NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1, 2023: Late Games

Aaron Rodgers Jets
NFL Picks (Preseason 2023): 4-7 (-$905)
2023 NFL Picks: 4-7 (-$905)

2022 NFL Picks: 154-134-8 (+$9,860)
2021 NFL Picks: 153-141-2 (+$210)
NFL Picks (2020): 138-124-7 (+$9,350)
NFL Picks (2019): 148-128-9 (+$1,200)
NFL Picks (2018): 140-134-12 (+$845)
NFL Picks (2017): 137-147-10 (-$4,300)
NFL Picks (2016): 148-127-10 (+$780)
NFL Picks (2015): 133-138-10 (-$3,215)
NFL Picks (2014): 143-133-7 (-$1,885)
NFL Picks (2013): 144-131-8 (+$7,825)
NFL Picks (2012): 130-145-8 (-$7,445)
NFL Picks (2011): 137-133-12 (-$1,335)
NFL Picks (2010): 144-131-8 (+$5,880)
NFL Picks (2009): 151-124-9 (+$4,235)
NFL Picks (2008): 136-125-6 (+$6,105)
NFL Picks (2007): 162-135-10 (+$3,585)
If you don’t quite understand the line, total or anything else, go to my Sports Betting FAQ.

Vegas betting action updated Sept. 10, 11:35 a.m. ET. Follow @walterfootball for updates.


Go to Week 1 NFL Picks – Early Games




NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1 Late Games


Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Chicago Bears (0-0)
Line: Bears by 1.5. Total: 44.5.

Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 PM


The Matchup. Edge: Packers.

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CHICAGO OFFENSE: Everyone seems to love the Bears this season because of Justin Fields. And how could you not? Fields made some amazing plays with his legs last year, and he now has a viable No. 1 receiver in D.J. Moore. On the surface, things are looking way up in Chicago.

In reality, there’s not such a cause for optimism, as the Bears still have some major problems with their roster. On this side of the ball, it would be their offensive line. Things looked promising in that regard earlier in the offseason when Chicago signed Nate Davis and then drafted Darnell Wright. However, Teven Jenkins was placed on injured reserve. Jenkins was a key component of Chicago’s offensive line last year, so he’ll sorely be missed in the trenches. The Packers have talent on the defensive line to exploit this.

The Bears can counter this pass rush by establishing Khalil Herbert. I don’t know why people are so down on Herbert in fantasy circles, but I’m a big fan. Herbert has a great matchup against a Green Bay defense that was 29th versus the rush last year.

GREEN BAY OFFENSE: The Bears have greater problems on this side of the ball. Outside of the off-ball linebackers, their front seven is a disaster. The Bears have no pass rush to speak of, and they’ll also figure to struggle versus the run. As bad as the Packers were versus the rush last year, the Bears were even worse, ranking 31st!

Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon figure to dominate on the ground, which is crucial, given the Packers’ quarterback situation. “No Cookie” Jordan Love will be making his first start as the Packers’ full-time No. 1 quarterback, so it remains to be seen how he’ll perform. I’ll bet that Love will be thankful that he’ll be able to lean on Jones and Dillon so much.

Then again, Love may not even need their help, given the matchup. Again, the Bears won’t be able to rattle him, so Love will have all the time he needs to locate his young receivers. Those wideouts won’t face much resistance against some shaky cornerback play.

RECAP: The Bears have been the greatest hype team in the NFL this offseason. I’ve seen some wild predictions, with some known writers projecting a 12-5 record. I think Chicago will be improved this year, but 12-5 is pretty insane for a team with some massive holes on the roster.

Speaking of which, given all the holes the Bears have, I struggle to see where they are better than the Packers. I’d say quarterback, No. 1 receiver, and linebacker. That’s pretty much it. The Packers are even or better everywhere else, and in some places, it’s not even close. The Bears have no pass rush or run defense to speak of. They also will struggle to block without Jenkins.

Given that, I believe the wrong team is favored in this matchup. There’s a chance the Packers will lose because Love will be terrible, but it’s more likely that he’ll just be mediocre, which will be good enough for the Packers to get the win.

THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Christian Watson popped up on the injury report with a hamstring. I don’t really trust Wednesday injury reports, so we’ll see what happens. Watson being out obviously isn’t ideal, but it’s not a deal-breaker.

SATURDAY NOTES: Christian Watson has been ruled out. This is annoying, but it’s no deal-breaker. However, if Romeo Doubs is also sidelined – he was LLL in practice – I’ll reduce this unit count because the Packers will be pretty short-handed at one position.

SATURDAY NOTES II: The Packers didn’t call up any receivers from the practice squad, so it sounds as though Romeo Doubs will play.

SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Romeo Doubs will play, but it sounds like he’s going to be limited. I still like the Packers, but I’m going to drop this wager to three units.

