Las Vegas Raiders vs Carolina Panthers
The Raiders will play their first game since moving to Las Vegas, but they start things off on the road. The Panthers have a new quarterback, a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, and a new defensive coordinator. With that in mind, why are the Raiders only (-2) point favorites on the road in this game? The full breakdown with a preview, trends, and pick against the spread is located here.
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions
The Bears did it. They named Mitch Trubisky the starting quarterback. This will be a make-or-break year for the Bears and it will be interesting to see what happens if Mitch struggles. It won’t take long. The Lions are vastly improved on defense and will have one of the better offenses in the NFL. They signed Adrian Peterson and that gives them depth and leadership on this team.
The Bears are thin at running back and all of the pressure will be on Mitch. The Bears are 1-4 ATS in the last five games as an underdog. Chicago is also 0-6 ATS in the last six road games and the home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings. The Lions win big and the quarterback controversy starts in week one.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
This game is covered in storylines. Cam Newton joins the Patriots and everyone wonders if they can win without Tom Brady. Down at South Beach, the Dolphins drafted a hot=shot rookie and they are now considered by some to be a contender to surprise this year in the NFL. Bill Belichick and the Pats host the Dolphins after the embarrassing, but remarkable week 17 win a season ago. Who wins? more importantly who covers the spread? With so many storylines we had to provide a full breakdown of this game with our pick against the spread.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Football Team
The Eagles are in trouble with as many injuries as they have to start the season. The offensive line is one big Band-Aid and key positional players come limping into this game. The difference in Washington is Ron Rivera and his difference will be felt in week one. The Eagles always start slow at the betting window covering just one of the last seven games that they have played in September. The Eagles have a strong defensive line but are mediocre at linebacker. If Washington QB Dwayne Haskins can break the first line he is off to the races.
Doug Pederson says Carson Wentz will be ready for week 1, but how healthy will he be? More importantly how safe will he be behind a battered offensive line? There are too many questions to be a favorite of this magnitude on the road.
Indianapolis Colts vs Jacksonville Jaguars
If you follow me on Twitter (@bookie_blitz) you know that I am a big fan of the changes that the Colts made in the offseason. They have vastly improved on both sides of the ball. As a result, they are a solid bet to win the AFC South. The Jaguars are not. They have dumped their best players and will be big underdogs in every game this year. The public has already started betting against the Jags. This line opened at -6.5 and has been bumped as high as 8.5 at several sportsbooks.
The Colts have a strong focus on the opener because they want to buck a very ugly trend. Overall they are 1-9 in season openers and Indianapolis has lost 7 straight openers on the road. The team is very aware of this.
“It’s important because every year . . . just talking to Mr. Irsay,’’ Frank Reich said. “He stresses to me the importance of the opener.
This focus will translate to execution on the field. The Jags are 2-6 ATS in the last 8 games as an underdog. The only play to make in this game is the Colts.
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Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have had a very difficult offseason. Since the draft, the team, management, and their quarterback have all been under scrutiny. Many believe that this team will not make the playoffs. The game against the Vikings is days away and the Packers still have not revealed who will be starting on the offensive line.
The Vikings are quietly having an incredible offseason and are flying under the radar as a possible Super Bowl contender. They added Yannick Ngkoue to a defensive-minded team that will be hard to beat. On offense, Kirk Cousins will have more freedom to throw with a change at offensive coordinator. This will lead to a high scoring offense that will not skip a beat, although they lost wide receiver, Stefon Diggs. NFL betting trends point to the home team since the Vikings are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games in Week 1 and 37-16-1 ATS in their last 54 home games. Vikings start off by beating down the Packers.
Seattle Seahawks vs Atlanta Falcons
The battle in the South between Seattle and Atlanta is attracting plenty of bets from the public. In fact, it is one of the most bet on games in the first week of the NFL season. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are projected by many to be Super Bowl-bound, but the Falcons are not getting the same respect. With so much on the line in this very popular game, it deserved its own full-length breakdown. Read the full preview and get all of the Seahawks vs Falcons predictions here.
