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Picking Week 1 NFL games is always a tough thing to do.

But we all do it. We try anyway.

The uncertainty of rookie quarterbacks -- three will start on opening day -- coupled with young quarterbacks taking over as starters and new faces in new places make it a real challenge.

That's why all of us who pick games deserve a mulligan if we stink in Week 1.

I'm just saying it before I tee off.

Last season was solid picking games for me, and let's hope it stays that way with a good start. I will still be picking games straight up and against the spread here and on our expert picks page at

So pay attention. This might be the year I actually win the pick competitions.

After taking my Week 1 mulligan of course.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5)

Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)

This is a big-time prove-it game for the Lions. Are they for real? We will know a lot more about that after this one. The defending-champion Chiefs have some new players, but Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid are still around. That's why they are the favorites again. Even if Travis Kelce isn't playing and Chris Jones is still sitting, look for Mahomes to carry the Chiefs as the Lions find out the preseason expectations are a bit over the top.

Pick: Chiefs 33, Lions 23 

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

This is the debut for 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young. It's never easy to make your first start on the road. The Panthers line has concerns, which could be in play here. The Falcons will score points this year with all the weapons they have, which is why I think they find a way to pull this one out. 

Pick: Falcons 27, Panthers 21

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-10)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud will be making his first NFL start on the road against solid defense in the Ravens. The Ravens will be unveiling their new-look offense under new coordinator Todd Monken, an offense that will allow Lamar Jackson to do more in the passing game. Look for Jackson to have a big first day as Stroud struggles. 

Pick: Ravens 31, Texans 14

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (+2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Joe Burrow looks like he's a go in this one, which is big for the Bengals. The Browns have to hope Deshaun Watson is back to his form from his Texans days. If so, they have talent. This is a tough first game for the Bengals on the road against an in-state rival. Look for the Browns to pull this one out late as live underdog. 

Pick: Browns 29, Bengals 26

Jacksonville Jaguars (-5) at Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Colts will be trotting out rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson against the Jaguars. At least he's at home, which will help. But the running game is limited without Jonathan Taylor. The Jaguars will be dynamic on offense this season, and it will start here. Look for a big day from Trevor Lawrence

Pick: Jaguars 34, Colts 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6) at Minnesota Vikings

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

The Bucs will be starting Baker Mayfield at quarterback against a new-look Vikings defense led by Brian Flores. That unit is aggressive, which will challenge the Bucs offensive line. The Vikings offense will again be led by the passing game, but Tampa Bay will be better on defense this season. That will keep this one close. 

Pick: Vikings 23, Bucs 21

Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints (-3)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

The Titans will come in with their physical style and try to steal a road game to start the season. They have a new-look offense under new coordinator Tim Kelly. This will be Derek Carr's first start as the Saints quarterback, and I think he will get off to a good one. It won't be easy, but the Saints and Carr will find a way late to win it. 

Pick: Saints 23, Titans 17

San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers (+2.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

Brock Purdy is back for the 49ers, which is the good news. But this will be one of the better defenses he will face so far in his career. That matters. The Steelers are hoping second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett takes a step forward, which I think he will. The 49ers are good and might be a Super Bowl team, but the Steelers will pull off the upset here. 

Pick: Steelers 23, 49ers 21

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders (-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Cardinals are a mess right now, no matter who they start at quarterback -- and it's probably Joshua Dobbs. They appear to be in tank mode. The Commanders have a ton of talent on the roster, which puts a lot of pressure on first-time starting quarterback Sam Howell. I think Howell will get off to a good start against this Cardinals defense. Commanders big. 

Pick: Commanders 33, Cardinals 10

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (+1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Bears will be improved this season with Justin Fields taking steps forward as a passer. But this Green Bay defense should be really good and offer a big-time challenge here. Green Bay has Jordan Love in now as a full-time starter at quarterback, and I think he will get off to a good start in this one. The Packers will get a tough road victory to open the season. 

Pick: Packers 27, Bears 23

Prisco likes the Packers to begin the Jordan Love era with a win, but what does the SportsLine Projection Model -- up more than $7,000 for $100 players on top-rated NFL picks since its inception -- think of the NFC North showdown? Check out that prediction, as well as picks for all of the Week 1 games, right here.

Las Vegas Raiders (+4) at Denver Broncos

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

Sean Payton makes his debut as coach of the Broncos in this home opener. The big challenge is fixing Russell Wilson. The Raiders will counter with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback. I think the Broncos will get off to a good start here as Wilson plays better than Garoppolo. But it's close. 

Pick: Broncos 25, Raiders 24

Miami Dolphins (+3) at Los Angeles Chargers

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

This is a long road trip for the Dolphins to start a season. Miami didn't play well against the Chargers last year in its loss there, but this Miami team might be better. Even so, look for Justin Herbert to again get the best of the battle with Tua Tagovailoa. Miami will keep it close -- real close. 

Pick: Chargers 31, Dolphins 30

Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at New England Patriots

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS, Paramount+)

The defending NFC-champion Eagles are going to find out what it's like to be the hunted this season, starting in this one. They have the talent to handle it, but it's a tough road to navigate this season. New England will be good on defense this season, but the Eagles offense and Jalen Hurts will be too big of a challenge to open the season. Mac Jones won't keep up. 

Pick: Eagles 30, Patriots 22

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-5)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox, fubo)

The Rams are loaded with young players and rookies, which will challenge Sean McVay this year. The Seahawks are coming off an impressive first season with Geno Smith last season, and are hoping he can replicate that. I think he gets off to a fast start as the Seahawks win it. 

Pick: Seahawks 30, Rams 14

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at New York Giants

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC, fubo)

This is a tough way to open the season for Dallas on the road on Sunday night against a division foe. But this Dallas team will be better than the one that made the postseason in 2022. I am not sure the Giants will be. Look for Dak Prescott to outplay Daniel Jones as the Cowboys get off to a 1-0 start. 

Pick: Cowboys 31, Giants 24

I like the Cowboys on the road and the OVER in this game, but is the Sportsline computer model smart enough to agree with me? The model is leaning one way on the total, and it also says one side of the spread has all the value! The picks are available over at SportsLine and you can check it out here.

Buffalo Bills (-2.5) at New York Jets

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN, fubo)

The Bills are still the team to beat in the AFC East, even if the Jets have received most of the preseason hype. Yes, Aaron Rodgers got them that, and he will play well, starting here. But the Jets have to learn how to win. Buffalo has won big games and playoff games. That matters. Josh Allen -- remember him? -- gets the best of Rodgers and the Jets. 

Pick: Bills 24, Jets 19