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NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1 Games

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Here are some suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Before the first Sunday of the 2019 NFL regular season kicks off, let’s have some fun by taking a look at the spreads for the Week 1 games. You can CLICK HERE for straight up NFL picks without regard to the spread. You can find all of the NFL betting lines via SB Nation.

My overall record last season was 129-131-7. That was a step down from my 118-105-9 performance through the 2017 campaign. I’m off to a 1-0 start this year following Thursday Night Football.

Here are suggestions when trying to beat the odds.

NFL WEEK 1 GAMES

ATLANTA FALCONS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-3.5): Kirk Cousins rarely beats good teams; he’s 4-24 against squads that finish the season with 9-plus wins. I think the Falcons are going to be good this year, so it goes against my ethos to take the Vikings. I went with Minnesota in my straight up pick but I don’t feel awesome about it and I think this could be a close game. So, gimme the points. PICK: Falcons +3.5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Falcons +3.5
    (705 votes)
  • 32%
    Vikings -3.5
    (334 votes)
1039 votes total Vote Now

LOS ANGELES RAMS (-2) AT CAROLINA PANTHERS: I’d stay away from this game. Don’t love the Rams this year; think they’re poised to regress. Sean McVay and Jared Goff really did not inspire a lot of confidence in the second half of last season. The Panthers are one of the tougher teams in the league to figure out, in part due to the status of Cam Newton’s health. How’s his shoulder going to hold up? With uncertainty on both sides, going with the home dogs feels like the play here. PICK: Panthers +2

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Rams -2
    (617 votes)
  • 35%
    Panthers +2
    (346 votes)
963 votes total Vote Now

TENNESSEE TITANS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (-5.5): I’m not all in on the Browns hype train but I do like Baker Mayfield a lot more than I like Marcus Mariota at this point. Tennessee missing Taylor Lewan on the road doesn’t feel like a great outcome for them. PICK: Browns -5.5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Titans +5.5
    (287 votes)
  • 69%
    Browns -5.5
    (645 votes)
932 votes total Vote Now

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (-3) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: With all due respect to forever Eagles legend and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, I don’t think the Jags’ offense will be able to hang with the points that Kansas City can put up. I’d rather bet on Patrick Mahomes figuring out the Jags’ defense than the other way around. Of course, every time I bet against Foles he proves me wrong, so keep that in mind. PICK: Chiefs -3

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Chiefs -3
    (790 votes)
  • 17%
    Jaguars +3
    (164 votes)
954 votes total Vote Now

BALTIMORE RAVENS (-7) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS: Don’t love this game. The Dolphins are tanking, yes, and their offensive line looks pretty bad in wake of the Laremy Tunsil trade. But Ryan Fitzpatrick can randomly get hot. And Lamar Jackson still has a lot to prove. The Dolphins are clearly tanking, so it’s hard to put much faith in them. It’s more about wondering if the Ravens can score enough to cover. Maybe Baltimore’s defense can score some points on Fitzpatrick picks. PICK: Ravens -7

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    Ravens -7
    (746 votes)
  • 16%
    Dolphins +7
    (149 votes)
895 votes total Vote Now

BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW YORK JETS (-3): It’s easy to like Sam Darnold a lot more than Josh Allen. But it’s also easy to like the Bills’ defense, which ranked No. 2 overall in DVOA last season. I think I trust Sean McDermott more than I do Adam Gase, and I’ve hardly been a big McDermott guy. I’ll go with the upset. PICK: Bills +3

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Bills +3
    (432 votes)
  • 49%
    Jets -3
    (428 votes)
860 votes total Vote Now

WASHINGTON REDSKINS AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-10): Case Keenum is arguably the worst starting quarterback in the league and his supporting cast isn’t great. It’s hard to see Washington’s offense keeping pace with the points that the Eagles should be able to put up. It could be a big day for Philly’s defensive line as they go up against a unit missing Trent Williams at left tackle and starting Ereck Flowers at left guard. I like the Eagles to win this game 28 to 17, so I just have them covering. PICK: Eagles -10

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Washington +10
    (237 votes)
  • 76%
    Eagles -10
    (783 votes)
1020 votes total Vote Now

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-7): I’m not a big Jacoby Brissett believer but I’m not fully out on him, either. And I do like that Frank Reich guy. So, screw it, let’s go with the points. Everyone’s expecting the Colts to fold without Andrew Luck but I think they’ll show some more fight than people expect. PICK: Colts +7

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Colts +7
    (294 votes)
  • 64%
    Chargers -7
    (543 votes)
837 votes total Vote Now

CINCINNATI BENGALS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (-9): Anyone really expecting Andy Dalton and rookie head coach Zac Taylor to go into Seattle and emerge victorious? I didn’t think so. So, it’s really about if the Seahawks can manage to cover. I say yes to a double digit win. Cincy could be in No. 1 pick contention. PICK: Seahawks -9

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    Bengals +9
    (155 votes)
  • 80%
    Seahawks -9
    (654 votes)
809 votes total Vote Now

DETROIT LIONS (-3) AT ARIZONA CARDINALS: Hard to know what to expect from Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury. Is anyone feeling super great about Matt Patricia’s Lions, though? I’ll roll with the home dogs. PICK: Cardinals +3

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Lions -3
    (435 votes)
  • 42%
    Cardinals +3
    (324 votes)
759 votes total Vote Now

NEW YORK GIANTS AT DALLAS COWBOYS (-7.5): The Giants are still starting a washed Eli Manning. And now they’re doing it without even giving him much help in terms of a receiving corps. The Cowboys are 4-0 in their last four games against Big Blue and they’ve won those games by an average difference of 11 points. Dallas just has more talent and they match up well with the G-Men. In no way am I trying to jinx the Cowboys with this pick, by the way. PICK: Cowboys -7.5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 38%
    Giants +7.5
    (322 votes)
  • 61%
    Cowboys -7.5
    (506 votes)
828 votes total Vote Now

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-0): The 49ers were the trendy team heading into last season prior to Jimmy Garoppolo. It feels like people are just assuming they’ll be good now that he’s back. Maybe, but I don’t know. Jimmy G is still less than a year removed from his ACL and he didn’t have a great summer. I don’t like James Winston at all but if anyone can get something out of him, it might be Bruce Arians. PICK: Buccaneers -0

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    49ers +0
    (375 votes)
  • 50%
    Buccaneers -0
    (389 votes)
764 votes total Vote Now

PITTSBURGH STEELERS AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-5.5): The Steelers are 4-9 against the Pats in the Ben Roethlisberger era. Only one of those wins came on the road and it was in 2008 when Matt Cassel was starting in place of an injured Tom Brady. The Pats won’t have Antonio Brown for this game but they won’t need him to beat the Steelers and cover the spread. PICK: Patriots -5.5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    Steelers +5.5
    (321 votes)
  • 60%
    Patriots -5.5
    (482 votes)
803 votes total Vote Now

HOUSTON TEXANS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-6.5): Deshaun Watson’s talent is enticing but the Texans are a team primed for regression in 2019. The Saints should be able to outpace them in the Superdome. PICK: Saints -6.5

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Texans +6.5
    (199 votes)
  • 73%
    Saints -6.5
    (561 votes)
760 votes total Vote Now

DENVER BRONCOS (-1) AT OAKLAND RAIDERS: How could you really feel good about the Raiders right now? I don’t love that I’m betting on Joe Flacco here but I do put stock into Vic Fangio doing a good job with that Denver defense. PICK: Broncos -1

Poll

Which bet do you like more?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Broncos -1
    (587 votes)
  • 22%
    Raiders +1
    (171 votes)
758 votes total Vote Now