The NFL season is about to begin. Ya heard? That means it’s time for our 2015 NFL Predictions pieces for every week’s game.
Each week we’ll take a quick look at every matchup and make a pick using Bovada LV’s odds. It’s a full slate for Week 1 so let’s not waste any more time and get right to it. Happy football!
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Patriots (-7.5) over Steelers: Even without Bryan Stork snapping the ball to Tom Brady, the culmination of the Patriots and their QB’s endless offseason will be too much for the shorthanded Steelers to handle.
Packers (-7) over Bears: Green Bay’s offense took a major hit with the loss of Jordy Nelson but even though the Pack is playing a divisional road game, Chicago and new coach John Fox aren’t yet ready to handle such a high-powered opponent
Rams (+4) over Seahawks: This season is going to be more of a struggle for Seattle than a lot of folks are willing to admit thanks to an immense Super Bowl hangover. The defending NFC champs will beat the Rams on Sunday but not by much.
Bills (+3) over Colts: The Colts have gotten a lot of preseason love as a possible title contender which doesn’t make much sense seeing as how they did nothing to improve their atrocious defense. They’ll be surprised by Rex Ryan’s new team, which looks to play as if shot out of a cannon in his first game at the helm in Western New York
Dolphins (-4) over Washington: The D.C. football team may very well be the worst team in the NFL this season and Sunday’s opener against a Miami team poised to take a big step will be the first of many painful losses.
Texans (even) over Chiefs: Just because Kansas City brought in a big time receiver in Jeremy Maclin doesn’t mean its moribund offense will be that much better. Houston’s defense is going to be too much for a lot of teams this year, starting on Sunday.
Jaguars (+3) over Panthers: It’s tough to find many teams that had tougher summers than Carolina from an injury standpoint and the Jaguars are a team on the rise. Blake Bortles starts strong this weekend for London’s favorite squad.
Chargers (-3) over Lions: Which of these two teams do you trust? Neither? I’m right there with you. San Diego playing at home makes a safer pick especially with Detroit’s defense weakened by the loss of Ndamukong Suh. Take the Chargers.
Cardinals (-2.5) over Saints: The Saints are such an interesting story this season. How will they bounce back from such a massively disappointing 2014? No matter what you think of him, Sean Payton is too good a coach to not be able to draw some improvement out of this team but that will have to wait at least a week seeing as how New Orleans stinks on the road and the Cardinals with a healthy Carson Palmer under center are just better.
Ravens (+5) over Broncos: The fall of the Broncos began late last year and in the playoffs and will increase in velocity as this season wears on. Peyton Manning isn’t the same guy, Gary Kubiak is not a very good coach and the Ravens, though flawed on offense, are an AFC favorite.
Bengals (-3.5) over Raiders: The Raiders are better! Can you believe it? This is a team that could be among the league’s most improved this year (which will likely only result in a 6-10 or 7-9 finish – but hey, baby steps) but Cincinnati always plays well early in the regular season en route to a routine crash and burn come playoff time. Bengals win but it won’t be easy.
Bucs (-3) over Titans: Looky here, it’s the Top 2 picks in the draft facing off in their NFL debuts. That’s by far the most compelling storyline to be found in this matchup, a meeting of two terrible teams. Tampa gets the benefit of the doubt for being at home but don’t de surprised if the final score is something like 12-7.
Cowboys (-6) over Giants: Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cowboys in the Super Bowl as strange as that is to say about a team that could never break 8-8 until last year. The power running game will be diminished without DeMarco Murray but Tony Romo and Dez Bryant is still a deadly combo and the Giants are awful on D, a finger-missing JPP or not.
Eagles (-3) over Falcons: If you claim to have any clue what to expect out of the Eagles then you’re probably lying. Still, the Falcons were terrible last year and it’s going to take a couple weeks at least to be able to tell if they’re any better, especially on defense. The Sam Bradford contract year tour begins with a big win.
Vikings (-3) over 49ers: One of the most improved teams in the league meet one of the most diminished. I don’t know if the Niners will be as bad as some folks do despite all their personnel losses. But Minnesota is young, fiery, has a good coach and has the best running back in the game back. No matter what you think of Adrian Peterson, his presence makes the Vikings a better team and while it feels trendy to say, Minnesota is a nice sleeper pick for the playoffs.