Week One Predictions

Posted: 09/07/2014 by levcohen in Football

Week one is finally here, which means it’s time for the weekly predictions. I’m already off to a bad start against the spread, as I picked against Seattle to cover at home (never a good idea). They ended up blowing out the Packers, which I think clarifies where each of these teams are. The Seahawks are the best team in football, while the Packers still have a lot of work to do. Their defense looked terrible and Aaron Rodgers wasn’t much better on Thursday. This is a week full of 1:00 games (10!), so, due to the two Monday Night Football games, there are just two 4:25 and a night game. 1:00 is the time to tune in.

*= upset pick

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons:
Spread: Saints favored by 3
Over/under: 52
My prediction: This is a road game for the Saints, and they are usually suspect in road games, but it’s important to remember that the Falcons also plays in a dome. That bodes well for Drew Brees, as does the fact that the Falcons’ defense stinks. I think the people predicting a Falcons playoff run will be disappointed, at least this week. Saints win 31-20.
Saints cover

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams:
Spread: Rams favored by 3
Over/under: 43
My prediction: The Rams proved they could win at home with back-to-back double-digit wins against the Saints and Bucs to end last season. I like the Vikings, but I don’t think they’ll be able to crack this defense and in particular the pass-rush. Rams win 23-17
Rams cover

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers:
Spread: Steelers favored by 7
Over/under: 41.5
My prediction: I hate the Browns and like the Steelers this year, but I don’t know that the Steelers are good enough to warrant a touchdown-favorite line in week one. I think they’ll win but barely fail to cover. Steelers win 17-13.
Browns cover

Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles:
Spread: Eagles favored by 10.5
Over/under: 51
My prediction: I’m always tempted to take a double-digit underdog, because they usually cover the spread. That’s why I’m going to do it this time, although the Eagles should be ready to roll at home in week one and I’m not a fan of the Chad Henne-led Jaguars. I don’t like it, but the Jaguars have a decent shot at covering. Eagles win 27-17
Jaguars cover

Oakland Raiders at New York Jets:
Spread: Jets favored by 5
Over/under: 40
My prediction: Ew. Talk about a terrible game. I have both these teams among the worst in football, but I’ll take the lesser of two evils in the Jets at home. It’s also dangerous to pick a rookie quarterback in his first start, especially since it’s on the road. Jets win 27-17.
Jets cover

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens:*
Spread: Ravens favored by 2
Over/under: 42.5
My prediction: I think the Bengals are the better team than the Ravens, but the Ravens are usually tricky to pick against at home. I’ll go with the better team here, since I think Cincinnati is superior to Baltimore in all three facets of the game (offense, defense, special teams). Bengals win 24-20.
Bengals cover

Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears:- Lock of the Week
Spread: Bears favored by 7
Over/under: 47.5
My prediction: Is there any way the Bears lose this game? Yes, I know it’s dangerous to think this way, because this is the NFL and the Bears could well lose. I just don’t see it happening against E.J. Manuel and the Bills. Bears take this 31-20.
Bears cover

Washington Redskins at Houston Texans:
Spread: Texans favored by 3
Over/under: 44.5
My prediction: I have more confidence in Houston than I do in Washington, which looks like it’s already pretty dysfunctional. People have been calling for Kirk Cousins to start over Robert Griffin III, which I don’t agree with, but I must admit that RGIII looked terrible this preseason. I’ll take the Texans at home. Texans win 24-20.
Texans cover

Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs:
Spread: Chiefs favored by 3
Over/under: 44
My prediction: The Chiefs are overrated, and I think the Titans should be competent until Jake Locker gets injured. I don’t think either of these teams is very good, so I’ll take the Chiefs to win and Titans to cover just to hedge my bets. Chiefs win 24-23.
Titans cover

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins:*
Spread: Patriots favored by 4
Over/under: 46.5
My prediction: This is an interesting one, as I love the Patriots but also think the Dolphins will be solid this year. It’s always tough to pick a road team that’s favored by more than a field goal, and the Dolphins are pretty solid at home. I think the Patriots go 12-4, but this is one of their four losses. Dolphins win 24-21.
Dolphins cover

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Spread: Buccaneers favored by 2.5
Over/under: 38
My prediction: This game doesn’t look good for the Panthers, who are due for a regression. Their quarterback, Cam Newton, has a rib injury and might not even play in this game. Even if he does, he should be hobbled. The Buccaneers are the safe pick here. Buccaneers win 20-14.
Buccaneer cover

San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys:
Spread: 49ers favored by 4
Over/under: 51
My prediction: I don’t really like either of these two teams, but my hate for the Cowboys wins out here. 49ers win 38-31.
49ers cover

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos:
Spread: Broncos favored by 7.5
Over/under: 55
My prediction: This is a really dangerous game to pick, since the Broncos are clearly the better team but the Colts were good against the elite last season. Everyone’s picking the Broncos, and they will win, but I think it’s only by a touchdown. Broncos win 30-23.
Colts cover

New York Giants at Detroit Lions:*- MNF
Spread: Lions favored by 6.5
Over/under: 47
My prediction: My biggest upset pick of week one right here. I don’t think the Lions are very good, and while I don’t like the Giants much either, their defense should be good enough to squeeze out a win (or at least a cover) here. Giants win 21-20.
Giants cover

San Diego Chargers at Arizona Cardinals: – MNF
Spread: Cardinals favored by 3
Over/under: 46.5
My prediction: I really have no idea which team to pick here. I think they are about equally good, but I don’t have a good feeling about the Cardinals at home here. I’ll still pick them to win and cover, but I don’t feel good about this pick. Cardinals win 27-23.
Cardinals cover

Upset Picks:
Bengals over Ravens
Dolphins over Patriots
Giants over Lions

Lock of the Week:
Bears over Bills


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