Week 1 NFL Picks

Week 1 NFL Picks

Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season is here. On Thursday night, Seattle picked up where they left off last February by dismantling the supposedly good Packers, 36-16. Now the rest of the league hits the field to begin their quests to dethrone the mighty Seahawks. The Week 1 slate of games features only three road favorites and only one matchup with a double-digit point spread. Home chalk is usually the smart play early in the season, but upsets are undoubtedly coming. Here’s a breakdown of the Week 1 action.

NEW ORLEANS AT ATLANTA +3

The Saints are a trendy Super Bowl pick. The Falcons are a trendy comeback pick. With Brees an Co. playing on the indoor fast surface, and Julio Jones and Roddy White healthy, expect a lot of points in this one. This most glaring difference between these two NFC South rivals is Atlanta’s defense, which could be in for a long Sunday trying to stop Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks, and a three-headed backfield. Saints were 1-7 ATS on the road in 2013, but they have too much firepower.

Bet New Orleans -3

JACKSONVILLE AT PHILADELPHIA -10.5

Some Vegas oddmakers have this at -11.5, so it’s apparent they believe the Eagles offense will be too much to handle, even without DeSean Jackson running “Go” routes. The Jags shouldn’t be taken lightly, though. Gus Bradley in Year 2 will have his guys ready to go, especially on defense. Lane Johnson (suspended) replacement Allen Barbre was shaky in the preseason and will be tested by ex-Eagle Chris Clemons and ex-Seahawk Red Bryant. Chip Kelly played it very conservatively in the preseason, so it will be interesting to see how he deploys Darren Sproles, Jeremy Maclin, and rookie Jordan Matthews. Might be best to avoid this one altogether, but Eagles should be able to score enough to cover.

Bet Philadelphia -10.5

BUFFALO AT CHICAGO -7.5

Nobody seems to think the Bills have a chance here. An explosive Bears offense should be able to pile up points, but the Chicago defense is still an unknown. They added Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston, which helps the pass rush, but what about the historically awful run defense that yielded 5.3 yards per carry in 2013? Look for Buffalo to lean on C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson due to quarterback E.J. Manuel’s ineptness. Bills might hang around for a while, but the Bears should pull away.

Bet Chicago -7.5

TENNESSEE AT KANSAS CITY -3

The Chiefs masqueraded as a contender for most of 2013 before falling apart down the stretch, culminating in a playoff collapse in Indy. They did nothing to upgrade the receiver position and lost three offensive linemen to free agency. Meanwhile, Ken Whisenhunt has the Titans trending up. The backfield is a mess and Jake Locker is still unproven, but Whisenhunt is an offensive wizard who manages to extract production from lesser talent.

Bet Tennessee +3

SAN FRANCISCO AT DALLAS +4

The Niners’ defense is chock-full of concerns. NaVarro Bowman is on the PUP, Glenn Dorsey is out for the season, Aldon Smith is suspended, and Ray McDonald is being investigated for domestic abuse. On paper, the Cowboys defense is a laughing stock. If Colin Kaepernick can’t shred them to pieces, he’s not a franchise quarterback. Can a talented Cowboys offense produce enough to keep pace? San Fran is 7-1-2 ATS in their last ten road games. Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home openers.

Bet San Francisco -4