2020 NFL SEASON WEEK 1
2020 NFL SCHEDULE WEEK 1 (ATS)
All times Eastern Standard Time
ALL SPREADS ARE COURTESY OF CAESARS HOTEL IN LAS VEGAS @ THE TIME OF ANALYSIS
In general, NFL games will certainly be sloppy the first month of the season due to the fact that there weren’t any pre season games to work through players, plays and possible mistakes. Teams playing scrimmages against their own Defenses is not the same as preparing against a real team even if it is only exhibition games. Therefore you will see more mistakes early as you not have seen in previous seasons.
Thursday September 10th, 2020 8:20pm
Houston Texans @ KC Chiefs HOU+9
KC starts the season as the defending SuperBowl champ. KC QB Pat Mahomes signed a huge extension in the off season and KC has just been adding parts here and there to make themselves stronger. KC looked very strong in the playoffs and it should continue here. HOU’s last game in 2019 was its playoff loss at KC after leading 24-0. It was total letdown and I don’t know if HOU will bounce back with HC Bill O’Brien at the helm. GM/HC Bill O’Brien made some moves in the off-season that certainly had people scratching their heads. But he is definitely in the hotseat. HOU QB Deshaun Watson got his own mega deal just about a week ago. HOU was spending money in the off season like they had a bottomless pit of money. We’ll see if their moves pay off. KC 27-22 ATS @HOME in SEPT. KC 33-24 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. KC 6-3 ATS before LAC. KC 6-4 ATS as a FAV on TNF. KC 9-8 ATS on TNF. KC 11-7 ATS as a non-div FAV >8pts. L9 KC vs HOU, KC 4-5 SU & 3-5-1 ATS. KC (H) vs HOU, KC 1-2 SU & 0-3 ATS. HOU 16-19 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. HOU 15-16 ATS AWAY in SEPT. HOU 2-7-1 ATS on TNF. HOU 1-4 ATS AWAY on TNF. HOU under Bill O’Brien has only started the season with a week 1 win 2x in six seasons. HOU DE JJ Watt needs to have a good, healthy, full season because he has only played one full season in the last four. He can still be very effective but needs to show that he is still the same old dangerous Watt. HOU RB David Johnson has a lot to prove as well. Super Bowl Winner, Week 1 following year is 17-3 SU & 13-5-2 ATS, 2000-2019. The trend keeps rolling here as KC will be pumped up and HOU will deflate. Too many weapons for KC on OFF and not enough for HOU will make this an easy game for KC.
THE PICK: KC-9 5 STARS
Sunday September 13th, 2020 1:00pm
Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons ATL+2
SEA usually starts out slowly and doesn’t travel well to the southeastern part of the US. ATL needs to get off to a good start or ATL HC Dan Quinn will be looking at the exit door. ATL DEF has to show that they can stop people from the get go and HOME cooking in the opener should at least get things going. SEA is always competitive but has a tendency to be sloppy at times. ATL 10-5 ATS L15 as a HOME DOG. ATL 28-22 ATS @HOME in SEPT. ATL 31-31 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. Matt Ryan 11-1 SUATS in HOME Openers. L9 ATL vs SEA, ATL 4-5 SU & 5-4 ATS. SEA 19-17-1 ATS L27 as a ROAD FAV. SEA 33-22-1 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. SEA 25-26-2 ATS AWAY in SEPT. Last season, SEA beat ATL in ATL 27-20 so there may be a little revenge factor on the part of ATL. SEA has a good group at RB and we’ll see who steps up. ATL needs to get on the board early and the DEF needs to do its job. Should be an exciting game but ATL has urgency here to start off on the right foot.
THE PICK: ATL+2 5 STARS
NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills NYJ+6 ½
BUFF is a team on the rise but they make mistakes that cost them. NYJ HC Adam Gase knows that he needs to get off to a nice start or at least be competitive. NYJ can’t be blown out week after week. Plus, they can’t lose games to teams with no wins. This is a big season for BUFF QB Josh Allen. We’ll see how he reacts to his 3rd season. NYJ 25-21 ATS vs AFC EAST in SEPT. NYJ 27-23 ATS AWAY in SEPT. NYJ 28-32 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. L13 NYJ@ BUFF, NYJ 7-6 SUATS. L21 NYJ vs BUFF, NYJ 12-9 SU & 11-10 ATS. L21 BUFF vs NYJ, FAV 10-10 ATS 1 PICK’EM. NYJ 7-1 ATS AWAY in gms 1-4 vs div. BUFF 29-21 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. BUFF 24-19 ATS vs AFC EAST in SEPT. BUFF 35-24 ATS @HOME in SEPT. BUFF 5-1-1 ATS before MIA. NYJ QB Sam Darnold has to come out looking good or he will go down as a bust. He needs to play with more confidence and he needs to make better decisions. These teams usually play close. BUFF will win but it will be closer than the points suggest. NYJ have a habit of playing close week 1 or winning outright. That is why I like the points.
