2014 Quick Hitters (NFL Week One Picks)
Rejoice, the NFL season is back and I’m here to help you win your pick’em league and give you some green on Streak for the Cash. Each and every week, I’ll post the opening Vegas lines and give you brief analysis on who you should pick straight up in every NFL game.
Here’s my results on the year:
Overall Record: 0-0
Last Week’s Record: 0-0
Record in Thursday Games: 0-0
Record in Sunday Games: 0-0
Record in Monday Games: 0-0
Record in Upset Picks: 0-0
Record in Even Picks: 0-0
Record in Favorite Picks: 0-0
Record in “Toss-Up” Picks: 0-0
Record in “Moderate Confidence” Picks: 0-0
Record in “Lock of the Week” Picks: 0-0
*Even picks are classified as opening lines under 2.5 points.
Green Bay Packers @ Seattle Seahawks (Thursday, 7:30 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Seattle (-6)
The Pick: Green Bay in an UPSET
Reason: Both teams were impressive in the preseason, but this seems like a prime spot for the Packers to avenge the replacement refs blunder from a couple of years ago. Bias Alert: I’m a Packers fan, so tread lightly with this pick.
Minnesota Vikings @ St. Louis Rams (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: St. Louis (-6)
The Pick: Minnesota in an UPSET
Reason: Losing Sam Bradford won’t be an easy transition for the Rams and the Vikings still have the best running back in the NFL. It’s a great value pick in most pools.
Oakland Raiders @ New York Jets (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: New York (-4.5)
The Pick: New York as a FAVORITE
Reason: The Raiders are going bold by starting rookie Derek Carr at quarterback. Rex Ryan and the Jets must be jubilant with their defensive plans in the opener.
Tennessee Titans @ Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Kansas City (-6)
The Pick: Kansas City as the FAVORITE
Reason: I can see Tennessee making this game interesting, but the Chiefs generally play well at Arrowhead. Tennessee may cover, but the Chiefs are the pick.
New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: New England (-3.5)
The Pick: Miami in the UPSET
Reason: New England is getting public points, making this more of a toss-up game. Take the Dolphins and try to get some points on opponents in your group.
Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Bucs (Sunday, 3:25 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Carolina (-2.5)
The Pick: Tampa Bay in the UPSET
Reason: Similar to the Dolphins pick, I’m making an anti-public perception pick here. Tampa Bay will be much improved and Carolina will struggle to score on the Bucs’ defense in week one.
San Diego Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals (Sunday, 9:20 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Arizona (-3.5)
The Pick: Arizona as the FAVORITE
Reason: This is one of the better week one match-ups, so we will end on a high note. There should be a bunch of points in this one, so I’m going with the more talented defense and home field advantage.
MODERATE CONFIDENCE PICKS
New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Atlanta (-1)
The Pick: New Orleans in an EVEN pick
Reason: Kind of shocked to see the Falcons open up as favorites, but the Saints are a much better home team. I’m still riding the Saints because I feel they’re better.
Buffalo Bills @ Chicago Bears (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Chicago (-6.5)
The Pick: Chicago as a FAVORITE
Reason: This one of the rare lines that I was ok with in week one. The Bears offense should be ready to overwhelm Buffalo in the opener. Could be argued for a Lock of the Week.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Pittsburgh (-6)
The Pick: Pittsburgh as a FAVORITE
Reason: Cleveland’s offense is terrible, so it’s going to be hard for them to put points on anybody. The Steelers have to start off better than they did last season.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Philadelphia Eagles (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Philadelphia (-10.5)
The Pick: Philadelphia as a FAVORITE
Reason: This line is way too high, so I definitely wouldn’t take the cover. Eagles should win this straight up, but there isn’t much value in pools because most people are going to have this high on their confidence number.
Washington Redskins @ Houston Texans (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Houston (-1.5)
The Pick: Houston as an EVEN pick
Reason: The Texans were better than their record last year and I saw nothing from the Redskins this preseason that says it will be a quick turn-around for them. I’ll take the home team with the best defensive player in football. Great value in pools here as the pick will most likely be split between sides.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens (Sunday, 12:00 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Baltimore (-2.5)
The Pick: Baltimore as a FAVORITE
Reason: Ultimately this is a toss-up between good division rivals, but I’ll take the home edge with the Ravens.
San Francisco 49ers @ Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 3:35 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: San Francisco (-3)
The Pick: San Francisco as a FAVORITE
Reason: The Cowboys’ secondary has the chance to be historically bad and the 49ers are much better than they showed in the preseason. Expect Colin Kaepernick to have a Big Night in Big D.
Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos (Sunday, 7:30 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Denver (-7.5)
The Pick: Denver as FAVORITES
Reason: The Broncos were embarrassed in the Super Bowl and have the smartest quarterback in the history of the NFL. Andrew Luck could surpass him, but not yet.
LOCK OF THE WEEK PICK
New York Giants @ Detroit Lions (Monday, 6:10 PM CT)
Vegas Odds: Detroit (-3.5)
The Pick: Detroit as FAVORITES
Reason: Picking the favorite with the highest spread is not the way to make the lock of the week. Especially if you play in a Eliminator Pool. The Lions are the pick this week because the Giants’ offense was that bad during the preseason.
Week One Pick Summary: 10 Favorites, 4 Upsets and 2 Even Picks
Let me know where you agree and disagree in week one. Good luck and most importantly enjoy the games!