The NFL season is finally upon us and our old buddy Swinging Johnson has opinions on every game but there are four that he has locked onto and included in his NFL picks for Week 1.
Season Record (0-0, 0.0 units)
Deflategate is in our rearview mirror as are the meaningless exhibition games. Now it's time to get down to business and prepare for an entire season of watching the greatest sport on the planet for the next five months. Now remember ladies and gents this is Week 1 so don't let your unbridled enthusiasm burn your bankroll. There will be plenty of other games and opportunities to lay your NFL picks on when you have a better understanding of how good - or bad - the various teams really are this season. Without further ado, let's take a look at my Fantastic Four in Week 1.
Green Bay Packers -6 (-120) vs. Chicago Bears
The first is a chalky little number that makes me look like Joe Q Public but hey even the squares win sometimes which is why I am layin' it and likin' it on the road with the Packers over the Bears. If you were sharp and grabbed the Pack when the NFL odds opened you would have gotten them at -3 ½ but since you waited around they can now only be had at -6 ½ and as you know I don't lay hooks on potentially critical numbers in the NFL so I am buying that down to -6 for the extra 10%.
Here are a few stats:
GREEN BAY is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last two seasons.
GREEN BAY is 3-1 against the spread versus CHICAGO over the last two seasons.
I am no fan of Jay Cutler's and I believe the Bears will continue to be a mess while the Packers could very well be in the Super Bowl in February despite the fact that Jordy Nelson is sidelined for the season
NFL Week 1 Pick: Packers -6 (-120) at YouWager
Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams +4½ (-110)
Beware of Super Bowl runner-ups in Week 1. If you like NFL betting trends then I have a doozy for you. The Super Bowl runner-up from the previous year has gone 2-13 ATS in Week 1 over the past 15 seasons. In addition the combined points in those games have gone under the NFL odds posted total on 10 of 15 occasions. So right now we have the Seahawks, Super Bowl runner-ups, who opened as 4 ½ point road faves and dropped to as low as -3 (-125) against St. Louis. The sharps are aware of this trend but the squares will bet the Hawks with both fists.
The Rams play the Seahawks with Nick Foles and not Sam Bradford under center and remains a team that could surprise this season. They also drafted Todd Gurley out of the University of Georgia with the 10th pick in the draft and this kid could be a show stopper. Unfortunately the prospects for seeing Gurley in Week 1 don't look good which is why the line has bounced back up to Seattle -4. But we see 5Dimes.com dealing the game at 4 ½ which is exactly why it's always important to go shopping for lines.
Nevertheless, the Rams were solid defensively last season and now have Akeem Ayers to shore up the run stop unit. That defensive line can be punishing and don't be surprised if Russell Wilson is running for his life when they meet. The Rams got off to a slow defensive start last season but were wreaking havoc in the backfields at the end of last season.
NFL Week 1 Pick: Rams +4 ½ at Island Casino
Detroit Lions vs. San Diego Chargers -2 ½ (-120)
Next up we have the San Diego Chargers laying -2 ½ at home against Detroit. I am sick of playing Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in my fantasy football leagues and the reason is because Calvin Johnson has been hobbled by injuries and will never return to the Megatron of old while Stafford is just a big kid with a big arm but not so bright.
The Chargers are a team on the rise and signing Phillip Rivers to a four deal in the offseason was a smart move because when he's "on" it's all lollipops and sunshine in San Diego. The Bolts are going to win the AFC West this year while Detroit will stagger through another season of mediocrity which I guess is better than the abject failure of a few years ago.
And I leave you with a nifty little stat.
SAN DIEGO is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in September games over the last two seasons.
NFL Week 1 Pick: Chargers -2 ½ (-125) at The Greek
Tennessee Titans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers O/U 41
Under is 9-1 over the last 10 season openers when the Titans are on the road - and guess what? Tennessee visits Tampa Bay in their Week 1 appearance so we are hoping the streak continues. The posted NFL odds total was at 42 but has now dropped to 41 which doesn't seem like much to the uninitiated but remember lads seven touchdowns plus the extra point equals...42. As much as I would love to buy this back to 42 I will resist the temptation of buying totals to certain numbers as it is a long-term recipe for getting vigged out.
The Bucs ranked 29th (17.3) while the Titans ranked 30th (15.9) last season in points scored. I don't see a whole lot of improvement this season. Two first-year quarterbacks in Winston and Mariota should be interesting to watch more for their rookie mistakes than their triumphs in their respective debuts.
NFL Week 1 Pick: Play 'UNDER' 41 at GTBets.com