NFL Picks, Week 1: Completely Accurate Gambling Advice

Aug 30, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws his wrist bands to the fans after the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeated Cincinnati 20-16. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Need some advice on how to blow your hard-earned money gambling on football this weekend? Great! We're here to help!

The Dallas Cowboys open Thursday morning with the best record in the NFL -- 1-0. The Cowboys beat the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, 24-17, in the NFL's season opener. The first NFL game on a Wednesday in decades means we have to wait an extra day to get to the rest of the games.

But I can already tell you who will win every game this week. Your completely accurate NFL picks for Week 1:


More: Week 1 NFL Odds | Betting Trends


Indianapolis Colts vs. Chicago Bears

The Bears are the second biggest favorite in Week 1, according to SB Nation's odds page. (Houston over Miami is the biggest.) A 9.5-point spread is very high in the NFL, and maybe a little too high here. The Bears are the better team, there's no doubt. But don't underestimate the Colts. Andrew Luck is a rookie but that doesn't mean he will automatically suck. There are reasons to think Indy keeps it closer than the point spread suggests, but ultimately the Bears win this game.

Score: 28-24

Atlanta Falcons vs. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs' defense has major questions with Tamba Hali suspended for the game and with starters Brandon Flowers and Derrick Johnson questionable to play with injuries. Kendrick Lewis, starting safety, is out. Anthony Toribio, starting nose tackle, is likely out.

All that said, I gotta be honest here: I'm a Chiefs fan. Season opener, at home, Tony Gonzalez returns to Kansas City ... I can't pick against the Chiefs. They'll find a way to get it done even though the signs say they won't.

Score: 23-20


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Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cleveland Browns

There are a few front-office connections between these teams, starting with Browns GM Tom Heckert. But the comparisons between the two teams end there. The Eagles have Super Bowl dreams. The Browns are hoping to hit, I don't know, seven or eight wins? Unless Philly finds a way to blow it, the Eagles win this game.

Score: 27-7

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Washington Redskins vs. New Orleans Saints

These are two teams that have had their fair share of attention this offseason. The Saints for the bounty case and the Redskins for the man, the myth, the legend, Robert Griffin III.

This is a good game for RGIII to get in a groove with the Saints defense seeing a lot of changes since last year. Unfortunately, it's an even better game for the Saints offense to get into a groove. Their offense is too good for the Redskins right now. A good day from RGIII won't be enough.

Score: 31-20

St. Louis Rams vs. Detroit Lions

Four years ago, the Lions were 0-16 and the Rams were 2-14. The Lions have gotten a lot better; the Rams have not. Detroit's the clear favorite in this game, one of the biggest lines of the week at 7.5 points. I'm one of few people who believe the Rams will be much better this year, like possibly Wild Card better. But Sunday will not be one of those days.

Score: 35-28

New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans

People seem to forget the Titans won nine games last year while getting an average -- at best -- performance from Chris Johnson. If Jake Locker is the playmaker he's supposed to be, the Titans get a little more out of Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt stays out of trouble, this is a very good team.

But they won't be good enough on Sunday. You can't pick against the Patriots, not this early. We know who they are and that's an elite team. We don't know who the Titans are yet.

Score: 27-21

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Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings

Adrian Peterson coming off an ACL tear or Maurice Jones-Drew coming off his summer vacation? I'll take AP all day long. MJD may not be in for a full load but he will play some.

This is a game the folks at SB Nation Fantasy will have their eye on. A lot of leagues are depending on the workload of AP and MJD.

Score: 17-14

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

Don't hate me, Jets fans, but I think your team is in trouble this year. The Bills will win this game and they will finish the season ahead of the Jets in the AFC East.

Preview of ESPN's First Take on Monday morning: OMG TEBOW!!!

Score: 14-10

Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans

Anyone else see this being the biggest line of the week? The line started at 6.5 points in favor of Houston. It's now doubled to 13 points in some places.

Everyone loves the Texans? Or everyone hates the Dolphins?

Kinda think it's the latter.

Score: 38-14

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Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals

A month ago I would've said this was a battle for the No. 1 overall pick. And then Russell Wilson looked like a 10-year vet lighting it up in preseason.

Now it's just the Cardinals battling for the No. 1 pick, which they will have a good shot at earning.

Score: 24-13

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

This is the late game you want to watch. The 49ers are a popular Super Bowl pick, though not as popular as the Packers. SB Nation's NFL bloggers picked Green Bay to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Until the 49ers prove again that they're legit, I'm rolling with the Packers. Hard to pick against the quarterback you think will win the MVP.

Score: 24-20

Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Who doesn't think Cam Newton is going to take the NFL by storm this year? 4,000 yards passing, 14 rushing touchdowns in year one is impressive. What would be more impressive is doing it again, which he will. Sunday is the first step.

Score: 27-21

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Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Denver Broncos

Not a bad test for Peyton Manning, who returns to real NFL action. The Broncos were good enough to beat the Steelers in last year's Divisional round of the playoffs and they've seemingly gotten better with the addition of Manning. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are installing a new offense, Mike Wallace is rusty and there's the usual question of whether the defense is too old.

I'm picking the Broncos, but I can't say I'm all that confident about it.

Score: 13-10

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens

The first game of the Monday Night Football double-header takes place in Baltimore where the Ravens will be trying to prove that they're still the class of the AFC North (along with the Steelers!). Cincy was a surprise playoff team last year so, like the 49ers, many people are waiting for them to do it again.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Score: 17-14

San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders gave us what might've been the ugliest preseason game when they opened the exhibition schedule on Monday night against the Cowboys, a 3-0 loss. The Chargers have their own set of issues with injuries to Ryan Mathews, Vincent Brown and Jared Gaither.

Philip Rivers uncharacteristically struggled last year. His 2011 season was the outlier. He's better than that and will show it on Monday night. The Chargers take the early lead in the AFC West.

Score: 23-17

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