Welcome back to another year of NFL pick-ems, brought to you from odds from PlaySugarHouse. Last season, we went 256-223 on the season (53.44%) and finished out strong in the playoffs, with both Conference title games covering the spreads and the over/under. Though last season got off to a slow start from our end, we went strong through the heart of the season and look very much to repeat again this season.
2019 Regular Season Record: 256-223 (53.44%)
Week 1 NFL picks
Got a minute? Check out a summary of Collin’s picks below. Got some more time? Read on for Collin’s in-depth analysis for his picks this week:
|Matchup/Line||Collin's Pick||Take With the Spread||Over/Under|
|Jets @ Bills -6.5 O/U: 39.5||Bills 23 Jets 13||Bills||Under|
|Eagles -5.5 @ Washington Football Team O/U: 43||Eagles 34 Washington Football Team 17||Eagles||Under|
|Dolphins @ Patriots -6.5 O/U: 42||Patriots 23 Dolphins 20||Dolphins||Over|
|Packers @ Vikings -2.5 O/U: 46||Vikings 26 Packers 23||Vikings||Over|
|Bears @ Lions -3 O/U: 43.5||Lions 24 Bears 20||Lions||Over|
|Seahawks -2 @ Falcons O/U: 49||Falcons 30 Seahawks 27||Falcons||Over|
|Raiders -2 @ Panthers O/U: 47.5||Raiders 27 Panthers 23||Raiders||Over|
|Browns @ Ravens -7.5 O/U: 48||Ravens 34 Browns 16||Ravens||Over|
|Colts -8 @ Jaguars O/U: 45||Colts 38 Jaguars 10||Colts||Over|
|Chargers -3 @ Bengals O/U: 42||Chargers 20 Bengals 17||Pick||Under|
|Buccaneers @ Saints -3.5 O/U: 48.5||Saints 31 Buccaneers 20||Saints||Over|
|Cardinals @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 48||49ers 30 Cardinals 22||49ers||Over|
|Cowboys -3 @ Rams O/U: 51.5||Cowboys 35 Rams 31||Cowboys||Over|
|Steelers -5.5 @ Giants O/U: 46||Steelers 31 Giants 13||Steelers||Under|
|Titans -2.5 @ Broncos O/U: 41||Titans 23 Broncos 19||Titans||Over|
Jets @ Bills -6.5 O/U: 39.5
I actually liked what the Jets did in the draft. They went with an offensive tackle from Louisville because their line last season was absolutely awful. Though the offensive line still has a ways to go, the impact an offensive lineman can have on a team goes more ways than you think. Longer possessions mean the defense has more time to rest. Last season, the Jets were the worst offense in the NFL, averaging just 273 total yards per game.
Unfortunately for the Jets, their opening opponent, the Buffalo Bills, was third in the NFL in 2019 in total yards allowed per game. The Bills are coming off a season where their defense played a major role in the team making it to the playoffs. Before the draft, the Bills added estranged star receiver, Stefon Diggs, via trade with the Minnesota Vikings.
Buffalo struggled at times on offense, but the addition of Diggs and rookie running back, Zach Moss, should allow Josh Allen and the offense to move the ball with a little more ease this season. This isn’t a great matchup for the Jets. I like Buffalo to win comfortably.
Bills 23 Jets 13
Eagles -5.5 @ Washington Football Team O/U: 43
Following a shameful story surrounding the Washington front office, the Washington Football team finally decided it was time to move on from their antiquated racial slur team name. In the most Washington way possible, the team has still not decided what their new nickname will be, despite this controversy being a dark cloud over the franchise for more than 80 years. Aside from those two controversies and their third one involving their mishandling of Alex Smith’s leg injury (oh, and that other one with Trent Williams, too).
From a football perspective, we don’t really have a great idea of what to expect from them in 2020. What we do know is that Dwayne Haskins played much better in the final two games (though it was against two questionable pass defenses), and they drafted Chase Young in April. Chase Young should really improve the edge rush and slightly improve a defense that was in the bottom third of the league in 2019.
Offensively, I don’t expect much improvement, as Washington was second to last in the league a year ago. The addition of Antonio Gibson to the backfield is nice, but it doesn’t offset the loss of Derrius Guice (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that other off-the-field controversy as well). Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of faith in the Washington Football Team this year, but I do have faith in a relatively healthy and competent Eagles team. The Eagles may still have issues in the secondary, but they’re on the fringe of being a top 10 defense overall. I like the Eagles in this one, since Washington still doesn’t have much of a schematic identity…or an actual team identity yet.
Eagles 34, Washington Football Team 17
Dolphins @ Patriots -6.5 O/U: 42
The Patriots got a major makeover in the offseason, shedding the contract rights of Rob Gronkowski and losing maybe the best quarterback in the history of the game. Last season, the Patriots cruised throughout the first half of the season with ease, before falling apart at the seams down the stretch. The defense, through the first half of last season, was insanely good. The offense was boring and fairly predictable, but they were still efficient.
