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Old 09-04-2016, 09:12 PM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 1 NFL Pointspread Picks

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.


THURSDAY NIGHT

Carolina
17, DENVER 6 (+3) - For the first time since the series began in 2004, the Super Bowl champion is a home underdog in the "Kickoff Classic." And while giving out fantasy advice is not the purview of what we do here, anyone who has C.J. Anderson on their fantasy team would be well advised to sit him this week because the Panthers will be shoving eight in the box on essentially every play, so as to make Trevor Siemian beat them. And Siemian won't.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS
20 (+2 1/2), Cincinnati 14 - Ryan Fitzpatrick, who won an underwhelming four-way battle for the starting job in the preseason, will get to face one of the teams who wisely gave up on him - but that team has not beaten his current team on the road since 1981, losing all nine, the last four by a combined 120-48. The Jets' five-game winning streak on opening day is also tied for the longest active Week 1 loss drought in the league.

N.Y. Giants 17 (+1), DALLAS 13 - Let's see what Dak Prescott does when the game actually counts, and the Giants are 5-2 against the spread lifetime at Jerry World, and assuming the roof is closed - as it has been for 26 of the last 27 Dallas home games - their gaudy 19-8-1 record against the spread indoors since 2002 will also come into play.

PHILADELPHIA 16, Cleveland 3 (+4) - After Saturday's trade that sent Sam Bradford to the quarterback-desperate Vikings, this game was taken off the board and reopened two points lower. But the Eagles were 4-0 in preseason, allowing 38 points, while the Browns were 0-4 - and Cleveland has lost a league-high eleven straight season openers (no other team has lost more than their last five) with a 2-9 spread record therein, and the home team in the series has covered in all four meetings, with the Eagles also having won all four straight up. Philadelphia has also been, well, outta sight against AFC teams of late: Eight wins and one loss, by one point, in the last nine.

ATLANTA 27, Tampa Bay 14 (+3) - With five games this week having three-point opening lines and one a seven-point line, there will probably be at least one push somewhere. But it's not likely to come in this game considering Tampa Bay's 5-10 record against the line on the carpet and 4-7 pointwise mark in domes, both since 2013. Matt Ryan has also never lost a home opener: 8-0 straight up, 7-0-1 against the spread.

Green Bay 38, JACKSONVILLE 24 (+4 1/2) - This would appear to be a bargain price on the Packers, who will be anxious to get Jordy Nelson back out there facing a defense that ranked 29th against the pass a year ago. Look for big numbers from Aaron Rodgers, and the promising Blake Bortles won't be able to keep up.

BALTIMORE 28, Buffalo 17 (+3) - The Ravens signed Mike Wallace in free agency, and Breshad Perriman makes his NFL debut here after missing his entire rookie season with a knee injury - and they will go at a Bills defense that was next-to-last in the league in sacks in 2015 and has since lost Mario Williams via free agency. And the home team in this series has won the last five games.

TENNESSEE 17 (+1), Minnesota 14 - Unlike in the Philadelphia game, the sudden Sam Bradford trade did not cause the line on this game to move. Tennessee's new might-as-well-be-Wing-T offense could make serious headway against a defense that gave up 4.3 yards per carry last season, and this is yet another recently home-dominated series: Four consecutive wins and covers, and by a combined 122-51.

NEW ORLEANS 31, Oakland 17 (+1) - You would never know that I'm high on the Jags, Raiders or Bears this season based on my opening-week picks on their games. In this case, Oakland's three-game losing streak both ways to New Orleans in which the Raiders were outscored 103-46 and their respective straight-up records of 1-27 on rugs and 1-12 in domes dating back to 2003 is simply too much for them to overcome.

HOUSTON 23, Chicago 10 (+6) - And now the Bears, who are 0-3 lifetime against Houston both outright and pointwise, and were outscored 68-35 doing it. The Texans won't play pretty football this year - but it will be winning football, so long as Brock Osweiler doesn't fall in love with his nuclear arm, especially with world-class speedster Will Fuller to throw to.

KANSAS CITY 27, San Diego 17 (+7) - Maybe this is the game whose spread outcome will be a push? The Chiefs will be looking to get off to an alert start after needing to have been only the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting 1-5 last year (Andy Reid is a savant at doing stuff like this: In 2003 his Eagles became the only NFL team ever to make the playoffs after starting a season with two losses, both at home, in a non-strike year) and Denver's loss on Thursday night should keep them focused versus a division rival they swept in both 2015 and 2014, covering in three of the games.

SEATTLE 31, Miami 10 (+10 1/2) - Everybody and his brother-in-law will be using the Seahawks in their survivor pool picks this week - and they're a pretty mean selection even against the spread, given that the Dolphins have been whomped 126-44 in their last four on artificial turf, naturally not winning or covering in any of them.

INDIANAPOLIS 34, Detroit 20 (+4) - Neither team figures to do much this year, but the Lions have done next to nothing against the Colts of late, getting outscored by 56 points in their last four versus Indy, losing all four and covering only once.

ARIZONA 23, New England 0 (+6) - And when I say nothing, I mean exactly that: The Patriots should have beaten the Vikings to the punch when Howie Roseman decided to add Sam Bradford to his list of Chip Kelly-acquired purge victims, and no way is New England's running game, which averaged a paltry 87.8 yards per game last year, going to bail them out - and most certainly not on natural grass, upon which New England is 3-9 straight up (and 2-10 against the spread) over the past three seasons, compared with 38-5 on artificial turf, including 12-3 on the road.


MONDAY NIGHT

Pittsburgh
34, WASHINGTON 16 (+3) - In four games against over-.500 teams last year, The Team That Dares Not Speak Its Name went 0-4 and got outclassed 140-64 - and Washington has lost five in a row to Pittsburgh and got creamed by a collective 104-41 in those five. Ouch.

SAN FRANCISCO 9 (+3), Los Angeles 6 - Did they ever save the worst for last: Blaine Gabbert, 8-27 as a starter, hosting Case Keenum, who is rockin' the Woolworth mark - 5 and 10. The 49ers are the only NFL team to have both won and covered in their last five season openers, and the Rams have the league's worst straight-up record in September since 2006 - 8-26. Chip Kelly wins what could prove to be the biggest stinker of the year.


BEST BETS: ATLANTA, ARIZONA, PITTSBURGH

Last edited by Anthony; 09-05-2016 at 05:13 AM.
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