Week 1 previews! #NFLKickoff

It’s finally here! Over 9 months since we had a full slate of games, it’s the beginning of filling the over 3 months full of football!

For around half of us, this is the best we’ll feel about our teams all season. The other half, you’ve got at least another week of feeling good about how things are and your chances for the season.

For me, as a Bengals fan I’m crazy-optimistic. Re-vamped O-Line giving the QB time, a top 5 WR, a hopefully top 10 RB, a shutdown corner, a soon to be highly regarded defensive line and pass rush unit. For this week at least I am feeling good about my team.

Of course there’s fans of a few franchises for whom even this week is too late, The Bills, The Buccs… Sorry. Ya banged.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty – If you could sign up to RedzoneSports it’d be very useful and will help me keep everything free on here – RedzoneSports – 25/1 on any team to win the Superbowl! – I’m on the Vikings at 25s there.

Bills (+7.5) @ Ravens: Total – (40)

The Bills aren’t going to be very good this year. They lost 3/5 of their offensive line, they’re starting a QB who threw 5 interceptions in one half in his only start, a wide receiver with the worst catch percentage in history (pretty much) and a running back who arranged someone to rob the house that his ex was inhabiting… But it’s OK they’ve got an easy star….oh hang on, no, the Ravens are one of the best defenses in the league, they opened last year by turning over Andy Dalton 5 times, and won the pre-season title by finishing 5-0 – In fairness Peterman has had a decent pre-season, but his pass catchers are crap. LeSean McCoy is the only real weapon there, he did well doing it himself last year but he turns 30 this year and that’s the limit for most RBs. The Ravens struggled on offense last year, Flacco was recovering from a back injury and they had no-one to throw the ball to. That did lead to the emergence of Alex Collins (10/11) after they grabbed him when the Seahawks released him. He should have a field day today with the Ravens heavy favourites they should run him a lot. They really addressed their pass catchers over the summer with Crabtree, Brown and Wille Snead. “Smoky” seems to be the hype guy from that selection after a good summer.

The Ravens are far better than the Bills, they’ll win but I wouldn’t back them to cover the 7.5 spread. The weather is going to be poor in the North which is why the total is already low, but it’ll probably go under it.

Alex Collins – 1/1 (2.00) (RedzoneSports) – 2 points 

Bengals (+2.5) @ Colts: Total – 48

Hi. I’m Adam, I’m a Bengals fan. It’s been a cause of pain for many a year. Will this year be any different? Well, until a week ago everyone hated and disrespected the Bengals and I was demanding respect for them, now, for some reason, every man and his dog is now backing them to beat the Colts. And now i’m worried. On paper I can’t see how the Colts are favoured, their defense is horrible even with the return of Malik Hooker. Their offensive line is porous, their defensive line isn’t much better, they have one WR, no proven RB and new coaches. The only reason is the return of Capt. Andrew Luck who is yet to thrown downfield. He will need to stay upright to be able to throw anything to anyone, and the Bengals pass rush, I believe, could be extremely good this year. I have been banging on about Carl Lawson all fucking off-season. Honestly. Remember the name, he’s a beast. They won’t be giving Luck much time and he’ll need to be mobile in the pocket to succeed. The Bengals offensive line has been patched up and looked good pass blocking for Dalton, he’s now got John Ross in there to take the top off of defenses and open up the field for the “fit-for-once” Eifert and pro-bowler AJ Green. The Bengals run blocking still hasn’t looked great though so Mixon may struggle on the ground, fortunately he’s good through the air and has been lined up wide a lot. Gio Bernard is good too. I do worry about Jack Doyle in the passing game for the Colts though, I have PTSD of him having a very good game last time they played them, and they struggle to defend the middle of the field.