FINAL THOUGHTS: There was sharp money on the Packers earlier in the week, but that went away in the wake of the Doubs news (I think?) Either way, I still like the Packers for three units. The best line is +1.5 -110 at Bovada and Caesars.





The Motivation. Edge: None.
No edge found.


The Spread. Edge: None.

WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Packers -2.
Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
Computer Model: Bears -1.






The Vegas. Edge: None.
Equal action.

Percentage of money on Green Bay: 53% (164,000 bets)


The Trends. Edge: Packers.
  • History: Packers have won 17 of the last 19 meetings.
  • Packers are 61-37 ATS in divisional games since 2006.
  • Opening Line: Bears -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.5.
  • Weather: Slight possible rain, 70 degrees. Mild wind, 12 mph.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Packers 27, Bears 24
    Packers +1.5 (3 Units) – Bovada/Caesars — Correct; +$300
    Over 43 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Packers 38, Bears 20




    Las Vegas Raiders (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
    Line: Broncos by 3.5. Total: 42.5.

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    DENVER OFFENSE: The Broncos were very disappointing this preseason, and I’m obviously not talking about the bogus victory they had over the Rams backups in the finale. When matched up against teams that were trying, the Broncos struggled to move the ball, thanks to their offensive line performing poorly. Garett Bolles was especially woeful.

    One of the reasons I liked the Broncos heading into 2023 was because Bolles was returning from injury, but if he continues to be sluggish, Russell Wilson will have trouble staying upright against the Raiders’ fearsome pass rush. This is all too familiar for Wilson, who had poor blocking in front of him last year.

    While the Raiders are great at generating pressure, they can’t do much else on this side of the ball. This includes defending the run; they were 27th in that regard last year. I don’t like Javonte Williams very much this year, so perhaps Samaje Perine could have a quality performance in his debut with the Broncos.

    LAS VEGAS OFFENSE: The Raiders also have their problems offensively, as their blocking wasn’t repaired this offseason. We know they wanted to do this because they were targeting Paris Johnson with the seventh-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft before the Cardinals traded up and sniped him.

    Jimmy Garoppolo was used to terrific blocking in San Francisco, so this change will come as quite a shock to him. Garoppolo has proven to be a very effective game manager, but only when conditions have been ideal. I don’t trust him to be as effective as Derek Carr when things begin breaking down in the pocket. I’m not even that much of a Carr fan, but Garoppolo has not proven he can succeed in this regard.

    Garoppolo can at least lean on Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, and Jakobi Meyers. These are quality weapons that could do some damage against Denver’s defense. The damage will be inconsistent, however, because of the offensive line-related problems.

    RECAP: I really don’t know what to make of this game because I don’t have a good read on the Broncos. I liked them earlier in the summer, but they’ve had receiver injuries and blocking issues in training camp and the preseason. I’ve been especially disappointed by their offensive line, and Bolles in particular. I thought getting him back from injury would have been a big plus, but it’s not looking that way.

    With that in mind, I can’t justify laying four points with Denver. However, I’m not excited to back the Raiders either. I believe there’s a chance the Raiders will be pretty dreadful this season. I need to see Garoppolo perform well outside of Kyle Shanahan’s offense, especially with Shanahan to Josh McDaniels being quite the downgrade.

    I’m still going to pick the Raiders because Denver is a greater unknown, but I’m pretty far from betting either side.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: It sounds as though Jerry Jeudy may play in this game, though I’m concerned that he’s going to aggravate his hamstring if he returns too early.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Jerry Jeudy practiced fully Friday, which is good news for him. Meanwhile, the Raiders won’t have Chandler Jones, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about that if you already like the Raiders. I’m completely off this game.

    NFL PLAYER PROP: I’ve been using OddsShopper to find the best EVs on player props, and I like this one: Austin Hooper under 17.5 receiving yards -115 at BetMGM. Is Austin Hooper still even alive? I forgot he was in the NFL. Why would he eclipse this total? According to OddsShopper, -115 is the best vig by far for this prop. To find the best odds for any spread or prop, you can sign up for OddsShopper here!

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The Broncos have become appealing now that the line is -3. Appealing, as in just picking them in pools. I still don’t know what to make of this team, so I’m going to stay away.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The Broncos are -3 everywhere now except FanDuel, where you can get the Raiders at +3.5 -120, which is definitely worth it. Either way, I’m not betting this game.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Broncos -2.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Broncos -4.






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Las Vegas: 54% (111,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Home Team has won 11 of the last 14 meetings (Raiders won last five).
  • Opening Line: Broncos -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 44.
  • Weather: Possible rain, 70 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Broncos 23, Raiders 22
    Raiders +3.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Under 42.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Player Prop: Austin Hooper Under 17.5 Receiving Yards -115 (0.3 Units) — Incorrect; -$35
    Raiders 17, Broncos 16




    Miami Dolphins (0-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-0)
    Line: Chargers by 3. Total: 50.5.

