NFL Betting Preview – Week 1

The defending champion Seahawks meet Green Bay for the first time since replacement officials handed Seattle a 14-12 week three victory in 2012. Seattle is 15-1 at home during the last two seasons. The Packers were 6-2 last year in games Aaron Rodgers played more than a cameo role and are 32-8 with Rodgers during the past three seasons. Green Bay has lost by more than a touchdown just twice over the last three seasons and not since November, 2012.

 

Thursday

Super Bowl XLVIII - Seattle Seahawks Green Bay at Seattle

The defending champion Seahawks meet Green Bay for the first time since replacement officials handed Seattle a 14-12 week three victory in 2012. Seattle is 15-1 at home during the last two seasons. The Packers were 6-2 last year in games Aaron Rodgers played more than a cameo role and are 32-8 with Rodgers during the past three seasons. Green Bay has lost by more than a touchdown just twice over the last three seasons and not since November, 2012.

 

Sunday

New Orleans at Atlanta

In 2012 New Orleans struggled when coach Sean Payton was suspended, quarterback Drew Brees held out during the off-season, and the defense was among the worst in NFL history. Last year the Saints rebounded with an 11-5 campaign yet they were 1-7 on the road against the spread. The Falcons were 13-3 two years ago and 4-12 last season. In 2013 they had the worst rushing offense and second worst rushing defense in the league. With Roddy White and Julio Jones injured, Harry Douglas led the Falcons in receiving last season.

 

Minnesota at St. Louis

The Vikings have a new coach, a young quarterback pushing Matt Cassel, and old reliable Adrian Peterson as they look to improve on going 5-10-1 last year. They lost with frequency last season because their defense gave up more points than any other team n the league. The Vikings were 0-7-1 on the road. The Rams finished 7-9 last year boasting the third worst offense in the NFL. Quarterback Sam Bradford is again out for the season. St. Louis led the league last season in forced fumbles.

 

Cleveland at Pittsburgh

The Browns are 3-21 on the road during the past three seasons and haven’t won in Pittsburgh since 2003. Cleveland has gone 6-36 in Pittsburgh dating back to 1970. Cleveland comes off a 4-12 season with a new coach and armed with three players drafted among the top 35 picks. The Steelers have gone 8-8 in back-to-back seasons but bounced back from a 0-4 start last year to have a chance at the playoffs during week 17. Pittsburgh did a nice job defending the pass last year finishing ninth in the league.

 

Jacksonville at Philadelphia

In their first year with Chip Kelly leading the Eagles, Philadelphia had the second best offense in the NFL and earned a playoff birth by beating Dallas on the road in week 17. On the flip side, the Eagles had the worst pass defense in the league. Nick Foles emerged as a marque quarterback last season and LeSean McCoy was perhaps the most impressive offensive weapon in the NFC. The Jaguars had a hard time defending the run under first year coach Gus Bradley ranking 31st in the league last season. While Jacksonville went only 4-12, they were 4-4 against the spread on the road. After an 0-8 start, the Jags played .500 ball during the final eight weeks last year. The Jags spent their first three draft picks on skill position talent.

 

Oakland at New York Jets

While the Raiders went just 4-12 last season including a 1-7 mark on the road Oakland was a surprising 5-3 against the spread away from home. The Raiders lost their final six games last season and really struggled with the passing game. The Raiders were 28th in the league defending the aerial game while ranking just 25th with their own passing attack. Matt Schaub and Derek Carr have replaced Terelle Pryor and Matt McGloin under center for Oakland. New York went 6-2 at home both against the spread and straight up last season during an 8-8 campaign. The Jets had among the best rushing defenses in the league but struggled against the pass. Veterans Michael Vick and Chris Johnson were added to the Jets backfield in the off-season but Vick won’t start and Johnson may play second fiddle to Chris Ivory. The Jets beat Oakland 37-27 last season in New York.

 

Cincinnati at Baltimore

In the heyday of the Ravens they were known for defense. Last year the Bengals ranked third in the NFL in defense while Baltimore was 12th. Not shockingly, Cincinnati went 11-5 and Baltimore finished 8-8. The teams split their two match-ups. Baltimore had no success running the ball last year finishing 30th in the NFL in ground offense. They’ve rebuilt their offensive line though Ray Rice is suspended during the first two weeks. The Bengals had the eighth best passing offense last season and expect rookie Jeremy Hill to add another weapon to their rushing game. Cincinnati went 8-0 against the spread at home and 2-5-1 on the road in 2013. Baltimore was 5-3 against the number at home and 2-5-1 outside the Mid-Atlantic.

 

Buffalo at Chicago

The Bears were second in the NFL in scoring last season and gave up the second most points in coach Marc Trestman’s first year. That led to Chicago going 8-8 and just missing the playoffs. The Bears were only 4-10-2 against the spread including 1-5-2 at home. Twelve of their 16 games went over in 2013. The Bills were 6-10 under first year coach Doug Marrone. They ran the ball very effectively, finishing second in the league on the ground, and defended the pass well, fourth best in the NFL. On the flip side, only four teams in the league were worse than Buffalo in passing offense and rushing defense. The Bills were 2-6 straight up and against the spread away from home last year.

