Picks for NFL Week 1

I only have 3 official selections, but will add at least one if not two more on Monday night.  I do have the one “best bet” that was teased yesterday.  The other 10 games tomorrow are broken up with 4 “clear cut” pool picks and 6 “coin toss” pool picks.  Good luck!

Official Selections (In order of opinion strength):

Jacksonville Jaguars +4.5 over the Green Bay Packers  The point spread has come in a half-point in the last 24 hours, yet still 80% of the spread bets are on the Packers.  This scenario is exactly what I’m looking for in a game and for all the reasons I mentioned in the preview this was easily the best bet of the week.  I think the Jaguars win this game outright.

Baltimore Ravens -3.5 over the Buffalo Bills  At just a couple hours before midnight this spread is Ravens -3 (-125 or 1.80).  By morning when most of you read this I expect Baltimore to be 3.5-point favorites.  I would take them at this handicap as I think they will have an easy win at home to open the season.  I think this is a smart money piggyback.

Detroit Lions +3 over the Indianapolis Colts  This is another pick where I believe I am joining the sharps.  Even with Andrew Luck back at quarterback for the Colts who has a great career against the spread record, his team isn’t nearly as talented as Detroit.

Clear Cut Pool Picks (In order of opinion strength):  

Chicago Bears +4.5 over the Houston Texans  This is the big line move in the last 24 hours as the Texans were 6-point favorites last night.  I knew I was going to be on the Bears because of the public fade, but this line move solidified it.  I still am very concerned with the injuries to Chicago.  The Texans are starting an all new backfield with Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller, that should be a boost this season, but they may be a learning curve.

Dallas Cowboys Pick’em over the New York Giants  A pretty strong public fade as the Giants are seeing a lot more of the action on all bet types.  There was a lot of turnover on the G-Men roster and they didn’t gel in the preseason.  The Cowboys still have a top offensive line and should be able to run the ball with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott.

Tennessee Titans +2.5 over the Minnesota Vikings  Currently you won’t have to pay juice with Tennessee +2.5.  I would take the +3 at (-115 or 1.87) if possible.  I like small home dogs and I think the Titans will be improved under the leadership of 2nd year QB Marcus Mariota.  The addition veteran running back DeMarco Murray gives Mariota another security blanket to go along with tight end Delanie Walker.

Oakland Raiders +2 over the New Orleans Saints  As I stated in the preview this pick is not at all based on any market considerations, but just my opinion that the Raiders are the better team.  I think they are faster and will benefit from playing on the turf in the dome.  I also believe the Saints have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Coin Toss Pool Pick (In rotation order):  

Atlanta Falcons -2.5 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  Even though I think this line is fishy, I’m going with the host Falcons.  I think these are dead even teams and I’ll take a win if the home team wins by a field goal when you would only expect a push.

Cleveland Browns +3.5 over the Philadelphia Eagles  This is a true toss up and I figure I should get used to supporting the Browns as I figure I will on them often this year.  I would be surprised to see Carson Wentz go from North Dakota State to the NFL and not have a lot of growing pains.

New York Jets +2 over the Cincinnati Bengals  The Jets have such a difficult schedule to start the season that this is actually one of the easy games.  They really need to win this opener and I think they get it done against a shorthanded Bengals squad.  This is another chance to take a small home dog.

San Diego Chargers +6.5 over the Kansas City Chiefs  A true “coin toss” pick and my coin is biased to take underdogs.  That is especially the case getting nearly a touchdown in a division game.  If I had to make a wager in this game it would be on the over 44.5.

Seattle Seahawks -10.5 over the Miami Dolphins  The one place where I never mind laying big numbers is with the Seahawks at home.  They are 61-40 (60.4%) against the spread in their last 101 regular season home games.  When laying 10 or more points they are 15-9 (62.5%) ATS.  The rest of the NFL is 155-181 (46.1%) ATS since SportsInsights BetLabs has data (2003 sesaon).  These team couldn’t be further apart in geography and there is a very good chance that the score line has a similarly large gap.

Arizona Cardinals -7 over the New England Patriots  In what many are thinking could be a Super Bowl 51 preview the Patriots will be playing extremely shorthanded.  QB Tom Brady and LB Rob Ninkovinch are suspended and now tight end Rob Gronkowski is out.  I don’t see how the Patriots can compete with one of the best the NFL has to offer and pretty much full strength.  The fact that 71% of the spread bets are on the favorite will not allow me to make this any more than a pool pick.




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