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: Chargers.

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    SAN ANGELES OFFENSE: The Chargers didn’t have Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for many games last year. They played in their matchup versus the Chargers, however, and they were both able to enjoy brilliant performances because Miami’s secondary had no chance against them. The Dolphins thought they solved that problem when they traded for Jalen Ramsey in the offseason, relinquishing a third-round pick for the Pro Bowl corner.

    Well, so much for that. Ramsey will be out until at least December, so the Dolphins are, as a Hall of Fame running back once said, back to square zero. This is an easy matchup for Justin Herbert and his receivers with Ramsey sidelined.

    The Dolphins were better versus the run than the pass last year, and not just by default. They were in the top 10 of this category, restricting Austin Ekeler to just 45 rushing yards. Ekeler, however, had a big receiving performance with eight catches for 59 receiving yards.

    MIAMI OFFENSE: While Herbert torched the Dolphins in the 2022 meeting, Tua Tagovailoa didn’t perform nearly as well. In fact, Tagovailoa was a miserable 10-of-28 for 145 yards and a touchdown. The Chargers hounded him in the pocket, and yet Joey Bosa didn’t even play in that game.

    The Dolphins block poorly, so with Bosa back to bookend Khalil Mack, the Chargers will dominate in the trenches. I’m sure Tagovailoa will still have big plays when connecting with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, but those will be few and far between this week.

    Miami’s best hope of moving the chains is establishing the run, whether it’s with Raheem Mostert, De’Von Achane, or Salmon Head. The Chargers had a bottom-five rush defense last year, so the opportunity could be there. However, that won’t be the case if the Dolphins fall way behind in the early portion of this game.

    RECAP: Man, the public loves the Dolphins. More than 70 percent of the bets are coming in on Miami, which seems crazy to me. The Dolphins have some great talent, but they also have some big problems with their offensive line and secondary.

    The Chargers, on the other hand, are a complete team. That may change in the near future when they begin suffering their usual injuries, but they’re healthy right now. It’s actually crazy to think that they made the playoffs last year as the No. 5 seed despite all the key players they missed throughout the season. Bosa played just two whole games, for example. Ra’Shawn Slater was barely on the field. The receivers missed ample time as well.

    I think there’s a good chance the Chargers just destroy the Dolphins. They’re the better team, and I don’t think it’s particularly close. Heck, the Chargers beat the Dolphins last year without Bosa, Slater, and Derwin James! If they won by six under those conditions, shouldn’t this matchup be more lopsided?

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: I still don’t get all the love for Miami. The Chargers are a better team and should be more than -3.

    SATURDAY NOTES: Terron Armstead is out for the Dolphins, which is huge news. I don’t see how Miami is going to block against one of the top pass rushes in the NFL. I wasn’t surprised at all to see the sharps pounce on the Chargers as a result. I’m going to increase my unit count to five.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: With the sharp money coming in on the Chargers, I’m surprised that this line hasn’t inched toward -3.5.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Again, the sharps have been on the Chargers ever since the Terron Armstead news, but the line hasn’t budged. The best line is -3 -108 at Bookmaker.




    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Chargers.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Chargers -4.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Chargers -3.






    The Vegas. Edge: Chargers.
    Everyone loves the Dolphins.

    Percentage of money on Miami: 63% (136,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Dolphins.
  • Dolphins are 27-15 ATS as a road underdog of less than 5 since 2008.
  • Chargers are 18-25 ATS in San Angeles.
  • Justin Herbert is 9-13 ATS as a favorite of -3 or more.
  • Opening Line: Chargers -2.5.
  • Opening Total: 49.5.
  • Weather: Dome.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Chargers 34, Dolphins 24
    Chargers -3 -108 (5 Units) – Bookmaker — Incorrect; -$540
    Over 50.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Dolphins 36, Chargers 34




    Philadelphia Eagles (0-0) at New England Patriots (0-0)
    Line: Eagles by 3.5. Total: 44.5.

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    PHILADELPHIA OFFENSE: It’s not often that you have a team possessing a big matchup edge against Bill Belichick’s defense. It happens on occasion, however, and this is one such example.

    I don’t know why, but Belichick’s defenses have often struggled to defend mobile quarterbacks. Jalen Hurts obviously qualifies as such. This will be the first time Hurts will be battling Belichick, but that didn’t bother Justin Fields very much when he ripped through the matchup in a Monday night blowout victory.

    Also, Belichick is tremendous at taking away one aspect of an opposing offense. If he does that in this game by removing A.J. Brown, he still needs to worry about DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert on top of Hurts’ scrambling. The Eagles have too many weapons for Belichick to nullify.

