2012 NFL Week One Schedule: Previews and Picks Against the Spread

The first week of the NFL is still far away, but with the draft complete it is time to take a look at the early lines for week one and make some early predictions.

Thursday night football, September 5th

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants
8:30pm ET
Line: Giants -3

Normally the Super Bowl champion would get plenty of betting attention from the public, but the Dallas Cowboys are also a very popular team for the public to bet on. The Giants have owned the Cowboys over the recent years to include a sweep a year ago. The Cowboys were big winners on draft day and in the off-season by retooling a defense that was the Achilles heel in 2011.

The Cowboys get revenge in the season opener by taking down the New York Giants.

Pick: Dallas +3

Sunday September 9th

Indianapolis Colts at Chicago Bears
1:00pm ET
Line: Bears -9.5

The Colts debut rookie sensation Andrew Luck at quarterback and he will face a stiff challenge in week one as the Bears defense will be ready to feast on the youngster. The line for this game will only go higher as the Bears will have all of the weapons, while the rebuilding Colts will struggle to get adjusted early in the season.

Pick: Bears -9.5

Philadelphia Eagles at Cleveland Browns
1:00pm ET
Line: Eagles -6.5

This is another early line that could easily jump over the key number of seven by the time it kicks off. The Eagles were good last year and moves in free agency and the draft have only made them better. The Browns are the Browns and they already have a quarterback controversy. Colt McCoy could be traded before this game and that would leave the Browns with a rookie under center for the opener. This line looks right on but if I am going to take a team in this spot it’s the Eagles.

Pick: Eagles -6.5

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
1:00pm ET
Line: Jets -6

The New York Jets will come into this season, like every year, with plenty of hype. However the Bills have upgraded quite nicely with Mario Williams and cornerback Stephon Gilmore. The Bills were on the cusp of becoming a better team a year ago, and this will be the year they make that leap/ The Jets will be juggling two quarterbacks with a new offensive coordinator and a complex offense that will lead to a loss to start the season.

Pick: Bills +6

Washington Redskins at New Orleans Saints
1:00pm ET
Line: Saints -10

This game could be very interesting with all of the offseason turmoil that the Saints have had to endure. This game will be a welcome distraction for this team, but the story of the game will be the first start for rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III who will be under center for the Washington Redskins. The Saints have been dominant at home covering at a 19-5 ATS clip since 2008, but they are due for a correction. Taking a rookie on the road in his first game is a big risk, but backing the Saints is also dangerous territory. This game should be a pass, but since I am picking every game I will drop the points with a Saints team looking to make a statement.

Pick: Saints -10

Peyton Manning Will Make the Broncos a Contender, but will he win in week one?

New England Patriots at Tennessee Titans
1:00pm ET
Line: Patriots -6.5

The oddsmakers are laying out the bait, as they are laying less than a touchdown with a clearly superior New England Patriots team. The public will undoubtedly flood the favorite as the Patriots made the Super Bowl and have vastly improved via free agency (Brandon Lloyd), and the draft (defense). It is still uncertain if Hasselbeck or Locker will be under center to start the season, but this game is placed in the “looks too good to be true” category. The Titans can run the ball with Chris Johnson and this is a big revenge game after the Pats smashed them in the snow. I will take a shot with the home underdog to start the season off.

Pick: Titans +6.5

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
1:00pm ET
Line: Vikings -3.5

This wins the award for the “bad game of the week” with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars teeing it up. This will be a battle of two teams looking for an identity as they try and rebuild from the ground up. The Vikings should not be giving points to anyone this season and for that reason alone I will back the Jags and number.

Pick: Jaguars +3.5

Miami Dolphins at Houston Texans
1:00pm ET
Line: Texans -6

The Houston Texans will have high expectations as many experts believed that Houston would have made a run at a championship if not for an injury to quarterback Matt Schaub. They will start the season off by hosting the Miami Dolphins and rookie signal-caller Ryan Tannehill. There is no evidence to support backing the Dolphins in this spot and so I will grab the Texans, and would not be surprised if this number is over 7 points before kickoff.

