In one of the craziest years we’ve ever experienced, the NFL rolls on. Kick back, relax, and let me help you make some money on opening weekend.
Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
The two highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL will go head to head on opening night, when the post-DeAndre Hopkins trade Houston Texans take on the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. A rematch from last year’s AFC divisional round, the Texans won’t have a chance to blow a four touchdown lead in this game. The Chiefs get out to a fast start in their quest for back to back championships, taking care of business opening night.
The Pick: Kansas City Chiefs (-9)
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
The classic 1pm, opening day match-up: the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills. With the departure of Tom Brady from the AFC East, the Bills have become the sexy pick to win the division. News flash, there is nothing sexy about the Buffalo Bills. Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good team, but I’m not as convinced as everyone else is about them. The Jets had somewhat of a tumultuous offseason, trading away Jamal Adams and stuck in a never-ending, media driven soap opera between Adam Gase and Le’Veon Bell. Sam Darnold has to take another step forward this year, and he’s actually undefeated in Buffalo. Give me the Jets in a shocker.
The Pick: New York Jets (+6.5)
Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons (+1.5)
One team that has continually given Russell Wilson and the Seahawks fits over his career has been the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks might be one of the best teams in the NFC, but they’re also one of the mots inconsistent teams in the entire league. The Falcons had a season to forget last year, but they ended it on a good note. I think they carry that momentum, plus a classic nobody believes in us attitude, into this season. The Falcons are better than people think, and they’ll show it week one.
The Pick: Atlanta Falcons (+1.5)
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions (-3)
If there’s an NFC version of the Jets-Bills match-up, it’s this match-up between the Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions. The Bears were extraordinarily disappointing last year, but they still managed an 8-8 record. On the other hand, the Lions were one of the worst teams in the entire league, but a healthy Matthew Stafford, along with the addition of De’Andre Swift, should give their offense some life. It’s put up or shut up time for Mitchell Trubisky though, and I believe his talent will finally be on display this year *ducks*. I know it’s popular to disparage his ability, and I don’t know if he’ll do enough to keep the Bears starting job beyond 2020, but he’ll do enough to get the win here.
The Pick: Chicago Bears (+3)
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (-3)
The Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers both fell victim to the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs last season, and they’ll both be looking to improve upon good seasons from last year. The Vikings shipped out a big play receiver in Stefon Diggs, but they replaced him with first round pick, Justin Jefferson. The Packers on the other hand, they’re rolling with Allen Lazard as their number two receiver. I think the addition of Yannick Ngakoue will pay dividends for the Vikings as well, but it may take some time for him to get acclimated to an entirely new defense. The Packers swept the Vikings last season, and they look to do it again this year, starting with a victory in Minnesota.
The Pick: Green Bay Packers (+3)
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-6.5)
The Miami Dolphins shocked the football world in Week 17 of last season, when they went up to Foxborough and defeated the New England Patriots, in what we now know was Tom Brady’s last regular season game as a member of the team. The loss helped set the table for Brady leaving for Tampa Bay, and for a new man under center in New England, a super-man, Cam Newton. I love the fit of Newton with Bill Belichick, and I think it’ll pay dividends for both. Fitz-Magic doesn’t reign supreme in New England again, as Newton and the Patriots offense will have something to prove this season.
The Pick: New England Patriots (-6.5)
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team (+6)
A rematch from week one last year, where the Washington Football Team got off to a blistering start, only to blow it to the Carson Wentz led Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles number one receiver going into this game will be DeSean Jackson, and no, this is not 2011. The Eagles did defeat the Washinton Football Team late last season with a former quarterback and converted tight end playing wide receiver for them, so it may not matter. I think the Ron Rivera led squad will keep it close, cover, but the Philadelphia Eagles win a close one.
The Pick: Washington Football Team (+6)
Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers (+3)
The first game of a new era for the Raiders, as they officially leave Oakland for ‘Sin City’, Las Vegas. This new story begins in Carolina, taking on a team in the Panthers who have also undergone a facelift. Baylor’s Matt Rhule is calling the shots now, and former Vikings, Jets and Saints quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, will be under center. Personally, I believe the Raiders should be much better than the Panthers this season, but the Raiders have also been consistently inconsistent over the last couple years. I expect this year to be no different, but who wouldn’t want to see the Vegas-Era start off with a win? Probably Panthers fans, but .. oh well.