I still think the Bengals are the better team and the beat against the spread as underdogs

AJ Green anytime – 13/10 (2.30) (Redzone) – 2 points

Texans (+6) @ Patriots: Total – 50.5

DeShaun Watson is back from his ACL tear, it’s the second he’s had but was the other leg, so at least it wasn’t a re-occurrence… He was amazing in his limited game-time last year. It’s not possible he keeps that up, but he’s bloody exciting to watch and hopefully that’ll carry on post-injury. He has DeAndre Hopkins to throw too, he’s one of the best contested catch guys in the league. Will Fuller had 1 of his 4 catches last year result in a touchdown, again, it can’t last and he has a muscle injury which is a worry. Lamar Miller had good stats when Watson played last year so the hope is that he he’ll carry that on. This is the one game where the Texans could have a full strength defense, and Watt, Mercilus and Clowney could cause real issues for the Patriots. Them lot over on the throne of ease don’t seem to be sitting so comfortably at the moment. They’ve not got a lot at WR. Chris Hogan is the guy for the first 4 weeks while Edelman is suspended but Gronk will surely be the main beneficiary. I actually think White and Burkhead will get a lot of play in the passing game and with sexy Rexy being a little injured I think James White should get in the paint, he’s 3.10 on Redzone (market leader) – I can see why this is the highest total of the weekend, this game last year was 36-33 with Watson throwing for 301, 2 TDs and 2 INTs, only slightly out-down by the bastard Brady with 378 and 5 TDS. Ridiculous. You can get 4/6 on Watson o0.5 INT at Skybet – 2 points

You know what I’ll take the Texans to win here, and therefore cover the spread. It’s stupid as it’s breaking the first rule of betting “Never bet against the Pats on the spread” But they start the season slow and have very little to throw the ball to.

Jags (-2.5) @ Giants: Total – 42

This is a tough one to call. I don’t mind Bortles. He does what he needs to do, preferably as little as possible. The Jaguars want Leonard Fournette to carry the ball as much as possible. I think he’ll score today at 4/5. The Jaguars passing game isn’t awful, but it is complicated. I THINK Keelan Cole will be the main guy, he finished last year strongly but there’s also Dede Westbrook and Dante Moncrief there. They paid a lot for Moncrief who has always been a redzone threat, one angle would be the tight end. The Giants are historically bad against that position, and ASJ is pretty good if he’s fit. If the Giants had a QB that people respected they’d probably be favourites for the division. They welcome back Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard. Beckham despite his attention seeking flaws is an amazing receiver and this will be the biggest test he’ll get of his mentality and ability all year going up against premium shit-bag but all round amazing cornerback Jalen Ramsey. I can’t be taking any yard lines on Giants pass catchers against this defense. Saquon Barkley however could be amazing. I personally think he’ll be great this year but it’s not something I’ll be going near today.

As for a winner of this… I have no idea. Honestly though, I want to lean towards Saquon and the Giants. I guess I’d have to take the unders.

Steelers (-4.5) @ Browns: Total – 41

It’s gonna be windy. And wet. That’s not good for passing. So the unders on the total and player props seems like  it would be a good thing. I’ve taken u289.5 passing yards on Ben Roethlisberger. He’s always worse on the road, and despite him being the “winningest” – Fucking hate that term, QB in Cleveland. Seriously he’s got a better record at the stadium than any Browns QB since he joined the league, but while he can overcome the Browns and beat the legal system, I don’t think he can beat nature. Pittsburgh will also be missing Lev Bell who is sitting out and costing himself more money in one week than I’ll ever earn, his teammates have turned on him and given their backing to his replacement James Conner. It seems likely he’ll be a direct replacement for Bell and therefore probably a decent bet for this game, he’s likely to be the highest drafted player in draftkings this weekend. Antonio Brown will probably still catch a lot but I wouldn’t trust much else in this game. On either side of the ball. Tyrod is reliable but boring, it remains to be seen who his favourite target is. It seems likely it’s Jarvis “BLESS’EM” Landry, but god knows. Antonio Callaway has been named starter with Josh Gordon on a snap count.

Steelers should win. I would expect them to beat the spread but wouldn’t bet on it.

Big Ben u289.5 passing yard – 10/11 (365) – 2 points  This has disappeared annoyingly. 

