NFL Week 1 odds, picks, TV: Patriots top Steelers, Broncos roll Raiders in prime time

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to season seven of my NFL picks. 

When I started this weekly column back in 2013, I was single, in my 20s and was known to pull off the occasional weekend bender in Vegas. Now, I'm married, in my 30s and all of my bender money is spent by my wife at Target. I still have no idea what she buys, but I have noticed that we seem to have at least three new throw pillows per week. Is that normal?

The problem for me is that I have no idea what's normal anymore, and to be honest, I don't think any of us do, and that's mainly because we just lived through what might have been the craziest NFL offseason of all time: Odell Beckham got traded, Antonio Brown almost lost his feet in a cryotherapy chamber mishap, Andrew Luck quit football and I still haven't even listed anything that happened to the Patriots, who kind of topped everyone in the craziest offseason department. 

I mean, a Patriots player got indicted on a cocaine charge two weeks ago and that wasn't even the most bizarre thing that happened to someone in that organization this offseason because Robert Kraft exists. The Patriots also lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement, and I think what I'm trying to say here is that they've had too many weird things happen to them this offseason, which means I can't pick them to win the Super Bowl this season. 

Want more NFL picks content? Listen and subscribe to the Pick Six Podcast, where senior NFL writer Pete Prisco and SportsLine's No. 1 NFL analyst R.J. White join host Will Brinson to break down every single Week 1 game. Check it out below:

So who am I picking?

That's a great question, and you can find the answer by clicking here to see my predictions for the entire 2019 NFL season. If you click over, you'll see who I'm picking to win each division and who I'm picking to make the playoffs. You'll also notice that I'm the third-most hated person in Chicago due to the fact that I'm apparently the 11,000th millennial to show no faith in the Bears this year. 

Millennials have gotten out of hand: First, they killed the cold cereal industry, then they went after the casual dining industry and now they're all picking the Bears to miss the playoffs. I hate Millennials. 

Anyway, before we get to the picks, I have good news for the five of you who emailed in and demanded to CBS that I do more this season. Not only will I be writing this weekly picks column, but I'll also be podcasting a lot this year. As a matter of fact, you should go ahead and circle every Monday, Tuesday and Friday on your calendar from now until February, because that's when I'll be joining Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast (Click here to check it out), the only daily NFL podcast around. Each week, we'll be joined by Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough, and trust me when I say it's always a good time. 

On the other hand, if you hate podcasts, but love to read NFL picks from every possible writer on the internet, then I can help you in that department, too. Well, kind of. Although I don't have time to track down the picks from every NFL writer on the internet, I do have something for you: You can check out the Week 1 picks from six other CBSSports.com NFL writers by clicking here

Want a free shot to win $1,000,000 just for picking winners? How about 17 of 'em? Join Parlay Pick'em now to play every week for a million-dollar jackpot and our $10K season prize.

OK, I think I've made you guys wait long enough, so let's get to the picks.

NFL Week 1 picks

Green Bay at Chicago

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Bears, -3

Since I'm one of the 11,000 Millennials who hate the Bears, I decided to ignore everything Chicago did this offseason, well, except for their kicking competition, because there was no possible way to ignore that. It had more drama than a crazy season of The Bachelorette, and more eliminations than a crazy season of Survivor. First, there were nine people involved in the competition, then it got trimmed down to three, then it got cut down to two, and now the Bears are going into the regular season with someone they're not exactly sure they have a future with, which pretty much describes how every bachelorette winner has ever felt after leaving the show. 

In the end, the kicking job went to Eddy Pineiro, who immediately did his best to make the Bears regret giving him the job. In his first game after he won the kicking competition, Pineiro managed to defy all laws of physics by somehow missing a 33-yard extra point by roughly 33 yards. Since that doesn't sound believable, I'm going to go ahead and show you the clip to prove it actually happened. 

If I'm the Bears, I'm not sure that's the guy I want kicking extra points for me. 

As for the Packers, they'll be running a new offense on Thursday, and there's a good chance it's going to struggle, which is why I think this is going to be a low-scoring game that comes down to a field goal attempt by Piniero, and you can probably guess by my prediction whether I think that kick is going to go in or not.

The pick: Packers 20-17 over Bears

So who wins Packers vs. Bears? And which side of the spread cashes in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Packers vs. Bears spread to jump on Thursday, all from the advanced model that is up more than $7,000 on its top-rated NFL picks.

