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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2014: Week 1

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Let's get it started.

Evan Habeeb

Before Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season kicks off, I thought we would have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for this week's round of games. (Click here for NFL Week 1 picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are my suggestions when trying to beat Vegas. You can find all of today's NFL betting lines and more at the SB Nation odds page. My record so far this season: 0-0-0, obviously.

2014 NFL WEEK 1

New Orleans Saints (-3) at Atlanta Falcons: I'm not sure the Falcons are all that better than they were last season. I'm more sure that the Saints are still as good, if not better, than they were last season. Pick: Saints -3

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams (-3.5): Rams are at home and I like that defensive line to rattle Matt Cassel more than I'm concerned about Shaun Hill against the Vikings' defense. I'm not in love with this option, though. Pick: Rams -3.5

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7): Maybe I'm reading too much into preseason performance but I was just not impressed by the Steelers this summer. Philly's backups on both offense and defense hung with Pittsburgh's starters. I can see the Browns making this one close, at least. I'm taking the points. Pick: Browns +7

Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles (-10.5): Good stat here from Brent Cohen, "Over the past 10 seasons, 42 teams have been favored by 10.5. 34 of those teams have won the game. That's a success rate of 81%." The Jaguars only have four healthy wide receivers and three of them are rookies. One is an undrafted rookie free agent. Give me the Birds. Pick: Eagles -10.5

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets (-5.5): I don't love this one at all. I'm not high on the Jets at all. They should have been way worse than 8-8 last season. But how am I supposed to take the Raiders? Maybe Derek Carr can do some things? Ugh. Oakland it is. Pick: Raiders +5.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-1.5): The Bengals were 3-5 on the road in 2013. They're not the same team on the road. Pick: Ravens -1.5

Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (-7): I'm a big fan of the Chicago offense. I am not a fan of whatever the Bills think they're doing. Pick: Bears -7

Washington Redskins at Houston Texans (-3): The Texans were the worst team last year. They have Jadeveon Cowney and J.J. Watt. That's awesome, but they don't have a quarterback. I'll take the points with Washington. Pick: Washington +3

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-3): Somehow Mike McGlynn is starting for the Chiefs but that shouldn't be enough to cause them to lose because they're at home and they're only facing the Titans. Pick: Chiefs -3

New England Patriots (-5) at Miami Dolphins: Believe it or not, Bill Lazor is not actually Chip Kelly. Patriots are still legit. Take New England. Pick: Patriots -5

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): I can easily see Carolina take a step back in 2014. I can also see the Buccaneers take a step forward. Pick: Buccaneers -3

San Francisco 49ers (-4.5) at Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys played teams tough at home last season but I have no idea who is starting for them on defense anymore. Pick: 49ers -4.5

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-8): Peyton Manning > Andrew Luck. Pick: Broncos -8

New York Giants at Detroit Lions (-6): The Giants didn't look so hot in preseason despite going 5-0. That said, I don't like the Lions enough to be six point favorites. I'll take the points, I guess. Pick: Giants +6

San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (-3): I want to like the Chargers more than I want to like the Cardinals. Really like what Phillip Rivers was able to do last year and that stalwart Arizona defense is without both Daryl Washington and Darnell Dockett. Pick: Chargers +3