NFL Week 1: Expert Picks Against the Spread

07:16 10.09.2023

The New York Giants are heading into the 2023 NFL season with some skepticism surrounding their chances of success. Despite finishing with a 9-7-1 record and a playoff victory last season, their season win total is set at 7.5 at DraftKings, with the odds favoring the under. Critics argue that the Giants' record was inflated by wins against weaker teams and that their losses to division rivals and a blowout playoff defeat reveal their true abilities.

However, there is reason for optimism in New York. After going through a series of coaching changes in recent years, the Giants have finally found stability with the hiring of Coach of the Year Brian Daboll. Daboll, along with coordinators Mike Kafka and Wink Martindale, brings a sense of understanding and creativity to the offensive side of the ball, particularly in utilizing the talents of quarterback Daniel Jones. With weapons like Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller, and new addition Jalin Hyatt, as well as a solid offensive line, Jones will have the support and options to succeed. His running ability will also be more effective as a surprise rather than a necessity.

The Giants' first test of the season comes against the Dallas Cowboys, who have dominated the series in recent years. As underdogs by a field goal, the Giants have the opportunity to prove themselves as true contenders right from the start. A win here would go a long way in silencing the doubters.

In other Week 1 matchups, the Atlanta Falcons are favored by 3.5 points over the Carolina Panthers. The Baltimore Ravens are expected to provide a rough welcome for the Houston Texans, with a spread of 9.5 points. The Cleveland Browns, despite being my Super Bowl pick, face a challenging scenario with quarterback Joe Burrow coming off a preseason calf injury. The Indianapolis Colts, considered one of the worst teams in the league, have the opportunity to surprise the favored Jacksonville Jaguars. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, like the Giants, are also expected to regress after a strong season, but their defense could keep their game against the Minnesota Vikings tight. The Tennessee Titans, led by Derrick Henry and a strong receiving corps, are favored by 3 points over the New Orleans Saints, who will be without Alvin Kamara. The Pittsburgh Steelers, despite their talent disadvantage, could pose a challenge to the San Francisco 49ers. The Washington Commanders, expected to be a strong team, are favored by 7 points over the Arizona Cardinals. The Chicago Bears, with Justin Fields leading the way, have a chance to end their long losing streak against the Green Bay Packers. The New England Patriots are underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles, but Bill Belichick's coaching prowess could make this an interesting game. The Las Vegas Raiders, with new additions Jimmy Garoppolo and Davante Adams, are underdogs against the Denver Broncos. Finally, the Miami Dolphins, led by a dynamic offense including Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, face the Los Angeles Chargers, hoping to overcome their defensive struggles.

The start of the NFL season is always filled with optimism and dreams of Super Bowl glory. Every team believes they can replicate the success of the previous year's surprise team, like the Giants. However, reality often sets in throughout the season, and only time will tell which teams can live up to the hype and which will fall short.

/ Sunday, September 10, 2023, 7:16 AM /

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