Week 1 of the NFL season is always a difficult week to bet. There are so many changes that happen throughout the offseason via the draft, free agency, coaching changes, etc., that it is often times difficult to truly understand what teams have made improvements and which ones have taken a step back. Our Opening Week picks overall did quite well as the money investment netted a positive return in all 3 major betting categories. Here is how we finished with our predictions:
Straight Up: 13-2-1
Against the Spread: 9-7
Points Totals: 10-6
Pick of the Week – Buffalo +3 (+125 ML) over NY Jets
Failure of the Week – Miami +7 vs Baltimore
Home Teams: 8-7-1 (4-11 ATS)
Favorites: 10-5-1 (6-10 ATS)
Over/Under: 9 Over – 7 Under
Weekly Game Breakdowns
Chicago 3 Green Bay 10
Our Picks: Chicago (L) – Chicago -3 (L) – Under 46 (W )
If you were hoping to see some offense, you were gravely dissappointed with our season opener between the Bears and Packers. Neither offense could move the ball, aside from one series which saw Aaron Rodgers lead his team to the endzone. Both defenses looked very impressive in this matchup. We knew that the Bears were going to have a solid defense, but the Packers remained a question mark. Moving forward the real question will be whether the Packers offense is really that good, or the Bears offense is really that bad.
Cleveland 13 Tennessee 43
Our Picks: Cleveland (L) – Cleveland -6 (L) – Over 45.5 (W )
Everybody (including myself) needs to pump the brakes on the Cleveland bandwagon. This Browns team did not look good and they played extremely sloppy throughout the entire game. They were flagged 18 times for 182 yards in penalties and their offense looked very inconsistent after an impressive first drive. There is no doubt that this Cleveland team is talented, but they will need to play smarter and more disciplined to meet the high expectation everyone set for them. On the other hand, Tennessee looked impressive in their opener on the road. Mariota looked poised throwing and running the ball, and he seemed in control of the offense for most of the game. Derrick Henry also looked strong as he ran for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Miami 10 Baltimore 59
Our Picks: Baltimore (W ) – Miami +7 (L) – Over 37.5 (W )
I think most people expected to see a Baltimore win in this game, but I don’t think many people thought they would see an offensive explosion like this. Lamar Jackson had an incredible day through the air as he passed form 324 yards and 5 touchdowns. What was even more incredible, is that Baltimore did no rely on the legs of Jackson, who only carries the ball 3 times for 6 yards. Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews both had over 100 yards receiving, with Brown grabbing 2 TD’s and Andrews 1. Mark Ingram also had one heck of a day on the ground, rushing for 107 yards and 2 scores. Miami, on the other hand, looks like a complete trainwreck. I came into this game thinking that Ryan Fitzpatrick would keep things close, and boy was I wrong. Miami was overmatched both offensively and defensively, resulting in a score you would likely see in a Week 1 College game. This game makes the Dolphins look even worse than most have predicted. It’s going to be a long year in South Beach.
Minnesota 28 Atlanta 12
Our Picks: Minnesota (W ) – Minnesota -4 (W ) – Under 47.5 (W )
This game was dominated by some old school football tactics from the Vikings. They used smash mouth defense to pressure Matt Ryan all day, making the former MVP look out of sorts all day long. They also their running game to drive the ball down Atlanta’s throat. Dalvin Cook had himself a day rushing for 111 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kirk Cousins didn’t have to do much for the passing game, as the defense and running attack held Atlanta down most of the game. Cousins ended up passing 10 times, completing 8 passes, for 98 yards and a touchdown. Even though Atlanta racked up 345 total yards on offense, the Minnesota defense held Atlanta to only a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Julio Jones, with his brand new contract, found the endzone once, but was held to only 31 yards on 6 receptions.
NY Jets 16 Buffalo 17
Our Picks: Buffalo (W ) – Buffalo +3 (W ) – Over 40 (L)
The Buffalo Bills were able to come from down 16 points midway through the 3rd quarter to upset the Jets on their home field. It was an ugly game throughout it’s entirety. However, Buffalo was able to overcome 4 total turnovers and rally with 14 fourth quarter points to pull off the come-from-behind victory. John Brown was a key contributor to the comeback win as he finished with 123 receiving yards and the game winning touchdown. For both teams, winning games like this will be critical down the stretch. Neither team has a ton of offensive firepower, so they will rely on these grind it out style games to string together wins.
