Updated: Friday, September 8, 2017, 4:15 PM
Our resident oddsmaker breaks down the remaining Week 1 slate, including a visit to upstate New York for his best bet. Here are the staff picks for this week’s NFL games, but first …
Weekend TV Schedule
Sunday 1:00 Eagles at Redskins Fox 4:05 Rams at Colts CBS 4:25 Seahawks at Packers Fox 8:30 Giants at Cowboys NBC Monday 7:10 Saints at Vikings ESPN 10:20 Chargers at Broncos ESPN SUNDAY Eagles (1) REDSKINS (O/U: 48.5), 1 p.m./Fox
Quick hit: Washington has covered the last six games against the Eagles and five of those have gone over.
Eagles vs. spread (2016): 8-8
Redskins vs. spread (2016): 10-6
Vegas Vic’s take: Time to end all the ugly . . . An ugly 0-5 run against Washington, both straight up and against the spread . . . An ugly 0-7 road run for the Eagles that started with a 24-23 loss at Detroit in Week 4 . . . An ugly 2-6 spread record on the road last season. Now that Carson Wentz finally has a few more tools in his box — Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith and LeGarrette Blount — the kid should be even better than last year. No sophomore slump here. And on the other side of the ball, Washington lost over 2,000 receiving yards and 135 receptions when they said “bye, bye” to DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Then we have Lombardi-Gate. Michael Lombardi called second-year coach Doug Pederson the least qualified coach in the NFL. Lombardi was also GM of the Browns in 2013 and 2014. ‘Nuff said. Not gonna go crazy and open the wallet too wide for the opener. As always, be smart in Week 1, and if you wanna go over the projected total of 48, my final score says Birds, 27-24.
Ed Barkowitz Eagles Zach Berman Eagles Les Bowen Eagles Paul Domowitch Eagles Marcus Hayes Redskins Jeff McLane Redskins Vegas Vic Eagles BILLS (9) Jets (40.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The under has hit in four of the last five. With Josh McCown quarterbacking the Jets and Tyrod Taylor going for Buffalo, five out of six is looking real good.
Jets vs. spread (2016): 7-9
Bills vs. spread (2016): 7-9
Vegas Vic’s take: How low can you go? In my 30-plus years of talking to you crazy, wonderful, amazing readers, let me say something I have never said: There is an NFL team that has an over/under total of 3.5 wins for the season. And, yes it’s the Jets. “Embarrassing” is too kind of a word. And you know that the shameful over/under total has filtered back to the New York locker room, and will have the Green ready to rumble. But Buffalo as a nine-point favorite? Really! QB Tyrod Taylor is coming off a concussion, and even when his head is clear, he ain’t much. The Jets beat the Bills twice last season (37-31 in Buffalo as a 1.5-point underdog; 30-10 in Jersey as a 3.5-point ’dog). Don’t think I’ve seen the Buffs favored by this much since Jim Kelly and his crew came up short in four Super Bowls. That’s enough to make this my Best Bet.
Ed Barkowitz Bills Zach Berman Jets Les Bowen Bills Paul Domowitch Bills Marcus Hayes Jets Jeff McLane Bills Vegas Vic Jets (Best Bet) Falcons (7) BEARS (49.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The Super Bowl loser has failed to cover the last three subsequent openers and eight of the most recent 10. That’s a hefty trend.
Falcons vs. spread (2016): 12-7 (including postseason)
Bears vs. spread (2016): 6-10
Vegas Vic’s take: Forget the trend, after the humiliating loss in the Super Bowl, expect Hotlanta and Matt Ryan to come out blazing.
Ed Barkowitz Falcons Zach Berman Falcons Les Bowen Falcons Paul Domowitch Falcons Marcus Hayes Falcons Jeff McLane Bears Vegas Vic Falcons
TEXANS (5.5) Jaguars (39.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Houston is 6-0 straight-up against Jacksonville under coach Bill O’Brien, 4-2 ATS. J.J. Watt has registered three sacks each in three of his last four games against the Jags.
Jaguars vs. spread (2016): 8-8
Texans vs. spread (2016): 7-10-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Too many variables here on the Houston side, and not enough talent on Jacksonville. If you must, light to the Jags.