    NEW ENGLAND OFFENSE: Patriot fans were hoping for two major changes to the offense this offseason. They received one wish, which was a real offensive coordinator. Though Belichick and Nick Saban have never won a championship with Bill O’Brien as their offensive coordinator, there’s no arguing that O’Brien is better suited to coach the Patriots’ offense than Matt Patricia.

    The second wish never came to fruition. That was a better offensive line. The Patriots are going to struggle to block this year, especially when battling teams with an elite pass rush. The Eagles certainly have one of those, especially now that Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith are joining a group that nearly set the league record for sacks last year.

    The only hope the Patriots have is to run the ball effectively with Rhamondre Stevenson and Ezekiel Elliott, which will keep Philadelphia’s offense off the field. The Eagles were weaker to the run than the pass last year, but only by default by the end of the year when Jordan Davis had returned from injury.

    RECAP: This is the most fascinating game of the week to handicap because there’s such a major conflict.

    On one hand, look at the coaching mismatch and motivational angles. Belichick has had all year to prepare for this game. Conversely, the Eagles are breaking in two new coordinators. Belichick should be able to outsmart them in his sleep, especially when considering that the Eagles will have one eye on their Week 2 matchup against the Vikings because it’s being played just four days later.

    On the other hand, the Eagles are so much better than the Patriots. Not only do they have the superior talent; they also possess a scrambling quarterback. As discussed earlier, mobile signal-callers have destroyed Belichick’s defenses over the years. Furthermore, the Eagles boast an elite offensive line that can nullify the best aspect of the Patriots’ personnel, which is their pass rush.

    I’ve gone back and forth on this one. I’ll settle with the Eagles because the most likely result of this game might be Philadelphia winning by three, but I’m not really sure.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: New England’s struggling and injured offensive line makes them a tough sell, but Bill Belichick’s massive coaching edge can’t be emphasized enough.

    SATURDAY NOTES: The sharps love the Patriots. I want to as well, but I can’t get over the massive on-field edge the Eagles have in this game.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Again, the sharps are all over the Patriots. I don’t plan on betting this game.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: The sharps have taken this line down to +3.5 -110, and I don’t see anything better than that. The Eagles have the better roster on paper, but this is a very difficult spot for them.





    The Motivation. Edge: Patriots.
    The Eagles play against the Vikings four days after this game.


    The Spread. Edge: None.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Eagles -6.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Eagles -2.






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on Philadelphia: 52% (178,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • Opening Line: Eagles -4.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.
  • Weather: Possible rain, 78 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Eagles 21, Patriots 20
    Patriots +3.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Under 44.5 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Eagles 25, Patriots 20




    Los Angeles Rams (0-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-0)
    Line: Seahawks by 5. Total: 46.

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 4:25 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    LOS ANGELES OFFENSE: The big news concerning this game is that Cooper Kupp may miss it. Kupp is dealing with a hamstring injury, and he even went to a specialist to determine what the problem happens to be. It’s sounding like he may sit out this matchup, but there’s a chance he’ll fight through it.

    Kupp’s absence may seem like a big blow for the Rams’ chances in this game, at least before considering that the Rams nearly defeated the Seahawks twice late last year, and Kupp wasn’t available for either matchup. Matthew Stafford wasn’t either, and he’s back at 100-percent capacity. The Seahawks struggle to put pressure on the quarterback, so Stafford will enjoy a nice matchup, regardless of Kupp’s availability.

    Cam Akers also figures to perform well. The Seahawks had the worst run defense in the NFL last year, which obviously bodes well for Akers. Seattle made a couple of signings this offseason to help in that area, but I don’t think the front office did enough.

    SEATTLE OFFENSE: I never would have imagined writing these words a year ago to this day, but Geno Smith will have to lead the Seahawks to many shootout victories because his defense is so bad. While that could be an issue for Smith versus elite defenses, the Rams certainly provide an easy matchup for him to begin this season.

    The Rams still have Aaron Donald on the roster, but they have major holes throughout the defense. This includes the pass rush outside of Donald. Unless Donald can fight through double and triple teams, I don’t see how the Rams will place any pressure on Smith. Their Jalen Ramsey-less cornerback group, meanwhile, will struggle to cover the dynamic Seattle wideouts.

    In addition to Ramsey, the Rams also lost Bobby Wagner, whose absence will have a profound impact on the run defense. Thus, the Seahawks shouldn’t have any trouble establishing Kenneth Walker or Zach Charbonnet.

    RECAP: Things come in threes, and this is the third instance where it was beneficial to bet this game during the summer. The Rams were +6.5 and +6 for a while, but the line has since fallen to +5.5, thanks to sharp action on the underdog.

    I still love the Rams at +5.5, however. That’s because my projected line for this game is just Seattle -2.

