NFL Picks: Week 1 Sunday Value Picks

Joe Catalano

Sunday, September 8, 2013 1:53 PM GMT

This season has gotten off to a fast and furious pace. Let’s attempt to find some value as Week 1 in the NFL kicks into full gear this Sunday.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets

The Jets are a 3.5 point underdog at home and in a must win season for head coach Rex Ryan. I like the Jets in this spot. This is a do or die season for the Jets and a quarterback switch has been made from Mark Sanchez to Geno Smith.

Although Sanchez didn’t have many options last season, he didn’t handle the pressure well. Smith comes from a run and gun offense in college and simply the question of “who will start at QB each game” will push both quarterbacks to be better.

Despite a foot injury, Santonio Holmes is expected to play and will be a key figure in this game.  Bilal Powell will get some much needed help in the backfield with the addition of Christopher Ivory. Ivory could be a difference maker with the Jets as he has unlimited potential.

On paper, Tampa Bay should win this game. They have one of the most feared running backs in the NFL in Doug Martin (1454 yards, 11 TD) and Vincent Jackson at wide receiver, but this is week 1 where anything can happen. The Jets are the play in front of a hostile MetLife Stadium.

NFL Pick- New York Jets +3.5 for your NFL picks.

[gameodds]16/226872/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49’ers

The 49’ers are coming off of a tough loss in the Super Bowl and want to get this season started. However, they’ll be facing a former Super Bowl winner in Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers and this will be no cakewalk. The 49’ers will be without their best receiver in Michael Crabtree and have acquired Anquan Boldin. Although Boldin is an outstanding receiver, Baltimore was looking to get rid of him and Crabtree fits much better than Boldin in this fast paced San Francisco offense led by Colin Kaepernick.

“Kaepernicking”

This is the term used from the Super Bowl in which Kaepernick raced into the endzone for a TD and did a muscle pose. He has a gun for an arm and can run like a deer. We all know that the Packers defense is suspect;  if Kaepernick is in his usual form, this will provide him with many open targets to throw to. Expect Colin Kaepernick to play well despite missing Crabtree.

This game comes down to how effective will Aaron Rodgers  be against one of the best defenses in the NFL.  2nd round draft pick, Eddie Lacy, has yet to play a down in the NFL and his effectiveness is vital in taking the predictability out of the Packers offense.

This game can go either way with the 49’ers as a 4.5 point favorite. The total seems a bit high at 49 with the kind of ferociousness that San Francisco’s defense provides.

NFL Pick- San Francisco/Green Bay UNDER 49 at Bet 365

[gameodds]16/226879/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds] 

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills

New England has been through a lot in this off-season and with the loss of Wes Welker, people are expecting a drop-off in production.

Danny Amendola will play the slot receiver and is capable of providing a large amount of production if he stays healthy. Rob Gronkowski is listed as doubtful and might not play until week number 3. This could be a problem for Tom Brady as options are limited. Expect to see a lot of Steven Ridley in this game for the Pats. Ridley had an outstanding 1263 yard season last year and the Bills defense won’t be able to stop him.

Buffalo starts an injured E.J. Manuel at quarterback and with his effectiveness with a knee injury remains to be seen. Look to see a lot of C.J. Spiller in this game as he, just like Ridley, had an outstanding season last year and this offense is a work in progress.

Buffalo always seems to play New England well at home but there have been a lot of personnel changes. New England is an 11 point betting favorite and that’s a bit high. I prefer the NFL odds total at 50.5 and expect this game to go way UNDER.

NFL Pick- New England/Buffalo UNDER 50.5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]16/226869/?r-1=19-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Other Value Plays

Arizona Cardinals +3 Over the St.Louis Rams

The Arizona offense has been revamped and is loaded with the likes of Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Rashard Mendenhall. Carson Palmer will thrive in an offense like this.

Washington Redskins -3.5 Over Philadelphia Eagles

Although RG3 has proven to be fragile and a risk-taker, there’s major dissention with the Eagles players and Washington has proven last year that they’re a serious contender. Look for a lot of Alfred Morris in this game and we’ll see if Michael Vick has recovered from all of the punishment that he took last season.