THE PICK: NYJ+6 ½ 3 STARS
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions CHI+3
DET signed RB Adrian Peterson but, how much he has left in the tank is anybody’s guess. DET Matt Patricia is on the hotseat but I think he is a much better DC than HC. CHI is looking for a bounceback season. CHI QB Mitch Trubisky is the starter but must play better because Nick Foles is waiting in the wings. The OFF has a lot of weapons but Trubisky needs to make the right choices. Also the CHI DEF needs to step up. DET is a combination of players and ex-NE players that have bought into Patricia’s system. This game is always a slugfest and could be very close. CHI 21-31 ATS AWAY in SEPT. CHI 20-28 ATS vs NFC NORTH in SEPT. CHI 31-32 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. CHI 1-6 ATS as a DIV RD <6pts. L13 CHI @ DET, CHI 6-7 SU & 5-7-1 ATS. L22 DET vs CHI, HOME 13-7-2 ATS. L20 CHI vs DET, CHI 9-9-2 ATS. DET 33-20 ATS @HOME in SEPT. DET 37-37 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. DET 20-23 ATS vs NFC NORTH in SEPT. DET 8-1 ATS as DIV HF <8pts. DET 2-10 ATS before GB. You have to like CHI coming out of the gate with the DEF that they have almost always gives Stafford problems. Don’t be surprised if CHI scores points in this game on DEF. Who steps up for DET is anyone’s guess because no one has stepped up in the last two seasons. Take the points here.
THE PICK: CHI+3 5 STARS
GB Packers @ Minnesota Vikings GB+3
Has GB really fallen so far that now they are getting points? It’s still Aaron Rodgers and now he is playing while looking over his shoulder at QB Jordan Love. When pressured, Rodgers plays better. MINN had a lot of guys leave and their secondary is full of rookies. Rodgers knows how to exploit guys. MINN had a great draft on paper. Who pans out for them is another story. These two teams know each other and MINN did make some in roads in 2019 but now they have a lot of new guys with no exhibition games experience. Plus, no HOME FIELD advantage for MINN with no one in the stands. GB 23-25 ATS AWAY in SEPT. GB 25-17 ATS as a DOG in SET. GB 26-18-1 ATS vs NFC NORTH in SEPT. GB 7-1 ATS in gms 1-4 vs div opp w/revenge. L13 GB @ MINN, GB 7-6 SU & 6-7 ATS. L26 MINN Vs GB, HOME 15-10-1 ATS. MINN 33-24 ATS @HOME in SEPT. MINN 28-31 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. MINN 23-22 ATS vs NFC NORTH in SEPT. This game is always a battle and should go down to the wire with GB pulling it out. If GB is able to get their running game going it will spell disaster for the inexperienced MINN DEF. Take the points and GB here.
THE PICK: GB+3 5 STARS
Miami Dolphins @ NE Patriots MIA+6 ½
Do you think QB Cam Newton wants to get off to a good start with his new team and HC Bill Belichick? I think so. NE still has a great team and don’t think that Belichick has forgotten that defeat in wk 17 of last season. You know, the one that put NE in a game for wild card weekend instead of giving them a week off. MIA has completely overhauled their roster but QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting over QB Tua Tagovailoa for now. NE 23-29 ATS @HOME in SEPT. NE 28-35 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. NE 20-26 ATS vs AFC EAST in SEPT. Belichick 15-5 SU in OPENERS with NE. L13 NE (H) vs MIA, NE 11-2 SU & 8-5 ATS. L20 NE vs MIA, NE 12-8 ATS. L16 NE vs MIA, HOME 13-3 ATS. MIA 18-20 ATS vs AFC EAST in SEPT. MIA 26-25 ATS AWAY in SEPT. MIA 24-27 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. The DEF for NE is pretty much still intact from last season but can’t have any lapses, especially against bad teams. There’s also that revenge factor for NE. For MIA, it’s about seeing if all the new pieces on the team mesh and can move forward. But this week, lay the points as NE & Cam will roll.
