NFL Week 1 is here. Picking NFL games straight up is hard enough, but picking against the spread is even tougher. Here are the NFL week 1 picks against the spread. (Spreads are from tallysight as of Wednesday morning)
Last season: 131-133-5
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8)
The first game of the NFL season will have all eyes on it. Tampa Bay has a solid overall roster that they brought back from their Super Bowl team a season ago. Dallas has players on the offensive line out and doesn’t have the defense to keep it within a touchdown.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Minnesota comes into this game with the edge because of their offensive weapons and because Danielle Hunter is back healthy. They should be able to get pressure on Joe Burrow. The Bengals, with Burrow back under center, should be able to keep things close.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)
Julio Jones is gone from the Falcons, but they have players that will make the offense dynamic still in Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. The Eagles don’t have a true identity yet under new head coach Nick Sirianni and may struggle to keep up.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
The Bills are a team on the rise and the Steelers are not. Pittsburgh’s defense is still good, but their offensive line could have huge problems this season. Buffalo will take advantage of that.
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions
Detroit is one of the least talented rosters in the league, which is why they are such a big home underdog. That will probably hold true in this game, as the 49ers are pretty healthy to start the season. Kyle Shanahan will have his team well prepared for week 1.
Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans (-3)
With Julio Jones on the offense, it opens things up for both Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown. The Titans should be able to establish the run against some young linebackers for Arizona. With the Cardinals traveling so far, this is a tough first matchup.
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) at Indianapolis Colts
Seattle had an offseason that featured a few players being upset about their situations, including Russell Wilson. They also lost some key defenders. While they are traveling to Indianapolis, they should still be able to compete. Carson Wentz is in his first game action with his new team and may take a while to get going. The Colts’ defense should be able to keep it close.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1) at Washington Football Team
The Chargers have had some of the worst injury luck over the last several years, but are now relatively healthy. With Justin Herbert expected to take another step forward, they need to win these types of games on the road. Washington has a great defense, but Ryan Fitzpatrick is a mercurial quarterback.
New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-5.5)
The Sam Darnold-bowl is on in week 1. Darnold should be able to get revenge against his former team. The Panthers are at home, have some impact young defenders and are going up a rookie quarterback making his first start. Christian McCaffrey is also back.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans
For anyone hoping the Texans go winless this season, this is the biggest obstacle. The Texans have simply shed most of their talent over the last few seasons. Houston does have a chance if Trevor Lawrence starts slow out of the gates, but on the flip side, this is the perfect team for Lawrence to ease into the NFL.
Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (-6)
This will be one of the Chiefs’ toughest tests all year. They will be able to win the game with their high-powered offense. Kansas City will also be able to cover because of their opportunistic defense and the fact that the Browns aren’t built to play catch up against such a good offense.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-3)
Mac Jones will be starting for New England at quarterback. He won’t have the benefit of the weapons he had at Alabama. Miami’s great corner tandem will help shut down the rookie and get a big win on the road.
Green Bay Packers (-4) at New Orleans Saints
How will the Saints respond after losing Drew Brees? It may take some time to gel together. The Packers should be able to win this won by at least a touchdown, especially because this game is being played in Jacksonville.
Denver Broncos (-3) at New York Giants
New York added Kenny Golladay and will get Saquon Barkley back healthy. The Broncos, however, have a contending roster outside of the quarterback position. With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller back rushing together, things could get rough for Daniel Jones.
Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)
The Bears are starting Andy Dalton in this game. Matthew Stafford should make the offense even better for the Rams and the team has two of the best defensive players in the league. Dalton could be in for a rough night.
Baltimore Ravens (-5.5) at Las Vegas Raiders
Because this is a Raiders home game, it makes it tough to call. The Raiders don’t have the defenders to keep up with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offensive playmakers. Baltimore should be able to win and cover on the road.
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