The NFL will kick off tonight with a mouthwatering match up with the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers and company return Seattle, where replacement referees couldn’t figure out what happened as time expired in a game that has been become known as ‘Fail Mary.’ The rest of the teams will kick off Sunday and Monday.
Each Thursday I will be picking five NFL games against the spread. One of those five games will be an upset alert, where I will pick a team that is an underdog who will not only cover but win outright.
New England Patriots -5 at Miami Dolphins
I went back and forth on this game, in my head. It feels like a trap game in the making. However the Patriots are too good in my estimation. I feel like this game will be over pretty quickly with the Patriots cruising to a double digit win. Brady and company will want to put on a show for the rest of the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals +1 ½ at Baltimore Ravens
The first of two games the Ravens will play without running back Ray Rice have them favored at home. The Bengals have been the divisions best team the past couple season and that likely will not change this season. Andy Dalton comes into town with a new contract in tow. A second year for Giovani Bernard should see him be more involved in the offense. I expect the Bengals to win this game outright.
Jacksonville Jaguars +10 ½ at Philadelphia Eagles
This game will be much closer than most anticipate. While the Jaguars are not world beaters by any means, they are much improved, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I expect the Eagles to play well and win this game, the Jaguars will cover the 10 point spread. Take advantage of the larger spreads with the Jaguars while you can. Vegas and Bettors will adapt and their lines will become much lower in the coming weeks.
New Orleans Saints -3 at Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons had a tremendous drop off last season. They were depleted by injuries that severely hampered who they are. The Falcons improved one of their biggest issues from last season in their offensive line with the addition of rookie Jake Matthews. However Sam Baker is lost for the season forcing a rookie to protect quarterback Matt Ryan’s blind side.
San Diego Chargers +3 at Arizona Cardinals
The San Diego Chargers were a much improved squad last season. Their offense took a dramatic leap forward with Philip Rivers finding himself yet again combined with the emergence of rookie Keenan Allen. The Chargers take their offense into University of Phoenix Stadium to face a much depleted Cardinals defense. I expect the Cardinals offense to look strong this season but a late turnover by Carson Palmer will be their undoing in this game.