Ed Barkowitz Jaguars Zach Berman Jaguars Les Bowen Texans Paul Domowitch Texans Marcus Hayes Texans (Best Bet) Jeff McLane Texans Vegas Vic Jaguars
Cardinals (1.5) LIONS (48.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: The Cardinals have won the last seven meetings, in a streak that goes back to 2005. Arizona covered six of the seven. The last Detroit quarterback to beat the Cards — and you’ll be the hit at your Sunday football party for knowing this — is Joey Harrington.
Cardinals vs. spread (2016): 6-10
Lions vs. spread (2016): 7-9-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Matthew Stafford got the humungous bucks. Now he has to go out and prove it. Chalk up a W for this ’dog.
Ed Barkowitz Lions Zach Berman Cardinals Les Bowen Cardinals Paul Domowitch Lions (Best Bet) Marcus Hayes Cardinals Jeff McLane Lions Vegas Vic Lions
Quick hit: Watch that over-under. These teams played last September, also in Nashville, and the Raiders won 17-10.
Raiders vs. spread (2016): 10-7
Titans vs. spread (2016): 8-8
Vegas Vic’s take: Call this the Broken Leg Bowl. Both QBs — Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota — busted their legs on Christmas Eve. Talk about coal in the stocking. Both are now healthy, but Mariota is looking for revenge. Oakland posted a 17-10 win at Tennessee in Week 3 last season as a 1.5-point ’dog. Not this time. Not with the questionable status of Khalil Mack, the Silver & Black’s best player on defense. Gimme some Double M and Music City love.
Ed Barkowitz Titans Zach Berman Titans Les Bowen Titans Paul Domowitch Titans Marcus Hayes Raiders Jeff McLane Raiders (Best Bet) Vegas Vic Titans Buccaneers (-) DOLPHINS (ppd.)
Quick hit: The game, slated to be played in Miami, was moved to Week 11 because of Hurricane Irma.
BENGALS (3) Ravens (42.5), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Cincy’s two best defensive players, linebacker Vontaze Burfict and cornerback Adam Jones, are out because of suspensions.
Ravens vs. spread (2016): 7-9
Bengals vs. spread (2016): 6-10
Vegas Vic’s take: How about an 0-6 negative perfecto for Baltimore on the road? Cincy cats on the prowl and Ravens make a sweet dish.
Ed Barkowitz Bengals Zach Berman Ravens Les Bowen Bengals Paul Domowitch Bengals Marcus Hayes Ravens Jeff McLane Bengals Vegas Vic Bengals
Steelers (9) BROWNS (47), 1 p.m.
Quick hit: Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2 in his career against Cleveland. On the other side is rookie DeShone Kizer, the Browns seventh different opening day starter in the last seven years. Somewhere, Otto Graham weeps.
Steelers vs. spread (2016): 11-8
Browns vs. spread (2016): 5-11
Vegas Vic’s take: Home dog with a bundle? Nah! Cleveland has covered only six of the last 25 as any kind of ’dog.
Ed Barkowitz Steelers (Best Bet) Zach Berman Browns Les Bowen Browns Paul Domowitch Browns Marcus Hayes Steelers Jeff McLane Browns Vegas Vic Steelers RAMS (3) Colts (42.5), 4:05 p.m.
Quick hit: The Rams went 0-7 against the spread to close out 2016. Four of those games were at home.
Colts vs. spread (2016): 7-8-1
Rams vs. spread (2016): 4-10-2
Vegas Vic’s take: No Luck . . . Outta luck. No way Indy gets a W with Andrew Luck on the bench. Scott Tolzien? Seriously?
Ed Barkowitz Colts Zach Berman Rams (Best Bet) Les Bowen Rams (Best Bet) Paul Domowitch Colts Marcus Hayes Colts Jeff McLane Colts Vegas Vic Rams PACKERS (3) Seahawks (50.5), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: Shame this game is in Week 1 and not in Week 15 with some snow to liven things up. Green Bay has covered the last three meetings with the totals coming out at 48, 44 and 50. Packers hammered Seattle, 38-10, last year at Lambeau.
Seahawks vs. spread (2016): 8-10
Packers vs. spread (2016): 10-8-1
Vegas Vic’s take: Normally, would look toward Seattle in a revenge spot, but Aaron Rodgers is healthy and slinging, and the ‘Hawks have covered only three of the last 11 on the road.
