NFL Picks Week 1: Home Dogs’ Revenge?
This week, I’m very short on time. I hope as we go on, I’ll be able to write more about each game, but we are going to rundown with a few sentences talking about each game. Packer previews are also hopefully in the mix.
Mini Packers Preview
Green Bay (-5.5) at Jacksonville 12:00 pm (FOX) – At the begininng of the season, I’m not usually as confident as I am with the Packers on Sunday. The Packers secondary feels like a nightmare for young Blake Bortles who is known to throw an interception or two. Sure, the running game might not be there, but Rodgers will operate a couple big drives including a Jared Cook coming out party. Green Bay wins this one with relative ease. GB 30-13
Tap Top Three of the Week
New England at Arizona (-6) 7:30 pm NBC – The Jimmy Garoppolo Era begins on Sunday, and it’s not an easy start against Arizona. That defense is going to be bull rush all game long to see if they can disrupt the young quarterback. Garoppolo needs to make smart passes and get a little from his running game. Cardinals win, but don’t cover. I’m not sure Carson Palmer won’t throw four picks and make this really ugly. ARIZ 24-21
Cincinnati (-2.5) at New York Jets 12:00 pm CBS – This is a really good one. The line is working its way down which means the home dog Jets get some love. I know New York’s defense is filthy, but I wonder about the offense. Did Ryan Fitzpatrick have enough time to gel? Plus was last year a flash in the pan? Cincinnati has their own questions, but I think I like Dalton to carry the load in a low-scoring affair. CINN 20-14
Pittsburgh (-3) at Washington 5:55 pm ESPN – Monday night kicks off with a bang. Two playoff teams from last year. Big Ben would be licking his chops with the Redskins secondary, but they added Josh Norman. Can Markus Wheaton be a replacement for him? I’m unsure. Pittsburgh defense isn’t world beaters either. Look for Kirk Cousins to put up a better than expected game. Washington should be able to move the ball. The difference is DeAngelo Williams. He ends up controlling the game for Pittsburgh and keeps Cousins off the field. PIT 27-23
Rest of them
Buffalo at Baltimore (-3) 12:00 pm CBS – I’m rolling with the Ravens here. Buffalo is missing Marcell Dareus due to suspension, and Baltimore might be sneaky okay. There are question marks all over for Buffalo, and Joe Flacco finds a way to expose the secondary. BALT 23-14
Chicago at Houston (-6.5) 12:00 pm FOX – My brain may be crazy, but this feels like Chicago keeps it close for 3.5 quarters. Why? Because everyone loves Houston here. I don’t blame them given how bad the Bears were in the preseason, but consider their underrated defense against Brock Osweiler could make for some turnovers. Don’t love the offense though facing the Texans, and that’s their downfall as Houston does just enough to squeak it out. HOU 14-10
Cleveland at Philadelphia (-3.5) 12:00 pm CBS – Uhh why is Carson Wentz getting 3.5 points? He didn’t play a lick of preseason and throw into the wolves. I get its Cleveland and they’re a mess, but I think I like the Browns outright here. Tons of offense, and Robert Griffin III is a big headline on Monday. CLEV 35-31
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-3) 12:00 pm FOX – Matt Ryan and Julio Jones have done wonders against Tampa for their careers, but there isn’t much to like after that for the Falcons. I do think Jameis Winston could really put some big numbers in this one. Buccaneers keep it close, but Ryan finds a way to escape. ATL 31-27
Minnesota (-2.5) at Tennessee 12:00 pm FOX – No one knows who’s starting this game for Minnesota. My guess is Shaun Hill. Don’t be surprised if the Titans win this one. Vikings do have a good defense, but they weren’t particularly good against the run. They ranked 18th in Run DVOA last season, and I could see a big day from Murray/Henry. Vikings win a squeaker. MINN 17-16
Oakland (-1) at New Orleans 12:00 pm FOX – All of the points in this one. Raiders figure to be flying up and down the field against a still poor Saints defense. Additionally, Oakland is the last team you want to face when your line is banged us as much as New Orleans has it right now. Give me the Raiders in a rout. OAK 34-14
San Diego at Kansas City (-7) 12:00 pm CBS- With their run defense still an issue, San Diego will struggle to hold down Spencer Ware, and Kansas City controls this one keeping it out of Phillip Rivers’ hand. KC 27-17
Miami at Seattle (-10) 3:05 pm CBS – Seattle is planning a team-wide protest that’s going to draw headlines. It will be very interesting to see if Russell Wilson joins in. As for the game, Ryan Tannehill versus the Seahawks defense doesn’t sound like any fun. Wilson ends up having himself a ball game. SEA 24-7
Detroit at Indianapolis (-3.5) 3:25 pm FOX – If you like offense, this is your game. Matthew Stafford begins the After Calvin Johnson era with an easy defensive opponent without their star corner. I want to see this offense a couple times without Johnson before riding with them. I’ll take Andrew Luck and the boys even though their offensive line scares me a bit. IND 38-31
New York Giants at Dallas (PK) 3:25 pm FOX – At the beginning of the week, I thought the Giants were the easiest pick of the week. Now? I’m not sure. I could really see Dax Prescott having a coming out party. But as the Stafford rule states, I need to see him perform before I can jump all in. We love to talk about the Cowboys rookies, but no one talks how their defense is missing bodies which means Eli could throw all over the field.