Robert Griffin III

Top NFL Upset Picks Week 1

Written by on September 5, 2016

Now that we’ve come out of the pre-season, a lot of injuries, trades and other changes have made the lines from the big books a little, shall we say, inaccurate. Let’s take a look at some upset picks that will help spruce up the bottom line for your NFL betting in Week 1.  

Top NFL Upset Picks Week 1

Sunday: Tennessee (+2) over Minnesota

Minnesota’s entire season — and future —  changed with one play on the practice field last week. Teddy Bridgewater went down with a dislocated knee and a torn ACL, vaulting Shaun Hill (at least for now) into the starting role, backed up by Sam Bradford. Bradford was shipped out of Philadelphia for next year’s first-round and fourth-round draft choices, although that fourth-rounder could go as high as the second round depending on how well the Vikings do this year. While the Vikings deal with this chaos, the Tennessee Titans come in recharged with the addition of DeMarco Murray in their backfield, who will give their offense multiple dimensions. The real question will be whether the Titans can move the ball against the Minnesota defense, but given the dispiriting effect of the Bridgewater injury, I like the Titans to roll out to a win at home to open the season.

Sunday: Cleveland (+4) over Philadelphia

The other end of the Sam Bradford trade is in the City of Brotherly Love, where the Eagles have basically run up the white flag for the 2016 season and entered full-bore rebuilding. This will pay dividends next year, when the Eagles have an extra first-round and fourth-round pick from the Vikings, and it might also have paid dividends for this year, given how unhappy the city seemed with Bradford, but the ugly truth is that now the Eagles have former Missouri quarterback (and perennial backup) Chase Daniel and rookie Carson Wentz at quarterback. Wentz did carry the North Dakota State Bison to the FCS championship last year, but he also fractured a rib in the preseason and will have an immense learning curve going into this season. On the other side of the field is Robert Griffin III, who has had an up-and-down showing so far in his shot at redemption with the Cleveland Brown. However, the Browns have a defense that is on par with that of the Eagles, if not slightly better, and given that the Eagles will start (in either event) a quarterback with no real experience at the NFL level, you have to give the Browns the edge too. I like Cleveland to win this straight up in addition to covering that spread.

Sunday: Detroit (+4.5) over Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Colts welcome the return of Andrew Luck at quarterback, but while he has thrown the ball accurately, the first-team offense has looked sluggish in the preseason. While Detroit will struggle to contend in the NFC North this season, I do like them to come out of the gate with more settled than the Colts have, and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford always has the capabilityof throwing a big bomb down the field, especially against an iffy Indianapolis secondary. I see the Colts scrambling back to win with a late field goal, but I also see the Lions covering.