Glory is upon us. Football is back. I can say those words a million times and they would always be exciting. As much as I love week 1, the stakes aren't usually very high for me, especially as a Jets fan. It's much more about the celebration of the sport. If you want to raise the stakes a little, here is my pick for each major time slot.
All lines and odds are according to the MGM Grand Sportsbook. All times are EST.
1 PM Game:Eagles vs. The Football Team
While I think this game is a clear victory for the Eagles, I definitely think it's well worth a watch to not only see Washington in their first game under their new, temporary moniker, but to see Dwayne Haskins begin his sophomore campaign. It seems that Riverboat Ron has been putting a lot of positive pressure on Haskins to be a leader both on the field and in the locker room for Washington, and I think the rising star is more than up to the challenge.
Unfortunately, Washington's defense is not up to speed. Both meetings between Washington and Philadelphia last season hit the over, with Washington's defense averaging a total of 27.2 points allowed per game last season. Alshon Jeffry is listed as questionable for Philly, and Miles Sanders is out, but I really don't think that's going to stop them from running up the scoreboard.
My Pick: Eagles -5.5 (-110)
4: 25 PM Game: Bucs vs Saints
This is THE game to watch today, and it will be again on Week 9. Two of the greatest quarterbacks of their generation battling it out in the same division is a blessing so great that I don't think we can even fathom it yet.
My gut wants me to pick Saints -3.5. I think Tampa will be good this year, but I just don;t think their offense has gelled enough yet. Drew Brees, however, has stated that the Saints are on a "Super Bowl or Bust" mindset, so expect them to come out of the gate as hot as ever. Making a statement against the GOAT on Week 1 would surely let the Football world know that they're not taking this claim lightly.
Regardless of the winner, I'm expecting a shootout along the likes of a 35-28 final score.
My Pick: Over 47.5 (-110)
Prime Time Game: Cowboys vs Rams
I predict the Rams offense to struggle in Week 1 in the same way I think the Bucs could struggle; I like what's there, but a lot of pieces have moved around since the offseason. I like the extension for Cooper Kupp, but the loss of Gurley and Cooks was a lot. However, the Rams offense is as deep as ever, and experts expect a lot of substitutions to not only keep the defense guessing but also to provide fresh weapons for Goff. Expect this first week to play a lot like the cancelled preseason. Coaches are going to be making a lot of decisions you wouldn't normally see to make up for the month of exhibition play they lost.
Like Tampa-New Orleans, I'm expecting a Goff-Prescott shootout.
My Pick: Over 51.5 (-110)