The NFL season means placing wagers for a whole bunch of people. They will be looking for advice. While I do not gamble, I will give you my picks against the Vegas spread every week. Is it sound advice? We will see.
We all started the season with a lovely push on Thursday night. I had the Patriots -7, so of course the Steelers pick up a garbage time touchdown to make no one a winner.
Here are my Week 1 ATS picks:
Colts (-2.5) at Bills: The Bills are a sexy pick in Week 1. It is a tempting one, especially with their being at home. It is hard to go against a home team in a season opener because of the energy in the stadium. The Buffalo defense is loaded, but The Colts added veteran weapons in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson. Truthfully, can you trust Tyrod Taylor? That's who you are betting on. I put my money on Luck. Colts -2.5.
Packer (-6.5) at Bears: No Jordy Nelson? No problem. The Bears secondary is not all that good and they have no great pass rushing threat. Plus, who is Jay Cutler throwing the ball to? Kevin White is out, Brandon Marshall is gone and Alshon Jeffery is still bothered by a calf. Easy pick: Packers -6.5.
Seahawks (-4) at Rams: This is a tough game to pick. We have no idea what Nick Foles will be and the Rams offensive line is trash. However, the Seattle defense is not the same without Kam Chancellor and the Rams have all the defensive linemen to crush people. I like the Seahawks to win, but the Rams are very tough in the division at home. Seattle wins, but Rams cover -- Rams +4.
Browns at Jets (-3): Do you believe in Ryan Fitzpatrick? Do you believe in Josh McCown? That's hard to do. I do trust Todd Bowles, though, and his defense. And, yes, I would take Fitzpatrick any day over McCown. Jets -3.
Dolphins (-3.5) at Redskins: Kirk Cousins? Please. Washington looks like one of the worst teams in the league and the Dolphins could threaten in their division. Phins -3.5.
Panthers (-3) at Jaguars: For some reason, I think the Jags surprise here. Blake Bortles has a year under his belt. The defense is in year 2 of Gus Bradley's team. And while Cam Newton is great, they have no Kelvin Benjamin. I like Jax for the outright win. Jaguars +3.
Chiefs at Texans (-1): There is a lot of talk about how the Texans could surprise. However, there is also a lot of chatter about the Chiefs, who believe they can take the very tough AFC West. The secondary is great and they have downfield weapons for Alex Smith, should he decide to use them. I like KC here. Chiefs +1.
Saints at Cardinals (-2.5): Yes it is Drew Brees, but the Saints still have a trash of a defense and half the starters of their suspect secondary is out. This is a no-brainer. I like the Cardinals by 10. Cardinals -2.5.
Lions at Chargers (-3): This is a good matchup, but my decision is here is simply based on it being opening weekend at home. I like the home team. Chargers -3.
Ravens at Broncos (-4.5): There are a lot of people who believe Peyton Manning will be doing less this year. Don't believe it. Baltimore is sneaky good, but Peyton Manning and the Broncos at home to start a season? That's where the money is. Broncos -4.5.
Bengals (-3.5) at Raiders: Cincinnati is still solid. Oakland still has question marks, although the defense looks legit. I still trust Andy Dalton more than Derek Carr, though. Bengals -3.5.
Titans at Buccaneers (-3); It is a quarterback bowl. Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota. I like both these guys, but Tampa has more weapons. They are also the home team. It will be Winston 1, Mariota 0. Bucs -3.
Giants at Cowboys (-6): We see this every year on Sunday Night Football to open the season. I like the Cowboys, but Eli Manning does like the big stage. So for me this line is simply too big. I see this going back and forth. Cowboys for the win, but Giants with the cover. Giants +6.
Eagles (-3) at Falcons: Sam Bradford starts his Eagles career. How good will Chip Kelly make him look? There has never been a problem with the Falcons offense. So this will be a shootout. I like the home team here outright. Falcons +3.
Vikings (-2.5) at 49ers: The San Francisco dumpster fire will grow when Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson come to town. Plus, Minnesota's defense is very tough. This begins the nightmare year for Niners fans. Vikings -2.5.