    If that seems way off to you, consider that the Rams nearly beat the Seahawks twice last year despite missing Stafford, Kupp, and Donald in both matchups. This is because the Seahawks were greatly overrated last year, and that still happens to be the case. Seattle’s defense is miserable, struggling to generate pressure and stop the run. Wagner will help, but he’s not the player he once was.

    Now, there’s a chance Kupp could be sidelined, which stinks. However, I’m not too concerned. This spread is still incorrect, and these teams are close enough that a three-point victory in either direction seems like the most likely outcome.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: Cooper Kupp has been ruled out, which sucks. I still like the Rams, but why hasn’t the line moved back up to +6? Something tells me the sharps still like the Rams as well.

    SATURDAY NOTES: So much for the line possibly going up to +6. The public has pounced on Seattle, thinking the Cooper Kupp injury is some ground-breaking news, yet the spread hasn’t budged at all.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: The sharps continue to pound the Rams, as they seemingly don’t care at all about the Cooper Kupp injury.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: Nothing has changed since this morning. The sharps have dropped this line considerably. The best number I see is +4.5 -110 at Caesars and BetMGM.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Rams.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Seahawks -2.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Seahawks -9.






    The Vegas. Edge: Rams.
    Equal action early, but public money has come in on the Seahawks because Cooper Kupp is out.

    Percentage of money on Seattle: 73% (115,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: None.
  • History: Rams have won 12 of the last 19 meetings.
  • Sean McVay is 5-1 ATS in Week 1 games.
  • Seahawks are 29-18 ATS in September home games since 2000.
  • Seahawks are 56-43 ATS as home favorites since 2007.
  • Opening Line: Seahawks -6.5.
  • Opening Total: 45.5.
  • Weather: Cloudy, 74 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Seahawks 23, Rams 22
    Rams +5 (5 Units) — Correct; +$500
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Rams 30, Seahawks 13




    Dallas Cowboys (0-0) at New York Giants (0-0)
    Line: Cowboys by 3.5. Total: 46.5.

    Sunday, Sept. 10, 8:20 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

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    DALLAS OFFENSE: Kellen Moore is no longer the offensive coordinator of the Cowboys. Mike McCarthy seemed excited about the change, promising to run the ball more in the wake of Moore’s departure. McCarthy apparently thinks the year is still 1995. If Emmitt Smith were playing for him, he’d probably have the right approach.

    Sadly, this is not the case. Tony Pollard is a great talent, but the best way to utilize him is to get him in space. I’m not confident that McCarthy and his stooges will figure that out, which could cause problems against teams that can shut down the run. With the talent they possess on the defensive line, the Giants figure to be better versus the rush than the pass.

    If the Cowboys end up throwing more than running, they should have success against the Giants. Their offensive line should be able to shield Dak Prescott rather well, while CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks will be able to get open against a weak cornerback group.

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: The Giants are much better coached than the Cowboys, so I’m way more confident that Brian Daboll will figure out how to utilize his new pieces. Daniel Jones had no one to throw to last year, but Darren Waller and Jalin Hyatt are intriguing weapons he now has at his disposal.

    Jones should also have improved blocking. The Giants found a new center in the second round of the draft, while one of last year’s two top-10 picks, Evan Neal, should improve his dreadful play from last year, perhaps like Andrew Thomas, who was woeful as a rookie and then blossomed into a Pro Bowl left tackle. Even if Neal improves just a bit, that should help Jones against Dallas’ terrific pass rush.

    Of course, there’s also Saquon Barkley. The Cowboys ranked third versus the run last year, but Barkley is capable of being a dangerous threat as a receiver out of the backfield.

    RECAP: I think the Giants are underrated. Everyone expects them to regress this year because they had plenty of close calls last year while navigating through an easy schedule. While this is true, the Giants also did enough this offseason to improve their team. This should nullify that regression.

    With that in mind, I like the Giants at +3.5 in this game. I don’t think the Cowboys should be favored by more than three against them. In fact, Dallas -1.5 is my calculated line. If I’m correct, that gives us a marginal difference of 11.1 percent, which is massive. Imagine if you improved your handicapping win percentage by 11.1 percent. You’d be rich in no time!

    I worry a bit that I’m wrong about the Giants, and I think the Cowboys are the better team, so this won’t be a huge wager. However, I’ll be placing at least a couple of units on New York.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: This line has dropped to +3 in many sportsbooks, as there’s some sharp money coming in on the Giants. It’s nice to see that, but it’s not great to lose a complete victory with the most important key number.

