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Week One Picks

September 7th, 2017

I don’t even know how to start one of these things when I don’t have previous weeks’ results to beat myself up over.

Wanna hear about my disappointing workout from this morning? I didn’t think so.

So let’s just get straight to the part where I make stupid statements about football games, shall we?

Here’s what not to expect in week one of the 2017 NFL season.

Kansas City (+9) at New England
The Chiefs were a good football team last season. And I think they’re likely to be very nearly as good this season. They’re also a well coached team that typically doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. I think that — plus the fact that the New England defense still has some coming together to do — positions Kansas City to keep this game close throughout the evening. And it’s only a late score by the Patriots that makes the victory appear more decisive than it’s likely to be. New England by 10.

NY Jets (+8) at Buffalo
The Bills aren’t a good team, but they may very well look like one coming out of this game. Buffalo by 13.

Atlanta (-7) at Chicago
Let’s say you had a football team that really needed to get its season off to a strong start, because maybe the previous campaign ended in a way that could possibly do real, long-term damage to your players’ psyches. Just a, you know, hypothetical here. But let’s say you had that situation. You could do a whole lost worse by way of your opening week opponent than the Chicago Bears. In that hypothetical situation, I mean. Falcons by double the spread.

Jacksonville (+5.5) at Houston
There’s an old saying about how if a football team has two starting quarterbacks, it really doesn’t have any. I’m not sure whether there’s a saying about two teams having no starting quarterbacks. Other than, you know, ugh. Texans by six.

Philadelphia (-1) at Washington
I feel fairly confident (it is week one, you know) that the Eagles are the better team in this match. But I’m not sure they’re better by enough to beat the Racists in their home opener. Washington by a field goal.

Arizona (-1.5) at Detroit
This looks to me like a fairly even match between a pair good but unbalanced teams. And in even matches, particularly in week one, the wise move is to go with the home team. Lions by a field goal.

Oakland (+2) at Tennessee
I think there’s an excellent chance these teams could meet again in January. And the outcome of this game could potentially determine the location of that one. Titans by a point.

Baltimore (+3) at Cincinnati
The Ravens are going to finish ahead of the Bengals in the final standings. But they’re not going to finish ahead of the Bengals on the scoreboard this weekend. Cincinnati by three.

Pittsburgh (-8.5) at Cleveland
I’ve got this weird feeling that the Browns … you’re not buying it, are you? OK, here’s the real deal: Steelers by 10.

Indianapolis (+3.5) at LA Rams
This game may well end up determining which of these teams loses more games this season. Rams by a touchdown.

Seattle (+3) at Green Bay
Fox might have caught the best game of the week to anchor its first Sunday double-header of the season. I honestly have no idea how this game is going to turn out, but I can’t wait to see it. My best guess: Packers by four.

Carolina (-5.5) at San Francisco
The Panthers are early contenders to make the Super Bowl. The 49ers are early contenders to earn the first overall pick in the 2018 draft. Carolina by something in the double digits.

NY Giants (+4) at Dallas
The Giants started have taken three in a row from the Cowboys, including a win in Dallas in week one of last season. I think they keep the streak going. New Jersey by three.

New Orleans (+3.5) at Minnesota
I think the Vikings defense can slow the Saints offense. Not sure New Orleans actually even has a defense. Minnesota by four.

LA Chargers (+3.5) at Denver
Sometimes you look at the late game in the opening Monday night double header and wonder if fans on the east coast will be able to stay awake for the conclusion. And sometimes you wonder the same thing about fans on the west coast. Denver wins a defensive struggle 13-10.

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