L.A. Rams at Carolina

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Rams, -3

If you're ever thinking about becoming a sports writer, the Rams-Panthers game is the argument for why you should think about becoming a doctor first. Besides the fact that it pays slightly more, being a doctor will help you figure out who's going to win close games, like this one. You see, if you had a medical degree, you'd have a better idea of whose body is more likely to fall apart on Sunday: Todd Gurley or Cam Newton's

The Rams have been trying to convince us all offseason that Gurley's knee isn't an issue, but then his trainer said that there was an "arthritic component" in the knee and now I don't know what to believe. Just kidding, I believe the trainer. 

As for Cam, the last time we saw him in a regular season game came last year when he couldn't even throw a football 30 yards downfield due to an injured shoulder. Although he fixed that problem with surgery, he's now got another problem after injuring his ankle during the preseason

Since I'm not a doctor, I can't say whether Gurley or Newton has it worse, but I think I can unequivocally say that the advantage in this game goes to the Rams, and that's because if Gurley is less than 100 percent, they've got two quality running backs who can fill-in. On the other hand, if Newton is less than 100 percent, there's a 100 percent chance the Panthers are going to lose. 

And just in case I'm not being clear, I'm taking the Rams, although I have to admit, I hate betting against anyone who went celibate for a month during the offseason.  

I should probably go celibate for a month if I miss this pick.  

The pick: Rams 16-13 over Panthers

San Francisco at Tampa Bay 

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Pick'em

I'm not sure who's in charge of making the coaching hires in Tampa Bay, but I'm starting to think it might actually be former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. After the Buccaneers fired Dirk Koetter following the end of the 2018 season, Carter immediately got on Twitter and begged Bruce Arians to take the Tampa job. 

Look, say what you want about the Backstreet Boys, but that's a solid job of begging there. First, Carter sells Arians on the fact that Tampa will be stacked in 2019, then he goes for the kill by mentioning how great Arians will look in a pirate-themed Kangol hat. And in news that shouldn't surprise anyone, Arians ended up officially taking the job less than one week after Carter sent out that tweet. 

Now, if you're wondering if I'm going to use Nick Carter tweets all season, the answer is that I haven't decided yet. However, I have decided who I'm going to pick in this game. The one thing I love about Arians is that he loves to take chances down the field on offense, which pretty much makes Jameis Winston the perfect quarterback for his system, because taking chances down the field is 90 percent of what Winston does, even though those passes usually end up getting intercepted roughly 50 percent of the time. I'm still not sure if I think Winston is going to be any good this season, but I do think he's going to be able to torch a 49ers secondary that isn't exactly one of San Francisco's strengths. 

One other thing that's not a strength for the 49ers: Playing in the eastern time zone. Since 2015, the 49ers are 0-12 playing in eastern time and the last time I checked, that was the time zone that Tampa was located in. 

The pick: Buccaneers 30-27 over 49ers

Pittsburgh at New England

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Patriots, -6

The Steelers might want to think about complaining to someone at the NFL about how the schedule gets made, because this is the second time in five seasons that they've been stuck opening the year in New England, which is pretty much the worst possible place that the Steelers could be forced to open a season. The problem for the Steelers is that they've never beaten Tom Brady at Gillette Stadium. 

In five career games, not only is Brady 5-0, but he's thrown for 1,797 yards, along with 18 touchdowns  and zero interceptions. If Brady averaged those numbers over the course of a 16-game season, that would equal out to 5,750 yards and 57.6 touchdowns, which would both be NFL single-season records. Basically, the Steelers have no idea how to stop Brady, and I don't think that's going to change Sunday. Yes, I know that Brady is 42, but he's also been finding time to do yoga on the sideline, and if I have one rule with my picks, it's that I never bet against quarterbacks who do yoga on the sideline. 

The worst part of this entire week for the Steelers is that not only are they going to get thrashed by Brady, but they also have to watch the Patriots raise their Super Bowl banner, which is mostly notable because it's New England's sixth banner, tying the Steelers for the most in NFL history. 

