Football is finally here as all 32 teams spring into action in Week 1 of the NFL season. That means that 16 games are on tap, including the NFL Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the Atlanta Falcons as the Thursday night featured Game. There is a great AFC West showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers as well as an outstanding battle in the AFC North when the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to take on the Cleveland Browns.
There are plenty of opportunities for you to make a little money, so here are the top picks you should pay attention to for NFL Week 1 which should score you some success.
- Touchdown – Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Spread: Pittsburgh – 5.5 (-110)
Total: Over/Under – 46.5 (-110)
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The new look Cleveland Browns take on the Pittsburgh Steelers to open the NFL season in what should be a real test for Cleveland to begin the year. There is a lot of hope in Cleveland after drafting two of the top four players in this past NFL draft as well as adding several key free agents, so a battle against the Steelers should give an indication of how good this team could be.
This came open with Pittsburgh being a 6.5-point favorite, but the spread has dropped to 5.5, meaning that oddsmakers are finding the Cleveland is a little more formidable than first speculated. While the Browns lost both games last season, they weren’t crushed by any stretch of the imagination, losing in Week 1 21-18 before falling in the final week of the season 28-24. The Steelers didn’t cover the spread in either one of those contests, making oddsmakers this year a little antsy.
The over/under is the number to pay attention to in this contest. Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers went under in 10 of their 16 games while Cleveland went under in nine of 16. A more interesting trend related to this is that Cleveland went under in six of their eight home games while Pittsburgh went under in seven of their eight road games. In the last five meetings between these two teams in Ohio, the total has gone under in each of those contests and has gone under in eight of the last 11 meetings overall.
How You Score: Take the Under
- Field Goal – Houston Texans at New England Patriots
Spread: New England – 6.5 (-115)
Total: Over/Under – 51.0 (-110)
These two teams squared off against each other in Week 3 last season and it was one of the more classic contests of the year, as New England pulled out the 36-33 victory. There was clearly little that either defense could do to stop the opposing offense as rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. The Texans led heading into the final minute of this contest, but Golden boy Tom Brady threw a touchdown with 23 seconds left to give the Patriots the victory.
The Houston Texans struggled mightily after Watson blew out his knee halfway through last season, but he returns and looks extremely sharp. This has the makings of a real high-scoring affair once again. While Houston has never one in Foxborough, the last six contests have been high-scoring affairs, going over the total in five of those contests. In the last eight games New England has played in September, they have gone over in six of those contests.
How You Score: Take the Over
- Extra Points – Three Games You Want to Take a Look At
The New Orleans Saints were a top-five offense last season and will be taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the team that allowed the most passing yards per game last season, to open the season. Tampa Bay allowed the ninth most points per game and the 10th most rushing yards, meaning that Drew Brees and his squad should have quite a day moving the ball.
Four Tampa Bay, they will be going with backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will have limited reps before taking the opening game snaps. New Orleans is favored by just 9.5 points, which is a but don’t expect the Buccaneers to do much. This could easily be a two-touchdown difference.
How You Score – Take New Orleans to Win
The Chicago Bears roll into Lambeau Field as losers of eight of the last 10 contests in Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers will be returning after missing much of the second half of last season and will be looking to show that his shoulder injury will not be a distraction. Green Bay is favored by 8.0 and it would not be surprising to see them win by at least 10.
How You Score – Take Green Bay to Win
Looking for a game that would not be a surprising Super Bowl matchup? Then look no further than the Los Angeles Rams traveling up the coast to take on the Oakland Raiders. Oakland is favored by three in this game, but they have a quarterback returning from a nightmare 2017 season and the Rams are 4-0 against the spread in each of the last four contests.
How You Score – Take the Rams and the Points