Oct 8, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Week 1 NFL Picks

There are three games slated for the 4 p.m. ET time slot and we have best bets on all of them, choosing the Chargers in a battle of teams struggling with terrible ATS streaks and picking the 49ers to cover a big number at home. We also like the Bucs to continue a horrible Week 1 ATS trend for the Saints. Get your remote ready and your wagering account ready.


Chargers @ Bengals

Rookie QB Joe Burrow’s debut could not come against a tougher defense, but Bengals backers hope it doesn’t change the money-making 6-1 ATS run Cincy enjoys against the Chargers. LA’s defense will be one to reckon with this year, and should be a Top 5-rated unit in the NFL. Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa should cause havoc on the young Bengals offense.

Having said all that, I do like what the Bengals have done this year. The Heisman-winning rookie QB has an arsenal of weapons in Joe Mixon, A.J Green and Tee Higgins. However the offensive line could be a problem this season despite the additions.. Jonah Jackson, their second-round pick in 2019, will slide in at RT, which has to be encouraging for the Bengals organization.

I have a hard time seeing Burrow flying out the gate with a win against the Chargers Week 1. According to SugarHouse, the line is set at Chargers -3.5. That line intrigues me, and I think they are leaving points on the table. The Bengals are 2-18 SU their past 20 as home dogs and 3-10-1 ATS in their last 14 games at home. New regime I know, but look for L.A to win and cover 3.5 easily. (See Trend Dummy’s list of 100+ Week 1 Betting Trends article.)

Prediction: Chargers -3.5


2019’s breakout team (San Francisco 49ers) will go toe to toe against a team many predict will be 2020’s breakout team (Arizona Cardinals). And the odds breakdown of this breakout game is intriguing with the Cardinals facing the biggest dog spread in Week 1 since 2004 and the 49ers trying to buck a historical (or hysterical) trend that sees Super Bowl losers also lose Week 1 of the following season.

San Francisco is looking to avoid the “Super Bowl Hangover” that many feel is inevitable. Nine out of the last 10 Super Bowl losers have won nine or more games the next season, so we think they will be just fine. Arizona gave up the 9th most rushing yards last season, so look for Kyle Shanahan to attack them at the line of scrimmage.

Arizona is my darkhorse pick in the NFC this season. Kyler Murray heads into his second season after a solid rookie campaign. Second-year HC Kliff Kingsbury will have more to work with this season, after acquiring star WR Deandre Hopkins, who just signed a lucrative contract extension.

I am high on the Cardinals this season, however not in this game. This is a very tough matchup for the Cardinals, especially for Murray. Arizona faces a defense that allowed just 19 PPG last season and I doubt there will be much of a drop off. Even though Arizona is 4-0-1 in their last five games ATS against San Francisco, I think the 49ers cover late.

Prediction: 49ers -7


If you could bet an over-under on the combined ages of the starting QBs, how often would the number be 83? That’s my fun stat of the week, but the real fun should come for those backing Tampa Bay at +5.

The Saints enter the 2020 season looking to get Drew Brees back to the Super Bowl. It is safe to say this is probably his last season in New Orleans, and the team acted like it this offseason. They acquired vets such as Malcom Jenkins, Emmanuel Sanders and drafted C Cesar Ruiz in the first round – all indicating they are going for it all this season.

Tampa Bay is also going all in this season. Tom Brady has the best set of weapons he has ever had heading into his 21st season.. Last season, the Buccaneers had the best passing offense in the NFL led by Jameis Winston. Imagine what Tom Brady can do with this offense? It is going to be an exciting season in Tampa Bay.

I expect this game to be a shootout and a close game in the end. The Saints were terrific ATS last season, going 11-4 in their last 15 games. I believe they can continue that trend and win this game outright, but five points is too much. This game has the making of a game winning field goal written all over it.

Prediction: Buccaneers +5

Brenden Deeg is from Ajax, Ontario and has been an NFL writer for over 5 years. Brenden has contributed to FanSided and 4th and Jawn. Brenden also played Defensive Line at York University, in Toronto Canada. Brenden is a Philadelphia Eagles fan, and active in the Philadelphia Eagles twitter community. You can follow his personal account here @ BrendenDeegNFP   He can reached at Brenden.Deeg@NationalFootballPost.com