49ers (+6.5) @ Vikings: Total – 45.5

Jimmy G hasn’t lost a game. The Vikings have a good homefield advantage. I have backed the Vikings for the Superbowl (You can get 25/1 on anyone with RedzoneSports.) The Vikings were a game from the Superbowl last year but shit the bed against the Eagles. As a squad they are better than last year though, they’ve got a better QB, Dalvin Cook returns at RB and they’ve got more depth on their very good defense. I believe Cook will be eased in which means some decent usage for Latavius Murray (3.5 on Unibet) Murray also being the goal-line back makes that an even better bet at the price. I’m not sure who Cousins favourite target will be but I’d assume from limited action that it’ll be Stefon Diggs meaning a slight down-tick for Adam Thielen. Kyle Rudolph at tight end should get a slight bump with Cousins though, he liked using Reed when in Washington so my theory is that he’ll carry that on now. The 49ers have a good QB, lets be fair, and his WRs aren’t bad either, Marquise Goodwin is an Olympic athlete who looks like he’ll be a favoured target this year. It was expected to be the returning Pierre Garcon but Goodwin showed he could be a possession guy as well as the downfield threat and I think he’ll be the man. The loss of Jerrick McKinnon to an ACL has screwed them a little so Matt Breida and Alf Morris will share RB duty. I think… I think that Kyle Juszkaskyszckyskz could catch a few more passes and I couldn’t resist taking him anytime at 12/1 (365)

The 49ers play quickly, but the Vikings have a very strong defense at home. I will probably take the under here.

Buccs (+9.5) @ Saints: Total – 49.5

I want to do the “I’m on the Saints moneyline at 20/21” dance but that seems a little mean. Thanks PP. The Buccs are a bit of a mess, they have an improved front 7, which on paper looks very good but that’s about the end of the superlatives I’ve got for them. They’re without Jameis Winston for the first 3 games, honestly I don’t think it makes much difference to the results, I think they’d lose all 3 of them either way. Mike Evans should still get his from Fitzpatrick, and with them likely trailing for most of the game he should get targeted a lot. The other side of Evans should be Chris Godwin who looked awesome at the end of the year and is someone I expect a breakout from. I think (think) they’ll push Desean Jackson inside into the slot where he’s got the pace to do very well. It looks like RoJo (Ronald Jones) is far from being a starting RB and that Peyton Barber (4.00 Ladbrokes) and Jacquizz Rodgers (8.00) will get the RB work here. The Saints have a good defense though so I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Buccs struggle to score. They also have a future hall of famer at QB, probably at WR and quite possibly at RB… I know, complete hyperbole after 1 season for the RB, but I love watching him run. Obviously with Ingram out for 4 games Kamara will get more play in both the run and passing game, they have brought in Mike Gillislee, probably for short yardage work, but even at 3.60 I can’t take him to score a TD. Michael Thomas is due for an ultimate breakout year at WR. He’s a brilliant WR anyway, but I think he and Brees could step forward this year, especially in the endzone. He should beat his yardage prop tonight, the worry would be that they’re so far ahead that they don’t need to pass the ball. But he’s rather important to this team.

Saints should win, but if anything I’d take the Buccs with the points. Best to avoid all round though!

Titans (-1) @ Dolphins: Total – 45

Jesus. I dunno. It’s gonna be hot down there, 90+ Fahrenheit apparently. I couldn’t imagine walking around in 33 degree heat, let alone playing in it. I think the Titans are the better team, I think they’ve got the better QB, WRs, RBs and Defence. Mariota is good, although looked decidedly average in pre-season, Corey Davis is a top 7 draft pick who struggled with injury last year but did well at the end of it. Rishard Matthews is a good slot guy along with Taywon Taylor. Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis should be a very good duo in the backfield and Delanie Walker at TE is one of the best in the league. With their new coaching I think they’ll be a mildly entertaining football eventually! The Dolphins? I can’t call them, Tannehill is a decent QB when fit, but losing their best offensive and defensive players in the same summer will be tough. They brought in Amendola who can fill in for Landry in the slot, but Kenny Stills is probably the guy to look at, either him or rookie TE Mike Gesicki who’s been plain awful at pass blocking, but great at pass catching. Albert Wilson is a person too.

I have no idea which way this game is going. I know I prefer the Titans as a team, but on the road in this heat, logic says the Dolphins will be more used to it.

