Our NFL expert Tommy Newbery gives us his two picks for Week 1 of the regular season.
Sunday 13th September
Seattle Seahawks @ St Louis Rams +4.5
St Louis always play tough vs Seattle, and as a home underdog, I like this bet a lot. Both defences will be good, but St Louis seem to play with a chip on their shoulder, especially vs their divisional rival. The line has moved in our favour if you were on early, but if not you can still feel comfortable getting the three points. Seattle will still be a top team in 2015, but have a tough opening set of fixtures which include Green Bay, and Cincinnati on the road, and Detroit at home. I expect a slower start by the Seahawks, playing with a new defensive coordinator could mean some early teething problems, especially here on the road in week 1. Take the three points, and hope to see some more aggressive play calling by St Louis, like they did in their week 7 win over Seattle in 2014.
Tennessee Titans @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3
In the battle of the rookie QB’s, I like the No.2 pick to succeed over the No.1 overall pick here. Jameis Winston will have more highs in his rookie season, but will also have bigger falls. The offensive line he is playing behind could be the worst in the league, but at least he has a couple of decent targets at the receiver position with Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Evans has been limited in pre-season with a hamstring injury, but is expected back for week 1. Mariota doesn’t have the luxury of top WR targets, but a combination of Harry Douglas, Kendall Wright and rookie Dorial Green-Beckham should be good enough. I feel that the Titans are a better coached team, and Mariota also has a better running game to rely on over his fellow rookie. The Tennessee offensive line is also solid, scoring in the top six for pass blocking in the pre-season so far. Take the Titans +3, and put a percentage of your bet on the moneyline at 7/5.
1 pt St Louis +4.5 @ 10/11
1pt Tennessee + 3 @ 10/11