LA Chargers vs Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals fan base will be very excited about the debut of rookie quarterback Joe Burrow. The young gun will be in charge of turning this franchise around, but it won’t be easy. Despite some serious injuries to the secondary, the Chargers defense allowed the sixth-fewest total yards and the six fewest passing yards per game last season. The Chargers are underrated after losing Phillip Rivers and Melvin Gordon on offense, but they won’t skip a beat. Tyrod Taylor is vastly overlooked and can run and WR Keenan Allen loves his deep ball.
Chargers HC Anthony Lynn is familiar with Taylor and he will use his legs as a weapon. In 2016, with Lynn as Taylor’s Offensive Coordinator, the Bills rushed for 2,630 yards and 29 touchdowns. Over that same time span, Taylor was able to complete 62.2% of his passes for 8,857 yards, 51 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions.
The Chargers are 10-4-2 ATS in the last 16 road games and they will rattle the rookie. Bet against the Bengals who are 3-11 ATS in the last 14 home games and not ready to take that next step just yet.
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers
This is a game that will test every sports bettor.
Do you believe in the hype surrounding Kyle Murray and back Cardinals and buy into the Super Bowl hangover? Or do you believe the 49ers are for real and will start this year like they ended last year? If you look at the ATS record of Super Bowl losers in the first game of the season, it is not great, but that is usually when that team is on the road. Not to mention that the Cardinals seem to be the favorite pick of NFL “experts” looking for an early upset.
The Cardinals offense may be improved but they have a defense that was one of the worse in the league a year ago. The 49ers offense is the focal point of this team and they will exploit a Cardinals defense that is still missing quality players and depth. San Francisco has the better coach and that is why the 49ers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games in Week 1.
You always want to avoid the popular underdog in the sports betting business and that can only mean one thing. The 49ers win by double-digits and cover the spread.
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Dallas Cowboys vs LA Rams
The Cowboys are going to win the Super Bowl. This is what you hear if you read almost any sports site but look at the NFL betting odds. If the Cowboys are that much better than the Rams, why are they three-point favorites on the road? That indicates that that game will be very close. The Rams have covered 12 of the last 16 games ATS against the NFC and they are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games in September.
This game will go down to the wire and although the Rams will have no home-field advantage, the best bet is to take the underdog.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints
This is by far, the biggest game of the week. All eyes will be on the Buccaneer’s new-look offense led by Tom Brady. Brady will have a multitude of weapons at his disposal to include some new additions in Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and LeSean McCoy. Drew Brees is heading into his last year and his goal is to win a Super Bowl. Although New Orleans will not have a loud crowd for the opener, it is still difficult to play in the Big Easy. With the magnitude of this game, it had to have its own breakdown. This is how to bet on the Buccaneers vs Saints on Sunday.
Monday Night Football
Tennessee Titans vs Denver Broncos
This game was going to about the resurgence of the Tennessee Titans and the improved offense of the Denver Broncos. Unfortunately, most of the news surrounding this game is off-the-field. For Denver, it’s all about injuries as defensive standout Von Miller is out for three months or more and wideout Courtland Sutton is dealing with a sprained C Joint.
The Titans issues stem from a highly drafted rookie. OL Isaiah Wilson was arrested on Friday night and the Titans are aware of the situation.
On the field, the Titans have Derrick Henry who once again is going to be the bell cow for his offense. Many of the NFL prop bets at sportsbooks suggests that he has a very good chance to lead the league in rushing. On defense, newly acquired Jadeveon Clowney will see his first action. His task is simple; get Drew Lock.
With the Mile High air, the Broncos will still have a home-field advantage especially if the Titans lack conditioning. The Broncos have won seven straight home openers and they are 22-3 in its last 25 home openers. To make matters worse for the Titans, they are just 1-6 ATS when playing Denver.
Drew Lock and this new offense will be impressive and will surprise the Titans. The odds have moved and the value now lies with the home team.
Denver Broncos +3