Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)
Here are my three Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:
St. Louis Rams -4.5 (over Arizona Cardinals)
Welcome back to yet another season of football, and Week 1 is always the best as all teams start over at zero. The Rams as of late have been a difficult matchup for the Cardinals, as they have gone 3-0 against the spread head-to-head.
The Rams defense owned the Arizona offensive line last year, as in their two games they had 11 of their league-high 52 sacks against the Cards. Arizona has already lost their No. 1 draft pick Jonathan Cooper to a broken leg, and you will see Carson Palmer scrambling for his health on Sunday.
I like Daryl Richardson going against the 28th-ranked rushing defense that allows 137 yards per game. I will lay the 4.5 for the up-and-coming Rams.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers -4.5 (over New York Jets)
The Jets have certainly been the best circus going this offseason, as they have played quarterback roulette. The Jets have decided to start rookie Geno Smith this game, although he was limited in the preseason with an ankle injury and managed to toss three picks and run out of the end zone for a safety.
The Jets love to run the football, but they will find it a tough go, as the Buccaneers were the best against the run last year only allowing 82 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry. The Bucs will look to exploit the Jets rushing defense that was ranked 26th overall last year, as they yielded 133 yards per game last year.
I love the matchup of Doug Martin vs. the Jets rush defense, and also the retooled Bucs defense featuring Darelle Revis going against an unimpressive rookie QB. Vegas always gives a gift in Week 1, and this is the one.
NY Giants +3.5 (over Dallas Cowboys)
The best part of Week 1 is that we get some great divisional rivaly games when both teams are fresh. The Giants have gotten the better of the 'Boys as of late, as they have gone 6-2 against the spread in their last eight, and also the Giants have covered on their last four trips to big D.
The Cowboys have also had rough luck against the NFC East as of late, as they have gone 2-10 against the spread in the division.
I love Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks, and Victor Cruz going against last year's 19th-ranked passing defense that gave up 230 yards per game and 22 TDs. I also like the Giants pass rush going up against that porous Cowboys offensive line, as they will struggle to give Tony Romo time. I love the Giants getting the 3.5 on the road, so I will gladly take the points here.
Five of our contributors make three weekly picks ATS every week and they will be posted here.