Picks for MNF Week 1

Just the first of the two Monday Night Football games will be an official selection.  There is a high level of confidence in the pick and the in the second game the “pool pick” is clear cut.

Washington Redskins +2 over the Pittsburgh Steelers  This spread has come in a huge point from when I first previewed the game Friday.  It is not surprising and it’s not the public as 71% of spread and 74% of parlay and teaser bets are on the Steelers.  52% of the moneyline bets are on the Steelers as well, but with this new line, I would expect that to flip.  The Redskins are getting no respect by the squares, but the sharps love the defending NFC Champions.  Washington added superstar cornerback Josh Norman who was instrumental in the Carolina Panthers 15-1 record last year.  The Steelers are without star running back Le’Veon Bell for 3 games with suspension.  They also have a new tight end and will be without number two wide receiver Markus Wheaton.  This is after losing big play receiver Martavis Bryant for the season with a suspension.  The Redskins are expecting their number one running back Matt Jones will play as the injury report is very lopsided in Washington’s favor.  This pick would rank second in strength of opinion for the week.  As for the total , the under is also looking good as the total has dropped from 50 to 49 with some 48.5’s popping up with 70% of the bets on the over.  Along with the lack of weapons the Steelers offense everything is pointing to the under except the weather, which should be absolutely perfect.

San Francisco 49ers +3 over the Los Angeles Rams  I thought the Niners could have been an official selection, but with this line pushing towards 3 the smart money doesn’t seem to be on board.  In almost a mirror image of the early game 70% of spread and 71% of combination bets are on Los Angeles (I had already typed St. Louis) with 54% of the moneyline bets on the Niners.  The big difference is this line is moving out while the Steelers/Skins line is moving in.  This simply could be due to the fact there was positive injury news for the Redskins while the 49ers haven’t received the same.  San Fran is definitely the more banged up side which is another reason this is just a suggestion.  The 49ers opened up last season with a dominant win at home on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings.  After San Fran won that opener 20-3, they went 4-11 the rest of the season while the Vikings went 11-4.  New 49ers head coach Chip Kelly won his debut with the Philadelphia Eagles in a division game back in 2013.  The total is up a half-point from Friday to 43 with 68% of the bets on the under.  I would lean towards the over as Kelly’s frantic fast paced offense should lead to points.  Chip Kelly’s Eagles also were able to produce a lot of points from the special teams and defense and I would expect similar results in San Francisco.   There will be some wind to start the game, but the weather shouldn’t be a factor at all.

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