Saturday, September 9, 2017

Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Trifone)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

With that said, here are John Trifone's Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Houston Texans -5 over Jacksonville Jaguars (5 Units)

This spread has gone up since lines were released, so I'd jump on it now, as I expect it to keep moving that way. The Texans defense should be among the best in the league, and while the Jaguars have improved, Blake Bortles has shown just how turnover prone he is. Combine that with the Houston-Harvey emotional narrative, and I expect the Texans to win this one pretty easily.

Cleveland Browns +9.5 over Pittsburgh Steelers (3 Units)

The Steelers offense looks unbelievable on paper, as they get deep threat Martavis Bryant back this year. They have dominant position players and should be able to put up plenty of points. I expect they'll win, but think 9.5 is a little too much. The Browns are heading in the right direction and I like DeShone Kizer to keep this one close. Though I do like the Steelers this year, and I wouldn't pick it, it wouldn't shock me if the Browns did win this one outright.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

This is another spread that has moved up, but I still like the Rams to cover. They have a tough defense going against an Andrew Luck-less Colts offense, and I'm not afraid of Scott Tolzien. The Rams have also added some offensive weapons, like Sammy Watkins, since last year. If there was ever a spot for both Todd Gurley and Jared Goff to explode, it's against this Indianapolis defense. The Rams will likely win this one big.

Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 over Denver Broncos (3 Units)

The Chargers are the sneaky pick of some - ESPN's Mike Clay among others, to win the AFC West. After the way the Chiefs played in New England, I may not be willing to go that far, but I do like them to be a playoff contender. They lost several close games last year, and have gotten stud WR Keenan Allen back this year. With Melvin Gordon emerging last year as a workhorse back and an athletic and speedy receiving corps, I like the Chargers to keep this one within three points or win it outright. I'm not sold on Trevor Semien yet, so I think Denver may struggle to outscore San Diego.

- Note: All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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