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Cleveland out-rushed opponents last year by a 148-111 per-game margin, and teams that win the ground battles cover the spread about 65 percent of the time. The Browns also gave Kansas City all it could handle in that playoff game last January and covered the spread. Yes, Mahomes is great, and he's got an array of weapons to work with, but he doesn't play defense. We expect a close game here, and while the Chiefs will probably win outright, we're taking the Browns and the points for our free NFL betting pick.
Obviously, there is no such thing as a sure bet, especially in a Week 1 match-up where expectations are volatile. Not to mention, Atlanta still has undeniable concerns on the defensive side of the football. However, Philadelphia has those same concerns on defense, where they have declined every year since their 2017 Super Bowl run. Purely from a match-up standpoint, the Eagles' biggest weakness is over the middle of the field where the Falcons like to attack. The linebackers are a complete mess, and there is minimal confidence in the secondary. All of these factors lead me to believe the Falcons will move the football and scrap away at conversions to create scoring opportunities. I just don't see Philadelphia replicating that formula on the other side of the football. If Hurts turns the ball over, things could get ugly as well.
Sure he's the favorite, but Mohomes stands out as my top play.
On paper, a pick on the “under” may seem counterintuitive, with the biggest offensive sparkplug in the sport in Mahomes taking on the best big-game QB of all-time in Brady. Something just tells me the game will be slightly more subdued than what some are envisioning. For what it's worth, this pair of quarterbacks have gone under seven times in ten combined Super Bowl appearances. I picture enough turnovers, red-zone stoppages, untimely penalties, and overall defensive resistance to make getting to 56 points an uphill battle in this game.
Call me crazy, but I think Tampa Bay is playing their best football of the season. Add a little Brady magic, and I like the underdogs here. Take the Buccaneers +3 and also consider the under 52
Cleveland showed a lot of moxie getting to this spot, not to mention a lot of offense. When looking for these little X-factor upset candidates, the Browns check a lot of boxes. They're a wide-range team that can be pretty hard to stop on the high end of that range. There are just certain matchup components within this game that might be too hard for the Browns to buck. I don't think that the Browns' secondary can come up with the right answers. It's going to take a lot of twists and turns in Cleveland's favor to keep this one from getting out of hand. I'm taking Kansas City at home.
Baltimore played +83 rushing yards per game this season while Buffalo played -12 in that department. And according to our homework over the last ten seasons or so, teams that win the ground battles in the NFL cover the spread about 65 percent of the time. Also, the Ravens own the better defense in this match-up. Also, the Bills are banged-up on offense. Also, while home teams and favorites own SU and ATS edges in the divisional round of the playoffs over recent seasons, those involved teams with bye weeks. Neither of these teams had last week off. We like Baltimore here for the win on the money line.
I just can't trust the Rams offense in this match-up, nor can I bet against the Packers offense that is playing some of the best football we have seen from an NFC team in years. I believe the Rams offensive problems become the storyline this week.