The Pick: Las Vegas Raiders (-3)
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+8)
An eight point line, at home, on opening day, is disrespectful – even for the Jaguars. Have we forgotten all about Minshew Magic? The mustached super star? And this is a team three years removed from an AFC Championship game birth. Wait, they traded who? Released, waived, rid themselves of almost everyone? Man, maybe that eight point line isn’t so disrespectful after all. Phillip Rivers is reunited with Frank Reich, and the Colts will finally have some stability at quarterback this season. Sorry Jaguars fans, as much as you wish it was 2017 instead of 2020 .. it’s not.
The Pick: Indianapolis Colts (-8)
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-8)
The Cleveland Browns are a fantastic candidate for a post-hype sleeper team. They were a popular pick to win the division last season, but then, as things usually go, the hyped up team fell flat on their face. Coaches and General Managers were fired, Baker Mayfield went from someone who couldn’t shut up to a player you haven’t heard a peep from, and Kevin Stefanski is a much better candidate to get the most out of this team than Freddie Kitchens was. The Baltimore Ravens, at least in the regular season, were the best team in the league last year. They’re out for revenge after a disappointing playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, and Lamar Jackson is out to prove his MVP season wasn’t a fluke. The Ravens will be great again this season, but this will be a closer game than the line suggests. Ravens win, but the Browns cover.
The Pick: Cleveland Browns (+8)
Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
The Los Angeles Chargers are entering a new era: the post Phillip Rivers era. Before they enter the Justin Herbert era though, Tyrod Taylor is here to interject and hopefully, to stay. Another team who’s turning over a new leaf? The Cincinnati Bengals. Hometown hero Joe Burrow fell into their laps at number one overall, and the fit couldn’t be more perfect. If there’s anyone who can get the best out of this Bengals team, it’s the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. In a battle of teams trying to start new era’s out with wins, give me the one with the better signal caller – Joe Burrow.
The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals (+3)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have quickly become the sexy pick to win the Super Bowl. They had a great offense last year with a quarterback who threw thirty interceptions, and now they replace him with the greatest of all time, Tom Brady. Bringing Rob Gronkowski out of retirement and getting former top five pick Leonard Fournette at great value, this offense could be an all timer. The New Orleans Saints let another great season be wasted by a disappointing playoff loss, and while they should still contend for the division crown, this is arguably the biggest game of week one. Who plays better in big games, Tom Brady or Drew Brees? And thats, that.
The Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-7)
The San Francisco 49ers are the class of the NFC, but even during their magical season last year, the Arizona Cardinals gave them fits. I’m not buying the Kyler Murray-MVP hype, but I do think the Cardinals are one of the most improved teams in the entire NFL. De’Andre Hopkins and Isiah Simmons should produce instantly, and I can’t wait to see this team on the field. People have short memories, and I believe people have forgotten about just how good the 49ers were last year. The Cardinals will keep this one close, and I want to pick them to win here, but cooler heads prevail. I’ll throw them a bone though, with a cover.
The Pick: Arizona Cardinals (+7)
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams (+3)
The Los Angeles Rams moved on from their star running back in Todd Gurley, but they got a formidable replacement in the Florida State product, Cam Akers. I think Akers will be great for the Rams, but it remains to be seen just how many touches he’ll get in week one. The Dallas Cowboys added more talent to an already talented offense with the addition of CeeDee Lamb, and even though they didn’t give Dak Prescott a long term deal this offseason like other top quarterbacks, I’m expecting him to play like one this year. It starts week one, and the Cowboys have always started the season hot. They keep the status quo this year with a win.
The Pick: Dallas Cowboys (-3)
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants (+5.5)
Ben Roethlisberger returns to the Pittsburgh Steelers starting lineup, a sight that will for sure be welcome after the play of Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodgers last year. Juju Smith-Schuster should have a better year with his return, and the offense as a whole should be good. The New York Giants finally got rid of their lame duck head coach in Pat Shurmur, replacing him with the fiery Joe Judge. Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and the Giants offense should take a step forward with another year of development and new offensive coordinator, Jason Garrett, calling the shots. All rise, the Giants get Joe Judge a victory in his first game as a head coach.
The Pick: New York Giants (+5.5)
Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos (+1.5)
The dreaded late night Monday game on opening week features the Tennessee Titans and Denver Broncos this year. Both these teams will be interesting, as they feature talented offenses with some stars on defense. The addition of Jadeveon Clowney should pay dividends for the Titans, even in his first game. The Broncos finally found their franchise quarterback in Drew Lock, and they got him some new weapons in the offseason, with the additions of Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Melvin Gordon. That offense will hum eventually, but week one belongs to the Titans.
The Pick: Tennessee Titans (-1.5)