Free NFL Picks: Browns-Steelers & Bills-Bears Week 1 Locks

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 7:33 PM GMT

With the season only hours away, it’s time to lock in your Week 1 NFL Picks. Even though it seems as if value is coming out of everywhere, narrowing down your plays to identify the best ones is crucial. 

Browns vs. Steelers
The city of Cleveland has a lot going for it right now, but unfortunately, the Browns as a Week 1 NFL pick aren’t in that category just yet. Cleveland is locked into a deep quarterback controversy right now, and Brian Hoyer’s next two or three games might write the story of the rest of his career. That’s some really tough pressure, but either way, even if he played well in this game against the Steelers, it will be hard to cover. Pittsburgh’s defense is going to stack the box against Ben Tate and single cover the Cleveland receivers. Without Josh Gordon, they have very little to throw to. Jordan Cameron should have a pretty good game, but with the solid middle linebacker and safety play from Pittsburgh, Cameron probably won’t have too many chances here.

If you include their final eight games of last regular season, the Steelers are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games, and they have covered their last three games against the Browns. Antonio Brown should have a huge game once again after killing Cleveland for 15 receptions, 179 yards and a touchdown last season. Lay the points for this NFL pick.

Free NFL Pick: Steelers -6 ½ 

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Bills vs. Bears
The Buffalo Bills might not have a greatest offense this season, however their defense might counteract that, especially this week against the Bears’ standout offense. The NFL odds have the Bills as +7 underdogs, however for this pick, the total of 47 points looks like a much more valuable play.

Chicago on the other hand should have no issues scoring on the Bills in Week 1, and the over might be a great play because of it. The over was 4-0 for the Bears last year in the month of September, and Chicago has cashed the over at 16-5 in their last 21 games as favorites of 3 ½ to 10 points.

The Bills on the other hand have cashed the over at 9-3 in their last 12 games in September, and the over is 5-2 in the Bills’ last seven games as road underdogs. With Chicago’s struggling run defense, the Bills will be able to move the ball easier than some are projecting. Considering this may be the only way for the Bills to move the ball this season, I see them pounding the ball at Chicago, and possibly not struggling as much to score in Week 1 as they may throughout the season.

On top of all of that, the Bills’ pass defense might not be as good as it was in 2013. Buffalo was much more known for giving up rushing yards in bunches last season, while their pass defense was top five in the NFL. However that may have been due in part to the fact that their run defense was so bad, teams didn’t attempt to throw on them as much. Things should be much more balanced this year for the Bills, but not for the better. That should lead to some higher scoring games, inspiring this free NFL pick on the 'over' in Week 1 in Chicago.

Free NFL Pick: Bet Over 47 Pts. at Sportbet

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