NFL Week 1 is finally here and that means it’s time for Colin’s Blazin’ 5. He’s ready to take Vegas to the cleaners to start the year, and stuff your pockets in the process.
Here are his Week 1 plays:
- Eagles (-1) @ Redskins – Colin is flying with the Eagles this year, and likes them giving a point on the road in D.C. Kirk Cousins had a career year in 2016, but struggled in the preseason, and will have to adjust to life without Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, who combined for over 2,000 yards receiving.
The Eagles led the NFL in average time of possession last year (32:16), including 17+ minutes of possession in the second half. This means if they get a lead, they can keep it by grinding down the clock.
Philly also has stud tackle Lane Johnson in the lineup. They went 5-1 ATS last year in games he played, and Wentz threw 10 TD’s against 2 picks with a passer rating of 97.5 with Johnson protecting him, compared to 6 TD’s, 12 INT, and a 70.2 rating without him. He’s back.
Take Wentz and the Eagles giving the point. 24-20, Philly.
2. Panthers @ 49ers (+5.5) – Nobody likes Niners quarterback Brian Hoyer, but in 5 starts with the Bears last year, he threw 6 TD’s, no picks, a 66.5% completion percentage and a passer rating of 98.4. He’s also had success with Kyle Shanahan when he was the OC in Cleveland.
There’s optimism in Carolina for a bounce back year from Cam, and high expectations for explosive rookie Christian McCaffrey, but no quarterback has been less efficient on short passes (10 yards and under) than Newton since he entered the league, that includes the murderer’s row of Josh Freeman, Mark Sanchez, and Blaine Gabbert. Also, Carolina is 3-8-1 ATS in their last 12 road games.
Carolina wins, but it’s close. Take the Niners and the 5.5. 27-24, Panthers.
3. Ravens (+3) @ Bengals – Colin thinks this AFC North matchup will be tight, but he’s taking Baltimore getting 3.
He isn’t blown away by either offense, but he loves the Ravens D in a physical division game. Last year, they ranked 5th in the league against the run and 9th against the pass, the only team in the Top 10 in both. They were also tied for 4th in takeaways, and ranked 2nd in 3rd down D. Cincy is without their defensive leader Vontaze Burfict, who’s serving a 3-game suspension for a an illegal preseason hit.
Takke Flacco, Harbaugh and the defense getting 3 on the road. Baltimore covers and wins outright, 23-21.
4. Cardinals @ Lions (+2) – Colin likes Detroit getting 2, at home against the Cards. Lions’ QB Matt Stafford led 8 game winning fourth quarter drives last year, the most since the merger in 1970. He should continue the momentum he had from last year with Jim Bob Cooter. Until Stafford hurt a finger on his throwing hand in Week 14, he was completing nearly 68% of his passes with a passer rating of 100.5.
Detroit is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games at Ford Field, and Arizona is 2-4 ATS in their last 6 on the road.
Cardinals QB Carson Palmer drastically declined in 2016 after a career year in 2015. His passer rating fell 17 points from 104.6 to 87.2. Colin doesn’t see a bounce back 2017 in store.
Take the Lions and the 2. They pull the slight upset, 27-24.
- Seahawks @ Packers (-3) – In the premier game of the weekend, Colin is swallowing the 3, and taking the Packers at home. Aaron Rodgers only had 7 picks in 610 attempts last year, which will be huge against a ball hawking Seattle D that was 7-0 last season when winning the turnover battle.
The Seahawks are only 2-9 in September road games under Pete Carroll, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 on the road overall. The Packers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 at home.
Green Bay covers the 3 and gets the win, 27-20.