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NFL Week 1 Predictions & Picks Against the Spread

Posted by in NFL Picks on September 5th, 2008 | Comment »

NFL Week 1 is here.  All teams are 0-0 and each has feeling that they’re destined for a run at the Super Bowl regardless of what record they finished with the prior year.  I don’t like betting on the NFL until week 3.  I can guarantee you that there will be a lot of surprises week 1.  A handful of games will be determined by a special teams touchdown of a crucial turnover.  Deciding what games to take is a crapshoot week 1, but lets try to sort out the games and decide which games may be worth wagering on.  On to the NFL Week 1 betting analysis.



I like the Steelers in this one.  The Texans are solid at home, but terrible on the road (2-6).  The Steelers have a solid offense and a solid defense.  Schaub didn’t do anything last season, but the Texans defense improved tremendously.  The Steelers are amongst the best home teams (7-1) in the league.  Go with the Steelers and be confident with the pick.

Prediction — Steelers 24 – Texans 13

Pick Against the Spread: Steelers -6.5 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Stelers — Confidence 5/5


This seems like a great spread to take.  The Saints should have a top 3 offense this season and their defense has been boosted tremendously with CB Randall Gay, LB Jonathan Vilma, and DT Sedrick Ellis.  The Bucs have a solid D (#3 in points allowed last season), but the Saints have too many offensive weapons to contain.  The Bucs are limited offensively.  Their primary receiver Joey Galloway is suffering from a groin injury, but will play.  I just don’t see the Bucs having enough offense to keep up with the Saints.

Prediction — Saints 27 – Buccaneers 17

Pick Against the Spread: Saints -3 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Saints — Confidence 4/5


The Titans lost their top 2 DEs this offseason, so they’ll have a weak pass rush, which will boad well for Garrard who was atop the league in passer rating last season.  The Titans play well against the run, so I don’t see Fred Taylor and Jones Drew having a big week, but the Jags should come out passing and they have a nice mix of receivers to work with this season.  Reggie Williams, Jerry Porter, and Matt Jones should be enough for Garrard to work with.  The Titans also didn’t do anything to help out Vince Young, so they’ll stay committed to the run with LenDale White and rookie speedster Chris Johnson.  The Jags, however, play well against the run.  I’m little weary taking the Jags on the road, but they have the edge in this matchup.

Prediction — Jaguars 24 – Titans 13

Pick Against the Spread: Jaguars -3 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Jaguars — Confidence 4/5


I like the Jets in this one.  Don’tunderestimate the Dolphins though.  They are not the 1-15 team they were last year.  They’ve made a lot of improvements with Parcells calling the shots.  I think they’re good for at least 4 wins this year.   There are question marks with Favre’s transition to a completely new offense.  Does he have a good feel for the playbook and a good rapport with his receivers yet?  We really don’t know that yet.  I don’t want to take this game yet because I want to see how Favre looks in his first start with the Jets before putting any money on them.  Favre is still Favre and the Dolphins are still the worst team in the NFL.  The Jets defense should also be phenomenal this season.  With the additions of Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace, and Vernon Gholston, they should great.

Prediction — Jets 23 – Dolphins 13

Pick Against the Spread: Jets -3 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Jets — Confidence 4/5


Most people are forecasting a big Eagles win.  How can you argue against it?  The Eagles have the best secondary in the league (Asante Samuel, Lito Sheppard, Sheldon Brown, Brian Dawkins, and Quitin Mikell) — that’s 4 Pro-Bowlers.  Their young LBs are as good as any in the league.  The have sack machine Trent Cole and 2 first-round picks as DTs on the line.  I don’t see the Rams offense doing much.  They’ll give up a lot of sacks and Steven Jackson will have a tough time getting yards against the Eagles front 7.  Eagles fans have to be concerned with the loss of Kevin Curtis, but DeSean Jackson performed well this preseason and will be a favorite target for McNabb.  Although the rest of the Eagles WRs are relatively unknown, they (Baskett, Avant, Lewis) can step onto the field and still be effective.  I see the Eagles D harassing Bulger all game long and Westbrook putting the team on his back once again.  Warning: This info is coming from a bias Eagles fan, so use your own judgment on this game.

Prediction — Eagles 24 – Rams 10

Pick Against the Spread: Eagles -7.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Eagles — Confidence 5/5


I like Dallas in this one.  The Browns D was ranked 31st in yards allowed last season and the Dallas O was 3rd in yards gained.  Dallas should see the endzone often and although the Browns can score points with the best of them, they won’t be able to put up last year’s average of 25.1 against this defense.

