By Steve Marcuz (@sidskeat) and Shaun Meyer (@deadduck77)
Man, week one in the NFL is the toughest to get a grasp on for betting spreads. We really don’t know what teams are going to look like until they take the field. That shows in our record. Last season we started off slow as well and then turned it into a winning year and we shall do the same again this year. So let’s show off those ugly week one records and get started:
Cleveland Browns (+8) @ Baltimore Ravens
Stop. Wait. Come back. So how do you follow up an 0-5 week? Most sane people wouldn’t suggest picking a team like the Browns, but I am not one of those people. As we’ve said before and we will say again, point spreads are based on public perception. The Ravens just went into Cincinnati and rolled the Bengals. The Browns lost their game, but were never really dominated and only lost by three points. The Ravens are 2-7 straight up (SU) after winning a game where Vegas had them as an underdog. They’re also only 6-12-1 against the spread (ATS) in their last 19 home games. I do think the Ravens will win this game, but I see it happening much like the Browns game ended against the Steelers. Give me the Browns as the Ravens win 24-17.
Washington (+3) @ Los Angeles Rams
Another pick. Another dog. Another road dog in fact (a theme that will continue with all my picks). The Rams were one of the storylines from week one that has everyone talking. Have they really turned things around? Or are the Colts just really that pathetic? Washington lost a close game at home against the rising Eagles but who knows what could have been if the refs didn’t give them an extra possession. These Rams might be new and improved but they’re 1-6 SU in their last seven home games and only 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight. I feel comfortable picking a more seasoned team that is sporting a 10-5 record ATS in their last 15 games. I actually think Washington travels west and ends up winning this late afternoon game. Give me Washington 27-16.
Green Bay Packers (+2.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
Last time we saw these teams meet was in the NFC Championship game last year and it was a fun one. I don’t see any reason why this game will be any different. If you play fantasy, get all your studs in there as there will be points. Oh yes, there will be points. Green Bay came up just short in 2016 and I don’t think they’ve forgotten about it. They looked good last week, handling a solid Seattle team, while Atlanta held on at the end to escape Soldier Field with a win. The Packers have been solid on the road in going 4-1 SU in their last 5 games (which of course were last season). The Falcons have been good in the Georgia Dome too but they’re in a brand new stadium. I’m sure Atlanta is going to be hopping for this opener but I think the Packers come in and play spoilers, winning this one outright. I’ll take the Pack 31-27.
San Francisco 49ers (+14) @ Seattle Seahawks
First Cleveland, now this? What the hell is wrong with me? Starting the season 0-5 can make a man do some crazy things. But hear me out on this one. We all know that Seattle starts the season off slow. Hell they lost to last year’s Rams in week two, albeit on the road. But Seattle is 0-6 ATS in their last six late afternoon home games. I know San Francisco looked like a team with new pieces and a new coach because that’s exactly what they are, but I still think that two touchdowns is too much for this divisional game. I still think Seattle wins this one, but wouldn’t be surprised if they pulled away late as opposed to running away with it early. Seattle wins 27-17 so I’m putting money on the 49ers.
Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+2)
Tennessee was less than impressive in their debut, falling victim to the Raiders 26-16. They struggled to get anything going offensively even with the arsenal of weapons at their disposal. Do we credit the Raider D or just a shaky start for the Titans? The Jaguars, however, were shockingly successful running all over Houston's highly drafted defense with new toy Leonard Fournette. Not only was the ground game solid, the D showed up in a big way terrorizing the Texan’s QBs to the tune of 9.5 sacks. Jacksonville? More like Sacksonville (sorry). My heart wants to believe that the Titans will get it together, but they are an unbelievable 1-16-1 ATS in their last 18 divisional road games. That combined with the low success rate of sub three point favorites has me riding the Jags at home on the legs of Fournette and the D. Jacksonville wins 20-17.
New England Patriots (-7) @New Orleans Saints
The Patriots were stunned in their home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The defense that was so stout last year, was dazed and confused by Superstar Alex Smith and the explosive KC offense. New Orleans was beaten in the first game of the Monday Night doubleheader. The Saints D made Sam Bradford look like, well, Tom Brady. Now the man himself is coming to town. On one hand you have Drew Brees at home in the dome, and on the other you have the Pats, big on revenge and coming off being embarrassed last Thursday. The Pats are 15-4 ATS as a favorite over the last two seasons. Defensive battle fans need not watch this game. Give me the Pats in a shootout as New England wins 42-28.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Kansas City shocked the world going into New England and ruining the Patriots banner party, beating the pants off of them and securing their first win ever in Foxboro. Alex Smith looked like a new man. He even went deep multiple times. Kareem Hunt became the early season fantasy darling, going for nearly 250 all purpose yards and three TDs. The Eagles looked good on both sides of the ball in their win over Washington. Wentz opened it up and used his new toys to wing it all over the field. Still, the Eagles are 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games and 0-5 in their last five as road dogs. I'm not saying Alex Smith is going to throw another four touchdowns, though I do like Hunt, Hill, Smith and Kelce to keep the momentum going vs the Eagles back home in Arrowhead. Kansas City wins 27-20.
Detroit Lions (+3) @ New York Giants
Detroit pulled off the week one upset over the Arizona Cardinals. They picked off Carson Palmer three times (could have been six), hurt David Johnson and overall just looked like a real NFL team. Matthew Stafford proved he was worth the money the Lions just ponied up, staying calm and delivering when it counted. The Giants, on the other hand, looked like a dumpster fire that was put inside another dumpster and then set on fire again. Odell Beckham Jr. sat out with his high ankle sprain and the Giants looked lost offensively. OBJ may be back this week but I doubt he will be 100%. The Lions are 5-2 ATS in their last seven against the NFC East. I like the Lions to go into New York on Monday night and steal the spotlight. The Giants struggle in prime time going 2-5 SU in their last seven at night. Detroit wins 27-24.
Steve - Tennessee Titans @ Jacksonville Jaguars UNDER 43.5
I think everyone was surprised with the shellacking the Jags put down on Houston last week. I know I was. That was mostly because of their defense though, not their Bortles-led offense. I don’t expect the fireworks to go off in this one though. The under has hit in four of the last five games the Titans have played and I think this one hovers around 20-17. Bet the under.
Shaun - New England @ New Orleans OVER 56
Both of these teams defenses were embarrassed last week. The problem is, I don't think they are capable of turning things around in a week on either side. I look for a lot of points from both teams. I know this is a high number, but Brady and Brees, in a dome, I like my chances of scoring with the over. Bet the over.