The NFL season will be here in no time, and we have even started to see some Week 1 lines come out. There are a lot of unknowns before we start training camp, but I think predicting some general outcomes and scenarios can let us gain an edge on these early lines.
Washington Redskins (+8.5) at Philadelphia Eagles
This is a game that I think the lack of knowledge is holding Washington back. As of right now, we have no idea who the Redskins QB will be, but between a first-round rookie and two serviceable NFL QBs competing for a job, I think someone will be solid on Week 1 for Washington.
The Redskins team defense sets up to be a solid unit, and I expect their front seven to be really impressive this season. The Eagles’ overall roster talent isn’t super scary to me, and I think the Redskins should be able to grind the clock away and keep this game closer than the line would suggest here.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-5.5)
This is simply a spot where I think that these two teams have a larger talent gap than 5.5 points. The Browns are a very young and hungry team with an innovative offensive head coach at the helm. I expect them to start the season firing on all cylinders.
Early in the season, it is much easier for offenses to surprise teams with new plays and packages that they have implemented over the offseason, and I think you will see this here. This Browns team is coming into the season looking for blood, and I think this line should easily be a touchdown.
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers (Over 48)
These are two of the best teams in football, and I think that this is going to be a fantastic game to see where each team stands early. For years, the Chargers defense has been good but struggled with the Chiefs’ ability to create separation with speed, using guys like Tyreek Hill to get open against elite coverage.
I think that the Colts offense should be phenomenal next season, and I think it may start to resemble the Chiefs offense when it comes to the speed. T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell may be the fastest WR duo in football starting this season, and we have seen that style give the Chargers major issues.
On the other side of the ball, I think both teams are improving, but the pace of this game should be fast enough for both teams to get theirs offensively. The Chargers get Hunter Henry back from his ACL tear, which should only increase their overall offensive production.
Denver Broncos (+1.5) at Oakland Raiders
This is a spot where I need the Raiders to prove to me that they are the better team. I think that the Broncos are just superior on paper, although they don’t have as many big names and big personalities.
Joe Flacco is still a capable NFL QB throwing to Courtland Sutton and Emmanuel Sanders, two solid receivers, with Philip Lindsay and Royce Freeman in the backfield as well. The Denver defense should only improve under Vic Fangio as well.
The Raiders added star power in Antonio Brown, but I was very disappointed in their draft class, and I don’t think they drafted any impact players right away. Jacobs will play right away, but the notion that he’s way better than every other back on the roster is just not proven at this point in time.
Take the points with the Broncos in this spot over a flashy but bad Raiders team.