Philadelphia 32 Washington 27
Our Picks: Philadelphia (W ) – Philadelphia -10 (L) – Under 45.5 (L)
Washington jumped on the Eagles early and were up 17-0 early on in the 2nd quarter. This game looked like it was going to be all Redskins, and could have been the upset of the day. However, Philly kept on pushing and eventually the offense came to life. DeShaun Jackson was welcomed back to Philly with open arms as he caugh 2 touchdown passes to go along with his 154 receiving yards. Once the Eagles got some rhythm, they looked like the team that most were expecting to see. Wentz played well, and the running game by committee worked as they put together 123 total yards on the ground. Washington on the other hand will need to do some work on the defensive side of the ball. The Philly passing game torched them on long plays multiple times. Offensively, the Redskins were completely one dimensional. Case Keenum looked good, as he passed for 380 yards and 3 touchdowns. The running game, however, did not produce any positive results. As a team they only rushed for 28 yards, led by Derrius Guice with 18 yards.
Carolina 27 LA Rams 30
Our Picks: LA Rams (W ) – LA Rams -2 (W ) – Over 50 (W )
Through the first quarter of this one, the scoreboard was still empty as neither team could put together a scoring drive. Even going into the half, it was only a 13-3 game. The 2nd half, however, saw an explosion of 41 points to bring this score back to what you would expect in a Rams game. Los Angeles led this game throughout, but the Panthers never let them get too far ahead. Jared Goff had an average game as he threw for 186 yards as well as a touchdown and a pick. Cam Newton didn’t look particularly special either, as he ended with 239 yards and a pick. For me, despite being on the losing side, Christian McCaffrey was the stand out player from this game. He ran for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns, he also hauled in 10 receptions for 81 yards.
Jacksonville 26 Kansas City 40
Our Picks: Kansas City (W ) – Kansas City -4 (W ) – Over 52 (W )
Our reigning league MVP, Patrick Mahomes, looked every bit as good in this game as he did last season. Mahomes ended up with 378 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He also appeared to have found a new favorite weapon in Sammy Watkins who had a monster game with 198 yards receiving paired with 3 touchdown catches. Jacksonville suffered a huge injury early on, as they watched their brand new quarterback, Nick Foles, go down with a collarbone injury. Foles is ruled out indefinitely and there is no promise that he will return this season. This is a huge blow to a Jacksonville team who had high hopes that their offense would be revitalized with Foles taking snaps.
LA Chargers 30 Indianapolis 24 (OT)
Our Picks: LA Chargers (W ) – Indianapolis +6.5 (W ) – Under 44.5 (L)
Indianapolis had to rally from 15 points down to force overtime against Los Angeles in this thriller of a game. Unfortunately for the Colts, the Chargers were able to put together a 75 yard drive in Overtime capped off by a touchdown to seal the home victory for the Bolts. Jacoby Brissett looked solid in his first full time start after the Andrew Luck retirement. He threw for 190 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Marlon Mack also had a huge game for the Colts on the ground as he rushed for 174 yards and a score. Los Angeles was also impressive on the offensive side of the ball led by Philip Rivers who passed for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns. Without Melvin Gordon, replacement Austin Ekeler was more than sufficient in filling that void. He rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown, along with 96 receiving yards and 2 touchdown catches.
Seattle 21 Cincinnati 20
Our Picks: Seattle (W ) – Seattle -9.5 (L) – Over 44.5 (L)
This was nearly the upset of the day, as Cincinnati led the Seahawks for the majority of the day. However, Seattle kept on grinding and were able to edge out the pesky Bengals. Seattle’s offense struggled all game, but heading into the fourth quarter they were able to gain the edge on the Bengals and they never looked back. Andy Dalton had a huge game passing the ball for Cincinnati as he threw for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns. Even through the Bengals were able to put up gaudy passing numbers, the Seattle defense kept them off the scoreboard when it counted. Though the Bengals ended up losing this game, for a team who is expected to do little to nothing this year, hanging with an NFC contender is definitely a moral victory. For the Seahawks, the get the win, but will need to tighten up on both sides of the ball as the competition stiffens up in the following weeks.
