Too Early? Some NFL Week 1 Predictions

Football Aug 27, 2020

Note:  This is a slightly revised version of the article that appears 3 days ago, based on some updated info.

Chances are good we'll have NFL games this season and kickoff will happen September 10th.  How long it lasts and whether or not we'll make it all the way to the Super Bowl early next year is anyone's guess.  But, at least for the moment, there's a full slate of football games to bet on.

Here's an early look at the odds and totals from SPREADS.CA

Thoughts:

-- Okay, so the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl Champs and open the season at home.  But without the fans, should they be double-digit favourites versus a very good Houston team in a rematch from last year's playoffs?  Grab +10 while you can.

-- There are not the same New England Patriots.  Miami, thought to be the NFL's worst team last season for the first half if its games, was a feisty team down the stretch, covering 5 of their last nine, including an outright win at New England in the final game.  Take the hungry dog at a touchdown or higher.

-- Baltimore should be a beast, especially on offense.  Laying -8.5 seems like a big number, but Ravens are capable of the cover.  Cleveland, coming off a very disappointing 2019 season, is a quagmire.  Pass.

-- NY Jets might be an attractive bet getting +6.  Not sure Buffalo merits laying nearly a touchdown in a division rivalry game, especially since the offense has been mediocre.  Lean to Jets +6.

-- The new NFL addition, the Las Vegas Raiders begin play at Carolina, which is also going through a change phase in personnel.  Raiders might be the more stable franchise at the moment and worthy of laying -1.

-- Seattle is a small road favourite at Atlanta, which is stacked with veteran talent, but is a perpetual underachiever.  Seahawks are clearly the better and more consistent team, but there are better opportunities elsewhere on the betting sheet.  Slight lean to Seattle, but probably a pass.

-- Washington looks to be in turmoil, from the front office, to coaching, to personnel.  New head coach Rivera was diagnosed with cancer, though it's treatable.  Lots of distraction in the former Redskins' camp in the off-season.  Philadelphia, the superior team in every phase, should roll here.  Lay the -6 with the Eagles.

-- Detroit is expected to be an improved team, which sounds like a broken record.  Bears coming off huge disappointment in 2019.  Probably the right price to lay -1.5 with the Lions as a small favourite.

-- Indianapolis is another team which will look very different in 2020 versus 2019, starting with the QB.  Hard to say if Colts offense will gel on all cylinders so early in the season, so the home dog Jaguars – which looked awful down the stretch last season – might be the "hold your nose and bet it" play of the week.  Take +7 and Jacksonville.

-- Minnesota suffered some significant losses in off-season and might be laying too big a number at -3.5 here, especially with little or no crowd noise.  Packers have trouble in Minnesota, historically, but this looks like a good spot for them.  Taking more than a field goal, while you can get it.  Green Bay -3.5.  

-- Chargers laying -3.5 at Cincinnati.  This team is used to playing in front of small crowds and little home support, so might be a good bet in some spots.  But this isn't one of them.  Since when do the Chargers deserve to be laying -3.5 on the road, even against the Bengals?  Should be a close game, so give me the points.  I'll take the cats.

-- Arizona might be a playoff contender this season, except that they play in a brutal division.  Very exciting young team, which will pull off some upsets.  There's also something called the "Super Bowl Loser Letdown" which applies to the 49ers this season.  Super Bowl losers perform poorly the following season, both SU and ATS.  Let's take the live division dog here at +7.5.

-- The Tampa Bay-New Orleans line should be at least -7, but it -4 due to Tom Brady at QB and other improvements made by the Bucs in the off-season.  I'm not sure everything will click this early for Tampa Bay, so I'm willing to lay a very reasonable number, even though the Superdome won't be as noisy.  Lay the -4 with the proven winner.

-- Dallas is a road favourite at the LA Rams, laying -2.5.  Hard to say how the soft Rams will rebound after a flat 2019 season.  Dallas looks to be the more solid team at the moment, and probably is a bargain at less than a FG.  Laying -2.5 with the Cowboys.

-- Steelers visit NY Giants on Monday night.  Laying -3.5 seems a little high.  Lean to the home dog Giants so long as we get the hook on the 3.  Pittsburgh looks like a sucker bet, but we'll keep an eye on this one as we approach game day.  Pass for now.

-- Why is Denver favoured over Tennessee, which was a quarter away from the Super Bowl?  This is the NFL's best rushing team, makes few mistakes, and should be in the hunt again during the post-season.  Broncos won't have fans in the stands, which diminishes some home field advantage.  Getting +2.5 with the Titans is way too tempting to pass.  Take the points and probably the money-line, as well.

I'm ready for some football!

   

__________

Headline Photo Credit:  www.SI.com