(Home teams in CAPS)
Falcons (+2) over EAGLES: Welcome to the CRAZY!!! Welcome to the world where Double V is finally LEGAL!!! I can now tell my kids what I do for a living. Every day for the last 35+ years, I would leave in the morning and tell them that I was selling washers and dryers at Sears. They would go, "Sell some suds, Daddy!!!" No more suds, no more washers & dryers, only betting, baby!!! All Legal!!! Down to biz. The Green Birds opened at -3.5 or -4 depending on where you shop, and are now down to -2 (at my deadline; it has since dropped to -1). Some of my flock are banking on a 3-point final margin and a middle. What am I banking on? Banking on a long, profitable season, and advising all y'all to tread carefully in Week 1. My only questions are, what kind of Super Bowl hangover are we looking at? How long will it last? And how far will revenge take Atlanta? Gonna stay light as a feather, and just tickle the Southern Birds in a game that we pray is gonna wind up Iggles on top. Eagles, 21-20.
Texans (+6.5) over PATRIOTS: Twenty-&-oh is a tough number to buck, but we're bucking. New England has posted a 20-0 mark against the AFC South since 2010, and last time I looked, Houston lived in that division. So, why bother? Got reasons as usual, and the first is Deshaun Watson. Last season, the Texans flew up to New England in Week 3 and came up on the short end of a 36-33 score against the Patriots. Houston was a +13-point dog, and obviously had no trouble covering the spread. So, naturally, Vegas chopped the number in half, and now the Pats are favored by just 6.5. But it was Watson's work, hitting on 22 of 33 for 301 yards and 2 TDs that jumped off the stat page. The Brady Bunch has covered only one of the last five to open the season, and with J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus creating holy terror, Tom Terrific might be in for a long afternoon.
GIANTS (+3) over Jaguars: Despite a truly horrible 2017, when you put the names Eli Manning and Blake Bortles in the same sentence, Eli still commands the room, or the diagram, if you're into grammar. Manning has Odell Beckham Jr. back and healthy, a true stud at RB in Penn State's Saquon Barkley, and a beefed-up o-line with the addition of Nate Solder and Will Hernandez. Looking at the Jags' 12-7 record last season as more of a one-off than a portent of things to come.
LIONS (-6.5) over Jets (Monday): My niece sat right behind Sam Darnold in a communications class at USC two years ago, but that doesn't put me on the New Yorkers. Darnold might create some magic in New York eventually, but in his first start, up in Motown, the music is gonna die real quick. And if you're looking for an edge, take this to the bank. Detroit was outstanding last season on Monday night, beating the Giants, 24-10, and the Packers, 30-17, both on the road.
Rams (-4) over RAIDERS (Monday): Not quite sure what Jon Gruden is doing up in Oakland, but letting All-Pro LB Khalil Mack hit the road seems to be kinda, well, idiotic! Now they have to face the Rams with maybe the most explosive duo in the NFL. Jared Goff at QB and Todd Gurley at RB send shivers though the body of all D coordinators. Goff hit on 296 of 477 for 3,804 yards with 28 TDs and just 7 INTs. Gurley led the league in TDs (19) and yards from scrimmage (2,093). L.A. is my lady.
49ers (+6.5) over VIKINGS: Never easy to play against the Vikes in Minnesota, but Jimmy G and his Niners might have some answers. Garoppolo took over as a starter in Week 13 last year and all he did was pitch a 5-0 perfecto the rest of the season. San Fran plus is money.
Bears (+8) over PACKERS: Did you know that Chicago had a top 10 defense last season? Yup. And while we're not sure how many snaps Kahlil Mack will get, still think that Da Bears can keep the final margin under a touchdown.
BROWNS (+4) over Steelers: Not the most attractive play on the board, but, without Le'Veon Bell, Steel will be considerably weaker.
Bengals (+3) over COLTS: Andrew Luck winning his first game back would be a Hollywood ending, but a Cincy cover will beef up your bankroll.
RAVENS (-7) over Bills: Not thrilled laying a TD with Joe Flacco but can't see getting involved with a guy named Nathan Peterman.
Bucs (+9.5) over SAINTS: Actually more comfortable taking points with the experienced Ryan Fitzpatrick than the suspended Jameis Winston.
Titans (-1.5) over DOLPHINS: Can't possibly back this school of Fish who have covered only two of their last 10. Gimme Double M, Marcus Mariota.
CHARGERS (-3) over Chiefs: San Diego, oops, Los Angeles, the AFC version, won and covered seven of eight to close out 2017. Let the Rivers flow.
Seahawks (+3) over BRONCOS: Just when you think Pete Carroll's cupboard is bare, he'll come up and bite you. 'Hawks are a live dog.
PANTHERS (-2.5) over Cowboys: Carolina has covered nine of the last 12 outside of the NFC South, and should scratch out a W against the 'Boys.
CARDS (-1) over Washington: If Arizona QB Sam Bradford can stay vertical for 60 minutes, the Cards will pick up a W in the home opener.