    SATURDAY NOTES: We have significant injury news in this game. The Cowboys could be without two offensive linemen. Tyler Smith is doubtful, while Tyron Smith is questionable after being downgraded during the week. Knowing the latter Smith, he won’t be close to 100 percent if he plays. Things could get rough for the left side of Dallas’ offensive line, so the Giants suddenly look pretty appealing. I’m going to increase the unit count to three.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: We have very important injury news we’re waiting on pertaining to Dallas’ offensive line. Check back around 7:45 Eastern for my final thoughts. Hopefully the site won’t suck by then.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: As a Giants backer, it’s disappointing that Tyron Smith will play. However, he may not be 100 percent. I like the Giants for three units. We’re betting up to +3.5 -120, which you can do at Bookmaker and Caesars. There’s a slight sharp lean on the Giants.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Giants.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Cowboys -3.5.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Cowboys -4.






    The Vegas. Edge: None.
    Equal action.

    Percentage of money on New York: 56% (142,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Giants.
  • History: Cowboys have won 16 of the last 20 meetings.
  • The underdog is 116-89 ATS in Cowboys games since 2010.
  • Opening Line: Cowboys -3.5.
  • Opening Total: 46.5.
  • Weather: Possible rain, 77 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Cowboys 28, Giants 27
    Giants +3.5 -120 (3 Units) – Bookmaker/Caesars — Incorrect; -$360
    Over 46 (0 Units) — Incorrect; $0
    Cowboys 40, Giants 0




    Buffalo Bills (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)
    Line: Bills by 2.5. Total: 45.5.

    Monday, Sept. 11, 8:15 PM


    The Matchup. Edge: None.

    This week on ESPN, we’re going to have awful announcers calling the shots instead the great preseason homers like Kevin Reilly, Ron Wolfley and Don Tollefson, inept ESPN guys Emmitt, Herman Edwards, and aloof people like Jay Cutler. Here’s what it would sound like if some of these dudes (and some special guests) were calling this game:

    Reilly: Welcome to the city of North Jersey, where tonight, the Buffalo Sabres take on the New York Sabres. Guys, I’m excited about this new season, and so are our producers. They said that we need to match ESPN’s impeccable fantasy football coverage by having an eight-man fantasy football mock draft after the season starts. That will really help inform our viewers about fantasy football! I’ll pick last because I need to ask Mother’s permission if I can partake in this fantasy mock draft. Hopefully she doesn’t say that fantasy football is the devil! Emmitt, you’re on the clock.

    Emmitt: Thanks, Locke. But I am afraidfulnes that you are mistaking. I just check what I sit on, and I am not sit on a clock right now. Sit on a clock does not even sound like it would be very comfortableness.

    Reilly: No, Emmitt, it’s just an expression. Tolly, will you make a pick instead?

    Tollefson: I’ll take that blonde in the third row, and that brunette in the fifth row. Which one of those do you think will be the better sex slave for me? I’m torn on this, guys, help me out here.

    Reilly: Tolly, we’re supposed to pick football players, not girls. Mother would definitely not let me play if it involved girls. Trust me, I’m a fantasy football expert. I’ve played fantasy football by myself for years now without Mother knowing. I’ve won every league I’ve been in!

    John Fetterman: Hello, fantasy football is a bridge. The cow muscular orange juice pen. Good Christmas, everyone.

    Reilly: Wow, I can see why people voted for you, John Festerman! Our country is better in your hands! Anyway, can someone make a real pick while I wait for Mother to get back to me? Her beeper might be in the other room, so maybe she didn’t hear that I paged her.

    Adam Schefter: Kevin, I would participate in fantasy football, but I have breaking news. Covid has returned, so I’m going to have to refrain from making any picks because I might get sick. I’ve already injected the Covid vaccine 96 times into my anus, but you can never be too safe. Back to you, Kevin.

    Reilly: Schefter, you are such a wuss! Anyway, let’s get a pick from our special guest tonight, Mitchell McConnell!

    Mitch McConnell: Excuse me a second, I was finishing up on extracting wealth from Americans. You know, back in my day, we didn’t have fantasy, so …

    Reilly: Whoops, looks like Mitch McConnell ran out of energy again. Can someone make a pick? What about you Robert Peters, I mean Joe Biden?

    Joe Biden: Now look here, you fat transcontinental railroad, some people are talking about fantasy, so let me tell you a thing or two about fantasy. I met this girl the other day, and I says, “Sally, why don’t you come with me into the shower?” But her father was a real bad dude. He said, “Look, Robert Peters, you can’t take my 2-year-old daughter into the showers,” and I said, “Look, fat, your daughter doesn’t look a day younger than three, which is why I asked her to come into the shower with me, I would never ask a 2-year-old daughter to come into the showers with me,” but then I had the secret service wrap the guy up in chains, and then I took his daughter into the showers.