Chiefs (+3.5) @ Chargers: Total – 48.5

This could be the highest scoring game of the weekend, both QBs love to throw downfield, the Chiefs defense is looking pretty damn horrible, but they have a gun-slinger at QB. Mahomes comes into his sophomore year as the starter and he looks like he’ll be very entertaining to watch this year, he’ll probably be throwing 35 TDs and 20 INTs. Either way it’s going to be fun. The odd bomb down the field to Tyreek Hill, short psases to Travis Kelce. I’m looking forward to seeing the result! Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards last year and Spencer Ware returns to add to that running attack. The Chargers are without Joey Bosa which helps the Chiefs a little, he and Ingram are the best pass rush duo in the league (Yes I know Denvers could be good) On offense the Chargers are pretty loaded, I love Phillip Rivers, he’s got an improved offensive line this year which will give him time to find Keenan Allen 10 times a game. The loss of Hunter Henry will hurt them but Mike Williams is poised to step up to the plate and be a redzone target for them. They’ve also got Melvin Gordon who is a true workhorse back when they need to run the ball as well! If only they could fix their kicker problems who knows how far they can go.

I love the Chargers this year. But Andy Reid’s Chiefs own the division, they’re record in the AFC West is ridiculous, add that to his record coming off a bye week and I’m worried the Chiefs could spoil the party in L.A.

Cowboys (+3) @ Panthers: Total – 42

I hate the Cowboys this year. I don’t rate Dak, their offensive line has a couple of issues and they have no proven WRs. But they do have Zeke which means they’ve got a chance. He’s probably the best RB in the league in my eyes and he’ll be busy this year against stacked boxes. They will get him more involved in the passing game as well though, they have to. I should mention the WRs. Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup (4/1) I’m not sure who the main guy will be, but there’s a ton of targets to go around so one of them should prove useful at some point. Hurns is the more proven of the trio. The Panthers have some issues on their offensive line as well, but I think they’re the most talented roster. Cam has his favourite target Greg Olsen back in the middle of the field, Christian McCaffery looks set to have a lot of the ball this year, they’ve said he’ll be involved more on the ground as well as keeping his workload in the air. Funchess look like he’ll remain WR1 for now, but DJ Moore should be good in the slot eventually. I like the look of Curtis Samuel too if he can stay fit, he’s dynamic in the passing game.

I can’t look past the Panthers here, I really don’t fancy the Cowboys at all this season.

Seahawks (+3) @ Broncos: Total – 42

On to another team I’m down on. Like a 14 year old boy, the Seahawks are going through changes at the moment. They’ve got rid of most of the legion of boom and replaced them with younger more eager to listen youngsters. Including one-handed Shaquem Griffin who looks set to start at LB too, an amazing achievement for him. They should have a better O-line this year with better coaching, but don’t have a whole lot at receiver, Doug Baldwin is the guy but he’s probably going to be at 80% all season, which means Tyler Lockett will probably be targeted more and Brandon Marshall should add a redzone threat, and possibly Nick Vannett at tight end given there’s no-one else there either! But realistically it’s all about Russell Wilson who had a part in 37 of their 38 TDs last year. The Broncos is infinitely improved by signing a QB who can actually throw to his team-mates. Case Keenum comes in and finally gives the team a bit of faith in their ability to move the ball again. Great news for Demaryius Thomas, but especially for Emmanuel Sanders who has been moved inside to the slot, Keenum loves targeting slot receviers (see Thielen last year) so Sanders seems set for a big year. On the outside they’ll have rookie Courtland Sutton who’s had a fantastic camp. They’ll also be starting a rookie at RB with Royce Freeman taking over the main duty there. Defensively they’ll be solid too, they gave up a little once they were out of it last year, the secondary is still good and Bradley Chubb opposite Von Miller if a scary prospect.

I’ve got to think the Broncos win this fairly comfortably. Their record at home in the first couple of weeks of the season is impressive.

