Steelers @ Browns— Since re-joining the NFL in 1999, Browns started season 0-1 18 out of 19 years; they’re 3-12 vs spread in last 15 Week 1 home games. Steelers won their last six games with Cleveland, taking last three by 3-3-4 points- they won four of last six meetings here, with three of four wins by 16+ points. Since 2015, Pitt is 14-9 vs spread as a road favorite- under is 23-7-1 in their last 31 road games. Browns are 4-15-1 vs spread in last 20 games as home underdogs; under is 12-3 in their last 15 home games. Pitt lost five of last seven road openers; they’re 2-8-1 vs spread in last 11. Steelers had a special teams TD in both series games LY. Haley is Cleveland’s new OC; he had same job for Steelers the last six years. Rain is 100% for Sunday with 20 mph winds; total was bet down from 46 to 41.
49ers @ Vikings— Minnesota’s OL coach Sparano died unexpectedly this summer; the OL also has injury issues now. Home side won 11 of last 12 series games; 49ers lost last five games in the Twin Cities, with three losses by 11+ points. Vikings are 5-2 in last seven series games; four of last five series totals were 37 or less. Under Zimmer, Minnesota is 18-5-1 as home favorites; under is 19-13 in their home games the last four years. 49ers were 5-2 as road underdogs LY in Shanahan’s first season, after being 7-13-1 from ’13-’16. Over is 15-9 in SF road games the last three years. Minnesota won/covered its last three home openers. Cousins will be Minnesota’s 11th different #1 QB the last 15 years, 4th in last four years.
Bengals @ Colts— Home side won last eight series games; Bengals lost their last eight visits here, with last visit a ’14 playoff game- their last win here was in ’97. Since 2012, Cincy is 17-12-2 as a road underdog; under is 21-11 in their last 32 road games. Colts are 12-9-1 in last 22 games as home favorites; under is 17-7 in their last 24 home games. Bengals open on road for 8th time in last nine years; over is 8-1 in their last nine road openers. Colts lost their last four home openers, three by 4 or fewer points. Indy started season 0-1 seven of last eight years- they’re 1-9 vs spread in Week 1 the last ten years. Luck’s return at QB is a huge boost for the Colts.
Bills @ Ravens— Peterman is Buffalo’s starting QB here; he was 1-1 in two starts LY, throwing five INT’s in a half in a horrific 54-24 loss to the Chargers, then beating Colts 13-7 in a December home game. Home side won last six series games; last four were all decided by 6 or fewer points. Bills lost last four visits here, by 14-12-3-6 points. Since ’12, Ravens are 16-22-1 vs spread as home favorites; under is 19-13-1 in their last 33 road games. Since ’14, Buffalo 14-9-1 as road underdogs; under is 19-13 in their road games. Ravens won 11 of last 13 home openers; under is 4-1 in last five of those. Bills made playoffs LY for first time in 19 years, but QB Taylor is gone; top draft pick Josh Allen is Peterman’s backup.
Jaguars @ Giants— Last five years, Jags are 3-17 vs spread when playing an NFC team. Home side won all six series games; Jaguars are 0-3 vs Giants here, losing by 3-7-4 points- they’re 3-6 vs Jets in Garden State, so 3-9 overall in the Swamp. This will be first time in six years Big Blue opens the season at home; Giants lost five of their last six home openers (0-6 vs spread); five of those six games stayed under. Since ’15, Big Blue is 7-4 vs spread as home underdogs; under is 10-6 in their home games the last two years. Since ’12, Jaguars are 2-3 as road favorites; over is 28-20 in their road games the last six years. Giants are one of four NFL teams (Bills, Dallas, Panthers) whose backup QB’s have zero NFL starts.
Buccaneers @ Saints— No Jameis Winston (suspended) for Bucs; Fitzpatrick (48-70-1 as NFL starter) gets the nod at QB- Tulane alum Griffin is his backup. Saints are 10-3 in last 13 series games, but last six were split. Bucs lost six of last seven visits to Big Easy, with four of six losses by 11+ points. Under Koetter, Tampa Bay is 7-6-1 as road underdogs; since 2011, over is 29-26-2 in their road games. Since ’14, NO is 10-15-1 as a home favorite; over is 21-11 in their home games last four years. Saints lost their last three home openers; they started last four seasons 0-1. Saints scored special teams TD in both meetings vs Tampa Bay LY. Last five years, Bucs are 7-13-1 vs spread on artificial turf.
Texans @ Patriots— Last 15 years, Super Bowl loser is 2-13 vs spread in their first game the following season, 2-10 when favored. Patriots are 14-2 SU in last 16 home openers, but just 1-5 vs spread in last six. Houston is 0-6 in Foxboro, with five of six losses by 13+ points; they’re 1-9 overall vs Patriots, losing last seven- they lost 36-33 here LY. Texans are 11-15-1 in last 27 games as road underdogs; under is 9-6-1 in their road games last two years. Since ’13, Patriots are 23-10-3 as home favorites; Over is 41-23 in their home games the last eight years. Texans open on road for only 2nd time in last 10 years; they won seven of last nine road openers. Under is 5-2 in their last seven season openers. Over was 5-1 in QB Watson’s six starts last year.
