The first Week of the NFL season is finally upon us. The regular season got underway on Thursday night as the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots notched their first win of the season over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those wagering some hard earned greenbacks were treated to an exciting push against the spread when the Steelers scored a late garbage time touchdown.
The opening weekend of the NFL regular season is an exciting time. Fans of teams around the league are filling with optimism for the upcoming season as teams start off the year with a clean 0-0 record. Well, you have optimism unless you are a fan of the Browns, Jets or Redskins.
Lets take a look at this weeks lineup. We have six home dogs this weekend and three West coast games. Weather should not be an issue.
NFL Week One Against the Spread–
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (+7) O/U 49 The oldest rivalry in the league is renewed opening weekend. John Fox takes over the helm of the Bears after Marc Trestman was fired after last season. Expect Fox to employ a heavy dose of RB Matt Forte. However, in the second have of the 2014 season, the Packers run defense improved greatly. The Green Bay offense might be without veteran WR Jordy Nelson, but that shouldn’t matter today. This series has gone 3-0 to the over in the last three matchups and should again today. Packers 34 Bears 20
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (-1) 41 Its a pretty good bet that there will be some world class BBQ at the tailgate parties around Reliant Stadium this morning. The Chiefs reunited WR Jeremy Maclin with head coach Andy Reid, a significant upgrade over WR Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs are also expecting big things from athletic TE Travis Kelce this season. He should play despite an ankle injury. The Texans will be without their lead back, Arian Foster. I’m taking the Chiefs and the over. Kansas City 23 Houston 20
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-3) 39.5 If this is the game shown in your market this afternoon, there might still be time to order the Sunday Ticket. If you can’t get the Sunday Ticket installed in time, it might be a good afternoon to clean the garage for a few hours. Cleveland is 0-10 ATS in their last 10 games when the O/U is under 48. New York 17 Cleveland 13
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (-3) 39.5 The Bills hired Rex Ryan to lead the team this past offseason. Ryan is a solid coach but he inherits the same situation he had in New York, a solid defense but no quarterback. Buffalo might be knocking on the door for a wildcard berth come December, but that push doesn’t start today. Colts and the over. Indianapolis 30 Buffalo 17
Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins (+3.5) 43.5 QB Robert Griffin III has been demoted to the third string behind Colt McCoy. Yes, Colt McCoy. Washington is simply a mess and has been for several seasons. A once proud franchise is now a laughing stock of an organization. Miami needs to make a serious push towards post-season play this year or head coach Joe Philbin might need to call the moving company. Miami and the under. Miami 26 Washington 17
Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) 41 The Panthers won the NFC South in 2014 with a 7-8-1 overall record. A repeat is going to be difficult in 2015. A team which was already thin at wide receiver, lost QB Cam Newton’s favorite receiver from last season, WR Kelvin Benjamin for the season in August. The Jaguars are a team on the rise but are still a few years away from making playoff moves. This goes against my better judgement, but I like the Jaguars in this game. Jacksonville is 0-12 ATS in home games as a dog when getting 2 or more points and the O/U is under 43. Streak ends today. Jags, plus the points and the under. Jacksonville 20 Carolina 19
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (+4) 40.5 Seattle tries to put the pieces back together after suffering a stinging defeat in the Super Bowl last season. However, they have lost some pieces of their vaunted defense and will be without holdout S Kam Chancellor this afternoon. These teams always play each other very tough. The under has come in eight of the last ten times they have met. St. Louis has a new quarterback, Nick Foles, but they have serious issues at running back. Benny Cunningham is expected to shoulder the load this afternoon. I like the Rams plus the points and the under. Seattle 20 St. Louis 17
New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals (-2.5) 48 The Saints are trying to find a way to return to the playoffs as QB Drew Brees nears the end of his career. WR Kenny Stills is in Miami and his favorite target, TE Jimmy Graham, now resides in Seattle. Arizona managed 11 wins last season while starting a trio of quarterbacks under center. Arizona’s defense is simply too tough and New Orleans doesn’t have the offensive firepower they once had. Arizona 27 New Orleans 20
Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers (-3) 45.5 Both of these teams enter 2015 with some serious questions. Will Melvin Gordon fit with the Chargers? Can the Lions overcome their losses on the defensive line? I like Detroit’s WR Calvin Johnson to have a big day against the smaller corners of the Chargers. Take Detroit, the points and the over. Detroit 33 San Diego 28
Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) 41 The first matchup between two quarterbacks that will forever be linked together, Buccaneers Jameis Winston and Titans signal caller Marcus Mariota. Tampa Bay has some serious issues on the offensive line and Winston has never faced a 3-4 defense before. Titans assisstant head coach/defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is 20-2 since 2004 when calling signals against rookie quarterbacks. Titans and the points, along with the under. Tennessee 16 Tampa Bay 13
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders (+3) 43 The Raiders seem to be putting some key pieces in place but are simply not there yet. Cincinnati 33 Oakland 20
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-4.5) 48 The Denver Broncos did not look good offensively this preseason. Reports out of Denver are suggesting QB Peyton Manning has lost significant arm strength. Under new head coach Gary Kubiak, look for the Broncos to rely on an improved defense and the legs of RB C.J. Anderson, not the arm of Peyton Manning. Baltimore is 4-0 the last four times they’ve been an underdog. I like the Ravens and the points and the over. Denver 27 Baltimore 23
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5) 51.5 Dallas has lost some key pieces on both sides of the ball while the Giants are trying to plug some holes as well. New York was one of the highest scoring teams in the league in the second half of the season last year so I expect a shootout. The Over has gone 5-0 in the last five meetings and 8-2 in the last five seasons. Dallas 37 New York 34