 

Washington at Houston

In 2012 led by rookie Robert Griffin III, the Redskins went 10-6 and earned a division title. The same year Arian Foster led the NFL in rushing touchdowns and the Texans went 12-4. Last season Griffin wasn’t healthy, the Skins lost their final eight games, finished 3-13 and Mike Shanahan was fired. Houston got awful quarterback play, didn’t play much defense, went 2-14 last year and fired Gary Kubiak. Whether it be Jay Gruden in DC, or Bill O’Brien in Texas, both teams have some pedigree. Washington went 3-1 in the preseason.

 

Tennessee at Kansas City

Ignored by most of the media, the Titans were pretty good last year. Tennessee went 7-9, lost two overtime games, and played one score games in loses against Seattle, and Indianapolis twice. The Titans were 4-4 on the road in 2013, went 5-2-1 against the spread last season away from home, and hired Ken Whisenhunt, who does wonders for quarterbacks, to replace Mike Munchak as head coach. In their first year with Andy Reid at coach and Alex Smith at quarterback the Chiefs faced one of the easiest schedules in NFL history and parlayed it into an 11-5 record. It was a huge improvement over their 2-14 mark in 2012. While KC gave up a lot of yards, they did not yield a ton of points. The Chiefs were 2-6 at home against the spread and 7-1 on the road.

 

New England at Miami

The Dolphins started last season 3-0, then lost four straight, and after getting back .500 watched a bullying scandal and injuries torpedo their offensive line. Miami finished the year 8-8 and could have made the playoffs but lost to the Bills 19-0 and the Jets 20-7 during the final two weeks of the year. The offensive front has completely been rebuilt and that should help third year signal caller Ryan Tannehill who spent much of last season on his backside. Miami went 5-3 against the spread at home last year. New England also dealt with various injuries last season and while it didn’t cost them the division, they were no match for Denver in the playoffs. The Pats went 12-4 with an 8-8 mark against the spread but covered only two road games. New England was seventh in the NFL in offense last year and 26th on defense.

 

Carolina at Tampa Bay

After going 2-12 in close games during Ron Rivera’s first two seasons, the Panthers won all sorts of 50/50 tilts last year. Carolina went 12-4 overall and 9-6-1 against the number. They were second in the NFL in yards and points allowed. Despite gaining the 26th most yards in the league, the Panther offense ranked right in the middle of the league at 23 points a contest. Besides tight end Greg Olsen, Carolina replaced their entire receiving core and also lost top lineman Jordan Gross. The Bucs handed Lovie Smith the reigns after finishing 4-12 last season. Tampa was the worst passing team in the league last year but signed Josh McCown during the off-season. The Bucs were 3-5 at home in 2013 going 4-4 against the spread. Carolina steamrolled the Bucs twice last season.

 

San Francisco at Dallas

Following a 12-4 season that included a tight NFC Championship game loss in Seattle, the 49ers have suffered significant departures, injuries and suspensions on defense. The Niners were 10-5-1 against the spread last year including 6-1-1 on the road. San Francisco allowed the third fewest amount of points in the league in 2013 and were the third best rushing team in the NFL. The 49ers struggled in the passing game ranking 30th overall. Dallas lost a pseudo week 17 playoff game last season when Tony Romo was injured in week 16. At 8-8 the Cowboys missed the postseason thanks mostly to a defense that gave up more yards than any other team in the league. Dallas went 0-4 in the preseason. They were 5-3 at home straight up and against the spread last year.

 

Indianapolis at Denver

Many thought the Colts would regress in their second season with Andrew Luck. Instead, Indy put together a second straight 11-5 campaign. Meanwhile, the Colts former quarterback, Peyton Manning led the Broncos to a 13-3 mark and a birth in the Super Bowl. The Broncos were 10-6 against the spread including 5-3 at home. Indianapolis was 9-6-1 versus the number with a 4-3-1 record on the road. Denver led the NFL in yards and points last season. The Colts were solid against the pass, mediocre against the run, and average on offense.

 

Monday

New York Giants at Detroit

The Giants started last year with six straight losses before bouncing back to finish the year 7-9. They beat the Lions in overtime during week 15 on the road essentially sealing the fate of Detroit coach Jim Schwartz who was fired and replaced by Jim Caldwell. The Lions were 7-9 last season going 6-10 against the spread. They were 3-5 against the number at home. New York was 7-9 against the number and 4-4 on the road. The Giants struggled to rush the ball in 2013 finishing 29th in the NFL. Rashad Jennings is the new starting tailback for New York. Eli Manning returns at quarterback where he threw an NFL high 27 interceptions last year. The Lions signed Golden Tate to be their number two receiver behind Calvin Johnson. That should aid what was the third best passing unit in the league last year. The Lions struggled to defend the pass finishing 23rd in the NFL last season.

 

San Diego at Arizona

In coach Mike McCoy’s first season the Chargers got improved play from quarterback Phillip Rivers and everything went their way during week 17 leading to the franchises first playoff birth since 2009. San Diego went 9-7 straight up, 9-6-1 against the spread, and 4-3-1 against the number on the road. The Chargers were fifth in the NFL in total offense but struggled to defend the pass. Keenan Allen’s rookie year included over 1,000 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Bruce Arians took over the Cardinals last season and led them to a 10-6 record though Arizona fell short of an NFC playoff birth. The Cardinals were 10-5-1 against the spread including 5-3 at home. Arizona was fifth in the NFL in total defense including the top run defense. On offense Arizona was solid in the passing game but Rashard Mendenhall struggled on the ground. Andre Ellington will be the Cardinals go to back this year.