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Free NFL Picks: Week One

NFL Pick’em: Week One

Free NFL PicksWeek 1 of the 2018 NFL season has finally arrived and we’re excited to kick off the first full day of Sunday football of the new season!

This year Gridiron Experts is proud to announce MyBookie as our official sponsor for all our Sports Betting picks & tips. This means all our betting lines and prop bets will be lines from their site. MyBookie was the staff choice after seeing the high number of prop bets, contests, and signup bonus.

Gridiron Experts is a fantasy football website through and through, but we do take our weekly NFL Picks very seriously. I’m new to the team but have joined the Pick’em crew and will be offering my free NFL picks and thoughts on all the games on Sunday and Monday. You can see all the picks from the staff by Clicking Here.

The following are my thoughts on the slate of games for Week one in the NFL.

 

Buffalo at
Baltimore

Spread: Ravens -6.5

Baltimore has won 4 straight home games against Buffalo and I can’t find a reason why that trend would end this week. Buffalo lost three starting offensive linemen and lacks the mobility at QB the team had with Tyrod Taylor a year ago. Baltimore had 41 sacks last year and it looks like they will feast on the Buffalo offense. It should be noted Baltimore will be missing 7-year vet and starting corner Jimmy Smith for this game, but it shouldn’t matter as the Bills lack talent at the WR position. Joe Flacco is looking over his shoulder and should be motivated to earn the money he earned on that lucrative extension he signed some years ago. This looks like a great survival pick.

My Pick: Ravens 24-10

Cincinnati at Indianapolis

Spread Colts -2.5

The home team is favored by 2.5 which screams a 50/50 pick here. The Bengals had a disappointing season last year on offense while running a league-worst 927 plays from scrimmage. I expect that number to rise this year towards the mean, and that should bode well for the Bengals against what looks to be a poor Colts defense. I expect Andy Dalton to find A.J. Green often in this one. Andrew Luck hasn’t played a real NFL game in almost 2 years so there should be some rust as he returns to form. Cincinnati is a great road team pick here and more people are picking the Colts than Bengals, so give yourself some of that much-needed variance.

My Pick: Bengals 27-23

Houston at New England

Spread: Patriots -6.5

Deshaun Watson is back from injury and he has to start against the most dominant franchise in NFL history on the road. The Texans almost pulled it off in New England last year but I don’t expect the same results. The Patriots sacked the quarterback 42 times last year and on top of that, the Texans offensive line grades 32nd according to Pro Football Focus in 2018. The Patriots are 63-9 at home over the last 9 regular seasons. J.J Watt figures to bring the heat against Tom Brady but expect the Patriots to get the ball out quickly to Rob Gronkowski and James White.

My Pick: Patriots 34-24

Jacksonville at N.Y. Giants

Spread: Jaguars -2.5

I do expect the Giants to be a much better team this year with all of the offensive weapons they boast. With that said it’s tough to bet against the Jaguars and their elite defense. The Jags were 2nd in Points against, 2nd in yards against, and 2nd in takeaways in 2017. However, the Jags were beatable against the run last year allowing 116.3 YPG, which is exciting for Saquon Barkley owners. This game may come down to which quarterback can post a clean box score as both Eli Manning and Blake Bortles have 29 interceptions over the past two seasons. I’ll default to Bortles outplaying Eli based on their defensive match ups.

My Pick: Jaguars 24-20

Pittsburgh at Cleveland

Spread: Steelers -5.5

This should be an exciting game as the Browns look poised to compete with the Steelers despite their prior woes. Tyrod Taylor brings a rushing dynamic from the quarterback position that is undervalued and will help his weapons succeed. Jarvis Landry, Josh Gordon, David Njoku, Carlos Hyde, Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, and Antonio Callaway…wow what an arsenal. I want to see it first, I’ll take the proven franchise here in Pittsburgh with Big Ben and AB. Antonio Brown’s stats in his last 4 games against the Browns… 42 Receptions for 584 yards and 3 Touchdowns.

My Pick: Steelers 19-14

 

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San Francisco at Minnesota

Spread: Vikings -5.5

The chalk pick here seems to be Minnesota. They made a splash signing in Kirk Cousins, and Dalvin Cook has returned from injury. Kirk Cousins didn’t win as much in Washington as I thought he should have, and I am not sure that the Vikings can match their 13 wins from last year in what figures to be a tough division with the return of Aaron Rodgers and the ascending Chicago Bears. Jimmy G went 5-0 as a starter for the 49ers last year. He boasted a 67.4 percent completion percentage and a 96.2 passer rating. The 49ers pulled off a win against Jacksonville in which the 49ers scored 44 points, and I like the 49ers to pull off a massive upset here against an equally good if not better defense. If I am going to pick a crazy upset, I’ll pick a team that I think is going to be good this season against a team that may be slightly overrated.

My Pick: San Francisco 23-20

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

Spread: Saints -9.5

No team gave up more yards per game than the Buccaneers last year. Not much needs to be said here. Drew Brees should have his way with the Bucs. The Saints were a dominant and balanced offense last year, finishing 5th in both rushing and passing yards per game last year and 2nd in total yards per game. The MyBookie over/under on this game is 49.5 and the Saints are favored by ten, so we are looking at a 30-20 score here, but I don’t think it will be that close.

