The first week can be the most difficult to predict as we see how defenses perform and how offenses work with new weapons and coaching. That goes both ways though as Vegas is looking at the same new data, albeit with armies of people digging into the data. There are several games that look enticing though.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns – PIT -4 at -105
The Browns look poised to make significant improvements this year but there are a lot of new pieces including a new OC. It will likely take some time for them to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Josh Gordon has a very good chance at becoming a top scoring threat in the league but it appears that they will be easing him in with the lack of practice. Even if Bell holds out of week 1 or plays without have much if any practice, there’s still a very likely to come out at least 1 TD ahead in this game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints – NO -9.5 at -110
There are certainly worse backup QBs than Ryan Fitzpatrick but he’s still going up a defense that should be at minimum top 10 and likely higher and a Drew Brees led offense that added even more pass catching options, The Saints should have little trouble winning by 2 scores.
Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers – LAC -3.5 at -110
This game comes down to the LAC having a much better defense than KC as well as their offense being at least a little better than the KC offense. Patrick Mahomes clearly has an amazing arm and some of the best weapons in the league at his disposal but this is another team that make take some time to come up with their new identity.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – GB -7.5 at -105
The Bears added a lot of weapons this year but it looks like it’s going to take Mitchell Trubisky some time before he can fully take advantage of them. That and going against Aaron Rodgers is enough for me to expect a 2 score win with ease.
Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders – LAR -4.5 at -110
The Raiders feel like they are going to come out of the gate a hot mess including a defense that is probably going to be bottom 5 in the league. This is one I’m quite surprised is only a 5.5 point spread. This game should be extremely lopsided from the start.
These are the picks with the best shots without having seen any regular season games yet. We’ll get into more long shots and upsets as we get into the season. Remember, we’re going for winning more than we lose. You can’t win them all. Bet responsibly and good luck to us all!