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NFL Week 1 picks against the spread: Dancing Shoes on the Plains

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Weather forecasting on violence and cold cash.

NFL: JUL 27 Bears Training Camp Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Football’s return brings a menagerie of degeneration, lunacy and luck. It’s a panoply, all those other big words that you break out when you want to seem fancy for a date or a boss or maybe you’re just playing Scrabble. We don’t judge, and to be quite honest I don’t know how to use them half the time. It almost seems a waste to use them here in a gambling column, but if you can’t cast the pearls before sweaty money hogs, what are you good for anyway?

We’re looking for winners and nothing but the winners. All losers may proceed to the nearest exits and depart via inflatable raft. We post no records and we hold no liabilities, but on the plus side, there’s no promo codes or ask of a credit card. Scared money makes no money, and smart money sounds nice.

Chicago -3 vs. Green Bay

Continuing with a trend of Bears fans absolutely wilding out and continuing to paint Chicago as a land of drunken idiots snarling at anything that gets in their way, Chicago has received the most bets to win the Super Bowl, edging out the Browns (more on that, never). This was also the same surge of testicular swaggering we saw that propelled Mitchell Trubisky towards the most bets taken for league MVP.

Neither of those apply here, but given the public sentiment towards the Bears, it’s easy to fade them on Thursday. However, I don’t believe much in the Packers at this moment—penciling them in for 12 wins is a fool’s errand, with or without a new offense that will take growing pains alongside an aging Aaron Rodgers. Growing pains and an early stage might not lead for fun times in Chicagoland, and the spread is respectable—so long as the Bears don’t try to kick a game-winning field goal.

Minnesota -4 vs. Atlanta

Keeping with the NFC North, you’ll find that the Vikings are a preferable bet. Not only are they playing in a dome much like their own, they also happened to be healthy. You might not be able to say that for long given past trends!

Tennessee +5.5 @ Cleveland

Fade another popular pick early in the year. The Titans are almost as strong as the Browns right now, and my new favorite to take the AFC South. With value on their side, it’s a quick fade against the public and a comfortable bet, not unlike southern cooking.

There it is, regional cliché has been filled in. You always need one for every sports betting column.

Jets -3 vs. Buffalo

This is going to suck, but the Jets are going to be pretty good this year. Not only that, they might also be fun. It’s a sickening feeling to know that New Yorkers might truly be happy about something this year, but bear with it; it’s liable to collapse before too long. This early in the season, I like the Jets to upset preseason excitement that has crept its way into the system of Buffalo. Josh Allen is slick, but Sam Darnold is slicker.

Baltimore -6.5 @ Miami

Catch this line under a touchdown where you can. Baltimore opened at a meager -3.5 before the Dolphins started to sell off assets like another famous Miami sports franchise. Caesar Sportsbook reported last week that nine times as much money has been placed on the Ravens compared to the Dolphins. However, if you’re on the wrong side of the hook there might not be as much value.

Cincinnati +9.5 @ Seattle

More inside Vegas chatter, as an overwhelming amount of bets are on Seattle to clean up against a hapless-looking Bengals squad. However, big money is also finding its way to the Cincinnati money line. I’m not that canny nor crazy, but there’s good value on the spread right here.