Dallas 35 NY Giants 17
Our Picks: Dallas (W ) – NY Giants +7.5 (L) – Over 45 (W )
This game was all Cowboys as they cruised past the lowly Giants out in Texas. The Cowboys were paced by the quarterback Dak Prescott who threw for 405 yards and 4 touchdowns en route to a perfect passer rating. Zeke Elliott didn’t have a monster game on the ground, but was able to find the endzone once to go along with 53 yards rushing and 10 receiving. Saquon Barkley was one shining spot for the Giants, as he was able to put up a 100-yard rushing game finishing with 120. Giants fans got a small taste of backup quarterback Daniel Jones who came into the game with 2 minutes remaining to play some garbage-time minutes. Those who are hoping he replaces Eli Manning sooner rather than later will likely have to wait a little longer, as Eli finished with a decent game, totaling 306 passing yards to go along with a touchdown pass.
Arizona 27 Detroit 27 (OT)
Our Picks: Detroit (push) – Detroit -2.5 (L) – Under 47.5 (L)
Nobody likes to see a tie, but for the Lions this one especially has to hurt. Detroit once led by 18 points and were en route to a blowout win to start the season, but then Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense went to work. Stifled through 3 quarters, the Cardinals offense was able to come back in dramatic fashion to force overtime against the favorite Lions. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals offense upped their tempo, and the Lions defense looked out of shape and unable to keep up with the Arizona version of the Air Raid Offense. Detroit’s key mistake came from the coaching staff as they called a timeout right before Detroit would have converted a first down play to ice the game. Detroit went on the get stopped after the timeout leading to the Cardinal comeback. Both teams scored in overtime, and time expired to keep these teams even.
Tampa Bay 17 San Francisco 31
Our Picks: San Francisco (W ) – San Francisco +1 (W ) – Under 50.5 (W )
A strong defensive effort by the San Francisco 49ers capped off a fairly ugly contest against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. San Francisco didn’t look overly confident on the offensive side of the ball, but the 49er defense was able to take advantage of Buccaneer turnovers to give them a 14 point edge. San Fran was able to return 2 of Winston’s 3 interceptions to the house to cap off a tough defensive effort. Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon scored the defensive touchdowns for San Francisco. Tampa Bay struggled on offense, as their turnovers doomed them. Moving forward, both offenses will need to sharpen up. Defensively, both teams turned in impressive performances, but the 49ers ability to force turnovers ended up being the difference.
New England 33 Pittsburgh 3
Our Picks: New England (W ) – New England -6 (W ) – Under 51 (W )
New England looked good. Really good. Pittsburgh looked shell shocked, and could never get anything together. Tom Brady and the Patriot offense looked like they could move the ball however they wanted, by any means necessary. Defensively, the Patriots looked amazing. Pittsburgh was unable to do anything throughout this contest, and shut down all of the Steeler weapons. New England will only get more explosive and dangerous as Antonio Brown is able to join the team next week. Pittsburgh will need to forget this loss fast and make some adjustments on the offensive side of the ball to get this offense back to it’s normal explosive identity.
New Orleans 30 Houston 28
Our Picks: New Orleans (W ) – Houston +7 (W ) – Under 53 (L)
This game goes down as the thriller of the weekend. Within the last minute of the game, there were a total of 13 points scored, which ended up killing the Under pick. However, I will take that loss after seeing this finish. New Orleans extended their lead to 6 points with 0:50 left in the game. Houston gets the ball back and goes 75 yards in a matter of 13 seconds to score a touchdown and take the lead by 1. New Orleans got the ball back with 37 seconds remaining on the clock and drives down to the Houston 40 yard line to set up a game-winning 58-yard field goal by Wil Lutz. Incredible finish. Both teams offenses put on a show, particularly in the second half. Neither Drew Brees nor Deshaun Watson disappointed the fans as the passing attacks were on full display. One thing is for sure, both of these teams have high flying offensive attacks that can hang with anyone else in the league.
Oakland 24 Denver 16
Our Picks: Oakland (W ) – Oakland +1 (W ) – Under 43 (W )
The Raiders didn’t disappoint their home fans in their last Monday Night Game at the Oakland Coliseum. They opened the game with a convincing touchdown drive, and they never looked back from that point. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs looked very impressive rushing for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 28 receiving yards. Derek Carr was in control all night as he finished with 259 yards on 22/26 passing. The debuts of quarterback Joe Flacco and head coach Vic Fangio were less than impressive, resulting in the loss. The Broncos offense was swallowed up by the Raiders D most of the night. Denver started moving the ball well in the fourth, but by that time the game was out of reach.