Welcome to the first of my weekly NFL picks series. Each week I will decide on the 6 best NFL spread bets, share me picks and then we can either bask in my glory or laugh at my misery. I will also share my eliminator pick(known as survival pick in some leagues). If you aren’t familiar with eliminator picks, it’s when you join a league where everyone picks one team to win each week. If you win, you stay alive, if you lose you are done. Once you pick a team, you can’t pick them the rest of the year. Last person standing wins.
The first week is always really tough to gauge. You have a lot of new coaches, new schemes and new starting quarterbacks. Sometimes those teams do well because there isn’t a lot of tape on them(see Eagles in 2013 opener) and sometimes they do poorly because of a lack of experience and/or chemistry.
Here are my Week 1 Picks
Minnesota Vikings at Tennessee Titans(+3)- The Vikings open the season with Shaun Hill as the starter while the Titans unveil their exotic smashmouth offense. Without a competent quarterback this week the Titans can cheat up and really contain 31 year old Adrian Peterson.
San Diego Chargers(+7) at Kansas City Chiefs- I typically either stay away or big against big lines like this when the favorite isn’t known for a high-powered offense like Kansas City. The Chiefs will be without Jamaal Charles as well and the Chargers problems mainly rest with their defense.
Miami Dolphins(+10.5) at Seattle Seahawks- Again, we have a really big line where the favorite isn’t known as an offensive juggernaut. Also consider that Thomas Rawls and Jimmy Graham will have their snaps limited today and this has the making of a 20-13 type of game.
New York Giants(-1) at Dallas Cowboys- I love the Cowboys in this rivalry when Tony Romo is healthy because he is capable of torching a garbage Giants secondary, but he isn’t playing today. One read quarterback Dak Prescott is. So in a game where both secondaries are hot messes, go with the team with the proven quarterback.
Detroit Lions(+3) at Indianapolis Colts- The Colts are going to have a better season than the Lions this season, but this week the Colts are without both starting corners and their offensive line is going to be a work in progress all season long. I love Andrew Luck, but with all their injuries and younger guys playing early I think the first month of the season will be really rough for them.
New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals(-7)- I love the Patriots a lot this season, enough to make them my AFC Super Bowl pick, but without Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski on the road against an elite NFC team this one will be rough. I think this could be the most lopsided game of the week.
Eliminator Pick: Eagles over Browns- I know it’s risky to take team in Week 1 with a rookie quarterback in this format, but I’m thinking long-term. I probably won’t have a better week to pick the Eagles, the Browns are the inexperienced team you want to pick against in Week 1 and I love saving the best teams later in the season when we have a better idea of who are the real playoff contenders and who are the cellar dwellers.