By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Week 1 of the NFL Season – it simply doesn’t get any better than this.
IT’S REDZONE SEASON
Sure – college football Saturdays hit hard, and I’m glad we’re up and running on that front, but there’s truly nothing like an NFL Sunday spread. Week One comes with even more anticipation this season on the heels of a drama-filled offseason, with bettors’ minds running rampant with scenarios that play out across the league. The magic of 7 HOURS OF COMMERCIAL FREE FOOTBALL, the brand new couch prints waiting for creation, and NFL intro theme music that sends chills down your spine. We are BACK, and it is absolutely time to dive into the week one NFL board.
Thursday Night Kickoff: The defending champion Rams (-2.5) get their rings, take their victory lap, and host the Buffalo Bills to start us off. A coin flip of a game that features one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFC against one of the most hard-hitting defenses in the AFC. It’s Hard not to like the Rams here, but more notably, I like this game to start slow and go Under 53 points.
Dolphins (-3) vs. Patriots: With questions looming in every direction of the Patriots coaching staff, this is quite the opener for New England. They have historically bad performances under their belt in the heat and humidity of Miami. The key matchup is how Tua and the new look Fins offense perform in the opener. Staying away from this one and praying Mac Jones has it figured out under center?
Panthers (-2.5) vs. Browns: Baker Mayfield’s returns to his old house and life as the scorned ex-girlfriend. He’s on a path for revenge and hosts his former team in week one – what a team to be alive. I love the Panthers -2.5 to steamroll.
Bengals (-6.5) vs. Steelers: The defending AFC champions and Cool Kid Joey Burrow host their in-division rival, who appear to be going with Mitch Trubisky at QB over their rookie draft pick Kenny Pickett. Give me the Bengals -6.5 at home to tame Mitch.
Chiefs (-4.5) at Cardinals: Lots of firepower here as Patty Mahomes clashes with Call of Duty savant Kyler Murray. It will be brutally tempting to bet over 53.5 points here, but as the number rises, I would look at the under for a week one slow starter.
Chargers (-3) vs. Raiders: A rematch of an epic season-ending duel between these division rivals. Lucas Herbert and Derek Carr continue to clash in the AFC West, but which QB will take the next jump in their careers this season? I’m taking Carr for this week one duel and Raiders +3 or even 3.5 if you’re fortunate enough.
Night pick of the week:
While the Russ Wilson return to Seattle on MNF is juicy, the Sunday Night Football matchup of Tom Brady’s Bucs vs. Dak Prescott’s Cowboys is a point explosion waiting to happen. Even with a slow start, I like this game going over 50 points in the end. There is too much talent at QB to carve up these defenses.
THE “WHO CARES?” GAME
Commanders (-3) vs. Jaguars: I know it’s only week one, but PEE-YEW, this one stinks out loud. The now Carson Wentz led Commanders (sigh) play host to the Jaguars, who are on year two of being let down by Trevor Lawrence. This game should get little to no play on Redzone.
WEIRD VIBE PREDICTION OF THE WEEK
Just like in college football, there’s no shortage of foul NFL lines that have you questioning everything you know and have seen. Week One is usually pretty kosher with no overwhelmingly large point spreads, but the odd number I’m doing a double take on is Colts -8 in Houston against the Texans. Like my winning formula last season, if the Texans are getting a bunch, you take them. Texans +8.
Week One: 0-0 ATS, Season Overall: 0-0 ATS
WEEK 1 NFL PLAYS FOR ALEX
Bills/Rams Under 53 – a challenging way to play the opener, but it has to be done.
Panthers -2.5 – get it now before the Baker revenge hype builds this week.
Bengals -6.5 – not sure Trubisky is week 1 ready to take over this team.
Raiders +3 (or 3.5) – Watch for the Raiders’ defense against Lucas Herbert.
Buccaneers/Cowboys Over 50 – Sunday Fireworks on offense to ensue.
Texans +8 – Love me some betting on poor teams to cover—a tradition unlike any other.
Other Wacky Leans: Jaguars/Commanders Under 44, Packers -1.5, 49ers/Bears Over 41.
EATS AND DEETS
The best crowd: Jerryworld for Tom Brady’s visit to the Big D to play the Cowboys. Always a spectacle.
Goofiest line: 49ers -7 @ Bears
Simultaneous screen count: Just two to get things going – one for your team and a second for the Redzone. Feels good to be back!
Tailgate pick of the week: Week One. NFL. Time to repopulate your go-to pizza joint.