Week 1 NFL Picks, Odds, Betting Analysis For Every Game
Week 1 of the NFL season is finally here.
This season, Armenian Sports News editor Andre Khatchaturian will be picking every single NFL game against the spread. Why is ASN doing NFL betting content?
Because, why not?
Armenians bet on sports, too. Just like everyone else and this is good informative content for Armenian NFL fans around the world.
But before that, here are my records from previous seasons picking against the spread.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
All odds via DraftKings sportsbook.
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.5), 8:20 PM
Andre’s Pick: Cowboys. This number has moved from 7 points to 8.5 over the last week or so. That’s a lot of points against a prolific offense. Coming into Week 5 last year, Dak Prescott was on pace for more than 6,700 passing yards last season. Tampa’s known more for their rush defense than pass defense. Dallas has the fifth-best ranked offensive line on Pro Football Focus meaning they’ll be to withstand the Bucs’ pass rush. I don’t know if Dallas wins, but they’ll definitely stay within that number.
Sunday, September 12, 2021
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) vs. Detroit Lions, 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: 49ers. The 49ers had the best yards per play differential in the NFL among non-playoff teams. What does this mean? It means they were an efficient team despite their record. They were decimated by injuries. They get a bunch of guys back this year and should be back to 2019 form. The Lions, on the other hand, had a horrendous defense last year allowing 6.3 yards per play. They downgraded at quarterback from Matthew Stafford to Jared Goff, got rid of Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay and haven’t shown any sign of improving their defense.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (-6.5), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Steelers. People forget how good the Steelers were last year before they absolutely got gassed out. The team allowed just 4.9 yards per play — the third fewest in the league. They had a Week 4 bye which meant they played 13 consecutive weeks including a stretch where they played three games in 12 nights due to Covid issues. The Bills will be solid, but that’s a lot of points against a team that started last year 11-0 before suffering from exhaustion. Pittsburgh also improved on its biggest weakness from 2020, drafting a running back in Najee Harris in the first round. Expect Josh Allen to throw the ball 40+ times in this game. The Bills didn’t do a good job running the ball last year and they’re going up against a stingy Steelers rush defense.
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) vs. Indianapolis Colts, 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Colts. Seattle was very efficient in running the ball last year, averaging 4.8 yards per carry — tied for fifth best. The Colts had the second-best rush defense last season. They also have an elite offensive line and running back in Jonathan Taylor. Carson Wentz will definitely have better options and more protection (second-best OL according to PFF) than he did in Philly. In Seattle, it’s still a one-man show. Russell Wilson threw the ball a career high 558 times last year and was sacked for 40+ times for the eighth consecutive year. The Colts have more certainties, are at home and they’re getting points.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans (-3), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Titans. The Cardinals will have their day of glory this season, but it won’t be in Week 1. They’ve made plenty of great additions on defense and will have a devastating pass rush, but the Titans will rely heavily on Derrick Henry, who should be able to feast on an Arizona rush defense that allowed 4.6 yards per carry last season — tied for 7th most. The Titans secondary stinks and Kyler Murray is more than capable of making them pay, but if Henry runs the ball effectively, Murray might not be seeing the ball much.
New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers (-4.5), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Panthers. Sam Darnold revenge game! We will find out this year if Sam Darnold is a bad quarterback or if he was just surrounded by a horrible organization in New York. Darnold has a lot more to work with than he ever did in New York, with Christian McCaffrey as a pass-catching back option and D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson as wide receiver targets. Carolina was a tough out last year. Seven of their 11 losses were decided by one possession. Their biggest weakness was rush defense last year and the Jets don’t really have a running attack. The Jets also allowed the second-most receptions to running backs last season.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Falcons. At this stage of the NFL season, I trust Matt Ryan more than Jalen Hurts. Both teams’ secondaries are garbage, but Atlanta has more formidable weapons with Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and Kyle Pitts.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Washington Football Team (-1), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Chargers. Ryan Fitzpatrick is fun, but we know who he is. This Chargers team is a Super Bowl contender thanks to a fast-developing Justin Herbert (8 touchdowns and one interception with 4-0 record in his last four games last season), new head coach, and the return of Derwin James. WFT allowed the second-most sacks last year. That doesn’t bode well against Joey Bosa.
Minnesota Vikings vs. Cincinnati Bengals (+3), 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Bengals. Cincinnati’s offensive line will be bad this year, but that won’t be a problem against the Vikings, who had an awful pass rush last year. Joe Burrow is only getting better and he has more weapons this year with the addition of Ja’Marr Chase. If Burrow isn’t running for his life, he obviously performs better. Last season, when he was sacked fewer than two times, the Bengals went 2-1. When he was sacked two times or more, they went 0-6-1.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) vs. Houston Texans, 1 PM
Andre’s Pick: Jaguars. Last season, Houston allowed the most yards per carry, allowed 50 sacks and now they’re missing Deshaun Watson. James Robinson is an elite threat at running back for the Jags and he’ll take some pressure off rookie QB Trevor Lawrence.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (-3), 4:25 PM
Andre’s Pick: Patriots. Here’s a stat for you: Bill Belichick is 56-10 against quarterbacks who have 20 or fewer career starts in their career. Tua Tagovailoa is making his 10th career start on Sunday — but it should be noted he already has a win over Belichick under his belt. That said, it was without some key Patriots pieces like Donta Hightower, who opted out last year due to Covid-19. The Patriots may have a rookie QB making his first start, but their defense is elite and they finally have offensive weapons.
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5), 4:25 PM
Andre’s Pick: Browns. The Chiefs’ biggest weakness last year was rush defense and running the ball is Cleveland’s biggest strength. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt ran for more than 100 yards in last year’s playoff loss, helping Cleveland at least cover the spread. I expect the same to happen here.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) vs. New Orleans Saints, 4:25 PM
Andre’s Pick: Saints. I think Jameis Winston’s one year internship with Drew Brees will serve him well this year. Winston will also benefit from having the fourth-best offensive line according to PFF. Also, never forget that the Saints are extremely strong defensively. They allowed just five yards per play last season and they were especially good against the run. The Packers are still searching for reliable help for Aaron Rodgers (outside of Davante Adams) and they’ll struggle in the opener.
Denver Broncos (-3) vs. New York Giants, 4:25 PM
Andre’s Pick: Giants. The Broncos allowed the fourth-most yards per carry and now Saquon Barkley is back for the G-men. Good luck stopping him.
Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7.5), 8:20 PM
Andre’s Pick: Rams. The Bears had no business being in the playoffs last season. They had the worst yards per play differential among playoff teams. The Rams led the NFL in yards per play differential and now they improved at quarterback. The fact that Andy Dalton is starting for the Rams shows you need to run away from the Bears.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Baltimore Ravens (-4) vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 8:15 PM
Andre’s Pick: Ravens. No team ran the ball more than the Ravens last year and don’t expect that to change with Lamar Jackson under center. The Raiders ranked 25th in expected points contributed by rush defense according to Pro-Football Reference. The Raiders offensive line also stinks — 26th ranked according to PFF. The Ravens, who ranked second with 116 QB hits last year, will have no problem getting to Derek Carr.