This season, the Patriots will look very different offensively. The addition of Cam Newton offers versatility and opens the playbook up for the offense, as well as forces defenses to do extra prep. All versatility discussion aside, Cam Newton went off in his very first NFL start, so this notion he won’t be ready needs to go out the window. The more fascinating side of this is that the Dolphins beat the Patriots in Week 17 last season, knocking the Pats into the Wildcard and capping a 5-4 close to the season.
The Dolphins turned an abysmal start to 2019 and looked dangerous down the stretch, defeating the Eagles, Patriots, and Colts. This season, the Dolphins loaded up in the draft, selecting their franchise quarterback with their first pick. The Dolphins had 14 total picks, selecting two offensive linemen in the first two rounds. 2020 should be another rebuilding year for the Dolphins, but the team showed they can win with great coaching in 2019 already. I don’t like how the Dolphins will be going on the road in their first game, but the Patriots have a lack of explosive weapons on offense, and Devante Parker has already shown the world he owns Stephon Gilmore. I think the Dolphins will surprise a lot of people in Week One and lose a narrow game to open the season in Foxborough. I think the Dolphins will jump out to a 14-3 lead before the Patriots storm back for the late win.
Patriots 23 Dolphins 20
Packers @ Vikings -2.5 O/U: 46
Divisional games are always a lot harder to predict than others. As far as these two teams are concerned, they typically have some very close matchups. So, what’s changed since last season? The Vikings added Justin Jefferson as a replacement for Stefon Diggs in the first round of the draft. The Packers drafted a running back and then drafted Aaron Rodgers’ heir. It was a messy draft for the Packers, as they appeared to completely ignore their needs and instead go for guys they thought brought them value.
This is the first Vikings game at home since their late-season collapse when an injury to Dalvin Cook the week prior led to the Packers coming into Minnesota and running all over the Vikings on primetime television. The Vikings are coming in healthy and looking for revenge. I like the Vikings to pull it out with a late field goal.
Vikings 26 Packers 23
Bears @ Lions -3 O/U: 43.5
There’s a lot going into this game from a hype perspective. For Detroit, this is a crucial home, divisional rivalry game they must win to get their season off on the right foot. There’s going to be a lot more pressure on this coaching staff this season to make a push for the playoffs. After all, there are no good excuses anymore if you’re running the Lions. They’ve had the same solid quarterback in place now for over a decade, and he has plenty of offensive weapons.
The burden here will be on the defense this season, as they ranked 31st last season in yards allowed per game (400). Week 1 won’t be quite the test the Lions will get from their fellow divisional opponents, so it’s the perfect opportunity to get off to that good start. I’ve been reading a lot about how Mitch Trubisky is physically more imposing and much more confident this season. Look, we’ve heard all kinds of hype about Trubisky now for years, but I actually believe this more than I did with the older stuff saying, “Trubisky looking sharp.” Regardless of what the reports are, I’m still sure we will see our fair share of groundballs Sunday from Mitch.
With a banged-up David Montgomery and a questionable Mitch Trubisky, I’m going with the Lions here as the known commodity. After all, when these two teams played on Thanksgiving last year, the Lions almost won with their third-string quarterback and third-string running back.
Lions 24, Bears 20
Seahawks -2 @ Falcons O/U: 49
This should be a pretty fun game for us all. The Seahawks were a team whose fans thought should have passed the ball more. People who weren’t fans of the team thought, “Man, they should probably pass the ball more.” Ultimately, the Seahawks playoff loss to the Packers was a microcosm of their season. In the most Seahawks way possible, they ran the ball, unsuccessfully for nearly three full quarters before finally saying, “alright, we’re down three scores. Time to finally utilize Russell Wilson.”
Scheme management aside, the Seahawks look to be about the same on paper as a season ago. In Atlanta, the Falcons are coming off a season where they lost multiple key players to injury and suffered multiple close losses. Though they aren’t quite the same team that went to the Super Bowl a few seasons ago, the Falcons brought in Mr. Arthritis, Todd Gurley, and the guy no one can decide is actually a good tight end or not (Hayden Hurst).
Both will get plenty of opportunities in this “rejuvenated” offense. For this matchup, I really like the aggressive playcalling of the Falcons and think the more conservative Seahawks are going to find themselves in “Save us, Russ” territory late.
Falcons 30, Seahawks 27
Raiders -2 @ Panthers O/U: 47.5
I like the Raiders this season, I think. They did a lot the past few years to fix their defense and it seems to be helping quite a bit. If not for a few early-season injuries last season, the secondary might have looked a lot better. Their offense was very run-focused, but the addition of Bryan Edwards and Henry Ruggs should do a lot to offer Derek Carr more talent on the outside. As for the Panthers, they’re now being coached by Joe Brady, the offensive Guru who led LSU to perhaps the greatest single college football season ever.
They also added Matt Rhule as offensive coordinator, following Rhule’s successful offensive scheming at Baylor. With the addition of Teddy Bridgewater as the starting quarterback, the Panthers should be able to improve offensively, but the defense remains the biggest issue in Carolina. With the Raiders in town under a veteran coach and an established, improving team, I think the Raiders will find more stable footing in Week 1 and come out of Carolina with the win.
