We made up for an 0-2 start with a 3-0 effort on Sunday, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going this week, which at first glance, doesn’t appear to be the greatest week for handicappers. There are some tough games on the slate, so will keep it down to a pair of plays this week.
New Orleans at New England:
The Patriots are favored by 3 and the total is 42. There has been a little bit of sharp action on the under in this one, which pushed the number down to 41 for a bit, but it has since bounced back to 42 and think the over is the correct side in this one. Jameis Winston looked great in Week 1 and absolutely dismal last week, so will have to turn it around quickly if he wants to retain the starting job. The Saints won’t show as much patience as the Bucs did with Winston. New England’s defense hasn’t looked bad this season, although playing the Jets will make the majority of NFL defenses look pretty impressive. This one is unlikely to be a 35-31 shootout but think both teams can get enough points to push the game over the total.
Pick: Over 42
Green Bay at San Francisco:
The 49ers are now favored by 3 (-115) after being 3.5 earlier this week and think the line move is correct here, as I have Green Bay winning this one, so will take the Packers +3. The betting public overreacted a bit to Green Bay’s first game of the season and the Pack looked pretty solid against the Lions, while the 49ers have split their first two games against the spread, so the public probably hasn’t changed their perception of the team all that much. These teams are pretty even on the field, with the 49ers a little better at running the ball and a slight edge to the Packers in the passing game. Green Bay is only gaining 3.0 yards per carry running the ball, but the 49ers are allowing 5.0 yards per rush, so something will have to give there, but with just two games to look at it, you can’t put too much weight in the numbers. With this one having the potential to go either way, still trust Rodgers a little bit more than Jimmy Garoppolo if the game is on the line late in the fourth quarter.
Pick: Packers +3
Turnovers and penalties were too much to overcome for the Vikings and Patriots last week, so we started the year off with an 0-2 record. The Patriots outgained the Dolphins by 83 yards, but gave most of that back by having 54 more penalty yards, while the Vikings’ 37-yard advantage was nullified by Minnesota having 101 more penalty yards than the Bengals. So while there are a lot of advanced stats when it comes to football, many games are still decided on the basics – penalties, injuries and turnovers.
New Orleans at Carolina:
The Saints are favored by 3 (-120) over the Panthers and think New Orleans come down to earth a little bit in this one, so will go ahead and take Carolina +3. I like Jameis Winston and think he’ll do well in New Orleans, but don’t believe New Orleans should be favored by a field goal on the road in this one. The Panthers aren’t a bad team, even though they didn’t look great in the win over the Jets. But this is more of a play against New Orleans than it is a play on the Panthers.
Pick: Carolina Panthers +3
Tennessee at Seattle:
The Seahawks are favored by 5.5 and the total is up to 54, but think this one lands in the 60s, so will go ahead and take the over here. Tennessee looked pretty bad offensively and defensively in their opener against the Cardinals. The offense has room for improvement, while the defense could have some problems this season. Seattle was decent against the Colts on both sides of the ball, but think the defense won’t be quite as effective in this one. The Seahawks ran the ball well against the Colts and should have a bit of success against the Titans, which could help open things up for Wilson.
Pick: Over 54
Houston at Cleveland:
The Browns are favored by 12.5 and the total on this one is 48 and will go ahead and take the over 48 in this one. The Texans looked good opening week, although that was against the Jaguars, but they still did allow 21 points to a rookie QB making his first start. Mayfield and the Browns should be able to do a little more damage offensively. It was key for the Texans to get some confidence on the offensive side of things early and Taylor isn’t a slouch behind center. He’s done some good things for a few different teams in his career and is a capable replacement for Watson.
Pick: Over 48
2021 NFL Pick Record: 0-2
NFL Week 1 Expert Picks – Posted 09/09/21
We’re back for another season of NFL plays after a bit of a dismal season a year, so will hopefully be able to revert back to previous form. There are always a lot of unknowns early in the season, especially in Week 1, so we’ll start off a little bit slowly with just two plays here for the opening week.
Minnesota at Cincinnati Expert Pick:
The Vikings are favored by 3 and the total on the game is 47.5 and I’m going to take the Vikings -3 in this one. The Vikings turned in a dismal effort last season and it looks like a lot of people have given up on them entering this year, but Minnesota was busy trying to fix some of their problems, especially on the defensive side of things, which is where they really stunk. The Bengals are going to play Joe Burrow and it’s one of the worst kept secrets in the league that he isn’t at 100% and it’s a little puzzling why the Bengals are going to play him early in the season instead of waiting until he’s completely ready. The Vikings’ offense has some talent and they should fare a little better if the defense steps up by giving them shorter fields and more time of possession.
Pick: Minnesota Vikings -3 Over Cincinnati Bengals
Miami at New England Expert Pick:
The Patriots are favored by 3 in this one and the total is 43.5 and will go ahead and take the Patriots in this one. Last season was a forgettable one for the Pats, who went with Cam Newton at quarterback and he didn’t fit what the Patriots had done for years. Jones will be a much better fit and even though he’s a rookie playing his first game, he should be an improvement. The Patriots’ sharp decline last season wasn’t solely about Tom Brady leaving, but the team had some key players on defense opting out of the season due to COVID-19 and with them back and a couple of solid free agent signings, the Patriots should look more like their former selves than they do last year’s 7-9 team. The facts that the Patriots are favored over last year’s 10-win Miami team tells you something. Don’t read too much into the former Alabama quarterbacks doing battle in this one, as they won’t be on the field at the same time, but believe Jones will have a better NFL career when all is said and done, as he’s more of a standard NFL quarterback. Should be a decent game, but think the Patriots get the win and the cover here.