SUNDAY SLATE THREAD
Browns @ Ravens (-7.5) O/U: 48
Ravens are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 week 1 games.
I’m going to try to think myself through this game on paper right now, because I sure can’t figure it out by looking at stats. Here’s the deal, on paper, both of these teams are extremely talented, and I do think that the Browns should be able to score and maybe even possibly cover a decent spread, but the question is, How many firsts can the Browns succeed with? First game of the season, first game with some new offensive linemen, first game with Kevin Stefanski coaching, first game with Andrew Berry as GM, first game with Austin Hooper as a new weapon for Baker Mayfield, on the other side we have complete stability, in many ways these teams are polar opposites. The Ravens are always ready for week 1, I cannot say the same for the Browns. Stefanski is a question mark for me, I didn’t think it was the right hire and I thought Stefanski didn’t have enough experience only being an OC for one year. I have come to the conclusion that the Ravens are going to win this game and I believe, jump ahead early based on the holes in the Browns defense and the stability of the fundamental game that Baltimore plays. In order for the Browns to win, a lot of players have to make big plays in big moments and I just don’t see that happening. However, I am concerned about a full 7.5. I don’t like going over the landmark of a TD, especially when I think a game is going to hit the under. I do think that turnovers are going to be the difference maker in this game, so I will be taking the Ravens -6.5 (Bought +1) and will update you on my choice when it comes to UNDER 48.
PICK(S) RAVENS -6.5 (B+1 -130)
Other possibilities: UNDER 48 (-110)
DOLPHINS @ PATRIOTS (-7) O/U: 42
It’s funny, now that the Patriots have made a few signings everyone is back on the Patriots bandwagon. I am here to say right now that their team is not very talented. But we already knew that, it’s Belichick and the defense right? Well, this defense will be different this year with 8 players opting out of the season due to COVID. The defense still has Gilmore and Guy along with the McCourty's, but it is definitely more spotty than last year’s defense. And speaking of last years patriots defense, allow me to introduce three of the core players on the defense of the Dolphins this season, Elandon Roberts, Kyle Van Noy, and Eric Rowe who left the Pats to join Byron Jones, Xavien Howard and Brice McCain and form a strong defense led by who else but Brian Flores, the former DC in New England. So the Dolphins will most certainly be prepared for what the Patriots try to bring on offense although I am worried about the power run game up the middle on Wilkens and the dude with the french last name. Additionally, the most underrated addition to the Dolphins this offseason was Chan Gailey at OC. Gailey ran the offense for Ryan Fitzpatrick during the best years of his career in Buffalo and the two work very well together and he has now come out of retirement to coach Fitzy again for a two year stint. Gailey is one of the most successful OC’s in the last generation, and was the last OC to lead Miami to back-to-back playoff births, and while I am by no means calling that here, I’m saying the Miami Dolphins will be a surprising team in this league, with Tua maybe waiting until next year, and I don’t think the Dolphins will be +267 the next time they play the Patriots. Call me insane but it’s week 1 and I see huge upset value. I think this game should be around +190 and I think it will get closer to +245 or +230 by Sunday AM. I am going to call a Dolphins win here, you can take +7.5 or ML, I’ll be on both
PICKS: DOLPHINS +267 and DOLPHINS +7.5
JETS @ BILLS (-6.5) O/U: 39.5
While on the surface this O/U looks pretty low i actually think it’s higher than it should be. Neither team ha a particularly explosive offense and while the Jets defense is vulnerable in some spots Josh Allen is yet to prove that he can run up the score on anyone. The lack of CJ Moseley always worries me with the Jets D but we also have to realize that this game will most likely include a lot of west coast play and TOP, so I see this hanging under, which means I am not gonna lay the points on the Bills even though I see them winning this game
PICK: UNDER 39.5
RAIDERS (-3) @ PANTHERS O/U: 47.5
I think the raiders have a VERY underrated roster this season. Their offense has Josh Jacobs in his second year, they have a solid WR core that just added Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards and will be facing a pretty depleted secondary. The Panthers have made a few strides this offseason but the idea that they can keep this game that close is something that I question strongly. The Raiders are pretty strong on both sides of the ball, not any big weaknesses and their offensive line should make it much easier to establish the run against the Panthers D line, which is the only part of their defense that is threatening in the slightest. The projected score of this game is 25-22 but I don’t think the Panthers can get past 20 and I think the Raiders have the chance to put up 30. Derek Carr has more weapons to play with here and although Joe Brady is cool and all, there is too much new shit happening in Carolina for it all to be figured out week 1, especially during a pandemic
PICKS: RAIDERS -2.5 (B+0.5), RAIDERS -150
SEAHAWKS @ FALCONS (-1) O/U: 49
I’m sorry but what right do the Falcons have to be favored here. While I understand that they have a talented roster, they have one of those every year, but where do they really hold an advantage this game? Receivers, maybe but the secondary definitely goes to the Hawks, coaching goes to the Hawks, QB goes to the Hawks, and O line is trash on both ends. I don’t really see why the line swung in this game by such a wide margin but I think it’s people getting scared off of Russ and liking Julio and the Falcons, and I’m sorry but I just don’t buy it yet. The offensive line still has question marks on the right side and I just don’t see Matt Ryan being able to get into a groove. I’m keeping this pick separate from the others, as it is NOT parlay eligible, but I love the Seahawks straight here with value
PICK: SEAHAWKS +105
EAGLES (-6) @ WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM O/U: 42
I’m sorry but this Washington team should definitely not be within a TD. I know it’s the beginning of the season and all, I AM HAMMERING THIS GAME. Dwayne Haskins is certified garbage working with a new HC and a new OC system. While i’m sure scary Terry will get his catches I have no confidence in any other player, and that includes the offensive line. I think the Eagles have an absolute field day in that backfield with Fletcher Cox, Javon Hargrave and Derek Barnette and make it extremely difficult for Washington to move the ball. I’m going to take -6 straight and the ML parlay, just because I don’t know how Phili’s offense is going to style themselves.