Raiders 27 Panthers 23
Browns @ Ravens -7.5 O/U: 48
The Browns are finally not getting the preseason hype we’re grown accustomed to over the past four or five years. The Ravens are coming off one of the most hyped and exciting seasons we’re ever witnessed. I think it’s fair to say the Ravens should be comfortable favorites in this game, though we shouldn’t discount the value new head coach Kevin Stefanski brings to this team.
Stefanski loves to run the ball, and the Browns have a very talented running back duo and a much-improved offensive line. Though the outlook seems bright for the season, I just can’t take the Browns on the road against last season’s MVP and an incredible coach on the other sideline.
Ravens 34 Browns 16
Colts -8 @ Jaguars O/U: 45
The Jacksonville Jaguars will not be a good team this season. I haven’t seen a team make a move to tank this badly prior to the season since the 2008 Detroit Lions. The Jags have been shipping away some of their best players nearing the end of rookie deals faster than a Blockbuster Video going-out-of-business sale.
Meanwhile, the Colts have been quietly assembling a stellar roster through free agency and the draft. The Colts already had one of the best Offensive lines and run defenses in the league. They have since added star running back Jonathan Taylor (via draft: Wisconsin) and Michael Pittman (WR from USC).
I really like the eight-point line here because I firmly believe this is going to be a lopsided mess. Aside from the favorable matchup in the passing game, the Jags aren’t going to get much going on the ground. The Colts should be able to march up and down the field, all game long. I like the Colts big here.
Colts 38 Jaguars 10
Chargers -3 @ Bengals O/U: 42
The Chargers are still a little overrated and the Bengals are definitely underrated. Following an injury-plagued 2019, the Chargers got even more unlucky when they lost star safety Derwin James to a torn meniscus just days ago. The Bengals suffered an abnormally high number of close games a season ago, and have since greatly improved their offensive line. With Joe Burrow at quarterback, the offensive variance certainly will become greater, but the defense was 29th overall last season, so they still need to work that out.
I actually would like the Bengals here if it were later in the season, but Tyrod Taylor is a strong veteran quarterback who protects the ball well. I think it may take a few games for Burrow to get in synch, so I have to go with the Chargers in a close one.
Chargers 20 Bengals 17
Buccaneers @ Saints -3.5 O/U: 48.5
The Saints are still the extremely solid team we saw in 2019 and the Bucs have undergone a full makeover. With the addition of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the Bucs should be an extremely efficient offense, though probably not as potent or dangerous as the one we saw in 2019 with Winston at the helm.
I like the Saints to win this one comfortably. I love the Bucs run defense, but they will have no answer to stopping Michael Thomas and the Saints passing game.
Saints 31 Buccaneers 20
Cardinals @ 49ers -6.5 O/U: 48
The Cardinals did a lot to improve in 2019. Following a rough start, they made a key trade for Kenyan Drake, who helped open up the offense with his versatility out of the backfield. Their young defense also seemed to step up very late in the season, as they managed to win two of their final three. One such victory, a road win in Seattle where they held Seattle to just 13 points, showed what kind of potential this team has defensively.
Coming into 2020, there’s a lot of hype around them, following the trade of David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins. As improved as the Cardinals should be, they did improve their defense in the draft, but I don’t think it’s going to be enough in their opener against the defending NFC champs and their polished offense.
49ers 30 Cardinals 22
Cowboys -3 @ Rams O/U: 51.5
I think a big reason the Rams struggled so much in 2019 was due to the deteriorating offensive line. It explains why the Rams shifted towards more heavy personnel later in the season. Though they made that change, the defense still had plenty of holes, and it was too little, too late.
Their cap is high and their talent top-heavy, so I don’t expect the Rams will be making a deep run in the postseason this year. The Cowboys, on the other hand, made a key pick in the draft, taking Ceedee Lamb as the third receiver off the board. I had Lamb as the best receiver coming out of college, so the addition of him to such a potent offense should only make this unit even more versatile in 2020.
For this game, I like the depth of the Cowboys, but think both offenses should have no problem moving up and down the field. I like the Cowboys here in a shootout.
Cowboys 35 Rams 31
Steelers -5.5 @ Giants O/U: 46
The Steelers were hit with some awful luck to start the 2019 season with the loss of their quarterback. The offense never really got going, but the defense kept them in every game, regardless. With the return of Big Ben, I expect big things from this team in 2020. The Giants didn’t do much to improve their team, but they have a lot to prove, following a year where Daniel Jones showed flashes of potential throughout the season. I love the Steelers in this game and am taking them as my pick of the week.
Steelers 31 Giants 13
Titans -2.5 @ Broncos O/U: 41
The Titans are perhaps the most balanced offense in the NFL. Defensively, they’re added Jadaveon Clowney. Meanwhile, the Broncos went 4-1 down the stretch, anchored by a strong run game and defense. Though I want to go with the home team here, the questionable status of Cortland Sutton limits the Broncos offensively. The Titans also played extremely good football down the stretch last season, so I’m going with the Titans here.
Titans 23 Broncos 19