There's nothing better than football season, right? We're only one week in and it feels like there's a boatload of drama, new storylines, injuries, and a ton else to sink our teeth into over the coming days before Week 2 even rolls around.
While it was great to fully embrace football back in the world, the gamblings weren't too kind to begin the year as we went 6-10 ATS overall on the opening slate. We were given a few bad beats with the Jaguars allowing the Commanders to rally late, the Saints taking until the fourth quarter to get moving against Atlanta, and the Broncos displaying unbelievably poor goal-line prowess. That said, down weeks are going to happen and I'm happy we're getting ours out of way early.
We'll look to bounce back in Week 2 where there are a bunch of fascinating games, beginning with Chargers-Chiefs which just so happens to be included in my five locks of the week.
Locks of the Week ATS: 1-4
All NFL odds via Caesars Sportsbook.
Turns out that Patrick Mahomes is still pretty good at football even without Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs quarterback looked like a man on a mission to begin the 2022 season and tossed five touchdowns in Kansas City's blowout win over the Cardinals. Mahomes completed passes to nine different Chiefs and threw only nine incompletions.
I expect he keeps this training rolling on a short week when they open up Arrowhead Stadium against the Chargers. As a home favorite, Kansas City is 6-1 ATS in their last seven games. While Los Angeles boasts just as impressive of a quarterback in Justin Herbert, they will likely be without receiver Keenan Allen in this matchup, and starting corner J.C. Jackson still has his status in the air as he looks to make his season debut. Given those questions on L.A.'s roster, four points aren't enough to sway me away from the Chiefs, who own one of the best home-field advantages in the NFL.
Projected score: Chiefs 31, Chargers 24
The pick: Chiefs -4
Buccaneers at Saints
Sometimes an opponent just has your number. That's exactly the case here with the Saints hosting the Buccaneers. Since arriving to Tampa Bay, Tom Brady has yet to beat New Orleans, heading into this matchup 0-4. The Saints success against the Bucs, however, does predate Brady as they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight meetings overall. Yes, New Orleans struggled and narrowly defeated the Falcons last week, but I expect to see a more well-rounded attack from them after shaking off the rust in Week 1.
If Jameis Winston is going to look like the quarterback he was in the fourth quarter last Sunday where he completed 13-of-16 for 213 yards and two touchdowns, they'll be able to go toe-to-toe with a Bucs offense that will likely be without Chris Godwin (hamstring).
The underdog is also 4-0 ATS in this head-to-head throughout Brady's time with the Bucs.
Projected score: Saints 27, Buccaneers 24
The pick: Saints +3
The New York Football Giants contributed to one of the more notable upsets of the Week 1 slate as they took down the Titans in Nashville. The Brian Daboll era continues to start on a positive note when they head back to MetLife Stadium to take on the Carolina Panthers. They are coming off an opening loss to the Browns where they were gashed on the ground for 217 yards on a 5.6 yards per carry clip. Given that Saquon Barkley looks back to his prime self following a 164-yard rushing performance in Week 1, it looks like he's in a position to run New York to a 2-0 record.
Over their last 16 games, Carolina is 3-13 ATS and has been a poor bet coming off a loss as of late, owning an 0-6 ATS mark.
Projected score: Giants 23, Panthers 20
The pick: Giants -2.5
This is the perfect spot for the Bengals to get right after a rough showing in the overtime loss to the Steelers. They played possibly their worst game imaginable (five turnovers) and were still within striking distance of the win. With that sour taste of Week 1 still in their mouths, the Bengals will be looking to right the ship in Dallas and the Cowboys are ripe for the picking following Dak Prescott's thumb injury. Mike McCarthy's club is now down its top two players on the offensive side of the ball in Prescott and left tackle Tyron Smith. While Tee Higgins' (concussion) status will be worth watching, the Bengals have plenty of firepower to outrun a Cooper Rush-led Cowboys offense.
Cincinnati was also pretty resilient last year following a loss with a 5-2 ATS record. They are currently on a 5-0 ATS steak on the road.
Projected score: Bengals 30, Cowboys 20
The pick: Bengals -7.5
Patriots at Steelers
New England's offense continues to look disjointed and now they are dealing with a banged-up Mac Jones after he suffered a back injury in the opener against Miami. His status for this game isn't really in question, but one does wonder if he'll be limited at all as the Patriots head to Pittsburgh. While the Steelers will be without star pass-rusher T.J. Watt (pectoral), they still have a defense that should give this Pats offense fits as they still look to form an identity. Yes, Pittsburgh's offensive line is also a massive question and their offense didn't exactly light it up in the opening win, but they simply have more playmakers than the Patriots at this point. When that's the case and they are getting points as a home dog, it's hard not to lean that way.
New England also travels to Pittsburgh on an 0-4 ATS streak on the road.
Projected score: Steelers 23, Patriots 21
The pick: Steelers +1.5
Rest of the bunch
Jets at Browns
Projected score: Jets 24, Browns 20
The pick: Jets +6
Commanders at Lions
Projected score: Lions 23, Commanders 21
The pick: Commanders +2.5
Colts at Jaguars
Projected score: Colts 30, Jaguars 24
The pick: Colts -4
Falcons at Rams
Projected score: Rams 31, Falcons 20
The pick: Rams -10.5
Texans at Broncos
Projected score: Broncos 28, Texans 17
The pick: Broncos -10
Cardinals at Raiders
Projected score: Raiders 28, Cardinals 24
The pick: Cardinals +6
Titans at Bills
Projected score: Bills 33, Titans 21
The pick: Bills -10