The pick: Patriots 30-23 over Steelers

Denver at Oakland

Monday, 10:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Point spread: Raiders, -1

I think we can all agree that no one had a crazier offseason than Antonio Brown. I'll be honest, back in June, I thought for sure that Justin Bieber challenging Tom Cruise to a fight on Twitter would be the craziest thing we'd see on social media all year, but then Brown happened. If you lost track of every absurd thing that happened to Brown this offseason -- which would be pretty easy to do because there were so many -- here's a brief summary: He pouted his way out of Pittsburgh, he got sued by a celebrity chef, he got frost bite while doing cryotherapy in France, he threatened to retire over his helmet, he ripped Ben Roethlisberger multiple times and he got yelled at by a neighbor for not mowing his lawn after he left Pittsburgh

On the other hand, we have the Broncos, who somehow had one of the quietest offseasons in football despite the fact that they hired a new coach (Vic Fangio) and traded for a new quarterback (Joe Flacco). Out of those two moves, the one that's going to hurt the Raiders more is the hiring of Fangio, who served as the Bears defensive coordinator in 2018. Last season, Fangio basically built an impenetrable defense in Chicago, and unfortunately for the Raiders, he has the defensive talent to do the same thing in Denver. Fangio's defense shut down a lot of high-powered offenses last year, so I don't think he's going to have any issue stopping an offense led by Derek Carr.

The pick: Broncos 31-17 over Raiders

Lock of the week

Baltimore at Miami

1 p.m. ET, CBS
Point spread: Ravens, -6.5

The Ravens led the AFC in rushing last season and the Dolphins gave up the most rushing yards of any team in the AFC last season, so I'll let you do that math on how many yards the Ravens might rush for on Sunday. You know what, you didn't come here to do math, so I'll handle it. The NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a regular season game is 173 and based on what I saw of the Dolphins in the preseason, I won't be surprised if Lamar Jackson hits that number in the first quarter.

The pick: Ravens 27-17 over Dolphins

Note: The lock of the week is new this year, and it might end up being the worst idea ever, but we're going to roll with it. 

NFL Week 1 picks: All the rest

Browns 23-20 over Titans
Vikings 27-24 over Falcons
Bills 19-16 over Jets
Eagles 31-20 over Redskins
Chiefs 30-17 over Jaguars 
Chargers 37-30 over Colts
Seahawks 26-16 over Bengals 
Cowboys 23-16 over Giants
Lions 24-20 over Cardinals
Saints 34-24 over Texans

Last week

Best pick: This is the part where I usually tell you about my best pick from the preceding week, but since there weren't any regular-season games last week, that means there's no best pick for this section, so we're going to have to talk about something else, like how my offseason went. Since it was the "offseason," I assumed that meant I'd be getting six months off, but apparently, that's not how things work around here. Instead of going on a six-month vacation, I actually had to do work, although I'm not sure it's fair to call it work when my toughest assignment of the offseason was covering the bachelorette party beat at the NFL Draft. 

Pro tip: If you ever get offered the bachelorette party beat at any job, don't ever turn it down.

I also ran into Kyler Murray at the NFL Draft, but he didn't seem as excited to talk to me as the bachelorette's did. 

Worst pick: Although I'll have plenty of "worst picks" for this section starting next week, I have nothing for this week, so I'm just going to tell you about my worst decision of the summer, which was spending all of my expendable income on White Claw. If I've learned one thing over the past month, it's that your ability to make good decisions will be completely thrown out the window if you drink White Claw, and if you need proof, this guy drafted a kicker in the first round of his fantasy draft after drinking that stuff. 

If you need more proof that you lose all decision-making skills after drinking White Claw, the person below says that the only reason Colts fans booed Andrew Luck on the night he retired is because they were drunk on the stuff. 

I don't want to alarm anyone, but I'm starting to think that White Claw might eventually lead to the downfall of western civilization.  

Overall picks record since 2013

After watching my straight-up record plummet for two horrifying seasons (2015-2016), the tide has slowly been turning over the past two years (2017-2018), and I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I might go 256-0 picking games in 2019.  

Final 2018 regular-season record

Straight-up: 166-88-2
Against the spread: 123-126-7

Final 2017 regular-season record

Straight up: 161-95
Against the spread: 124-121-11

Final 2016 regular-season record

Straight up: 147-107-2
Against the spread: 116-129-11

Final 2015 regular-season record

Straight up: 152-104
Against the spread: 126-130

Final 2014 regular-season record

Straight up: 164-91-1
Against the spread: 125-131

Final 2013 regular-season record

Straight up: 165-90-1
Against the spread: 124-132


You can find John Breech on Facebook or Twitter and if he's not doing one of those things, he's probably arranging the new throw pillows at his house even though he still doesn't even know what a throw pillow is.

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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