Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs – Texans +9.5
Yes, the whole world saw the embarrassment that was the Texans blowing a 24 point lead against the Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round last season. But they way they reached that lead was certainly impressive. As some of you may have read in my ante-post selections article, I think that the Texans actually look more balanced despite trading away DeAndre Hopkins, and with the Chiefs lacking any real depth at corner I think they will find it pretty difficult to cover Cooks, Fuller, Cobb and Stills when the Texans go 4 wide. Of course I have my concerns in the Texans ability to stop the Chiefs offence, but I do see 1st round selection Clyde Edwards-Helaire having some problems when it comes to pass protection. Everyone has kind of assumed that Damien Williams is easily replaced, but it’s the dirty work that they will miss the most. I’m not saying the Chiefs won’t claim victory on opening night, but when you consider that the Texans have only lost twice on the road by 10 points or more in the past 2 seasons I can’t pass up that number.
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions – Bears +3
And so, another year of Mitchell Trubisky starts for ‘Da Bears’. Having “beaten out” (a term I would use very loosely) Nick Foles in training camp, the 3rd year starter is at the helm once again, this time around pretty much playing for his job. The Bear have certainly tried to help Trubisky in the off-season, adding Jimmy Graham in free agency, and Cole Kmet in the draft, which should at least afford him some bigger targets in the middle of the field, and down in the red-zone. The Bears might be without running-back David Montgomery for the opener after injuring his calf last week, so if he can’t go expect a lot of short passes to Tarik Cohen. As for the Lions, they welcome back Matthew Stafford, but just how comfortable is he with that back?! Matt Patricia has done his best to once again sign any Patriot player who hits the open market, which hasn’t exactly proven that successful in the past. For me, this looks like a 50/50 match-up, so I’m more than happy to select Chicago with a 3 point lead, especially when factoring in that they have won the last 4 meetings between the 2 sides, with the Lions beating the Bears by more than 3 points only once in the last 10 matchups.
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams – Rams +3
If the Browns were the ‘all hype’ team heading into last season, this season it has to be the Dallas Cowboys. Yes, CeeDee Lamb certainly gives them a very formidable wide-out trio to go along with Ezekiel Elliott and one of the NFL’s best offensive lines (although La’el Collins is set to miss the first 2-3 weeks), but there are question marks all over the defence that the Rams can exploit. After losing Gerald McCoy for the season it leaves a huge hole in the middle of the defensive line, with a safety pairing of Darian Thompson and Xavier Woods it’s certainly a weakness that Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett could and should make mince meat of. The run game may struggle for the Rams, so I would expect a career year for Jared Goff as he looks for Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp early and often. The Rams have only lost at home 4 times in the 2 seasons by 3 points or more, so I’m taking the home ‘dogs’.
Game Totals Selections
Texans at Chiefs – Under 55 points
Packers at Vikings – Under 46.5 points
Browns at Ravens – Under 49 points
All selections are advised at 1 point each, with a 100 point bankroll.