    Donald Trump: Excuse me, excuse me, Sleepy Joe is wrong, wrong, excuse me, excuse me, Sleepy Joe was talking about showers, but he doesn’t know anything about showers, especially when compared to me because I know the most about showers, frankly, and I know more about showers than Sleepy Joe, who is a disgrace and a total disaster, frankly, and Sleepy Joe doesn’t know anything about fantasy either, I know more about fantasy than Sleepy Joe, and I don’t even know anything about fantasy, but I talk to the best experts, frankly, and everyone tells me, “Donald, you know what? You’d be the best fantasy player to ever live,” and I say, “No, you’re being too kind,” and they keep insisting that I would win every fantasy league I’m in, so maybe I’ll give it a try sometime, and I’ll probably win because we win a lot here. We certainly win more than Sleepy Joe.

    Wolfley: I WILL MAKE THE FIRST PICK IN THIS FANTASY DRAFT. WITH THE FIRST PICK, I WILL PICK A GUY WHO REMINDS ME OF A WATERMELON WITH FIVE TWIGS ATTACHED TO HIM.

    Reilly: OK, we’re off to a great start with the watermelon with five twigs being the first pick. Now- wait, hold on. I’m getting a call. Hello, Mother. Oh no, I can’t play!? Fantasy football is the devil? And I won’t get macaroni and cheese for dinner if I play? Ugh, fine! And yes, I’ll massage your feet when I get home. Goodbye, Mother. Hey, New Daddy, can you convince Mother to let me play fantasy football with the big boys?

    Jay Cutler: Nah. But how would you play with the big boys anyway when you have such a small wang?

    Reilly: New Daddy, you weren’t supposed to tell anyone!

    Charles Davis: Kevin, sounds like you’re discussing different names for male body parts, Kevin. How about wang, Kevin? That was already mentioned, so how about member, Kevin? Use it in a sentence, OK, Kevin has a small member. What about Johnson, Kevin? Use it in sentence, Kevin, no lady wants to touch Kevin’s tiny Johnson, Kevin. What else, Kevin, maybe bratwurst, Kevin. Everyone laughs at Kevin, Kevin, for having a small bratwurst, Kevin. How about the old, classic dick, Kevin? Kevin is a giant dick, Kevin, but not literally because he has a small dick, Kevin.

    Reilly: F**K YOU, CHARLES DAVIS, MOTHER SAYS MY WANG IS SO BIG THAT THE LADIES ARE NOT EQUIPPED TO HANDLE MY LARGE SIZE, SO IT’S BEST FOR THEM TO STAY AWAY FOR THEIR OWN GOOD! We’ll be back after this!

    NEW YORK OFFENSE: If you think I’m beginning with the Jets so I can touch on Aaron Rodgers right away, you’d only be somewhat correct. I want to discuss a player whose absence greatly affects Rodgers, and that would be Von Miller.

    In case you missed it, Miller was placed on the PUP list because he has not fully recovered from a torn ACL that he suffered on Thanksgiving. This was not the biggest surprise in the world, yet it still had to be disappointing for any Bills backer because his presence will sorely be missed. Buffalo, after all, was a completely different team without Miller last year. It had a top-five pressure rate with him and one ranked below the middle of the pack without him.

    Miller’s absence will mean that Rodgers will enjoy more time in the pocket. This will be quite deadly for the Bills, as Rodgers is motivated and healthy after enduring his broken thumb last year. Rodgers and Garrett Wilson figure to have plenty of success moving the chains on the Bills, which will be key because the Jets’ running game can’t be completely trusted at the moment.

    BUFFALO OFFENSE: Speaking of pass protection, that was something Josh Allen couldn’t quite count on during last year’s final stretch. The interior blocking let him down, as Allen was frequently harassed late in the year, especially in the playoff loss to the Bengals. The Bills, as a consequence, spent multiple resources this offseason to upgrade their interior offensive line. We’ll soon find out how good these upgrades are against the Jets’ talented front.

    Something else to consider about Allen is that he played injured at the end of last year. He suffered an elbow injury against these very Jets and wasn’t the same through that. Allen is 100 percent right now, and so is Gabe Davis, who was also dealing with a bothersome injury for most of the season. Allen will need to utilize Davis, as well as Stefon Diggs and Dalton Kincaid against an excellent Jets secondary.

    Like the Jets, the Bills don’t have the strongest rushing attack if Allen’s scrambling isn’t included. Allen will pick up crucial yards on the ground, of course, while James Cook figures to serve as a quality receiving weapon out of the backfield.

    RECAP: Sorry to disappoint those who wanted to bet this final primetime game, but I don’t have a strong feel for it. I do like the Jets a bit for a couple of reasons, however.

    First, as discussed, Miller’s absence is crucial. The fact that this line didn’t move for the Miller news is a huge mistake because Buffalo’s defense isn’t the same without him. Perhaps the sportsbooks already factored that into the line, but I’m not so sure about that because there were glowing reports about Miller during the summer. It’s more likely that the stupid public doesn’t deem it to be important.