My Pick: Saints 30-16

 

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Tennessee at Miami

Spread: Titans -2.5

The Dolphins started 4-2 last year before the wheels fell off. I expect Ryan Tannehill to protect the ball better than Jay Cutler. Tannehill completed 74.4 percent of his passes in the preseason and I expect him to be efficient during the season. The Dolphins defense is a question mark but if they can put it together they have the talent to surprise. Tennessee has question marks on offense. Can Mariota elevate his game and get the most from the weapons around him? Corey Davis has high expectations, and Derrick Henry still has a lot to prove… I am taking the coin toss here in Miami.

My pick: Vikings 20-17

Kansas City at L.A. Chargers

Spread: Chargers -3.5

Phillip Rivers threw 1 TD vs 6 INTs against the Chiefs last year, however, 3 of those INTs went to Marcus Peters who is no longer with the team. I expect him to perform better against what looks to be a significantly worse secondary in KC. I am excited to see if Pat Mahomes can meet expectations and air it out against this Chargers team. Casey Hayward may snag a pic or two from Mahomes and the pass rush is daunting in LA, but I am taking a flier here in what I expect to be a high flying game. Tyreek Hill is electric and continues to prove doubters wrong.

My Pick: Chiefs 30-27

 

 

Dallas at Carolina

Spread: Panthers -2.5

Dallas is dealing with multiple injuries along the offensive line and that is certainly is the strength of this team in question. The Cowboys receiving core appears limited in talent and if the offensive line struggles the Panthers should walk with this game. Carolina allowed 88.1 YPG on the ground last year good for 3rd in the NFL and they allowed only 7 rushing touchdowns on the ground. I expect Cam Newton and the Panthers to get it done it what could be an ugly low scoring game.

My Pick: Panthers 24-17

Seattle at Denver

Spread: Broncos -2.5

The Broncos defense is still stout and now adds Bradley Chubb to the mix alongside Von Miller. The Broncos finished 3rd in YPG allowed and yet they finished 22nd in PPG allowed. This fact can be rationalized away, the Broncos were -17 in the turnover department which was 2nd worst in the NFL and that can be largely attributed to poor quarterback play. Case Keenum will bring more competent QB play and help the Broncos defense in the scoring department by reducing poor field position. Russell Wilson is a notoriously slow starter and there is still a circle of questions around the Seahawks’ running game and offensive line.

My Pick: Broncos 20-16

Washington at Arizona

Spread: Cards -0.5

I mentioned how I thought Cousins might not have won as much as he should have in Washington, and I believe Alex Smith can expose Cousins here. Smith steps in as the replacement and I think he will prove valuable. Jamison Crowder and Jordan Reed are somewhat healthy and look like great fits with Smith. Arizona also looks poised to exceed expectations with the return of David Johnson and the addition of Sam Bradford will bring stable quarterback play. There are a lot of unknowns and moving pieces here, and it may take a few weeks to see where these two teams stand, so my advice is to go with your gut on this one.

My Pick: Redskins 19-16

Chicago at Green Bay

Spread: Packers -8.5

Aaron Rodgers is back and he gets to face the Bears new toy in Khalil Mack. The Bears offer their fans some excitement with shiny new additions on both sides of the ball, and while the world seems ready to crown the Bears the next best thing, I am not. The centerpiece of this team remains Mitchell Trubisky, an unproven 2nd-year talent at QB. Until he proves otherwise, he is still the 4th best QB in the NFC North and that’s right where I expect the Bears to finish this year. Give me Aaron Rodgers and his 15-4 record vs the Bears all day, along with a Packers defense that looks to improve in 2018.

My Pick: Packers 28-17

 

 

N.Y. Jets at Detroit

Spread: Lions -6.5

The Lions finished 9-7 last year with a middling home record of 4-4. They will have to improve at home and establish a running game. They have 4 RBs on the roster that figure to contribute, and 3 WRs in Tate, Golladay, and Jones who all feel underrated. An improved offensive line that ranks 8th on Pro Football Focus should help Matt Stafford orchestrate an efficient offense. The Jets are rebuilding and will roll out a rookie quarterback in Sam Darnold who will be the youngest ever week 1 starter and it’s an MNF game so the lights will be shining bright. Detroit was 3-1 as the home favorite against the spread last year and I expect that trend to continue here.

My Pick: Lions 26-19

L.A. Rams at Oakland

Spread: Rams – 2.5

The Rams piled on the additions this year with WR Brandin Cooks, DT Ndamukong Suh, DB Aqib Talib, and DB Marcus Peters. The Rams shocked the world last year and look poised to be a great football team again. I am not completely sold on Jared Goff being anything more than a middling starter in the NFL, but how can he screw this up? I liked Oakland to upset here with a now healthy Amari Cooper and Derek Carr, but I have come around on this one. The Rams were the number 1 scoring offense in 2017 and have vastly improved their defense on paper and the Raiders suffered a big blow when Khalil Mack was shipped to Chicago.

My Pick: Rams 27-20

Eliminator/Survivor Suggestions:

  • Ravens
  • Lions
  • Saints
Josh Frazin

Josh Frazin

Josh is a 13-year fantasy veteran. With six title appearances and two championships in his main league, Josh continues to assert his dominance in the fantasy world. He believes in keeping his roster fresh while maximizing value through trades and the waiver wire. Josh never gets caught up in name value and makes his money dissecting numbers. He is a UCF graduate and lifelong Dolphins fan. Josh is happily married to his loving wife, and together they spend their time hiking, snowboarding, and living in the great outdoors of Montana.

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