N.F.L. Week 1 Predictions: Our Picks Against the Spread


New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Saints -5.5 | Total: 42.5

New Orleans missed the playoffs last season for the first time since the 2016 season, a finish that likely still smarts. Atlanta did not cover the spread in seven of its eight home games last season. The Falcons are expected to be one of the N.F.L.’s worst teams this season, and are playing this one in Atlanta. The Saints are the better team, but these two division rivals really, really dislike each other and always play close. Pick: Falcons +5.5

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS

Line: Bengals -6.5 | Total: 44.5

Cincinnati won both meetings last season, blowing out Pittsburgh, 41-10, in their second meeting during Week 12. The Steelers have had offensive line issues in the preseason, but the Bengals have only one of their offensive line starters returning from last season. In a battle of defenses, the Steelers should have an advantage in 2021’s defensive player of the year, T.J. Watt. Pick: Steelers +6.5

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m., Fox

Line: Eagles -4 | Total: 49

The Lions had one of the worst defenses in the N.F.L. last season but upgraded that unit with the No. 2 overall draft pick, which they used on the University of Michigan folk hero and defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. Detroit finished a terrible 2021 season with a 3-13-1 record, but the team was surprisingly one of the best against the spread at 11-6. Not against the Eagles, however, which beat the brakes off the Lions, 44-6, in Week 8.

Detroit has attracted 61 percent of the action as 4-point home underdogs. Most books have moved them to +3.5, but some are still hanging the 4. Pick: Lions +4



Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/08/sports/football/nfl-week-1-predictions.html