Its been a long time coming but finally the new NFL season is underway with Seattle’s Legion of Doom overpowering the Pack by 20 points, 36-16 on Thursday night. Here now are our Top Five Best Bets for the first full week of games. Good luck!
*Home teams in CAPS
JETS -5 1/2 over Raiders- New offensive weapons in Chris Johnson, Eric Decker and Jace Amaro, home field, plus going up against rookie QB Derek Carr in his first game as a pro will be all too much for the travelling Raiders to handle. If you are waivering between these two teams, here is an interesting stat that might alter your thinking: Oakland has failed to win a game in the Eastern Time Zone since 2005, a span of 13 games.
Vikings +3 1/2 over RAMS- St. Louis has a fairly good defensive team but they lack a potent offense. Their quarterback, Shaun Hill, hasn’t started a game since 2010 and the rust could show. Adrian Peterson who rushed for over 200 yards the last time these two clubs met in 2012, along with veteran Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Kyle Rudolph, should make the visiting Vikes 1-0 entering Week 2.
BUCCANEERS -2 over Panthers- It is not beyond the realm of possibilities for the Bucs to end the season as a top five most improved team. New headcoach Lovie Smith will help achieve that goal as will RB Doug Martin, if he can stay healthy. Cam Newton, who has been dealing with a rib injury, will have a target on his back all afternoon.
LIONS -5 1/2 over Giants- Eli Manning has looked like a deer in headlights throughout the pre-season and even if and when he masters the new West Coast offense, we’re not convinced that the G-Men’s offensive line will cooperate. The Lions’s, with Matt Stafford at the helm, have the talent and the chemistry to thwart any threat the Giants might impose. Big Blue will opt to keep their attack on the ground but when they fall behind they will have to abandon their game and that’s when the trouble will start.
Chargers +3 over CARDINALS- Arizona has some injuries on their defensive line and lost Linebackers Daryl Washington to suspension and Karlos Dansby to free agency. The addition of Antonio Cromartie will not be enough to stop Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson and company from having a big day in Phoenix.