Pick: Texans -6

St. Louis Rams at Detroit Lions
1:00pm ET
Line: Lions -9

The Lions are on the rise and many believe this is the year that they will make the next step. Obviously the lines makers are on board as they have set the Lions as nine point favorites in this season opener. The Rams however will be vastly improved under Jeff Fisher and although they may not win this difficult road game, they will be tough to bet against getting this tempting number.

Pick: Rams +9

Atlanta Falcons at Kansas City Chiefs
1:00pm ET
Line: Pick ‘em

The Falcons will be another favorite to take the next step this season, but don’t sleep on the Kansas City Chiefs. They will most likely be home underdogs by kickoff and they are dangerous at Arrowhead. With a healthy Jamaal Charles back in the lineup, the Chiefs could easily defeat the notoriously slow starting Falcons.

Pick: Chiefs PK

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers
4:15pm ET
Line: Packers -6.5

One of the better games in week one is the game between the 49ers and the Packers. The Packers at home are tough to beat and covered 7 out of 8 against the spread a year ago, but that 49er defense is impressive. The 49ers still have Alex Smith under center and that is enough to drop the points with the Packers.

Pick: Packers -6.5

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4:15pm ET
Line: Carolina -3

Make note of this game early. A divisional home underdog is always worth a look and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will win this game outright. The Bucs gave up last year and will be itching toget started with a win under a new head coach. The Bucs have improved in the off-season with some great free agent pickups and the Cam Newton hype will give the Bucs tremendous value in this spot.

Pick: Bucs +3

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
4:15pm ET
Line: Cardinals -3

The Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals are two difficult teams to figure out this year. Pete Carroll has made some interesting off-season moves and the quarterback position is still undecided and it may be that way all the way up to kickoff. The Cardinals just seem to still have more pieces in place to get started with a victory.

Pick: Cardinals -3

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
8:25pm ET
Line: Broncos -2

How about this opening line? Peyton Manning joins the Broncos and they become 2 point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers. I am not buying it. Manning is a serious upgrade, but I am not ready to fit the Broncos for Super bowl rings just yet. Manning has been out of action for nearly two years and the Steelers will be looking for some revenge after a playoff exit a year ago.

Pick: Steelers +2


Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens
7:00pm ET
Line: Baltimore -7

The Bengals improved a year ago, but they could still not solve the Baltimore Ravens. They have improved some much needed areas in the off season and should be ready to put up more of a fight in 2012. The Ravens are a very good team but without Suggs and with plenty of questions on the offensive line, look for a very close game to open the season.

Pick: Bengals +7

Analysis: The Bengals had a solid draft and should be ready to take another step in the right direction this season, but Cincinnati went 0-2 against the Ravens last year and lost both games by seven or more points. LVH set a beautiful line for this matchup, so we’ll wait to see if any early action gives us an indicator of what side the sharps will be playing for the first Monday night game of the year.

San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders
10:15pm ET
Line Pick ‘em

There is nothing better than a Monday night game in the Black Hole. Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers try to meet expectations again this year although they always seem to fall short. Although trusting the Raiders is a tricky proposition, playing them at home to start the season is the way to go.

Pick: Raiders pick ‘em

It is still early and there is plenty of time for injuries, line changes, and position battles to unfold, so stay tuned for updates as the season gets closer.

All NFL future odds and wagering options for the upcoming football season can be found at Bovada Sportsbook. (Claim a Free $100 To bet on Sports!)

More 2012-2013 NFL Predictions:

NFL Over/Under Win Total Predictions for every team

2013 Super Bowl Favorites, Surprises and a Longshot

Green Bay Packers schedule breakdown and prediction

Chicago Bears schedule breakdown and prediction

Carolina Panthers 2012 Preview and Prediction

Philadelphia Eagles 2012 Preview and Prediction

Denver Broncos Schedule Breakdown and Prediction

New York Jets schedule breakdown and prediction

Dallas Cowboys Preview and Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers Preview and Prediction

New England Patriots Preview and Prediction

Oakland Raiders Schedule Breakdown and Prediction

NFL Week one Picks: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

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