PICK: EAGLES -6. EAGLES -260
BEARS @ LIONS (-2) O/U: 42
One thing I immediately notice about this game is the fact that Matt Stafford is given NO respect. The Lions have the better QB and the better RB depth, but most importantly they have a better offensive line. Khalil Mack is always a concern but he can’t be everywhere at once, and Stafford has faced elite pass rushers before. To me, this boils down to defense. Can the Lions defend without Darius Slay? The lineup certainly looks shaky, but what I will say is that, if there is any team they can get away with some shoddy defense against, it’s this bears team.
PICKS: LIONS -2, LIONS -140, OVER 45
Colts (-7) @ Jaguars O/U: 44
Last year the Jaguar defense was terrible, this season they have come back with no changes and less depth. Their pass rush is non-existent with the exception of Josh Allen and the Colts have one of if not the best Offensive line in the league. So Rivers will have plenty of time to throw the ball to receivers facing off against some GARBAGE corners. The Colts are an incredibly well run organization going against one of the worst-run teams in the league that is dumping assets and has no offensive weaponry. I like the Colts here and Jaguars under their point total, I think this game is a wash from the start.
PICKS: COLTS -7, COLTS -335 (FOR PARLAYS) JAGUARS UNDER 18.5 POINTS
PACKERS @ VIKINGS (-2) O/U: 44.5
People are looking at this game and asking why the Vikings would be favored, I’m here asking why the spread is only 2. The Packers are one of the most overrated teams in this past decade, and this season they are posed for a huge letdown, regardless of individual talent. They lost a few linebackers last season as well as having a VERY young secondary even though they played well last season. The problem here is not the defense though, I think this is a low scoring game. The offense is where I get concerned. There is an incredibly strong defense on the other side and a strong pass rush with elite players at each level of the defense. I just think there is going to be a new gameplan in GB focusing on power running and that will allow the Vikings to play to their strengths on defense. I like the Vikings and the Under
PICKS: VIKINGS -2, VIKINGS -130 (parlays) UNDER 44.5
CHARGERS (-2) @ BENGALS O/U: 41
I honestly do like the Bengals this year, I just think they need more work to be done. I like them to keep this game close like vegas suggests, I just don’t have the pieces I need to make the full call. The Bengals still have a horrible O line and A.J Green just got back, meanwhile they are facing one of the toughest defenses in the land. Honestly, I think the chargers squeeze this game out because of their strength on the O and D lines, which are usually the ultimate tiebreaker, but I still see Cincinnati's skill position players as more talented than the Chargers, this is a wait and see game that I will be fading.
CARDINALS @ 49ERS (-6.5) O/U: 48
6.5 is wayyyyyy steep for me here. I like the Cardinals a lot this season, but this is the line right in between that I was dreading. I was hoping to get the 49ers at around -3 but clearly that is not going to happen because of leftover hype from the Super Bowl, and while I see a 49ers win here, the spread is much too large. There are too many assets that the Cardinals have on offense to match the scoring pace of the 49ers and we don’t know what this defense is like without Deforest Buckner and a couple other guys that walked. Richard Sherman is on DHOP which makes me more comfortable but the LB mid level of the field concerns me for the 49ers with Warner out, and that is enough to scare me off of spread. ML I like in parlays, but keep in mind the air quality out there in SF and be cautious when making calls on that game, as it may get played very differently. I think the 49ers win this game on the ground, its boring but it works.
PICK: 49ers (-310) PARLAY ONLY
BUCCANEERS @ SAINTS (-3.5) O/U: 47
Say what you will about the Bucs this Tom Brady that, but the Bucs defense is still pretty damn questionable, especially in the secondary, Bunting Davis and Dean are their CB’s with shaky Safeties as well. Say what you will about the Saints but they are the most balanced roster in the league, and defensively as well. With Mike Evans being shaky all week I expect Godwin to be the only receiving threat. My biggest worry is Howard and Gronk taking up the middle of the field, but if the Saints are going to lose this game to TE’s than so be it. I expect this to be close, and I don’t expect Brady to just give up when he goes down, so that scares me off of the spread just enough. But under no circumstances am I taking this Bucs team of misfits over such a coordinated roster even though the Saints usually suck week 1.
PICK: SAINTS -175