INSIDE THE LINES: WEEK ONE

September 6, 2018

 

 

Inside the Lines is a weekly feature on ScouTurf.com where we outline the NFL spreads, provide a short snippet of match up insight, and give final score predictions.

 

All lines are from Westgate as of the timestamp of this article. Please visit our disclaimer at the bottom of the page.

 

Atlanta Falcons (+1.5) at Philadelphia Eagles

No Carson Wentz and a Falcons team that was a Keanu Neal knee-ball interception away from possibly playing in last year’s Super Bowl is a perfect recipe for a week one surprise. Throw in the fact that Foles has looked awful and it’s the opening game on a weird Thursday night and I have a hunch the Falcons could have the NFL world buzzing into the weekend.

Falcons 21 Eagles 17

 

Buffalo Bills (+7.5) at Baltimore Ravens

The Bills are trotting out Nathan Peterman behind an offensive line that’s a human sieve against a top-five defense at M&T Bank Stadium? This line could be +14.5 and I’d still pick the Ravens.

Ravens 30 Bills 10

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at New York Giants

Tom Coughlin has been preparing for this revenge game since March, and you better believe he revealed every last trade secret about Eli Manning to his all-world defense. Calais Campbell vs. Ereck Flowers is a match up that spells chaos, and the Giants’ usual ace in the hole offensive weapon has to go up against perhaps the best cornerback in football.

Jaguars 24 Giants 13

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9.5) at New Orleans Saints

Ryan Fitzpatrick on the road against the best team in the division? I don’t want any of that smoke. Marshon Lattimore should silence Mike Evans on the perimeter and the Saints receivers are going up against some Bucs defensive backs that have been banged up.

Saints 25 Bucs 10

 

Houston Texans (+6.5) at New England Patriots

Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are going to do everything in their power to convince the NFL that all is well in Patriots land as they look to increase their impressive home field record at Gillette. The Pats defense isn't exactly a squad of world beaters but they get to go up against a bottom-five offensive line and a quarterback coming off an ACL tear in Deshaun Watson. Stephon Gilmore will have his hands full with Nuk Hopkins this week. 

Patriots 27 Texans 20

 

San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) at Minnesota Vikings

Jimmy Garoppolo will try to keep his record as a starter golden this week in Minnesota, but a vaunted Vikings defense will be there to meet his handsome smile. The 49ers could catch the Vikings at a good time early on in the season as Kirk Cousins tries to acclimate to a new offense, and when you sprinkle in a Vikings interior offensive line that's somewhat of a disaster at this point in time, it’s closer than the spread suggests.

Vikings 14 49ers 13

 

Tennessee Titans (-1.5) at Miami Dolphins

The Titans are one of only three road teams this week who are favored, and I’m buying what the pundits are selling. Hard Rock Stadium isn’t exactly a voracious atmosphere and the Titans will have the advantage of brand new schemes on the offense and defense under Mike Vrabel that the Dolphins won’t be able to adequately prepare for.

Titans 24 Dolphins 14

 

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Indianapolis Colts

I’m not going to lie, I had to do a double take when I saw the spread for this one. I thought for sure someone had to have mistakenly made it +3 instead of -3. In what world do we think the Colts are favorites against the Bengals? Did Kenny Moore II morph into Jalen Ramsey to supposedly shut down AJ Green? Are we just going to pretend like Carlos Dunlap isn’t going to turn Joe Haeg into a turnstile at right tackle? Why are we romanticizing Andrew Luck, who has not played a down of real football in what feels like centuries?

Bengals 35 Colts 21

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) at Cleveland Browns

Probably the match up I’ve wrestled with the most this week. Todd Haley is going to have something special cooked up this week against his old team and the Steelers are in disarray with the absence of Le’Veon Bell. Week one is full of surprises, and I'm banking on this game being one of them.

Browns 27 Steelers 24

 

Kansas City Chiefs (+3.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Very excited to see Patrick Mahomes usher in a brand new era of Chiefs football, even if the new era starts off with an L. Both teams are a pretty even match and the Chiefs have the tackles to slow down (notice I didn’t write “stop”) Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, so I’ll go with the home field advantage.

Chargers 30 Chiefs 24

 

Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Denver Broncos

In contrast to what’s going on in Pittsburgh, the return of Earl Thomas should give the Seahawks a little morale boost going into Mile High to take on the Broncos. Unfortunately, either Bradley Chubb or Von Miller get to feast on Germain Ifedi, so I just don’t see how Russell Wilson will have any time to create plays with his arm.

Broncos 17 Seahawks 13

 

Dallas Cowboys (+3) at Carolina Panthers

Demarcus Lawrence entering a contract year gets to take on an offensive tackle who has just returned to practice with a pretty legitimate knee injury in Darryl Williams. On the flip side, Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott will have their hands full against a pretty stout defense compounded by lack of talent at the wide receiver and tight end position.

Panthers 20 Cowboys 17

 

Washington Redskins (+1) at Arizona Cardinals

The Redskins are being extremely slept on even with the injury to Derrius Guice. A rush package of Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, and Preston Smith suggests that Jennifer Lawrence won’t be the only red sparrow to break a leg with Sam Bradford behind center.

Redskins 21 Cardinals 17

 

Chicago Bears (+7.5) at Green Bay Packers

The blockbuster acquisition of Khalil Mack makes this Sunday Night Football match up must-see TV. My feeling is that the Packers won’t be ready for some of the new looks on offense that Matt Nagy has up his sleeve and the Bears are beneficiaries of some beginners luck.

Bears 24 Packers 23

 

New York Jets (+6.5) at Detroit Lions

Sam Darnold has been impressive this preseason going up against reserves, but baby, this is the real thing. An opening day loss at home to the Jets would cause a lot of raised eyebrows for Lions fans, and Matt Patricia can’t afford to get off on the wrong foot.

Lions 17 Jets 7

 

Los Angeles Rams (-4) at Oakland Raiders

The rich contract extension of Aaron Donald gives Sean McVay and the Rams some momentum heading into a late Monday Night Football clash against the Raiders. Gruden will try like hell to prove he doesn’t need Khalil Mack to win, but like, he kind of does.

Rams 34 Raiders 24

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