    Second, there will be a great amount of emotion from the Jets players and fans because this is the anniversary of 9-11. I’m not sure how much of an effect this will have, but it certainly can’t hurt.

    I’m going to bet the Jets for a unit or two. I don’t think the Bills deserve to be favored, but then again, we’re not getting significant value. That would change if the Bills were elevated to -3, but I don’t see that happening.

    THURSDAY THOUGHTS: We haven’t seen an injury report yet, so we’ll see if anything causes me to move my pick away from the Jets.

    SATURDAY NOTES: There’s nothing of real significance on the injury report. I still like the Jets, and I may consider betting a unit on the game.

    SUNDAY MORNING NOTES: Nothing new right now. I’ll have my final thoughts on Monday evening!

    MONDAY THOUGHTS: I’m still trending toward betting a unit on the Jets. I’ll be looking for an opportunity to pay up for +3, but I won’t go above -127 vig. Buffalo just isn’t the same without Von Miller.

    FINAL THOUGHTS: I said I wanted better than -127 vig. As it so happens, Jets +3 -126 is available at Bookmaker! I’m going to bet a unit on the Jets for all the reasons stated above. The sharps haven’t really touched this game.





    The Motivation. Edge: None.
    No edge found.


    The Spread. Edge: Jets.

    WalterFootball.com Calculated Spread: Pick.
    Westgate Advance Point Spread: N/A.
    Computer Model: Jets -1.






    The Vegas. Edge: Jets.
    Lots of money on the Bills early on, but things have evened out lately.

    Percentage of money on Buffalo: 62% (125,000 bets)


    The Trends. Edge: Jets.
  • History: Bills have won 13 of the last 19 meetings.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 128-88 ATS since 2009.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 30-19 ATS as an underdog.
  • Aaron Rodgers is 5-1 ATS as a home underdog.
  • Opening Line: Bills -1.5.
  • Opening Total: 48.
  • Weather: Slight possible rain, 76 degrees. Light wind.



  • Week 1 NFL Pick: Jets 24, Bills 21
    Jets +3 -126 (1 Unit) – Bookmaker — Correct; +$100
    Under 46.5 (0 Units) — Correct; $0
    Jets 22, Bills 16






    week 1 NFL Picks – Early Games
    Lions at Chiefs, Panthers at Falcons, Bengals at Browns, Jaguars at Colts, Buccaneers at Vikings, Titans at Saints, 49ers at Steelers, Cardinals at Redskins, Texans at Ravens




    Prop/Teaser/Parlay Picks
    A list of some of my favorite team/player prop picks this week
    (Offense & defensive ROY picks to be counted whenever winners are announced.) Picks carried over on a week-to-week basis will be in black.


    Prop/teaser/parlay picks posted in Week 1 NFL Picks – Early Games



    2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 22


    NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22


    Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19


    NFL Picks - Feb. 12




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    2001 Season Over-Under: 3-2 (60.0%)
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    My Team-by-Team ATS Record
    This section shows how well I do when picking each team this year. The purpose is to see how well I read each team. Pushes are not displayed. Winning/losing streak in parentheses.

    Cowboys: 8-9
    Bears: 11-4
    Bucs: 6-11
    49ers: 10-7
    Eagles: 7-7
    Lions: 9-8
    Falcons: 8-9
    Cardinals: 8-9
    Giants: 7-9
    Packers: 5-12
    Panthers: 8-9
    Rams: 8-9
    Redskins: 14-3
    Vikings: 6-9
    Saints: 10-7
    Seahawks: 7-9
    Bills: 9-7
    Bengals: 12-5
    Colts: 7-10
    Broncos: 9-6
    Dolphins: 6-11
    Browns: 11-5
    Jaguars: 13-4
    Chargers: 8-9
    Jets: 8-9
    Ravens: 11-6
    Texans: 5-12
    Chiefs: 5-10
    Patriots: 7-9
    Steelers: 11-6
    Titans: 9-8
    Raiders: 6-9
    Divisional: 50-35 (2011-22: 558-526)
    2x Game Edge: 36-24 (2011-22: 363-361)
    2x Motivation Edge: 32-36 (2011-22: 478-405)
    2x Spread Edge: 41-40 (2011-22: 197-168)
    2x Vegas Edge: 41-38 (2011-22: 407-406)
    2x Trend Edge: 15-13 (2011-22: 306-279)
    Double Edge: 17-13 (2011-22: 190-172)
    Triple Edge: 1-1 (2011-22: 32-36)

    2003 Preseason: 3 | 4 | 5
    2003 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 20 | XXXVIII
    2004 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2004 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XXXIX
    2005 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2005 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XL
    2006 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
    2006 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLI
    2007 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
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    2008 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2008 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIII |
    2009 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLIV |
    2010 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2010 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLV |
    2011 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
    2011 Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | XLVI |
    2012 Preseason: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
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