NFL Week 1: Monday Night Football

Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints, Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 7:10 PM, ESPN (Saints -6.5, O/U: 52.5)

The Texans made some moves this offseason to help Lamar Miller and the rushing game and it proved necessary as Miller is lost this season before the preseason ended to a knee injury. They traded for Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde, who are a good enough tandum to be effective enough. They also valued Watson’s blindside (Tunsil) more than a second elite pass rusher (Clowney). The Saints had back to back disappointing losses in the playoffs to end their season, last year on a brutal non call PI. Not a bunch changed on their roster but with Murray replacing Ingram and Cook coming in for a hole at TE coming off of a great year with Oakland should keep their offense on track. Saints end a 5 year opening week winless drought by winning but take the Texans to cover in the over, Saints 31-27.

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, 10:20 PM, ESPN (Raiders +3, O/U: 42.5)

The Broncos have been waiting for years and finally, they have someone to lead their offense in Flacco. Philip Lindsay is back 100% from his broken wrist in the last game of last year, building off an amazing performance as an undrafted rookie. Flacco will have two great young receivers in Sutton and Hamilton to throw to as well as veteran Sanders. The defense pretty much stayed the same, should continue to dominate. The Raiders were mired by the AB drama between the frostbitten feet, helmet issues and GM/fines/contract issues, they still showed on HBO’S “Hard Knocks” that they had still worked hard despite all of that and played fairly well fitting their pre season games. Impressive undrafted rookie Kellan Doss comes back from his week on the Jaguars practice squad to sign a decent deal to be on the 52 man roster to fill in for AB’s spot. He will see plenty of targets after his impressive pre season. Josh Jacobs was drafted to be the feature back for the offense and from what he showed in his limited carries in the pre season, we’re in for a treat. I may be a bit high on them but take the Raiders to cover in the upset win in the under, Raiders 21-20.

Week 2: Thursday Night Football

Week one is in the books! It is statistically the hardest week to predict anything when it comes to the NFL and we made it out alive with 60% winners!  That caught me by surprise since I was only hoping to get at least around 53%.  The one real shocker was Buccs at the Saints.  Who knew the bearded one would go for over 400 yards in a shootout against Brees?  I know a ton of people were knocked out of elimination pools over it and well, we were caught too, figuring that the Saints covering a 10 point spread was cake.  The other disappointment was the Packers, which I already expressed in a previous post that had Rodgers been healthy all game, I think they would’ve covered that spread.

It’s been a long two and a half days without football but boy, do we have a great matchup tonight…

Baltimore at Cincinnati, 8:20 PM, NFLN (Bengals +1, O/U: 45)

The Ravens absolutely unloaded on the Bills last week and actually forced out Peterman, who was touted as having improved and looked good in the pre-season, for rookie Josh Allen. Now there was a lot of speculation that the Ravens were going to have a great game, but not this great.  Flacco was predicted to have a solid game partly due to having rookie Lamar Jackson on his heels for the starting role.  Flacco finished 25/34 for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The Ravens had questions at running back as to who would lead the team and that seemed to be Kenneth Dixon who had nearly as many carries as both Collins and Allen combined. Lastly, what can we say about the defense? I think it’s back to being great.

The Bengals looked pretty decent against the Colts. Dalton went 21/28 for 243 and 2 scores while throwing a solo pick.  Dixon ran hard in his 17 carries for 95 yards and a score; his biggest run came in at 27 yards.  He averaged 5.6 yards per carry and even without the 27 yard gain; he averaged 4.25 yards/carry.  He’s looking to have a breakout sophomore year.  People weren’t sure what they’d see out of AJ Green since he’s turned 30 and all.  Well, he didn’t disappoint either.  He went off for 6 grabs and 92 yards and even was nice enough to throw a score in there, so I think it’s safe to say that he’ll have another consistent 1,000 yard year.  The Colts lack of running game made the Bengals defense look a little better than it is so look for this one to be a close game.

The Ravens will be tested by the fairly balanced Bengals offense but Dalton folds under big pressure defenses which is exactly what the Ravens are. Take the Ravens to win and cover on the road in the under, Ravens 20-17.

Fast 8

You can’t ask for anything better for the start of the season.  60% winners is the overall that I was hoping to get to for the season and to have it week one is special. Look out for a new feature to the blog, my “Fast 8” picks.  Every week, I’ll choose 8 games that I feel are absolutely worthy of your money on the game.  Think of these games as the best bets of the week or the fastest way to cash/a wining week.  Count this game in with the Fast 8 this week.

It should be another fun dynamic of my blog and another tool for you to #beatyourbookie ……good luck everyone!