THE PICK: NE-6 ½ 5 STARS
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins WASH+6
PHILLY QB Carson Wentz signed a big contract in the off season. But QB Jalen Hurts was drafted as protection against an injury to Wentz. Either way, there is more there than on the side of WASH. WASH is in a total rebuild and PHILLY is trying to get back to the season they had just in 2017. WASH had a lot of players come and go during the off season but did they get better? PHILLY 9-16 ATS L25 as a ROAD FAV. PHILLY 21-32 ATS AWAY in SEPT. PHILLY 28-39 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. PHILLY 14-19 ATS vs NFC EAST in SEPT. L13 PHILLY @WASH, PHILLY 8-5 SUATS. L22 PHILLY vs WASH, FAV 12-10 ATS. L26 PHILLY vs WASH, ROAD 17-9 ATS. WASH 15-17 ATS L32 as a HOME DOG. WASH 19-34 ATS @HOME in SEPT. WASH 26-26 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. WASH 20-24 ATS vs NFC EAST in SEPT. Wentz has to stay healthy and almost had a scare in training camp. There is talent on both sides of the ball for PHILLY, there just can’t be any lapses. For WASH, I’m not convinced about QB Dwayne Haskins. He has looked good sometimes and sometimes not. Maybe a full training camp will take him to the next level. But in wk 1 there should be no doubt for PHILLY vs WASH. Lay the points here.
THE PICK: PHILLY-6 5 STARS
Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers CAR+3
There was a lot of player movement on both of these teams in the off-season and because they really haven’t been able to test the waters against any teams, this game may be a mistake filled game on both sides. New CAR HC Matt Rhule would like to get off to a nice start in the NFL and I’m sure that CAR QB Teddy Bridgewater would like to show everyone that he is worth the money. LV HC Jon Gruden has the team in its first season in Vegas but a lot of changes were made in the off-season. Who will rise to the occasion on this team remains to be seen. LV QB David Carr needs to show improvement in games that matter and this could be a start. CAR 7-10-1 ATS L18 as a HOME DOG. CAR 18-25-1 ATS @HOME in SEPT. CAR 22-19-1 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. L3 CAR vs LV, CAR 2-2 SU & 2-1-1 ATS. LV 1-5-2 ATS L8 as a ROAD FAV. LV 30-23 ATS AWAY in SEPT. LV 22-23 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. I like CAR @HOME because LV has not traveled well back east and CAR always keeps things close. RB Christian McCaffrey will see the ball many times in this game. CAR did lose some guys on DEF but guys in general need to step up. This game could come down to the end with a FG by either team but the HOME TEAM gets the nod here.
THE PICK: CAR+3 5 STARS
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jags JAGS+8
So QB Philip Rivers took his talents to INDY. INDY has a talented RB core as I discussed in the Projections. JAGS have been shedding players ala MIA in an effort to rebuild and get back on track. JAGS QB Gardner Minshew had his first full training camp as #1 QB but, no exhibition games to try himself out. He doesn’t have to worry about looking over his shoulders for another QB because Foles is gone but, Minshew needs to cut down on his mistakes. Let the game come to him, not the other way around. But he has limited weapons to work with and with RB Leonard Fournette gone, Minshew has to do more. INDY11-9-1 ATS L21 as a ROAD FAV. INDY 29-23 ATS AWAY in SEPT. INDY 29-27 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. INDY 19-22 ATS vs AFC SOUTH in SEPT. INDY 8-2 ATS L10 as a FAV >2pts. INDY 7-4-1 ATS L12 as a DIV ROAD FAV. L13 INDY @ JAGS, INDY 6-7 SUATS. L26 INDY vs JAG, ROAD 14-11-1 ATS. L21 INDY vs JAGS, FAV 12-7-1 ATS 1 PICK’EM. JAGS 17-28 ATS L45 as a HOME DOG. JAGS 28-26 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. JAGS 21-21 ATS @HOME in SEPT. JAGS 19-15 ATS vs AFC SOUTH in SEPT. Rivers has a great record vs JAGS and the AFC SOUTH but if you have to play them 6x instead of maybe 2x well, I’m sure there will be some losses. If INDY goes on a scoring attack, I don’t see how JAGS could stop them. Lay the points here.
THE PICK: INDY-8 3 STARS
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens CLEVE+8
For some reason CLEVE always gives BALT trouble. It’s never a smooth game for BALT even if it is a win. CLEVE did an overhaul in the off-season. While BALT just tweaked themselves after the disappointing loss in the playoffs to TENN. DIV games are always tougher even if one team looks superior to another on paper. It was early in the season last season when CLEVE beat BALT. Could it happen again? CLEVE 31-25 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. CLEVE 19-15 ATS AWAY in SEPT. CLEVE 18-15 ATS vs NFC NORTH in SEPT. CLEVE 5-8 ATS L13 before CLEVE. L13 CLEVE @BALT, CLEVE 3-10 SU but 8-6 ATS. L24 CLEVE vs BALT, CLEVE 4-20 SU & 9-15 ATS. L21 CLEVE vs BALT, ROAD 14-7 ATS. BALT 32-19 ATS @HOME in SEPT. BALT 34-28 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. BALT 26-20 ATS vs AFC NORTH in SEPT. BALT 3-14 ATS as a DIV HF 4>pts. BALT 0-8 ATS as a DIV HF 8>pts. This is a big season for CLEVE QB Baker Mayfield. He has a lot to prove. He needs to lead this team in the right direction and get them winning. New coaching staff in CLEVE may have a learning curve but, Mayfield knows the division and should be able to do better than last season. BALT is projected to go deep into the playoffs but what they are bringing is no surprise this season. This game may be closer than advertised with BALT winning by a FG.
THE PICK: CLEVE+8 3 STARS
Sunday September 13th, 2020 4:00pm
LA Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals CINNCY+3
CINNCY had a terrible season in 2019, we all know that. But they picked up QB Joe Burrow. How he handles his 1st game but, without any exhibition games, people shouldn’t be too judgmental. CINNCY can only go up. LAC QB Tyrod Taylor gets the nod until Justin Herbert is ready. CINNCY 9-8 ATS L17 as a HOME DOG. CINNCY 18-29 ATS @HOME in SEPT. CINNCY 21-24 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. CINNCY 14-4 ATS as a non-div HD. CINNCY 14-4 ATS L18 vs AFC WEST. L7 CINNCY vs LAC, CINNCY 4-3 SU & 6-1 ATS. LAC 9-10-1 L@) as a ROAD FAV. LAC 27-27 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. LAC 26-23 ATS AWAY in SEPT. LAC 3-14 ATS L17 before KC. Odds are that Burrow will not have a great game but he has nothing to lose. CINNCY needs to stay focused. LAC needs to get back on track from last season but this game may be closer than advertised. DEF for CINNCY needs to pick it up.
THE PICK: CINNCY+3 3 STARS
TB Buccaneers @ NO Saints TB+3 ½
TB just added RB Leonard Fournette to the roster. This may be his last chance after underperforming with the JAGS. TB has a lot of talent around QB Tom Brady that should make things easier for him to operate. NO usually gets off to a slow start. They have come up short the last two seasons in the playoffs and their time with QB Drew Brees is running out. Plus, HC Sean Payton can’t keep making excuses for losses in the playoffs. Brady puts a scare in NO because he wins but he is 43 years old. TB 29-27 ATS AWAY in SEPT. TB 31-31 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. TB 25-18 ATS vs NFC SOUTH in SEPT. L13 TB @ NO, TB 5-8 SU & 6-7 ATS. L14 TB vs NO, HOME 8-6 ATS. NO 25-24 ATS @HOME in SEPT. NO 24-28 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. NO 19-16 ATS vs NFC SOUTH in SEPT. NO 4-1 ATS L5 before MNF. Brady gets his team very well prepared and TB HC Bruce Arians is probably ready to go. This should be a good game and could go down to the wire. Take the points here.
THE PICK: TB+3 ½ 5 STARS
Arizona Cardinals @ SF 49ers ARZ+7
Last season ARZ played SF tough but lost both games. ARZ made some additions and SF may have that SuperBowl hangover that the loser of the previous SB has had moving forward. On paper, SF is looking good. But ARZ has made some additions on DEF that should make them better plus they had a very good draft. Plus, don’t forget about WR DeAndre Hopkins. He can make any QB better. ARZ 39-33-1 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. ARZ 31-28 ATS AWAY in SEPT. ARZ 20-23-1 ATS vs NFC WEST in SEPT. L13 ARZ @SF, ARZ 5-8 SU But 7-5-1 ATS. L22 ARZ vs SF, ARZ 10-12 SU & 11-11 ATS. SF 27-20 ATS @HOME in SEPT. SF 30-28 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. SF 24-20 ATS vs NFC WEST in SEPT. SF 6-12-1 ATS L19 as a FAV. SF had a collapse in the SB and we will see if it is in the minds of the players. Also with no one in the stands, ARZ should have no distractions and should get their game moving. ARZ should be able to score some points here. I like a close game with the points.
THE PICK: ARZ+7 3 STARS
Sunday September 13th, 2020 8:20pm
Dallas Cowboys @ LA Rams LAR+3
DAL has a new HC in Mike McCarthy. However, LB Sean Lee & RT La’el Collins are out. Expectations are high for this team after a dismal season in 2019. The OFF has plenty of weapons but is thin behind RB and the BIG 3 at WR. How this team meshes is the key. Look for RB Ezekiel Elliott to get a lot of touches. For LAR, there are a lot of new faces and not playing against anyone in the preseason could hurt this team. This is a younger team than the one that went to the SuperBowl in 2018 and any experience against an NFL team is beneficial. How this O-LINE holds and how QB Goff handles the pressure remains to be seen. DAL 33-19 ATS AWAY in SEPT. DAL 29-34 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. DAL 14-17 ATS AWAY on SNF. DAL 15-12-1 ATS on SNF. DAL 10-7-1 ATS L18 as a ROAD FAV. L8 DAL vs LAR, DAL 5-3 SUATS. L2 DAL @ LAR, DAL 1-1 SUATS. LAR 3-8-1 ATS L12 as HOME DOG. LAR 25-29 ATS @HOME in SEPT. LAR 33-38 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. LAR 3-6 ATS @HOME on SNF. This will be the first game in the long awaited new HOME stadium for the LAR but, there will not be any fans in the stands. DAL always starts out strong and then we see what the team is really made of but, this week they should win convincingly. Lay the points here.
THE PICK: DAL-3 5 STARS
Monday September 14th, 2020 7:10pm
Pittsburgh Steelers @ NY Giants NYG+5 ½
PITT QB Ben Roethlisberger will look to show everyone that his elbow and shoulder are fine. The DEF for PITT is tough and they have to stay on track with BALT. NYG have a rookie HC, a stagnant OC, 2 rookies on their O-LINE and a DEF that hasn’t been tested. However, the roster for NYG has been upgraded talent wise, we’ll see who shines. New NYG HC Joe Judge would like to get off to a good start and at least show that the team is competitive. The O-LINE will certainly be tested. NYG 9-18 ATS L27 as a HOME DOG. NYG 20-35 ATS @HOME in SEPT. NYG 29-26 ATS as a DOG in SEPT. NYG 1-7 SU & 0-8 ATS L8 HOME OPENERS. NYG 3-6 ATS as a DOG on MNF. NYG 1-4 ATS as a HOME DOG on MNF. L4 PITT vs NYG, NYG 1-3 SU & 2-2 ATS. PITT 15-23 ATS L38 as a ROAD FAV. PITT 19-35-1 ATS AWAY in SEPT. PITT 18-34 ATS as a FAV in SEPT. PITT 4-7 ATS as a ROAD FAV on MNF. PITT 6-7 ATS on MNF. PITT 2-13 ATS as a ROAD FAV in gms 1-4, vs non-div opp AWAY next. I don’t think that NYG will win the game but, they will keep it close at home. PITT will win the game but it will be a closer game than advertised. I would be shocked if NYG get blown out because it would really show everyone that Judge was unprepared and a bad move. Take the points.
THE PICK: NYG+5 ½ 3 STARS
Monday September 14th, 2020 10:20pm
Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos DEN+1 ½
TENN has signed DE Jadeveon Clowney to a 1yr deal and he will certainly give the TENN DEF a lift. They had a nice run in 2019 that no one expected. Let’s see if they can get it going this season. TENN QB Ryan Tannehill will not be looking over his shoulder and should get the OFF moving. Look for RB Derrick Henry to get touches and plow forward. DE/LB Vic Beasley came back and is ready to go for this game. He needs to prove to everyone that 2016 wasn’t a fluke. DEN will have no controversy here as the QB is Drew Lock from the start and they signed RB Melvin Gordon who really needs to prove himself because he has been underachieving his whole career. TENN 29-25 ATS AWAY in SEPT. TENN 6-1 ATS L8 on MNF, 1NL. DEN 30-24-1 ATS @HOME in SEPT. DEN 3-10 ATS on MNF. L7 DEN vs TENN, DEN 5-2 SU & 6-1 ATS. L3 DEN (H) vs TENN, DEN 3-0 SUATS. DEN 18-2 SU & 16-3-1 ATS L20 in HOME OPENERS vs non-div. There may be a little revenge factor here for TENN because they lost at DEN in wk 6 last season, 16-0. TENN HC Mike Vrabel doesn’t forget but the key for TENN here is to stop the run and put it on the shoulders of DEN QB Drew Lock. DENN has three reliable RBs but TENN has been good vs the run so we’ll see. Also, DEN LB Von Miller just suffered an ankle injury that will cost him the season. That leaves a big hole on DEF for DEN. I like TENN here.
THE PICK: TENN-1 ½ 5 STARS