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Top NFL Betting Expert Picks for Week 1 (9/8/19)

The 2019 NFL season is finally upon us and this might be one of the most hyped up seasons in recent memory! Yes, we say that every year, but it's true!

We're here to dive into the numbers, teams, and picks setup for the NFL this week. There is nothing quite like waking up on Sunday morning, checking out the lines, and throwing down some fun money to make watching those games a little more enjoyable.

Follow me on Twitter @sgjanik_6 to chat about football and my picks. I’m also on the Action App @sgjanik6 where I’ll post all the picks below and more this season. Here’s the motto we’ll take through the year: Bet. Sweat. Keep the wallet wet. 

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!


Atlanta at Minnesota (-4)

O/U: 48

Atlanta returns one of the league's most electric offenses from a season ago, scoring 25.9 points per game, which ranked ninth in the NFL. While Matt Ryan is back after throwing for 4,924 yards and 35 touchdowns, he also gets a healthy Devonta Freeman back, who only appeared in two games last year due to a groin injury. We can't forget about Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Mohamed Sanu who form one of the most electric receiving corps in football. However, the team fired offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and brought back Dirk Koetter, who was the OC in Atlanta from 2012-14. Times have changed and so have NFL offenses, so there's no telling what this team may show in Week 1. Betting wise, Atlanta was terrible last year when considered underdogs on the road, going 1-4 against the spread in 2018. Even worse, they were 2-8 ATS in games against non-divisional opponents. 

Minnesota is a pretty similar team to last year, except their expectations are now considerably high with the hopes that Dalvin Cook will be healthy for the entire season. Kirk Cousins is one of the most underrated signal callers in football and the weapons at his disposal are top tier in the league. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are the perfect floor and upside combo. Add in a top three defense, and this Vikings team is a contender in the NFC. When favored at home last year, the Vikings were actually one of the best teams in football at covering the spread, going 4-2-1.  Over the last two season, they are also 10-6-1 ATS when playing in Minnesota.

There's been some under the radar Twitter rumblings that Julio Jones may sit out the first week if he can't get a contract extension done before the game. If that happens then this game will be chalk on Minnesota. However, even before that situation unfolds, the Vikings are the way to roll here. This Vikings Defense is real, and Atlanta switching offensive coordinators will slow them down enough to hold them back in Week 1.

Pick: Minnesota -4


Cincinnati at Seattle (-9.5)

O/U: 44

Cincinnati finally got rid of Marvin Lewis and brought in Sean McVay disciple Zac Taylor. However, this team has a lot of work to do before they return to relevance in the AFC. Andy Dalton isn’t a good quarterback, and while he has two of the top playmakers in the AFC North in AJ Green and Joe Mixon, this team is in shambles right now. Green is out for at least the first two games, and while Mixon is healthy, the Bengals offensive line lost first-round pick, tackle Jonah Williams for the year. Under Jones, the Bengals were 6-2 ATS on the road last season.

Seattle is one of the most difficult places to play in the NFL. Fortunately for the Seahawks, they get to start the 2019 season at home. Russell Wilson is back after throwing for a career-high 35 touchdowns in 2018, even after attempting just 427 passes, his lowest total since 2013.  His efficiency was complemented by the second-highest rushing attempts per game (32.8) as a team. Chris Carson is one of the most underrated backs in football and don’t forget they have former first-round pick Rashaad Penny spelling him. Expect more of the same in 2019, especially this week when they face the Bengals who had the fourth worst rushing defense last year. Seattle’s defense just got an enormous upgrade over the weekend when they traded for Jadeveon Clowney to help Ziggy Ansah bolster the defensive line. I fully expect this front seven to attack Dalton and force him to make uncomfortable throws.

Since Pete Carroll took over in Seattle in 2010, Seattle has gone 47-29-2 ATS at home and 33-22-2 while being favored at home. Don’t overthink this one, even with a near double-digit spread. Seattle is tough to beat at home, and evidence shows they’re pretty good at covering too.

Pick: Seattle -9.5


New York Giants at Dallas (-7)

O/U: 45.5

The Giants constantly found themselves playing from behind last season, mainly because their defense allowed almost 26 points per game. They’ve since improved over the offseason and will hopefully not force the offense to constantly throw the ball by the second quarter. On offense, Saquon Barkley is arguably the best player in the NFL but aside from Evan Engram, the supporting cast around him is shoddy at best. Eli Manning is a terrible quarterback who shouldn’t still be starting games for an NFL franchise, but here we are. With Odell Beckham Jr. gone, the tables might be turning this year, and the offense will struggle to put up points, mainly because teams will stack the box against Barkley.

The Cowboys has been in the news a lot over the past month, strictly because Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t around town. He’s back (thankfully) but how much do we actually expect Dallas to throw him out there? Probably a lot to be honest, but expecting him to be his usual self after not donning pads until earlier this week. Dak Prescott is an overrated quarterback because of his ability to run, but there’s no doubt he was better last year when Amari Cooper came to town. However, with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore in town, expect Prescott to be given more chances to air it out, which could back fire against an improved Giants secondary.

This is one of the most storied rivalries in football but when they play each other for the first time each season, they tend to feel each other out and not spotlight too many of their big-time plays. Over the past three seasons, the most points scored in their first meeting is 39 and that was back in 2016. Combine the improved Giants Defense with the Cowboys’ best player just suiting up earlier this week, I wouldn’t expect a shootout in Jerry World.

Pick: Under 45.5

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