Texans @ Saints -7
So continuing with the theme of week 1 I am only going to touch on these games a little bit. Anyone who tells you they know what’s going on in week 1 is a liar. Even if that person went 9-3 in the NFL so far, every night is another battle. So the Saints are opening at home in prime time and I am not one to bet against them in that situation ever. The Texans defense was ranked 7th in ovrall efficiency but that was mainly due to their number 1 rush defense. Their pass defense was ranked 19th and their secondary talent is still below average. On top of that they lost their best defender against the run when they traded Jadeveon Clowney away. Drew Brees doesn’t have a tremendous record in season openers but this is a little different. Every team has a home field advantage but there is just a different energy for the Saints at home in prime time. The Saints defense went from 5th in efficiency to 11th last year. I see them regaining their top of the league form and shutting down the Texans offense. I will be taking the home favorite.
Broncos @ Raiders +3
This line was hovering around 1 but has ballooned to 3 after Antonio Brown’s release. This shows a clear overreaction of public bettors reacting to headline news. For all of the criticism Jon Gruden gets, warranted or not, one thing he is good at is getting his teams up for games. Especially when it is obvious nobody believes in them and especially in week 1 with a lot of time to prepare. One thing you may remember from last year was the Raiders quick start against the Rams in week 1. They went into halftime up 13-10. At halftime Sean McVay’s squad was able to make necessary adjustments and ended up winning the game 33-13. That was something we could expect, knowing McVay’s acumen as a head coach. Since this is Vic Fangio’s coaching debut we don’t know how he adjusts at halftime or how he will have his team prepared. We know that the Broncos offense will be looking to move the ball on the ground this year. Given Flacco’s struggles last year it is hard for me to trust this team to score a lot of points. It is especially hard for me to trust this offense playing from behind. I bring that up because I think the Raiders will get out to a quick start similar to last year. The difference between this year and last year though is they are not facing a high powered Rams offense. So I’m picking the Raiders and I’m taking them on the moneyline for the game and half.
Raiders 1H +1
Raiders 1H +120