Breaking Down The Best Bets For Week 1’s NFL Spotlight Games
The 2015 NFL season kicks off this weekend with an absolutely loaded schedule including a key early season NFC East showdown Sunday Night Football followed by a doubleheader on Monday Night Football. Here is a breakdown of this week’s top games including the best bets to win each of those Week 1 games.
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos
Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
The Broncos have reloaded for one more shot at the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning under center but their preference to run the football more will be tested against a tough Baltimore defense. Manning can’t afford to throw for 5,000 yards again if he wants to stay healthy and fresh for the playoffs but the Ravens front-seven could force him to throw more than he wants in this game. Meanwhile, Denver’s defense will be responsible for keeping Joe Flacco and company in check at the Mile High and based on the numbers they put up last season they should be able to keep the Ravens in check. Manning will throw for 300 yards and a couple of scores and the Broncos will open the season with a key win over another top contender from the AFC in what should be a closer game than the line indicates.
Pick: Baltimore +4.5
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
Sunday, 8:30 PM ET
Dallas won both games against the Giants a year ago but they lost the league’s leading rusher DeMarco Murray and there is reason to think their defense will take a step back this season. Eli Manning and company would love to take advantage of that on the road in this game with a full cast of offensive weapons that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz, Reuben Randle, tight end Larry Donnell and running backs Shane Vereen and Rashad Jennings. Tony Romo and company will do some damage but as long as Manning doesn’t turn the football over the Giants should be able to find a way to cover the six-point line on the road.
Pick: New York +6
Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons
Monday, 6:55 PM ET
The Eagles have been prominent in the offseason headlines after losing their starting quarterback, running back and top receiver and replacing them with a potential franchise quarterback, the league’s reigning rushing yards champion and a rookie that has the potential to do some serious damage in his first season. Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray and Nelson Agholor will each make their regular season debut for Philadelphia on Monday night but the party might not go as planned. The Falcons have some serious offensive firepower of their own with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones leading the way and new head coach Dan Quinn has reconstructed a defense that was far too leaky last season. The Eagles will give Atlanta all it can handle but the Falcons should be able to at least keep this game close and cover the three-point spread on the road.
Pick: Atlanta +3
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers
Sunday, 10:15 PM ET
The experts have Minnesota primed to take a step forward with an emphasis on running back Adrian Peterson’s return and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s return but the Vikings still have question marks at wide receiver and on the defensive side of the football and they could be in tough on the road at San Francisco in Week 1. The 49ers were absolutely ripped apart this offseason but Jim Tomsula is a master motivator and Colin Kaepernick and his teammates will approach this game with an “us against the world” mentality. San Francisco isn’t nearly as good as it was a year ago on paper but they still have some talented pieces and it won’t be a surprise if they won straight up at home in Week 1 as small underdogs
Pick: San Francisco +2.5