By Chad Cooper – Twitter @thechadcooper
A week out from the NFL Draft, the league has released their 2019 256-game schedule. Fan bases around the world have gone crazy while degenerates, like myself, have already began to place bets thanks to Westgate Sportsbook posting odds for Week 1. Christmas in April.
We have six months to figure this all out, but it’s never too early to talk some pigskin.
Thursday, Sept. 5
Green Bay @ Chicago (-3.5, 46) – Opening night at Soldier Field in prime time. QB Aaron Rodgers had an injury-filled season in 2018 and debuts with rookie coach Matt LaFleur against a solid Bear defense.
PICK: Gimme Rodgers and the points plus lock me in on the under 46 points.
Sunday, Sept. 8
Washington @ Philadelphia (-8, 46.5) – The ‘Skins are in a tough spot here and will likely lean on Case Keenum to run the offense. I thought Dan Snyder should have fired head coach Jay Gruden the day after he hired him. Maybe their 2018 draft class will be healthy enough to finally play. Speaking of healthy, the Eagles should sit their QB Carson Wentz the entire preseason. Washington may not score, but giving 8 points in an opening divisional rivalry game is too much.
PICK: ‘Skins +8 and the over 46.5
L.A. Rams (-2.5, 51) @ Carolina – More like the L.A. Lambs after a poor offensive performance in the Super Bowl. They take a cross-country trip to the East Coast here, but I’m not sold on Cam Newton’s shoulder yet I love a good home dog.
PICK: Carolina +2.5 and under.
Kansas City (-5.5, 52.5) @ Jacksonville – Everyone and their mommas will be on the Chiefs in this spot. The Jags got sneaky better in the offseason especially at quarterback with Nick Foles.
PICK: Upset alert with Jacksonville straight up and the over.
Tennessee @ Cleveland (-5, 45) – The Browns are favored in Week 1. Repeat. The Browns are favored in Week 1. Do you believe the hype? Shake-N-Bake avoids a sophomore slump? OBJ get enough catches?
PICK: Titans +5 and the over.
Atlanta @ Minnesota (-4.5, 47) – Both teams really stunk last season. Atlanta does have some offense, but Minnesota has a better defense and home field. Can’t believe I’m siding with Kirk Cousins here.
PICK: Minnesota -4.5 and under.
Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3.5, 38.5) – The Bills had a horrible start last season losing 7 of their first 9. They did manage to go 4-3 to finish the season, but not good enough to make the playoffs. The Jets signed 12 players in the offseason including Le’Veon Bell. Close game.
PICK: Bills +3.5 and under.
Baltimore (-3.5, 37) @ Miami – Just gross. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a home dog? Didn’t he lead the Bucs last year in a season opening win over New Orleans?
PICK: Miami +3.5 and under.
San Francisco @ Tampa Bay (-2.5, 49) – Despite the 49ers playing on the East Coast, the Bucs have a new coaching staff and bad offensive line.
PICK: SF +2.5 and under.
NY Giants @ Dallas (-7.5, 46.5) – Big NFC East matchup here. The Giants have been bad, but they do have 12 draft picks. Plus, you can’t spell “elite” without “Eli.” And who knows which Cowboy will be next be arrested or fail a drug test?
PICK: Eli +7.5 and over.
Detroit @ Arizona (PK, 49) – Texas Tech has taken over in Arizona and the Lions may have to deal with Kyler Murray.
PICK: Fighting Kingsburys & under.
Cincinnati @ Seattle (-7.5, 43.5) – The Bungles have turned to a first-time head coach and former Nebraska Cornhusker quarterback Zac Taylor to fix their train wreck. Seahawks have just made Russell Wilson the highest paid QB in the league. Maybe Ciara can write a $140 million song.
PICK: Seattle -7.5 and under.
Indianapolis @ LA Chargers (-3.5, 48) – Love this Sunday afternoon matchup. Indy plays solid football and will improve under second-year coach Frank Reich. The ‘Bolts won 12 games last season including a Wild Card playoff game against Baltimore. Despite the success, they were dead last in home attendance in 2018, so no advantage here.
PICK: Indy +3.5 and over.
Pittsburgh @ New England (-6, 53.5) – The champions of the NFL have the Sunday night NBC prime time game, which they will receive their Super Bowl rings and unveil another championship banner. The GOAT Tom Brady returns and Patriot fans want another happy ending.
PICK: Brady -6 and under.
Houston @ New Orleans (-7.5, 53.5) – The first of two Monday Night Football games. The Texans overcame a nightmare start last season to win the AFC South and will enter a hostile environment since the Saints were screwed in the NFC Championship game by the zebras. Expect all fouls to go in favor of Sean Payton.
PICK: Houston +7.5 and over.
Denver @ Oakland (-2.5, 43) – Game 2 of the Monday Night doubleheader is Da Raiders and Antonio Brown against division rival Denver, who has a completely different looking team than a year ago. Gimme Joe Flacco over any quarterback with the last name “Carr.”
PICK: Denver +2.5 and over.