We're back for another year of NFL picks. Before we get into week one however, how about a quick refresher on how we do things around here?
First, we're picking against the spread. So consider that before leaving me a comment about what an idiot I am when I pick some bad team against a good one that's favored by 2 TDs on the road... I may also offer an opinion on the winner in the blurb, but the final pick is against the spread.
To make these picks, we look at similar games models, historical models, trends and sometimes the AccuScore simulator if all else fails.
So without further ado, here are your week 1 NFL picks.
Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears (-9.5) - Right off the bat, remember what I just said about not being outraged when I pick a bad team against a good one? Get ready. The trends clearly favor a Bears victory here, but they also like a Colts cover. Teams like Indy have covered this spread 62% of the time in recent seasons. Pick: Colts
Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns (+9) - Whenever I see a big home dog like this I immediately want to go against the favorite. However, the trends here favor the Eagles. Nearly 63% of teams like the Eagles facing this spread have covered. The simulator has this one as a razor close cover with the Eagles winning by an average 26.1 to 16 in 10,000 simulations. Also, take the over in this one. Pick: Eagles
St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions (-7.5) - The Lions are going to score a lot of points in this game and its hard to see how St Louis keeps up. Detroit covers 63% of the time in games like this. Pick: Lions
New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans (+5.5) - Teams like the Pats cover 85% of the time in games with a 5.5 point spread. However, the simulator has the Titans covering. So a bit of a split decision here. Pick: Patriots
Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs (+3) - Dome team playing outside on the road against an out of conference home dog? A lot of trends work against the Falcons here and the similar games models bear that out. They have Atlanta covering only a bit above 50% of the time. This is a not a high confidence pick. Pick: Chiefs
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings (-4) - The least predictable games are ones between bad teams. Literally anything could happen. The trends offer us almost thing here. In the 25 most similar historical games, the record against the spread is 12-12-1. In these cases, I just go with the home team. Pick: Vikings
Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints (-7) - For just a winner, the trends strongly favor the Saints here. However, against the spread we're split. The similar games spread favors Washington, while the historical games model favors the Saints. Like above, I go with the home team. Pick: Saints
Buffalo Bills at NY Jets (-2.5) -The line makes this nearly a pick, but the trends all favor Buffalo here. The Jets offense was horrendous in preseason, while the Bills' D could be one of the better in the league. I like Buffalo to win outright here, as does the simulator. Pick: Bills
Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans (-11.5) - Houston is a big favorite here, which is always scary and in this case, the trends don't really exist. There's only been one other similar game with this spread in recent seasons. But we've got a rookie QB on the road in his debut with a bad team against a good one, the Texans are a decent play despite the huge line. Pick: Texans
Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) - This is one of the tougher ones to pick as the trends are split right down the middle. The AccuScore sim is very close, but tips this one. Pick: Seahawks
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1) - Similar games model pretty strongly favors the Panthers here, but I'm not sure how much trust I have in that one given that the Bucs are a team we know so little about and has so many new parts. Pick: Panthers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (-1) - The return of Peyton Manning, a national TV game, a one point line. This one has all the makings of an epic affair. The trends, though, really do like the Broncos. Pick: Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-6) - This one is very close and while the models point to a Baltimore victory, they're very split on a Baltimore cover. I used the simulator to break the tie. Pick: Bengals
San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (-1) - These last few are really close aren't they? The issue here seems to be that bettors don't really know what to think of these two teams just yet. The trends are rather split here and don't offer much help. So I go with the home team. Pick: Raiders