It’s week 1 in the NFL. The first game is already done with the defending champ Seahawks taking it to the Packers last night to prove that they are ready to go for a repeat. The other 30 teams are in action this Sunday/Monday. It’s always difficult to make picks this early in the season because teams change so much from year to year and a team that was horrible last season could all of a sudden be a playoff contender this year. For this reason I like taking underdogs in Week 1. You’ll see each of the picks I outline below take the underdog.
I like picking winners too instead of betting against the spread.
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons
The Saints beat the Falcons in the opening game last season. The difference was that New Orleans was the home team. In their second game New Orleans won again, this time in Atlanta. Both games were decided by 7 or fewer points. Division rivals generally know each other much better than other teams, which usually results in close games, even between teams that may actually be far away in talent (Saints 11-5 & Falcons 4-12) last year. I’m expecting a bounce back season for the Falcons and I think this will start with a statement win against the Saints to kick off the season. Look for Matt Ryan to hook up with Julio Jones and Roddy White often in this match up and the shoot out to end in the Falcons favour.
My Play: Falcons +140 @ Bet365.com.
Washington Redskins @ Houston Texans
Two of the worst teams from last year meet up in week 1. The Redsksins are coming off a 3-13 season, while the Texans are trying to bounce back from 2-14. The Texans are big favourites heading into this game, but I don’t want to overlook the Redskins. RG3 didn’t have a great preseason, but I expect him to take it up a level in the regular season, which should result in closer to the RG3 of his rookie season. Desean Jackson was a good pick up to give RG3 another option other than Pierre Garcon and Santana Moss and I think this will pay dividends in this game. The Texans offense is still shaky and it’s yet to be seen if Fitzpatrick and Andre Johnson have any chemistry. I like the Redskins as an upset in this one.
My Play: Redskins +160 @ 5Dimes.eu.
New York Giants @ Detroit Lions
The Lions are a weird team. They always have so much potential and expectations coming into the season, but they still fail more often than not. Last season they went 7-9, just like the Giants. The Giatns though can go nowhere but up on the offensive side of the ball. Eli does seem to perform on the big stage (2 Super Bowl rings will tell you that) and Monday Night Football week 1 is a pretty big stage. I like the Giants in this one.
My Play: Giants +225 @ BetOnline.ag.