NFL Picks Week 1: Patriots, Colts Covering Monster Spreads in Opening Week

Bill BelichickThe NFL season is here, which is good news for just about everybody who’s not a total weirdo.

The return of pigskin also means the return of ridiculously insane NFL predictions and picks in which random Joe Schmos try to pretend they know anything about anything. NESN.com is no different.

NESN.com senior associate editor John Beattie and senior assistant editor Mike Cole will be making ill-fated picks all season long, and they jumped right into it with a loss in the season’s first game. See the rest of their picks below.

All lines are from Bovada as of Thursday.

Ravens at BRONCOS (-7.5)

Cole: Ravens
Beattie: Ravens

Why: Ray Rice and the Ravens will set the pace and run the ball against a hindered Broncos defense. Peyton is going to light things up regardless, but with Rice in the backfield and an array of talented receivers, Joe Flacco should be able to at least keep things close. – JB (Editor’s note: We already suck.)

Patriots at BILLS (+10)

Cole: Patriots
Beattie: Patriots

Why: This is stupid. Like, the fact that I’ve already written this many words about the Patriots-Bills matchup is ridiculous. I have no idea whether or not the Pats will win a Super Bowl this season given their new-look roster. I do know that they will win this football game by a lot of points.  -MC

Titans at STEELERS (-7)

Cole: Steelers
Beattie: Steelers

Why: The Titans clipped the Steelers last season in Tennessee, but don’t expect Big Ben and the Steelers D to let it happen at home. The Steelers offense is a little suspect, but at least they don’t have Jake Locker under center. Assume Pitt will smother Chris Johnson and cover easily. -JB

Falcons at SAINTS (-3)

Cole: Saints
Beattie: Falcons

Why: Oh, hey. The Saints are going marching into this season with Sean Payton back at the helm. I think that’s enough to win and cover this week, especially given the fact that I still don’t expect the Falcons to win football games ever. -MC

Buccaneers at JETS (+3)

Cole: Bucs
Beattie: Bucs

Why: Because the Jets.

Chiefs at JAGUARS (+4)

Cole: Chiefs
Beattie: Chiefs

Why: Turning my back on yet another home underdog, I still can’t take the Jags seriously. Blaine Gabbert (thumb) isn’t 100 percent, though, so that could be a good thing for Jacksonville? I’ll take Alex Smith, who has something to prove. -JB

Bengals at BEARS (-3)

Cole: Bears
Beattie: Bears

Why: What’s the deal with Andy Dalton? Like, I think he’s supposed to go, and I see him play sometimes and say “Hey, he’s good at football.” But then there are other times when he stinks. More often not, his stinkers come on the road, and I’m thinking that’s what will happen Sunday. That, and Julius Peppers could be ready for a huge day with Andrew Whitworth’s status up in the air. -MC

Dolphins at BROWNS (-1)

Cole: Dolphins
Beattie: Browns

Why: Feel free to grab a snack when RedZone pulls this game up. Anyway, I won’t be watching but I will root, root, root for the home team. Plus, Trent Richardson. -JB

Seahawks at PANTHERS (+3.5)

Cole: Panthers
Beattie: Panthers

Seattle was 3-5 on the road last season, and I’m still not entirely sold on Russell Wilson because I’m a stupid person. So, I’ll put my money on Cam Newton having a big day in what could be a big season for him. -MC

Vikings at LIONS (-5.5)

Cole: Vikings
Beattie: Lions

Why: This one will certainly feature a few impressive highlights. The Vikes are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games against the Lions, but I expect Stafford to have a bounce-back season and return to his 41-TD form from 2011. I’ll take Stafford and Megatron (and Reggie Bush catching balls out of the backfield) by a touchdown over the Vikes. -JB

Raiders at COLTS (-10)

Cole: Colts
Beattie: Colts

Why: It was controversial, for sure, but it’s tough to argue with the progress of the Colts’ rebuild. I think they’re going to take an even bigger step forward, and they should prove that with a big ol’ whoopin’ on the Raiders. -MC

Cardinals at RAMS (-4.5)

Cole: Rams
Beattie: Cardinals

Why: Arizona gives the Rams problems in St. Louis, going 7-1 SU in its last eight games when playing at the Rams. Taking Carson Palmer’s Zona offense and the points in this one. -JB

Packers at 49ERS (-4.5)

Cole: Packers
Beattie: 49ers

Why: Because I grew up with Green Bay Packers wallpaper in my room as a child. That’s why. -MC

Giants at COWBOYS (-3)

Cole: Cowboys
Beattie: Giants

Why: Still too soon to buy into Dallas’ resurgence. The Giants not only play the Boys well, but they tend to cover in Big D. I like Eli and his (healthy!) salsa-dancing target getting points in this one. -JB

Eagles at REDSKINS (-3.5)

Cole: Redskins
Beattie: Redskins

Why: There’s a slight chance Robert Griffin III’s knee disentigrates in the first quarter of this football game. Even if that happens, I still think Washington is good enough overall to beat the hapless Eagles, who are dealing with an issue or two right now. -MC

Texans at CHARGERS (+4)

Cole: Texans
Beattie: Texans

Why: The Chargers own the Texans, going 4-0 in the all-time matchup, but the two teams haven’t tangled since 2010. Safe to say the Houston defense is slightly better these days, and — as we all know — defense wins ballgames. Four points won’t be enough for the home underdogs this time around. It will be fun watching Watt and Cushing wreak havoc for Rivers all night. -JB