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NFL Picks Against the Spread 2018: Week 1 Games

Here are some suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Before the first Sunday of the 2018 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 118-105-9. Let’s get to the picks.

NFL Week 1 Games

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-10): The Saints arguably have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They’re a top five team in the league. The Buccaneers do not arguably have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They’re a bottom five team in the league. I’m always a little wary about something weird happening in divisional games, but the Saints seem like the easy way to go here. PICK: Saints -10

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings (-7): I’m not all in on the Niners just yet. I want to see more out of them. With that said, I’m in on them enough to think they’re not getting enough respect here. And I’ve never been the biggest Kirk Cousins guy anyway. I don’t know if the Niners are going to win outright but the fighting Jimmy G’s will find a way to at least cover the spread here. PICK: 49ers +7

Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens (-7.5): The Bills starting Nathan Peterman against a tough Ravens defense makes me want to go with the home team here. The only thing that gives me pause is my lack of confidence in Joe Flacco and Baltimore’s offense to score points. The Ravens only beat the Bills by a score of 13 to 9 last year, for what it’s worth. New year though. Taking the Ravens and not feeling amazing about it. PICK: Ravens -7.5

Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) at New York Giants: The Giants stink more than Blake Bortles does. Sacksonville’s offense is going to harass Eli Manning and neutralize New York’s offensive weapons. The Jalen Ramsey versus Odell Beckham Jr. battle will be entertaining but the former will win it. PICK: Jaguars -2.5

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-6.5): It’s hard to understand why the Patriots, who lost to the Eagles in the Super Bowl, are favored by so much when Tom Brady can’t catch and fumbles the game away. There’s some upset potential here with a Texans team that gets Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt back. The Texans made a real game of this year when these two teams played in 2017. I am concerned here about the Texans’ lack of offensive line continuity but Watson might be able to work around that. PICK: Texans +6.5

Tennessee Titans (-1) at Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have the makings of a team competing for the No. 1 overall pick. I’ve just never been a Ryan Tannehill guy and I don’t see why I would start to be one now. Meanwhile, I’ve always been a Marcus Mariota guy, even though he’s underwhelmed. The Titans just have more talent than a Dolphins team that was downright horrible at times in 2017. PICK: Titans -1

Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts (-3): Ah, the first game of the year that makes me go “Yuck.” Two relatively irrelevant teams in the AFC going at it. Real riveting stuff. The Colts might have some potential if Andrew Luck truly is healthy and back to form. I just don’t know for sure that he is. I don’t enjoy betting on Marv Lewis and Andy Dalton against Frank Reich and Luck, but I just feel like the Colts’ roster is so bad. PICK: Bengals +3

Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5) at Cleveland Browns: I don’t care that the Steelers don’t have Le’Veon Bell. They still have good things going for them with Antonio Brown and an offensive line that can protect Ben Roethlisberger. I’m not about to just bet on a team that’s gone 1-31 over the past two years to suddenly be great. PICK: Steelers -4

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers (-3): Tough one. It’s not easy to bet against Andy Reid in the regular season. Pat Mahomes is intriguing. But the Chargers are a good team. They finished NINTH overall in point differential last season. The Bolts are notoriously unlucky and perhaps that will continue but I’m going to say this is their season in the AFC West. For real this time! Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are going to make life hard on Mahomes this weekend. PICK: Chargers -3

Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals (-1): I mean, maybe Sam Bradford inexplicably has a great game like he did in Week 1 last year. But am I going to bet on that? No. I know the Cardinals can be tougher than they appear when they’re playing at home in the desert, but I think his Washington team is solid enough to win. PICK: Washington -1

Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (-3): How the mighty have fallen. These two sides are shells of the teams that competed in the Super Bowl five years ago. I think I’m leaning towards the Broncos here but am I really confident that Case Keenum is just gonna be good again this year? Not really. But can I trust a Seahawks team that didn’t have a good offseason and hired Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator?! Not really. So I don’t know who to trust here. Maybe just stay away from this one. I’ll just go with the home team, I guess. PICK: Broncos -3

Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers (-3): Ezekiel Elliott’s return means that Dak Prescott doesn’t have to be counted on for actually doing his job (throwing the ball) as much. That’s good news for the Cowboys. Another thing Dallas has going for themselves is that the Panthers are without their starting right tackle with DeMarcus Lawrence coming to town. The Panthers are inconsistent on a year-to-year basis so I don’t have full trust in them. Plus I want to jinx the Cowboys by taking them here. PICK: Cowboys +3

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5): The Bears may very well make a leap forward this season. I just don’t know enough about Mitch Trubisky to fully believe in the Bears. I’m going to say Aaron Rodgers is highly motivated to crush a division opponent in his first game back. PICK: Packers -7

New York Jets at Detroit Lions (-7): I think the Lions are getting too much respect here. There’s some upset potential. But there’s also room for Sam Darnold kind of looking lost as a rookie on the road. Let’s just go with the home team for now. PICK: Lions -7

Los Angeles Rams (-4.5) at Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are a tire fire with Jon Gruden in charge. They’re going to get smoked by a team with a coach who lives in the present. PICK: Rams +4.5

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