It’s here! Yes, it’s here! The first Sunday of the NFL season and we couldn’t be any happier. Making football picks is a fun, exciting, pensive activity. Watching the picks come in is pure exhilaration. Introducing the first of your weekly NFL picks in what I will call Selection Corner. Four selections to bet, study, ridicule or ignore. We have a few road picks this week. But remember that the oddsmakers really don’t know who the better team is in the first couple of weeks. So enjoy the value.
2017 Week 1 NFL Picks
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills (-8.5)
It’s REALLY hard to lay any points on the Bills, but the Jets will be awful. There’s just no two ways about it. New York is slated to be in the running for next spring’s top pick. Buffalo can run do one thing well – run the ball, and I don’t see the Jets stopping LeSean McCoy. Give me the Bills.
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
How Marvin Lewis is still the head coach of the Bengals I’ll never know. But Cincy is on a downturn. I really like the Ravens to rebound this year with an above .500 record, and it starts with a big win on the road against an opponent they know very well. The Bengals lost a couple of key pieces on D, while the Ravens love to push the ball downfield. Even if the Bengals squeeze out a win in the jungle, it’ll be by a field goal at most. Give me the points and the Ravens.
Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at Detroit Lions
The Cardinals are poised for a huge comeback year. The offense is finally at full strength, while the defense has made a few improvements. Meanwhile, the Lions will live and die with Matthew Stafford and his new mega contract. The receivers and running backs are good, but not elite. Give me the team with more playmakers, including David Johnson. Take the Cards.
Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at San Francisco 49ers
The Panthers are coming off a disappointing season. But they have a lot of talent still in the fold. Meanwhile, the only thing we know about San Francisco is that they’ll be a last place team. Whether they win 1 or 4 games is still up for debate. I am not sure why this spread is under a touchdown, but I will gladly take the value and lay the points. Give me the Panthers.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.