best team or even a top 3 team. They have a great defense, but their offense is just “pretty good.” The 49ers are “outstanding” on both sides of the ball. I’ll take the 49ers outstanding offense over Seahawks pretty good offense as their defenses are #1 and #2 in my book. I like the 49ers a lot this year. They’re playing with a chip on their shoulder and I like that.
PICK: 49ers (+3) – Confidence: 8/10
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
I like the Bengals here. Pittsburgh’s offense struggled big time last week against the Titans since they’re lacking a strong running game this year, which has been their bread and butter over the last 20 years. The Steelers had 15 rushes for 32 yards. I don’t see how the Steelers get the job done against the Bengals on the road without being able to run the ball. The Bengals had the #6 defense from last year. Only chance for them to cover in this one is if their D steps up big.
PICK: Bengals (-6.5) – Confidence: 7/10
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