Week 1 NFL Picks
I know we’ve had Weeks 0 and 1 in college football but this feels like the ‘real’ first week of football. You need high school on Friday, college on Saturday, and NFL Sunday to actually count. So here we are and it’s glorious.
Like our college football picks, I will keep 2 running records: one that consists of just the column picks and one that includes picks that are added beyond the column. There tends to be fewer added plays for the NFL because I drink slightly less on Sundays. But anything that gets added will be tweeted out (@VWOJoel).
One note on the week’s plays. There’s only 4 picks this week because there’s only 4 plays that I like. You can’t force them. Many of the lines feel right to me. There will be weeks where I have 6-7 and others where I have less. Find numbers and values that you like and bet them without hesitation.
Enough shitdickin’...here are our NFL Week 1 picks sure to be wrong.
**All lines used are from Bovada
Rams/Panthers Under 50: The Rams are traveling across the country for a 1pm start against a defense who I think can be much improved in 2019. I really like what they have at DL and LB with Gerald McCoy, Bruce Irvin, and Luke Kuechly. Given Todd Gurley’s uncertain status and Week 1 kinks to be worked out, I think the Panthers could slow down the Rams. On the other side, we still aren’t 100% sure what we’re getting from Cam and the Rams D is fantastic. Aaron Donald is the best defensive player in the game (that’s the type of insight you come here for), and he’s alongside guys like Eric Weddle (incredibly underrated), Dante Fowler Jr., Clay Matthews, and Aqib Talib. I think the travel, health uncertainties, and a general slowdown in Week 1 lead to the under in one of the higher totals on the board this week.
Baltimore (-7) at Miami: I know this is a ton of points to lay on the road with Lamar Jackson at QB. But I love Baltimore’s defense and am not convinced the Dolphins can score more than 10-14 points. On the flip side, Miami’s defense should be one of the worst in the league. There’s no question that Baltimore can score 24+ in my opinion which is plenty for the cover. And let’s face it...Miami is tanking. Management has no interest in winning in 2019 and the product they put on the field will show it.
Bears Team Total Over 24.5: I think there’s a reason Matt Nagy showed basically nothing in the preseason. Part of it is philosophy and the other part is he knows how important game 1 is against Green Bay. Give Matt Nagy time to plan a script and he’s basically a genius. I don’t think the Packers’ defense is anything to get excited about, although I’m a fan of the Adrian Amos signing. They’re a middle-of-the-pack (terrible pun not intended) defense at best with an extremely average pass rush going against one of the league’s best offensive lines. And I’m higher on Mitch Trubisky than most and think he has a chance for a monster game. Aaron Rodgers is going to score so this isn’t a game where you can trot the Bears defense out there, score 14 points, and win. Look for Chicago to open it up and score 28+.
Cleveland (-5.5) v. Tennessee: I’ve said it all offseason and I’ll say it again: Cleveland is either winning 12 games or 4. There’s no middle ground. I bet them over 9 wins and I’m sticking with them until I’m wrong. If there’s a QB who can manage OBJ and Jarvis Landry, it’s Mayfield. He just has that way about him. I like Njoku and Chubb too and think this offense has a chance to be elite. And all the expectations are on the Browns, they’re at home, and they know how important it is to get this season started correctly. Plus, for as high on the Browns as I am, I am equally low on the Titans. Never been a Mariota fan. I’m not buying the Derrick Henry hype. And their weapons on the outside are...meh. Their OL is one of the best in the league. But Cleveland has the front to compete. So here we are...laying almost a TD with the Browns. And I can’t wait.