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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2017: Week 1 Games

Here are some suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Before the first Sunday of the 2017 NFL regular season kicks off, let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for today’s games. (Click here for NFL Week 1 picks without regard to the spread.)

Here are suggestions when trying to beat the odds. You can find all of today’s NFL betting lines and more via SB Nation. My regular season record last year was 115-105-14. Let’s get to the picks.

NFL Week 1 Games

Pittsburgh Steelers (-9.5) at Cleveland Browns: DeShone Kizer showed flashes of potential in the preseason, but he’s still a rookie quarterback making his first start against a Pittsburgh team that can put up a lot of points. The Steelers are 9-1 in their last 10 games and 8-1 in their last nine games against the Browns. Pittsburgh’s offense is good enough to be able to cover this spread. PICK: Steelers -9.5

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-8): Ugh. I really don’t even know who to pick in this one. The Jets are downright awful. The Bills are probably better, I think, but I’m not so sure it’s a big gap. I’m tempted to take the points not because I think the Jets are good but because neither of these teams will score a lot. But then I remember New York’s quarterback situation and I just can’t do it. I’m counting on LeSean McCoy to carry Buffalo to victory over a bad Jets team. PICK: Bills -8

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans (-6): Another crappy game. The Jaguars benched Blake Bortles for their dress rehearsal game ... only to later name him the Week 1 starter. Yikes. The Texans’ quarterback situation isn’t much better considering they’re starting “Tom Savage” but they should be able to get the win at home. They're 8-1 in their last nine games at NRG Stadium. J.J. Watt is going to kick off his Comeback Player of the Year campaign with a bang. PICK: Texans -6

Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Washington Redskins: The trends are not in Philadelphia’s favor. Washington is 5-0 straight up and against the spread against the Eagles in their last five matchups. But one interesting thing you may not have considered is ... eff you, we’re winning anyway. The Eagles are due for a win. They’re going to be hungrier for this win. They know they have to get the monkey off their back. Carson Wentz had a strong summer. He has actual weapons to work with now. The Eagles are gonna get that W. PICK: Eagles -1

Arizona Cardinals (-2) at Detroit Lions: I think a lot of people might look at this line and think it’s a no-brainer to take the Lions as home dogs. I wouldn’t be so sure. Detroit was like the opposite version of the 2016 Eagles; they won a lot of close games. They might be due for some natural regression. In addition, the Cardinals were a little better than their record indicated last year as they finished seventh in point differential. PICK: Cardinals -2

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3): Here are some trends for you: the Ravens are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against Cincy. The Bengals, meanwhile, are 5-0 straight up in their last five home games against the Ravens. I’m skeptical of the Ravens given the back injury Joe Flacco has been dealing with this offseason. The Bengals are the safer choice here. PICK: Bengals -3

Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans (-1.5): This is an interesting line. I like the Titans to rise up and win the AFC South this year. Marcus Mariota is the real deal. But I don’t think the Raiders are getting enough respect here. Derek Carr is also a great young quarterback. Oakland is 9-3 against the spread in their last 12 road games. I’ll take the points here and hope for the best. PICK: Raiders +1.5

Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Chicago Bears: The Falcons’ offense averaged just under 34 points per game last season. We’ll see how things go with Kyle Shanahan gone, but the talent is still there for Atlanta. The same surely cannot be said for the Bears. I don’t have a lot of faith in Mike Glennon at starting quarterback. PICK: Falcons -7

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams (-5): Honestly, the Rams should be favored by a lot more. The Colts are starting Scott Tolzien at quarterback. Scott Tolzien! Now, I’m hardly the biggest believer in Jared Goff, but here’s the thing ... the Colts are starting Scott Tolzien. The L.A. defense should be able to grind this one out, especially with Wade Phillips in the fold now. Indy’s roster is just so trash. PICK: Rams -5

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3): The Packers are 5-0 in their last five home games against the Seahawks. I have a lot of respect for Seattle, but their offensive line is still shaky. I don’t know how you can feel great about betting against the Packers at Lambeau. Green Bay may have struggled early on last season, but they finished the year real hot. Aaron Rodgers and company take care of business in this one. PICK: Packers -3

Carolina Panthers (-6) at San Francisco 49ers: I’m really not sure what to make of the Panthers this year. I think there’s a wide range of potential outcomes for them. I could see them have another season like last year. I could also see them rebound and be in the playoff hunt. For now, I’m not confident enough in them to say they should be six point road favorites. Even though I think they’ll win this game, it could be close. PICK: 49ers +6

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-4): If I knew Odell Beckham Jr. was 100%, I think picking the Giants would be pretty easy. The G-Men own the Cowboys recently. New York is 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five games against Dallas. But then again, the Cowboys are 7-1 in their last eight home games. I’m going to attempt to jinx the Cowboys by taking them with this pick. If they lose, you’re welcome. PICK: Cowboys -4

New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings (-3): Despite not being known as a great road team, the Saints are 8-1-1 against the spread in their last 10 away games. With that said, I still don’t really trust that defense. Willie Snead being out and Brandin Cooks being gone isn’t great for New Orleans, either. The Vikings have Sam Bradford so they’re pretty much unbeatable anyway. PICK: Vikings -3

Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-3): It wouldn’t surprise me if the Broncos took another step back this year. They’re still start a dude named Trevor Siemian and I wonder how long that defense will hold up, especially with Wade Phillips gone. With that said, I still have enough faith in them while playing at home. Denver is 6-1 in their last seven games against the Bolts. PICK: Broncos -3

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