Titans @ Dolphins— Tennessee made playoffs LY for first time in nine years, won a playoff game, then fired the head coach; not sure why. Teams split last six meetings; Titans won two of last three visits here. LY, Miami beat Tennessee 16-10 here, in game where neither team gained 200 total yards. Since 2012, Dolphins are 12-7-2 vs spread as home underdogs; over is 11-4 in their last 15 home games. Since ’14, Tennessee is 2-5-1 as a road favorite; over is 14-10 in their road games the last three years. Titans are 9-2 vs spread in last 11 road openers; under is 16-5 in their last 21 road openers. Tannehill is back at QB for Miami, after missing all of LY; his record as a starting QB is 37-40.
Chiefs @ Chargers— 2nd career start for KC’s new QB Mahomes; he won the first one in Denver last December. Chiefs won last eight series games, with three of four wins in Golden State by 10+ points. Chiefs are 12-9 as road underdogs under Reid; over is 13-9-1 in their road games last three years. Since ’11, Chargers are 15-21 as home favorites; under was 6-2 in their home games LY, their first year playing home games in Carson. KC is on road three of first four weeks this season, with a QB who has started one NFL game- they won that game 27-24. Bolts covered five of their last six home openers; over is 12-3 in their last 15. Last three years, KC was a combined +45 in turnover margin; with Alex Smith gone, can they maintain that?
Seahawks @ Broncos— Seattle won three of last four series games, but lost seven of last eight visits here; since 2011, Seahawks are 13-8-6 vs spread as road underdogs. Under is 15-9 in their road games last three years. Since ’15, Broncos are 5-9-2 vs spread as home favorites; under is 12-10-1 in their last 23 home games. Denver opens at home for 8th year in row; they’re 26-3 SU in last 29 home openers, 6-3 vs spread in last nine. Seahawks open on road for 6th time in last eight years; they lost their first road game 10 of last 11 years; they’re 1-12 vs spread in last 13 road openers. Last couple years, Seahawks are 2-6-1 vs spread on natural grass.
Cowboys @ Panthers— Norv Turner coaching Cam Newton’s offense will be fascinating. Home side lost five of last six series games; Dallas is 9-4 overall vs Carolina, 5-2 in Charlotte- both losses were playoff games. Under Garrett, Dallas is 21-14 as a road underdog; under is 17-6 in their last 23 road games. Last two years, Carolina is 5-8 as a home favorite; under is 23-16-1 in their last 40 home games. Panthers open at home for only 2nd time in last seven years; they’re 0-5 last five times they started season at home. Carolina’s last Week 1 home win was in 2003. Dallas covered nine of last 11 road openers. Cowboys have some injury issues on OL and a rookie kicker. Panthers’ T Kalil is out for first weeks of season.
Redskins @ Cardinals— Both teams have new QB; Arizona has new coach, too- he was with the Panthers for six years, was DC last year. Redskins’ QB Smith is 88-62-1 as an NFL starter, injury-prone Bradford is 34-45-1- he played only two games LY for Minnesota. Home side won last six series games; Redskins are 9-2 in last 11 games vs Arizona, but lost 30-20/31-23 in last two visits here- they beat Redbirds 20-15 (-4) at home LY. Last three years, Arizona is 10-13-1 vs spread at home; under is 19-12-1 in their last 32 home games. Under Gruden, Redskins are 16-16 vs spread on road; over is 17-7 in their last 24 road games.
Bears @ Packers— Green Bay is 14-2 in last 16 games in this ancient rivalry, winning last four by 16-3-17-7 points, but Bears split last four visits to Lambeau. Last two years, Bears are 4-10-1 as road underdogs- under is 10-5-1 in their last 16 road games. Since ’14, Packers are 17-8-2 as a home favorite; under is 15-9 in their last 24 home games. Chicago opens on road for only 2nd time in last nine years; they’re 2-5 in last seven road openers. Under is 12-2 in their last 14 road openers. Packers won 10 of their last 11 home openers. Chicago’s new OC is former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, who has zero NFL experience; DC Fangio has been in Chicago since 2015, so he is familiar with Green Bay.
Jets @ Lions— Rookie QB Darnold becomes youngest QB in last 48 years to start in Week 1. Detroit coach Patricia should be familiar with Jet offense from his days coaching Patriots’ defense. Jets are 6-7 vs Detroit, but won three of last four meetings; they’re 4-3 in Motor City, winning last visit here in OT. Since 2014, Detroit is 14-5-2 as home favorites; under is 29-19 in their home games last six years. Under Bowles, Jets are 3-8-3 as road underdogs; under is 15-8 in their last 23 road games. Lions won five of their last seven home openers; over is 6-2 in their last eight. Detroit started season 1-0 six of last seven years. Jets are 15-6 vs spread in last 21 road openers. Patricia is a defensive coach; will Lions try to run ball more, to protect the defense?
Rams @ Raiders— Gruden returns to sidelines after 10 years away. Raiders are 8-5 against the Rams, but lost last meeting 52-0 in St Louis— lot has changed for both sides since. Rams are 2-5 in series road games. Since 2012, Oakland is 10-16-1 as a home underdog- under is 22-9 in their last 31 home games. Rams are 7-5 vs spread as favorites LY, 4-2 on road; over was 7-1 in their road games LY. Raiders lost four of last six home openers, last four of which went over the total. Rams are 2-14 in last 16 road openers, 3-15 vs spread in last 18- they did win their road opener LY. Goff’s dad played for the SF Giants; this is a homecoming for him. Rams signed star DT Donald; Raiders traded their holdout star DE Mack to the Bears.