Prediction — Dallas 31 – Browns 20

Pick Against the Spread: Dallas -6 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Dallas — Confidence 5/5


Steve Smith will have to sit this one our due to a suspension, which will hurt the Panthers tremendously.  On of the top offenses and top defenses against a below .500 team without their best player.  San Diego should be a safe bet.

Prediction — Chargers 27 – Panthers 10

Pick Against the Spread: Chargers -9 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Chargers — Confidence 5/5


I like the Cardinals here.  They’re loaded on offense, but the 49ers do have a pretty good D.  However, I’ll take the Cardinals in this one because the 49ers were dead last on offense last year (13.7 scoring average).  Compare that the Cardinals 25.2 PPG average.  The 49ers D was still ranked 20th in points allowed and 25th in yards allowed last season.

Prediction — Cardinals 24 – 49ers 10

Pick Against the Spread: Cardinals -2.5 — Confidence 4/5
Pick Straight Up: Cardinals — Confidence 5/5


Surpisingly, the Colts D was 3rd in yards allowed and 1st in points allowed.  The Bear’s offesnse was 18th in scoring and 27th in yards last season.  This year their offense should be even worse.  Take the Colts at home.

Prediction — Colts 24 – Bears 10

Pick Against the Spread: Colts -9.5 — Confidence 3/5
Pick Straight Up: Colts — Confidence 5/5



I don’t think the Patriots will be the same team they were last year.  The loss of Stallworth will mean more double teams on Moss more so than last year.  Brady’s foot is a concern, but he’s ready to go.  The Pats lost their top 2 CBs to free agency.  Also, remember that the Patriots were something like 1-7 against the spread in their final 8 games, but that was with spreads like -23.5.  That’s ridiculous: this is the NFL, it’s not like it’s USC vs. a WAC team.  I would avoid this one because the Patriots might not be able to cover, although I think that they should.  I hate high spreads like this, so I’ll pass.

Prediction — Patriots 31 – Chiefs 17

Pick Against the Spread: Patriots -15.5 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Patriots — Confidence 5/5


Willis McGahee is questionable (knee) and the rest of the Ravens offense should be dismal.  Troy Smith will get the start and he looked somewhat impressive in the preseason and when he played last season.  The Ravens D is healthy again.  Then you have Chad Johnson’s injury.  There’s a lot of question marks surrounding this game, so I’ll pass on this one.

Prediction — Bengals 24 – Ravens 20

Pick Against the Spread: Bengals -1.5 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Bengals — Confidence 2/5


The Lions started off last season 6-2 and then went 1-7.  They clearly have issues on the defensive side of the ball.  They helped their offensive line in the draft and should have a balanced rushing attack with rookie Kevin Smith and Rudi Johnson to help Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson.  They also drafted a big OT Gosder Cherilus to prevent Kitna from being killed this season.  Rookie Matt Ryan will get the start for the Falcons and I think Michael Turner and Roddy White will be enough offense to hang with the Lions.  I like the Falcons D more than the Lions.  My gut is saying take the Lions, but I don’t think the Falcons will be as bad as last year and the Lions are notorious for being AWFUL on the ROAD.  Matt Ryan looks like the real deal, they’ve added a nice rushing threat, they have a nice young receiver in Roddy White, and they have some playmakers on defense (Abraham, Milloy).  I’ll pass on this game.

Prediction — Lions 20 – Falcons 17

Pick Against the Spread: Lions -3 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Lions — Confidence 2/5


I like the Bills this year.  Their defense will be legit this year.  Their relatively unknown DEs Schobel and Kelsay put up great numbers and they’ve added Pro-Bowler Marcus Stroud as a DT.  Trent Edwards made good decisions with the ball last season although he didn’t put up outstanding numbers and Marshawn Lynch is poised for a breakout year.  Seattle’s D will keep this one close, but they’ll be hurting on offense with their top WRs banged up and no stuf RBs in the backfeild.  I like the Bills in a close one, but I wouldn’t put any money on them.  There are better games to take.

Prediction — Bills 17 – Seahawks 13

Pick Against the Spread: Bills -1 — Confidence 2/5
Pick Straight Up: Bills — Confidence 2/5

Stay tuned for our Monday Night Football special!

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