I’ve went 264-203-19 combined in the past two years picking NFL games against the spread. I’ve been posting my picks for the last five or six years, but really only kept a running total in recent years.
Week 1 is a tricky betting week. You can watch all the preseason football games you want and never get a feel for what the team will look like in their first regular season game.
I’ve been on a roll the last two years by winning over 60% of my NFL game picks against the spread. Let’s hope the hot streak continues.
We pick every NFL game against the spread and throw out a few upsets in Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-7) – My pick is New England Patriots
I hate picking a team to cover over a touchdown, especially on a Thursday, but I feel it will happen. Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell are both out with suspensions. That was the biggest factor in making my pick. Also, Tom Brady will be in ‘eff you’ mode after going the entire offseason thinking he was going to be suspended for this game. He will have a rather large chip on his shoulder.
Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3) – My pick is Carolina Panthers
The Jaguars suffered a few big injuries during training camp and so did the Panthers. This game will be won on the defensive side of the ball. I’m a fan of both Luke Kuechly and Star Lotulelei. They will make it a long day for Blake Bortles.
Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins (+4) – My pick is Miami Dolphins
I was quite bullish on Miami this offseason. I like the moves they made. I even liked them overpaying Ndamukong Suh. They needed to show their fanbase they were ready to contend with New England. As far as Washington goes, I’m not a fan of Kirk Cousins. He’s merely keeping the seat warm for whichever quarterback Washington selects in the 2016 NFL Draft. Miami should win this one big.
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (+4.5) – My pick is St. Louis Rams
Seattle is a different team on the road. The Rams have some new faces on offense, most notably quarterback Nick Foles. He has been very accurate in his career and hasn’t thrown many interceptions. Jeff Fisher has won in the past when he has a quarterback that doesn’t turn the ball over. Seattle may win, but it will be close, so I’m taking the points.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (+7) – My pick is Green Bay Packers
Green Bay was my preseason Super Bowl pick. I still like them, even with Jordy Nelson lost for the year. They are loaded on both sides of the ball. They have always chewed up the Bears and I don’t see them stopping now. I like the Packers to cover the touchdown spread.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (-1) – My pick is Kansas City Chiefs
I believe the ‘Hard Knocks’ hype messed with this line. Kansas City should be favored by a couple points. I don’t like Houston’s quarterback situation. Kansas City’s dink & dunk (aka West Coast offense) will keep J.J. Watt off Alex Smith. I’m taking Kansas City for the ‘upset’ on the road.
Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills (+3) – My pick is Indianapolis Colts
The Bills have a lot of hype going into the season. It’s well-deserved. They have a new head coach (Rex Ryan) and new starting quarterback (Tyrod Taylor). The Colts also made a lot of noise this offseason with some big name free agent signings. Indy is in ‘Super Bowl or Bust’ mode. Buffalo will be loud, but Indywill cover.
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-3) – My pick is New York Jets
This one is a little tough. I don’t expect much from either team this season. The teams are quite even when you look at individual matchups. The one in which the Jets have a huge advantage is Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown versus the Jets secondary. Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie are both getting a bit long in the tooth, but are more than up for the job on Sunday. Give me the Jets to cover at home.
Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers (-3) – My pick is Detroit Lions
I love Detroit this season. Yes, they lost some pieces on defense, but they upgraded their offense. I don’t like a team having to travel out West, but all Matthew Stafford has to do is loft balls up to Calvin Johnson. Detroit’s backfield will keep the safeties closer to the line of scrimmage than in year’s past.
New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals (-3) – My pick is Arizona Cardinals
Arizona keeps adding little by little to their team. If they keep improving, they will challenge Seattle in the NFC West. Drew Brees will still get his yards, but Arizona’s secondary will not make it easy for him. Give me Arizona to cover at home.
Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-5) – My pick is Denver Broncos
The last time Denver opened the season against Baltimore, Peyton Manning went off. He threw seven touchdowns that game. A lot was made of Peyton’s late-season demise last year, but he was playing injured. He is now healthy and will have a good game on Sunday. Baltimore will not be up to the task.
Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – My pick is Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hmmm…this is the hardest game of the week to handicap. You have the top two quarterbacks taken in this year’s NFL Draft, facing each other in the first week of the season. Jameis Winston has more weapons on offense than Marcus Mariota. I have to pick using that strategy. The other matchups are too close to see any advantage. Give me Tampa to cover at home.
Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders (+3.5) – My pick is Oakland Raiders
This is our biggest upset pick of the week. We like Oakland more than most this season. Derek Carr showed poise last season. He did the best he could with the weapons he had. Don’t get me wrong, the Bengals are good enough to make the playoffs. I just think Oakland matches up well against them. Give me Oakland at home.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-6) – My pick is New York Giants
The Cowboys will miss having a workhorse like DeMarco Murray this year. He gave the defense time to rest. Tony Romo will be forced to pass more. The Giants are my sleeper pick to win the NFC East this year. The Giants will upset Dallas on Sunday night.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons (+3) – My pick is Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles made a lot of curious moves this offseason. New quarterback Sam Bradford has looked great this preseason. DeMarco Murray replaces LeSean McCoy in the backfield, but hasn’t played much with the first team offense in camp. Atlanta’s defense was horrible last season. They made a few upgrades, but can they hang with the speed of Philly? Nope. Give me the Eagles to cover on the road.
Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) – My pick is Minnesota Vikings
The Niners lost a lot of guys on defense this offseason. I’m not sure if what’s left of them can handle a rested Adrian Peterson, and a young quarterback I like a lot, Teddy Bridgewater. I suspect the Vikings will win this one by at least a field goal.
*These picks are for entertainment purposes
Sweetbob’s NFL picks against the spread record in previous seasons:
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob