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NFL Week 1 Picks

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

The NFL is back! After seven long months, we have our first meaningful football game on Thursday. Enough introduction, here are my picks for every game in Week 1. I will try to do this every week and track my record.

Thursday Night Football: Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5), 8:20 PM

The reigning Super Bowl champions are playing the up-and-coming Lions, who are the favorites to win the NFC North. I believe this could be a sneaky game as Chris Jones, at this moment is still out, and after hanging the banner, Kansas City might be sluggish. I believe it will be a close game, but give me the Lions in an upset.

Score Prediction: Lions 27, Chiefs 24

Sunday Slate:

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-10), 1 PM

It's the former MVP Lamar Jackson against C.J. Stroud in his NFL debut. This one is pretty easy.

Score Prediction: Ravens 31, Texans 14

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns, 1 PM

Nick Chubb running away from the defense
via Jason Miller / Getty Images

Same-state rivals who both have playoff aspirations face off against each other to start the season. I wouldn't be surprised to see Joe Burrow come out rusty after his injury. The Burrow injury could hurt the Bengals, so I got the Browns taking this one in a close one.

Score Prediction: Browns 28, Bengals 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (-6), 1 PM

I'm not a believer in Baker Mayfield or Tampa Bay this year, and that is not gonna change in this prediction. Kirk and the Vikings start the season off right with a W.

Score Prediction: Vikings 24, Buccaneers 10

Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints (-3), 1 PM

Ryan Tannehill and Derek Carr are about on the same tier of QB, so I have to look at the skill positions for this matchup, I like the Titans better in this matchup, even though both teams are about equal. It ultimately to Derrick Henry and the coaching of Mike Vrabel

Score Prediction: Titans 20, Saints 17

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5), 1 PM

These are two NFC South rivals facing off in the first week with Atlanta being the host. Bryce Young going on the road in his first game isn't great, and then you can couple that with the fact that this Falcons team is improved. Give me the Falcons.

Score Prediction: Falcons 24, Panthers 14

Jacksonville Jaguars (-5) at Indianapolis Colts, 1 PM

Anthony Richardson is the last rookie QB to get QB1 honors in Week 1 and is arguably playing the hardest team out of all 3. The Jaguars have improved and also retained all of what worked last season. Jacksonville wins this one easily.

Score Prediction: Jaguars 35, Colts 13

San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 PM

If Nick Bosa plays, I have the 49ers winning as I just have more faith in them than the Steelers. At this current moment, he is not expected to play due to a holdout. Give me the Steelers in a close one.

Score Prediction: Steelers 23, 49ers 17

Update: Nick Bosa played and prediction has changed to 49ers.

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders (-7), 1 PM

It seems like the Cardinals are actively tanking, and they have easily the worst team in the entire league. The Commanders aren't a great team but they will win easily. Clayton Tune or Joshua Dobbs will not be the reason for wins this year.

Score Prediction: Commanders 24, Cardinals 7

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5), 4:25 PM

Both of these teams are pretty average. The Broncos have the quarterback and coaching advantage which is the most important advantage to have, also the defense is pretty good. The Sean Payton era starts off with a W.

Score Prediction: Broncos 24, Raiders 17

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-3), 4:25 PM

Justin Herbert and Tua embrace mid-field
via Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports

This has the potential to be the best game of the entire week. It has a shootout potential with both teams having great offenses. With a healthy Tua and the best receiving duo, I like the Dolphins better in this matchup.

Score Prediction: Dolphins 38, Chargers 31

Philadelphia Eagles (-4) at New England Patriots, 4:25 PM

The Eagles have the best roster in the NFL, the Patriots do not. Don't overthink it.

Score Prediction: Eagles 34, Patriots 17

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-1), 4:25 PM

In a matchup that could show us the future of the NFC North, we get Jordan Love versus Justin Fields in this matchup. I believe Fields will take the edge, as the Bears have a better roster and there might be bumps in Love's first season.

Score Prediction: Bears 27, Packers 17

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-5), 4:25 PM

Seahawks have a better team than the Rams, this is even more true if Cooper Kupp is out. Give me the Seahawks.

Score Prediction: Seahawks 27, Rams 14

Sunday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at New York Giants, 8:20 PM

Dak Prescott and Daniel Jones embrace mid-field

I like both of these teams coming into this season. Both of these teams improved this offseason. Week 1 will be the first time to show the improvements. In the first matchup, I got the Cowboys.

Score Prediction: Cowboys 28, Giants 17

Monday Night Football: Buffalo Bills (-2.5) at New York Jets, 8:15 PM

I believe the Jets hype is getting too much, and they will not be as good as expected. The AFC East winner for the last couple of years helps the hype cool off after a Week 1 win.

Score Prediction: Bills 31, Jets 21

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