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 ESPN as of Tuesday morning)
Last week: 1-0, Season total: 0-0
Thursday Night Football
Buffalo Bills (-2.5) at Los Angeles Rams
The opening game of the season features the Bills against the Rams. Buffalo added Von Miller and are continuing to rise. The Rams are replacing quite a few players from last year’s Super Bowl team, including Miller, Andrew Whitworth and Robert Woods. The Bills will be hungry for this win.
New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta has a chance to be the worst team in the league this season. New Orleans will play solid defense and with Jameis Winston back healthy at quarterback, will be able to put up some points.
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers (-2.5)
The Browns traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason, but he is suspended. Carolina’s young defense will slow down the offense and they should be able to cover the spread with Christian McCaffrey healthy. Baker Mayfield should get his revenge.
San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) at Chicago Bears
Trey Lance takes over the starting quarterback job for San Francisco, which could make them even better. Chicago didn’t do enough to support their own young quarterback of Justin Fields to really be competitive this season.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)
The Bengals vastly improved their offensive line this offseason. Mitch Trubisky is the listed starter for the Steelers, which favors the Bengals. Cincinnati should win and cover.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
Howie Roseman has assembled a great roster for the Eagles this season. While the Lions have improved, they may not be able to keep up with the Eagles after they added A.J. Brown and plenty of talent on defense too.
Indianapolis Colts (-7.5) at Houston Texans
Indianapolis really upgraded the quarterback position with Matt Ryan. Houston is still rebuilding and may be the worst team in the league. The Colts should win by more than one touchdown.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins (-3.5)
Miami is giving Tua Tagovailoa every opportunity to prove he is the guy after adding Tyreek Hill and some offensive line help. New England runs the ball well and Mac Jones protects the football. Miami may win, but that spread is too close.
Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at New York Jets
The Jets had a great offseason, but beating the Ravens will be tough. Baltimore won eight games with an injury-plagued roster in 2021. Now with a healthier roster, the Ravens should win and cover.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders (-3.5)
Jacksonville spent a lot of money in free agency, even if all of it wasn’t the most well spent. Washington now has Carson Wentz running the show, which may not improve things too much.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City has a lot of changing parts from last season and have a tough week 1 matchup. Arizona should be able to keep it close because they can take advantage of the Chiefs’ defense.
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)
There is a great arms race in the AFC West, as both these teams improved their rosters this offseason. Justin Herbert is on the rise and being at home, should be able to help the Chargers win and cover.
Green Bay Packers (-1.5) at Minnesota Vikings
Green Bay has question marks at wide receiver, but they still have Aaron Rodgers and a good defense. Minnesota will keep it close, but won’t keep it within a point and a half.
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans (-5.5)
Tennessee will likely beat the Giants, but it will be tough. They no longer have A.J. Brown and edge rusher Harold Landry is now out for the season with a torn ACL. While they should win, take the Giants against the spread.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
Tampa Bay has the gang back together minus Rob Gronkowski. They are a legit title contender and Dallas has severe injury issues right now. Dallas will be without Tyron Smith and Michael Gallup in this game. The Bucs should be able to win and cover on the road.
Denver Broncos (-6.5) at Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson is returning to Seattle in week 1. Without him, Seattle does not have a roster set to compete on a consistent basis. If the Broncos want to contend this season, they need to prove it by burying Seattle in week 1.
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