Week 1 NFL Best Bets: Ravens will run over Bills and more of Jason La Canfora's picks
La Canfora shares his top picks for Week 1, including Alex Collins helping Baltimore cover a big spread
It's go time. After spending a good portion of the offseason talking about the Supreme Court decision on gambling and watching it spread quickly throughout the Mid-Atlantic region where I live, count me among those closely watching where this is all going.
It's hard for me to envision an NFL landscape a few years from now that isn't deep in casino-betting revenue, and owners like Jerry Jones are already on the gravy train. If you don't think agents with superstar clients aren't already factoring the gambling revenue -- and a potentially soaring cap -- into their contract projections, you are kidding yourself.
It's a brave new world.
Things are only going to expand and grow into into the mainstream, and best bets are a way of life. Here to stay. And with that in mind, here is my first crack at the games I like most in Week 1.
When I went to Delaware Park for the opening of the sports book with NFL lines, this game jumped out on the board. It was Ravens -4.5 at the time. It's still too low. Buffalo may get the first-overall pick. The talent isn't there. The QB may be overwhelmed. The Ravens aren't world beaters but they are motivated to restore some home-field advantage. Alex Collins will have a big game on the ground and the Ravens' improved pass rush will be a big factor.
So who should you back in Week 1 of the NFL season? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that has outperformed 98 percent of experts tracked by NFLPickWatch.com the past two seasons.
The Raiders' defense was horrible with Khalil Mack. Without him? Look out. The Rams are loaded with new players intent on making a great first impression. I don't know if Oakland's offensive line is much good anymore, and the run game is in jeopardy. The Raiders aren't built to play from behind, and they might be doing a lot of that this season. This could be a double-digit margin.
Am I missing something here? Even on the road, why is Cincy an underdog? They have a far superior roster and the Colts defense is going to be a massive problem on a weekly basis. Couple that with a beat-up OL and running backs, and Andrew Luck can only do so much. Some of the Bengals' young skill guys will take a step up this season.
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