Welcome to the weekly picks column! Calling it a column when it’s really just a regular blog makes it sound official, which is a good bit since this is decidedly NOT official.
In year’s past I’ve done picks by selecting every game in a week based on the point spread. That is nigh impossible to do with any real success, so I changed it up a bit this season.
This year I’ll pick every game straight up, then just give the ATS picks I like, along with some over/under selections, a “lock” of the week (there’s no such thing as a lock, but again, platitudes), an “upset” of the week and a parlay of varying length because those are a fun way to make regrettable decisions.
I’ll keep a running total for each throughout the year.
Odds are provided by Tipico. To the picks!
Cowboys at Buccaneers
Seahawks at Colts
Jaguars at Texans
Eagles at Falcons
Chargers at Washington
Steelers at Bills
49ers at Lions
Vikings at Bengals
Jets at Panthers
Cardinals at Titans
Browns at Chiefs
Dolphins at Patriots
Broncos at Giants
Packers at Saints
Bears at Rams
Ravens at Raiders
Falcons (-3.5) vs. Eagles
The Falcons shouldn’t be terrible this year, and new head coach Arthur Smith should have them racking up points at a rate the Eagles can’t keep up with.
Bills (-6.5) vs. Steelers
Pittsburgh won’t be terrible, but the Bills might be the class of the NFC and this number hanging out below 7 makes it an enticing play.
Raiders (+4.5) vs. Ravens
A home dog in their season opener against a Ravens team that’s been hit hard by injury makes Las Vegas the pick. They should be able to keep this one within a field goal.
Cardinals at Titans, over 52.5
Two high-octane offenses with revamped defenses still trying to figure it out. Points should come in bunches at Nissan Stadium.
Seahawks at Colts, over 49.5
Seattle can put up points in a hurry, and Indianapolis has the weapons to hang with them. If Carson Wentz is even marginally better than he was last season, this should cruise to the over.
49ers at Lions, under 44.5
The 49ers have had Jared Goff’s number the last couple years, and Jimmy Garoppolo is a notoriously slow starter. Barring a couple defensive scores we should see this one go under.
Chiefs (-240) vs. Browns
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are undefeated in the month of September. The Browns should be really good this year and may even cover the 5.5-point spread, but it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs catching an early L at Arrowhead Stadium.
Jets (+170) at Panthers
New head coach Robert Saleh should at the very least have New York ready to go in their season opener. With no tape on rookie quarterback Zach Wilson, the Panthers defense could struggle some as well.
Lions +7.5 (-107) + Chiefs (-240)
Detroit covering the 7.5 isn’t far-fetched when considering Jimmy Garoppolo’s typically low starts and the slight edge the Lions will get playing their first game under a new head coach. Combine that with a 10:00am Pacific Time kickoff for the 49ers and Detroit should keep it close. We like tacking that onto the Chiefs’ money line for a little extra juice.