The 2021 NFL season is kicking off tonight, therefore, myself and my fellow PFP contributor Lukas Briggs will make our picks for the first slate of games against the spread.
Thursday Night Football
Line: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-9.5)
Lukas’ pick: Dallas Cowboys cover
Cam’s pick: Dallas Cowboys cover
In the most anticipated matchup of week one, the defending Super Bowl Champions face the Dallas Cowboys. Both Lukas and I believe Tampa will win this game, however, the high-powered offense of Dallas keeps the deficit within the 9.5 point spread.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons
Line: Atlanta Falcons (-3)
Lukas’ pick: Philadelphia Eagles cover
Cam’s pick: Atlanta Falcons cover
As you can see, we are split on this one. Lukas sees Atlanta as not anything more than it was last year, which was a worse team than Philadelphia. I disagree, as I believe Atlanta’s defense will make some moderate gains and Arthur Smith is a huge net positive at head coach.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills
Line: Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
Lukas’ pick: Buffalo Bills cover
Cam’s pick: Buffalo Bills cover
This game was extremely easy to call. The Bills are just clearly the better team, and the Steelers don’t even get a full touchdown in the line.
Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals
Line: Minnesota Vikings (-3)
Lukas’ pick: Minnesota Vikings cover
Cam’s LOCK: Minnesota Vikings cover
This was another easy game to predict. The Vikings are much better than Cincinnati and this line is far too low. I am making it my lock of this NFL game week.
San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions
Line: San Francisco 49ers (-7.5)
Lukas’ pick: San Francisco 49ers cover
Cam’s pick: San Francisco 49ers cover
The 49ers are playoff contenders, the Lions are #1 overall pick contenders.
Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans
Line: Tennessee Titans (-3)
Lukas’ pick: Tennessee Titans cover
Cam’s pick: Tennessee Titans cover
The Tennessee Titans are truly on a path to title contention. A team that was already great added Julio Jones in the off-season. The Cardinals can surely score points, but Tennessee is truly an elite team.
Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts
Line: Seattle Seahawks (-3)
Lukas’ pick: Seattle Seahawks cover
Cam’s pick: Indianapolis Colts cover
This is going to be a very interesting matchup between two top-class head coaches. Lukas thinks that the better team on paper wins, however, I think that the Colts cover at home while controlling the clock and game.
Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team
Line: Washington Football Team (-1)
Lukas’ pick: Washington Football Team covers
Cam’s pick: Los Angeles Chargers covers
This is quietly one of the best games going into the first week of NFL action. This game could truly go either way. Lukas believes that the stout WFT defense will be more than enough to complement a surging offense and beat the Chargers. I believe the Chargers can be deep playoff contenders, and they will beat Washington with a new quarterback in town.
New York Jets vs Carolina Panthers
Line: Carolina Panthers (-4.5)
Lukas’ pick: New York Jets cover
Cam’s pick: Carolina Panthers cover
This is likely going to be a game that is forgotten by next week. However, the debut of Zach Wilson is noteworthy. Lukas sees this as a battle of mediocre at best clubs and with a spread north of four points, he’d take the points. I believe the Panthers are better than that and will cover their points.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans
Line: Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
Lukas’ pick: Houston Texans cover
Cam’s pick: Houston Texans cover
This game is truly between two of the lightest weights in the NFL. A Jaguars team with a rookie quarterback and a bad roster and a Houston team that is just plain bad and without Deshaun Watson. Lukas and I both agree to just take the points here, I wouldn’t watch this game.
Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs
Line: Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5)
Lukas’ pick: Cleveland Browns cover
Cam’s pick: Kansas City Chiefs cover
This matchup could easily be an AFC championship game preview. In what should be a spectacle, Lukas believes that Browns will at least cover the spread and perhaps win. I think in Arrowhead this will be a tough task.
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots
Line: New England Patriots (-3)
Lukas’ pick: New England Patriots cover
Cam’s pick: New England Patriots cover
This is a very interesting week one matchup pitting Bill Belichick against his former assistant and two former Alabama teammates dualing at quarterback. Lukas and I both believe New England will just be better prepared, and Belichick’s record against young signal-callers like Tua Tagovailoa is stellar.
Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints
Line: Green Bay Packers (-3.5)
Lukas’ LOCK: Green Bay Packers cover
Cam’s pick: Green Bay Packers cover
This game may look juicy on paper, but it truly isn’t. The Saints aren’t even playing at home due to Hurricane Ida, and their roster is not necessarily what it once was. New Orleans is down Michael Thomas, thus they may field the worst pass-catching corps in the NFL. Lukas and I both see a comfortable win for the Packers and he has made it his lock.
Denver Broncos vs New York Giants
Line: Denver Broncos (-3)
Lukas’ pick: New York Giants cover
Cam’s pick: Denver Broncos cover
This is a pretty mediocre NFL matchup, to be honest. Lukas believes the Giants have the potential to be a sleeper team this year, and I feel the same about Denver. Both teams likely will not do too much damage this year.
Sunday Night Football
Line: Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)
Lukas’ pick: Los Angeles Rams cover
Cam’s pick: Los Angeles Rams cover
The Rams are one of the best teams in the NFL and are very likely to contend for the Lombardi Trophy. The Bears are in a transition period and the roster is worse than it was last year. This should be a comfortable win in Matthew Stafford’s Rams debut.
Monday Night Football
Line: Baltimore Ravens (-4.5)
Lukas’ pick: Baltimore Ravens cover
Cam’s pick: Baltimore Ravens cover
The Raiders are a pretty mediocre team. The Ravens despite having what is now a crisis at running back after the season-ending injuries to JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards should get it done as their roster is still very good.