I talked up the Redskins earlier in the week and I will stick with them as an official pick and my best bet in Week 2. I think there has been an overreaction to the Rams performance against the Colts, and a lot of negative sentiment towards the Redskins. My line has Washington as a one-point favorite so we are getting line value too. Unfortunately, the spread has stood pat at +2.5 and I was hoping to get a full field goal with backing the Redskins. If you can buy a half-point to get it there then I would recommend doing that.
I’m very tempted to make the Eagles a pick this week and will probably do it if I can get +6 with Philadelphia against the Kansas City Chiefs. I made this game Chiefs -3 so I think there is value but I have a few worries with backing the Eagles. One worry is that Andy Reid is facing his former team so he will have a great game plan especially with a few extra days to prepare. My other concern is the Eagles just beat a division rival in the Redskins and have another NFC East foe in the Giants next week so this scheduling spot isn’t ideal. If I end up picking the Eagles I will tweet out an official pick so stay tuned. Continue reading →
The NFL season starts three weeks from tonight but lines for Week 1 were available hours after the NFL schedule was released in April. Here are five games that interest me the most, including four where I endorse a bet at the current number:
Titans PK vs Raiders
I’ll be fading the Raiders as much as I can and I’m high on the Titans. Maybe not as high as some but I think this is a perfect spot for Tennessee who catch the Raiders playing at 10 Pacific Time. The Titans also have revenge on their mind from a narrow loss to the Raiders last season. Look for the Tennessee offense to expose Oakland’s defense.
Buccaneers PK at Dolphins
Take this number now because it will continue to move. It looks like the Buccaneers will end up going off as a favorite by kickoff. Miami hardly has a home field advantage and I think it will take Cutler some time to get used to his new home. Tampa Bay impressed last year in Week 1 by beating the Falcons in Atlanta and I expect another strong start for Dirk Koetter’s team.
Chargers +3.5 at Broncos
I explained why I like the Chargers and why I’m looking to bet against the Broncos in my season win totals article. It’s convenient they play each other in Week 1. The bad news is people will learn how good the Chargers will be this season since this is a national TV game and we won’t get much value on them going forward.
Under 47.5 in Eagles-Redskins
Last year these two teams played in Landover and the total closed at 45. It barely went over but the Eagles scored a special teams and defensive touchdown to help the game go past the total. Now the total is higher but it’s falling a little bit, so take this as soon as possible. I think the Redskins offense will sputter early with a new offensive coordinator. On the other side, I’ll trust that Jim Schwartz’s defense will be ready for the Redskins but can’t say the same about Doug Pederson and his offense. Division games tend to be tighter and low-scoring, and think this total is set too high.
Cowboys (if it gets to -2.5 or less) vs Giants
When Ezekiel Elliott was given a six-game suspension I immediately wondered how linemakers would react to the Cowboys Week 1 affair with the Giants. Obviously Elliott is a top running back but how much off a drop-off is a fresh Darren McFadden especially since Dak Prescott proved that Dallas has a very efficient passing game. The line ended up moving slightly after the Elliott announcement to keep this spread still over a field goal. I wouldn’t get involved yet but would love to take the Cowboys giving less than a field goal against a Giants team that has an aging quarterback and lackluster run game.
Eagles (-3) over Redskins: The Redskins can win the division with a win but I think the NFC East will be decided in Week 17. I was dead wrong about the Eagles last week but think they bounce back here.
Buccaneers (-3) over Bears: This is a revenge game for Lovie Smith against his former employers. The Bears are already thinking about the offseason and the Buccaneers have pride to play for.
Broncos (-3) over Bengals: Can’t see AJ McCarron doing well in a primetime environment against a great defense. The Broncos need this game more and I think they win by over a field goal.
I picked the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC North but I think they could be in for some trouble Sunday against Washington. The Eagles are coming off a comeback win on Monday night in Indianapolis. Now they have had a short week to prepare for the Redskins. Next Sunday they play the 49ers so there is also a bit of a look ahead even though this is a division game.
I think the Redskins will come out with new energy now that Kirk Cousins is the quarterback. Robert Griffin III has stolen all the headlines for more than a year regarding his injury. Cousins has been talked about in trade rumors and patiently waited for his turn to be the starter. Now that Griffin is hurt, I think Cousins will take advantage of the opportunity and his teammates will rally around him. My pick will be for the Redskins to cover the spread but don’t be surprised if they win straight up.