After what has seemed to be an eternity, the 2017 NFL season kicks off Thursday. Here is a look at the odds, television broadcast information, and predictions.
To see what games are being broadcast in your area, check out Patriot fan JP Kirby’s Week One NFL Maps.
Thursday Sept 7, 8:30 pm ET on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collisworth
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Broadcast in all markets.
Patriots -9; over/under 48½
With the exception of clock management, Andy Reid is one of the best coaches in the NFL. Unlike the playoff game two seasons ago, the Chiefs have a healthy Justin Houston to disrupt the Patriot offense. I expect this game to start out close, but nobody makes better in-game adjustments than the New England coaching staff.
Patriots 27, Chiefs 17
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Kevin Harlan, Rich Gannon
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Broadcast in New England, New York and some of Florida (West Palm, Fort Myers).
Bills -9; 40
It is going to be easy to simply bet against the Jets every weekend this year. Division games tend to be tough though, and Buffalo QB Tyrod Taylor is bound to be rusty after missing the last two weeks due to a concussion.
Bills 24, Jets 13
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
Broadcast in most of the southeast and upper central US.
Falcons -7; 49
Much has been made about the psyche of Atlanta after the Super Bowl, and the tendency of SB losers to regress the following season. That may well happen, but not in this game. The Falcon offense will have its way with a mediocre Chicago defense, and the Bears don’t have any offensive firepower to keep pace.
Falcons 31, Bears 17
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Andrew Catalon, James Lofton
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Broadcast in Texas and northern Florida.
Texans -5½; 39½
Houston had the number one ranked defense in 2016, and that was without J.J. Watt. The Texan defense will harass Blake Bortles into costly turnovers, and coast to victory.
Texans 24, Jaguars 13
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Kenny Albert, Ronde Barber
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
Broadcast in the northeast, and most states west of the Mississippi.
Eagles -1; 48
The Eagle offensive line did not look good at all in the preseason, particularly in the running game. Even though Washington’s secondary is no better than average, it would be too much to ask Carson Wentz to carry the team. The Skins added Terrell Pryor but lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. I don’t have a strong feel either way in this game; forced to choose, I’ll go with the home team.
Redskins 31, Eagles 28
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox; Chris Myers, Daryl Johnston
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
Broadcast in Arizona, Washington, Michigan and Toledo.
Cardinals -2; 48
I don’t anticipate Carson Palmer having a bounce-back season, but with David Johnson at running back it may not matter for Arizona. Detroit desperately needs some production at RB from Ameer Abdullah, who appeared in only two games last year. This is another game that could easily go either way.
Lions 27, Cardinals 24
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
Broadcast in Tennessee and most states west of the Mississippi.
Titans -2½; 50½
This is the most intriguing game of the week, featuring two young quality quarterbacks and two up and coming teams. Oakland has a more dynamic offense, but I’ll go with Tennessee’s superior defense in what should be a very close and entertaining game.
Titans 27, Raiders 24
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on Fox
Tampa Bay Bucs at Miami Dolphins
Buccaneers -2½; 41½
Game Postponed to Week 11 due to Hurricane Irma
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS; Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Broadcast in Cincinnati, eastern Kentucky, DC and Maryland.
Bengals -3; 42½
Baltimore has major issues on their offensive line, and Joe Flacco practiced for the first time last weekend after missing the entire training camp and preseason with a disk issue in his back.
Bengals 20, Ravens 16
Sunday Sept 10, 1:00 pm ET on CBS’ Greg Gumbel, Trent Green
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
Broadcast in most of the southeast and Great Lakes region.
Steelers -9; 46½
Pittsburgh has struggled mightily on the road in recent years, but this is the Browns. In a rare game when Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all healthy and available, the Steeler offense should be able to score early and often. DeShone Kizer had a good preseason, but playing against second stringers is not the same as facing a blitzing Steeler defense.
Steelers 31, Browns 13
Sunday Sept 10, 4:05 pm ET on CBS; Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams
Broadcast in Indiana, Illinois, Arizona, Utah, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, West Palm and Ft Myers.
Rams -3½; 41½
There are plenty of question marks here, in what looms to be the worst game of the week. The Rams have a new coach (Sean McVay), a 2nd year quarterback who underwhelmed last year (Jared Goff), and will probably be without their best Player (holdout Aaron Donald). With Andrew Luck out the Colts turn to Scott Tolzein at quarterback, who was unimpressive in training camp and preseason. This game could be ugly, with multiple unforced turnovers.
Rams 20, Colts 16
Sunday Sept 10, 4:25 pm on Fox; Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
Broadcast in all markets except the Carolinas, San Francisco and Reno.
Packers -3; 51
Thankfully there is at least one late game worth watching. Seattle’s already strong defense got better with the acquisition of former Jet Sheldon Richardson. The Seahawk offensive line has taken a step back however, and none of their running backs are particularly impressive. The addition of TE Martellus Bennett gives the Packers another option, which could open things up for receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams.
Packers 31, Seahawks 24
Sunday Sept 10, 4:25 pm on Fox; Thom Brennaman, Chris Spielman
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
Broadcast in the Carolinas, San Francisco and Reno.
Panthers -5½; 47½
Even though this is a road trip across three time zones, with this being week one that factor should have only a minimal effect. The Niner defense has improved but still has a long ways to go. Look for Cam Newton and the Panthers to rebound from a disappointing 2016 campaign, and for rookie RB Christian McCaffery to rejuvenate the Carolina offense.
Panthers 27, Forty Niners 13
Sunday Sept 10, 8:30 pm on NBC; Al Michaels, Cris Collisworth
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
Broadcast in all markets.
Cowboys -4; 47½
This should be a high scoring and entertaining contest. The Cowboys will have difficulty covering Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Sheppard all at the same time. On the other side of the ball the Dallas offensive line should be able to open things up for RB Ezekiel Elliott before he begins his questionable suspension.
Cowboys 28, Giants 27
Monday Sept 11, 7:10 pm on espn; Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Broadcast in all markets.
Vikings -3; 48
The NFL schedule makers threw espn a bone here, with Adrian Peterson returning to Minnesota in prime time in week one. The Saints traded WR Brandin Cooks early in the off season and WR Willie Snead is suspended for a DUI. However, Drew Brees still has Michael Thomas (92 receptions for 1,137 yards and 9 TD in 2016), and Ted Ginn is expected to step in to the spot vacated by Cooks. I will be curious to see how Minnesota utilizes rookie RB Dalvin Cook (2,253 yards from scrimmage and 20 TD at Florida State last year).
Saints 31, Vikings 28
Monday Sept 11, 10:20 pm ET on espn; Beth Mowins, Rex Ryan
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos
Broadcast in all markets.
Broncos -3½; 43½
There has been a fair amount of hype for the Chargers in 2017, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Both teams get key offensive players back who were unavailable due to injuries last year: Charger WR Keenan Allen and Bronco RB C.J. Anderson.
Chargers 20, Broncos 17
Texans -5½ vs Jaguars (3 units)
Panthers -5½ at 49ers (2 units)
Rams -3½ vs Colts (1 unit)
Posted Under: NFL Commentary
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