Ed Barkowitz Packers Zach Berman Seahawks Les Bowen Seahawks Paul Domowitch Seahawks Marcus Hayes Seahawks Jeff McLane Seahawks Vegas Vic Packers Panthers (6) 49ERS (48.5), 4:25 p.m.
Quick hit: Cam Newton scorched San Fran for 353 yards and four TDs in a 46-27 win that easily went over the line of 44.5. Love Niners rookie linebacker Reuben Foster.
Panthers vs. spread (2016): 6-9-1
49ers vs. spread (2016): 5-11
Vegas Vic’s take: No one knows if Cam Newton’s shoulder is 100 percent. However, Cam should squeeze out a W here, but not by more than a FG.
Ed Barkowitz Panthers Zach Berman Panthers Les Bowen 49ers Paul Domowitch 49ers Marcus Hayes Panthers Jeff McLane 49ers Vegas Vic 49ers COWBOYS (4) Giants (48), 8:30 p.m.
Quick hit: The Giants have won the last three meetings and covered the last five.
Giants vs. spread (2016): 8-7-2
Cowboys vs. spread (2016): 10-6-1
Vegas Vic’s take: New York beat Dallas twice last season (10-7 as a four-point ’dog at home; 20-19 as a one-point ’dog in Dallas). And the only reason the Big Blue is not closer to a best bet is the questionable status of Odell Beckham Jr., their best player.
Ed Barkowitz Cowboys Zach Berman Cowboys Les Bowen Giants Paul Domowitch Cowboys Marcus Hayes Cowboys Jeff McLane Cowboys Vegas Vic Giants MONDAY VIKINGS (3.5) Saints (48), 7 p.m.
Quick hit: Give new Saints running back Adrian Peterson some credit for throwing some Sriracha sauce on what seemed like a routine game between two teams that hadn’t met since 2014. But he spiced things up when he said he wanted to “stick it” to the Vikings.
Saints vs. spread (2016): 11-5
Vikings vs. spread (2016): 9-7
Vegas Vic’s take: This Monday night opener has all the fixings for delicious. Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson is ready to slice and dice against his former team. Add A.P. to Drew Brees and you could be looking at a frightening offense. Last season, New Orleans led the NFL with 426 yards per game, and had another RB (Mark Ingram) who rumbled for 1,043 yards. Oh yeah, he also caught 46. No one stops this O, and not a huge fan of Minny’s Sam Bradford. March with me!
Ed Barkowitz Saints Zach Berman Saints Les Bowen Saints Paul Domowitch Vikings Marcus Hayes Vikings Jeff McLane Saints Vegas Vic Saints Ron Schwane Now that’s a switch. Adrian Peterson’s first game as a New Orleans Saint is Monday night in Minnesota where he spent the first 10 years of his career. (Ron Schwane / AP)
BRONCOS (3.5) Chargers (43.5), 10:20 p.m.
Quick hit: Time for the NFL to end these Week 1 doubleheaders. This game, if they’re lucky, will end around 1:30 in the morning. Just praying that first-round fantasy pick Melvin Gordon’s ACL is intact when I wake up Tuesday morning.
Chargers vs. spread (2016): 7-9
Broncos vs. spread (2016): 9-7
Vegas Vic’s take: Not sure why I have a soft spot for Philip Rivers, but I do. Despite his last two seasons — 4-12 and 5-11 — which kinda stunk. But if you put him next to Denver QB Trevor Siemian, I’m swimming with Rivers every day. And speaking of Denver, it used to be a place that opposing teams feared because of the high elevation. Not so much anymore, with the Broncs just mediocre at home against the spread with a 13-13-1 record the last three seasons.
Ed Barkowitz Chargers Zach Berman Broncos Les Bowen Chargers Paul Domowitch Chargers Marcus Hayes Broncos Jeff McLane Chargers Vegas Vic Chargers THURSDAY PATRIOTS (9.5) Chiefs (48.5), 8:30
Result: Chiefs, 42-27
Quick hit: KC, led by Alex Smith’s four TD passes and Kareem Hunt’s 246 all-purpose yards, put a hurtin’ on the champs. Those 42 points were the most ever scored against Bill Belichick’s Patriots.
Ed Barkowitz Chiefs Zach Berman Chiefs Les Bowen Patriots Paul Domowitch Chiefs Marcus Hayes Chiefs Jeff McLane Chiefs Vegas Vic Chiefs
Read full story: Vegas Vic and staff pick Eagles-Redskins, rest of Week 1