Redskins (+1.5) @ Cardinals: Total – 43.5

David Johnson returns! He won me a season long bet a couple of years back then took a year off with a wrist injury. He’s amazing, one of the best runners I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this. He’ll be the main man in this offense and he’ll need to be good. They start the season with Sam Bradford who, when healthy in my eyes is a pretty good QB, the issue being that he struggles to stay fit and this offensive line doesn’t look very good. Larry Fitzgerald is around 50 years old but will still get 100 catches this year, and Ricky Seals-Jones is a man you need to keep an eye on at tight end. The Redskins had a season of change as well losing Cousins and bringing in reliable Alex Smith. He loves to target the tight end and Jordan Reed is at worst the 4th best TE in the league when he plays, he’s reportedly fully fit (for now) so he’s a guy to look at today. It remains to be seen who gets the ball in the passing game though, Paul Richardson was paid a lot to join, Josh Doctson is a big dude and Jamison Crowder is a good slot receiver. This is an Adrian Peterson revenge game, he joined the Redskins a month ago and has already taken over RB1 duties. Chris Thompson will be a weapon in the passing game from the backfield and Rob Kelley should get a few touches to spell Peterson as well

I can’t call this game. I think the Redskins are the better roster, but David Johnson is the transcendent player in this game

Adrian Peterson anytime – 5/2 (3.50) Paddypower – 1 points

Bears (+7) @ Packers: Total – 46.5

The oldest rivalry in football opens the season. Nice scheduling work NFL. This game is incredibly interesting, and one I’ll be watching on gamepass the following day. Aaron Rodgers returns from his collarbone injury that ruined the Packers season last year and he looks pissed. He lost his buddy Jordy Nelson but Jimmy Graham will replace his redzone threat. They’ve got a whole host of pass catchers for him to throw to as well, Davante Adams is the main man in the passing game now and should be on for 10+ TDs. Next up will probably be Randall Cobb although the constant rumours around trading him are a worry! They drafted a few rookies there as well, but his favourite guy in training camp was Jake Kumerow who is now on IR. They’ve got a muddled backfield though with Jamaal Williams getting the start in this game, Ty Montgomery will probably be a decent PPR pickup in fantasy. The Bears are one of the hype teams of the off-season and the official TEAM of ATL on the Around the league podcast for the season. Their season relies on getting the best out of Mitchell Trubisky the second year ball-chucker, if he’s worthy of the price they got him at then they should do well with some new offensive coaching there. Trey Burton is the main hype-bunny at Tight end, it’s believed he’ll be their version of Travis Kelce so should get a lot of the ball. They’ll need Allen Robinson to re-gain his pre-injury form at WR1 as well. They’re set at running back with Jordan Howard the main man, he’s been working on his catching in the summer but Tarik Cohen should get a lot of 3rd down work, he’s great to watch! On defense you may have heard they signed elite pass rusher Khalil Mack to add to their under-appreciated very good defense. If it all clicks it should be a good season for them, and this is a great test to start the season.

It’s at Lambeau, Aaron Rodgers is back, I think the Packers will win, I wouldn’t go near the handicap though.

Summary –

  • Alex Collins – 1/1 (2.00) (RedzoneSports) – 4 points – NAP
  • AJ Green anytime – 13/10 (2.30) (Redzone) – 2 points
  • 4/6 on Watson o0.5 INT (Skybet) – 3 points – NB
  • Big Ben u289.5 passing yard – 10/11 (365) – 2 points
  • Kyle Juszcyzk anytime TD – 12/1 (13.0) (365) – 1 point
  • Latavius Murray anytime – 5/2 (3.50) (Unibet) – 1 point
  • Trixie on Collins, Green, Murray – 1points – 4 point total.
  • 49ers o1.5 FG – 10/11 (1.90) (365) – 2 points
  • 49ers o2.5 FG – 3/1 (4.00) (365) – 1 point.
  • Adrian Peterson anytime – 5/2 (3.50) (Paddypower) – 1 point
  • Teams to score every Quarter – Bengals, Saints, Chargers. Trixie – 0.5 point – 2pt total (365) 3.75, 2.25, 3.00 respectively for these. 

Total outlay – 21 points

That’s about it, if there’s anything else I can think of I’ll get it on twitter and the telegram group – https://t.me/TDtips


Good Luck if you follow along, any questions give me a tweet!

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