NFL Week 1: Official predictions for who wins this weekend

Football is back!

After the Patriots and Chiefs kick off the season on Thursday night, football fans will be treated to a full slate of games on Sunday including a few fantastic matchups between proven teams (Packers vs. Seahawks) as well as new powerhouses that could take over the league this year (Titans vs. Raiders).

The return of football also brings the return of the time-honored tradition of gambling on football.

So if you care to join me, this year I'll be doing my best to pick every game against the spread to the best of my abilities. For some games I'll do my best to offer you genuine gambling insight, for others, my picks will be based on gut and feel and how much I enjoy watching J.J. Watt and Derek Carr play football. But I promise to always be honest, and do my best to keep our wallets relatively intact along the way.

With that said, it's absolutely beautiful to have football back in our lives. Let's get to picking.

All lines courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

33 PHOTOS
Every NFL team's Super Bowl 52 odds
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Every NFL team's Super Bowl 52 odds
Cleveland Browns

Super Bowl odds: Odds not listed

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by: 2017 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl odds: Odds not listed

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)

New York Jets

Super Bowl odds: 500/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts

Super Bowl odds: 500/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New York Giants

Super Bowl odds: 500/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals

Super Bowl odds: 150/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears

Super Bowl odds: 100/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl odds: 100/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals

Super Bowl odds: 100/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl odds: 100/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Chargers

Super Bowl odds: 66/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins

Super Bowl odds: 66/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Washington Redskins

Super Bowl odds: 66/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Buffalo Bills

Super Bowl odds: 50/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars

Super Bowl odds: 50/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Houston Texans

Super Bowl odds: 40/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos

Super Bowl odds: 40/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Oakland Raiders

Super Bowl odds: 33/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl odds: 33/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)

Detroit Lions

Super Bowl odds: 33/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl odds: 33/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers

Super Bowl odds: 33/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints

Super Bowl odds: 22/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl odds: 20/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Rams

Super Bowl odds: 18/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Minnesota Vikings

Super Bowl odds: 16/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Atlanta Falcons

Super Bowl odds: 16/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl odds: 10/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs

Super Bowl odds: 10/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl odds: 15/2

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl odds: 7/1

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New England Patriots

Super Bowl odds: 13/4

Last updated 10/25

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Kansas City Chiefs (+9) at New England Patriots (Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET)

The pick: Chiefs +9

The logic: Ugh what an awful way to start this experiment. The Patriots make gamblers look dumb week in and week out, and this game will likely be more of the same. Between Andy Reid vs. Bill Belichick, Alex Smith vs. Tom Brady, the Patriots receiving corps of Cooks, Gronk, Hogan, and Amendola vs. Travis Kelce and not much else, none of the matchups look good.

But points are important when betting on sports, and nine points is a lot. Since 2000 these teams have met eight times and the Chiefs have covered nine points six of those times, and fell one point short on another occasion. When the Chiefs and Patriots met in the playoffs last season, they lost by just a touchdown.

There's a 70% chance this pick will look ridiculous five minutes into the game after the Pats have sprinted to a 14-point lead after electing to kick, but the Chiefs shouldn't be nine point dogs.

 

New York Jets (+8) at Buffalo Bills (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Bills -8

The logic: Laying eight points with the Bills and Tyrod Taylor's questionable health seems like an odd choice, but the Jets appear to be openly tanking the season, and it would be a brutal blow to their chances at the first overall pick next year to win their opening game. The Bills will be excited to play at home and have the unique opportunity to absolutely destroy someone. Why not run up the score?

 

Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Chicago Bears (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Bears +7

The logic: Sure, it's Mike Glennon going up against the team that almost beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but it would be a crime not to bet the first home underdog of the season.

 

Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Ravens +3

The logic: These AFC North matchups always seem to come down to the wire, so why not take the points in this spot?

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (-8.5) at Cleveland Browns (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Browns +8.5

The logic: Another great home dog! Also, Deshone Kizer is easy to like now that he's out of a Notre Dame uniform. The Browns have likely cost sharp bettors more money than any team in football history over the past two seasons, but with a new year upon us, it's important to follow the tried and true rules of gambling until we know more about the season, and when home teams are getting this many points, you close your eyes and make the bet.

 

Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at Detroit Lions (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Cardinals -1.5

The logic: The Lions haven't beaten the Cardinals in literally 20 years.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5) at Houston Texans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Houston -5.5

The logic: After the devastation Houston has faced in the past two weeks, who wants to root against the Texans here in their home debut. I hope J.J. Watt gets eight sacks and scores two touchdowns.

 

Oakland Raiders (+2) at Tennessee Titans (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Raiders +2

The logic: Everyone is in love with the Titans this year, including me, but the Raiders were such late-game wizards last season (including a Week 1 comeback against the Saints where they went for the two-point conversion to win rather than kicking for overtime) that it's tough to pick against them in this spot. Plus, all eight of CBS Sports "experts" picked Tennessee hereWhen the gambling world zigs, it's usually a smart move to zag.

 

Philadelphia Eagles (-1) at Washington Redskins (Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET)

The pick: Eagles -1

The logic: The Eagles haven't beaten the Redskins since September, 2014, and if Carson Wentz is going to be the Eagles quarterback of the future, at some point he's going to have to beat Washington. Let's see if he can replicate the hot start he lead Philadelphia to last year.

 

Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

The pick: Rams -3.5

The logic: This might be your only opportunity this year to bet against Scott Tolzien on the road. Make it count.

 

Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

The pick: Packers -3

The logic: The home team has won this matchup in every meeting between the teams since 2009. It's likely to be one of the best games of the week though, so you don't have to bet to enjoy this one.

 

Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at San Francisco 49ers (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

The pick: 49ers +5.5

The logic: According to SportsInsights, this is the most one-sided game on the board this week, with almost 80% of the bets coming in on the Panthers. With this is mind, we're going to fade the public and take the 49ers — again, when they zig, you zag.

 

New York Giants (+4) at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET)

The pick: Cowboys -4

The logic: Ezekiel Elliott's suspension issues have still not been resolved, but for now it looks like the second-year running back will be able to play Week 1 before taking his time off. Expect the Cowboys to make the most of their limited time with their running back, and show up big at home in primetime.

 

New Orleans Saints (+3.5) at Minnesota Vikings (Monday, 7:10 p.m. ET)

The pick: Saints +3.5

The logic: Adrian Peterson makes his return to Minnesota, where he will get booed into oblivion before running for 150 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Denver Broncos (Monday, 10:20 p.m. ET)

The pick: Broncos -3.5

The logic: Few men in history have figured out more creative ways to lose football games than Philip Rivers. While he's always a threat to put up 40 points on a whim, it's tough to see the Denver defense letting that happen, and I've seen too many dollars leave my pocket thanks to an ill-timed interception to take him in a night game. Plus, the Broncos are apparently extremely excited about Trevor Siemian.

 

NOW READ: NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where all 32 teams stand going into Week 1

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