GREEN BAY @ CHICAGO – SUNDAY 6PM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Green Bay -6.5
The Total: Under 49
The First Touchdown: Randall Cobb
Why: A tough total in Chicago, but Green Bay look good things despite the loss of Jordy Nelson. The man under centre for Green Bay will be on MVP ballots at the end of the year, though they may lean on Eddie Lacy against a porous Bear run defence. For Chicago, Jay Cutler has a 13:22 TD:INT ratio against Dom Capers-led Packers defence and Alshon Jeffrey could miss the opener as well. Expect a lot of Matt Forte (what’s new?) while Martellus Bennett could be the top passing game option.
Alshon Jeffery is very iffy for Sunday but so are rest of the Bears WRs. Downgrade all of them, plus Cutler. Forte, Bennett? #FanDuelNFL
— Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) September 11, 2015
BALTIMORE @ DENVER – SUNDAY 9.25PM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Denver -4.5
The Total: Under 48.5
The First Touchdown: CJ Anderson
Why: The Broncos defense ranked No. 2 against the run and No. 9 against the pass last year and the trio of DeMarcus Ware, Vonn Miller and rookie Shane Ray could be the best pass-rush trio in the league. Joe Flacco’s top target this term is 36-year-old Steve Smith and he’ll be up against the stingy Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. With Gary Kubiak running the show in Denver, look for Peyton Manning to be handing off a whole lot more this term.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 11, 2015
NEW YORK GIANTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS – MONDAY 1.30AM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: New York +6
The Total: Over 51.5
The First Touchdown: Odell Beckham Jnr
Why: ODB made his name with THAT catch against Brandon Carr and the Cowboys last term. But it was his 7 games over 100+ yards receiving that really propelled him and he could be the leading wideout come season’s end. Greg Hardy doesn’t play till week so the pass rush could still be suspect for Dallas, however Tony Romo and Dez Bryant should pick up where they left off last term. Shootout potential under the lights on Sunday night.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) September 10, 2015
PHILADELPHIA @ATLANTA – TUESDAY 12.10AM – SKY SPORTS
The Spread: Philadelphia -3
The Total: Over 55
The First Touchdown: Nelson Agholor
Why: Another shootout in store for the opener on Monday Night Football. Sam Bradford is a significant upgrade on Mark Sanchez and Nick Foles but will he stay healthy? If he does this Eagles team will be one of the most high-scoring units in football. Jordan Matthews is ready for his breakout year out of the slot in Chip Kelly’s hyper-speed offence, while DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews provide a perfect one-two punch. New OC Kyle Shanahan will make Julio Jones one of the most targeted WR’s this term and look for him to have joy against a porous Eagle secondary.
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) September 10, 2015
MINNESOTA @ SAN FRANCISCO – TUESDAY 3.20AM
The Spread: Minnesota -2.5
The Total: Under 41.5
The First Touchdown: Charles Johnson
Why: A one for the purists to close out week 1. With Adrian Peterson back, expect the Vikings to be even more run-heavy than usual, though they will be missing stalwarts John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt off the offensive line. Mike Wallace’s addition gives Teddy Bridgewater a field-stretcher out wide and the Vikes will make the playoffs under Coach of the Year Mike Zimmer. The Niners will finish the season with a top five draft pick, though NaVorro Bowman’s return will see him contender for Comeback Player of the Year.
Adrian Peterson trails career rushing leader Emmitt Smith by 8,165 yds. At current pace, it would take AP 84 games to break Smith’s record.
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) September 11, 2015