2020 Week 1 Picks: All Games ATS, Blazing Five, Survivor Picks (RC v. The Computer)
*Picks based on THU morning info...subject to change as lines/injury/weather reports change.
All game picks ATS with me (RC) picking against The Computer with the THU morning spreads.
My Computer is analyzing/driving off of analysis of the players/units/coaching/matchup game analysis with some historical trending on things – but mostly it is looking at the better teams/matchups to win considering the likely lineups, weather, and injury reports, etc.
I’m looking at The Computer’s data for my picks but also considering my feel for the matchup, my hunches/biases of the two teams, and some inputs from Bet The Close Podcast’s Chris Bilello along with any other smart handicapping data inputs I come across/discover.
*See/listen to our Monday Video Show on-demand with Chris and I going through each game/play one-by-one.
We’re all just trying to find a way to get to the holy grail of 60%+ win ability. We’re all trying to compete in office pools and survivor contests. If I had a 70%+ system guaranteed all the time, I’d consider keeping it to myself. I’m trying to get there, and here’s what I am seeing/playing right now to do it. I’ll adjust as we go, if needed.
The Computer and I only disagree on five games ATS this week, and one of them is a computer Best Bet and another in it’s ‘Blazing Five’.
HOU at KC (-9.0)
Computer says: HOU…take the points, KC wins by 7.8
RC says: HOU…not a lot of confidence. A lot of points to give to a good Houston team with an axe to grind.
MIA at NE (6.5)
Computer says: NE…never bet against Belichick. NE wins by 7.7
RC says: MIA…I’d be more confident if Xavien Howard were cleared. I think Miami has had an excellent offseason rebuild to piggyback on a nice finish last year…and the Patriots are in a lot of flux and may need a month+ to figure it out.
CLE at BAL (-8.0)
Computer says: BAL…the team that won ten in a row to end 2019 (pre-playoffs) won 8 of them by 10 or more points. BAL wins by 10.8
RC says: BAL…it’s a lot of points but you have to like early season Harbaugh vs. the rookie HC Stefanski.
NYJ at BUF (-6.5)
Computer says: BUF…the better, more disciplined team wins by 9.0
RC says: BUF…I just can’t take the Jets here. I think the teams the highest potential teams that will get down early Week 1 and then fold on their coach/season quickly are NYJ, CLE, and JAX.
LV (-3.0) at CAR
Computer says: CAR…it thinks LV wins by 2.7, thus CAR covers.
RC says: CAR…I have had a sneaking suspicion that CAR gives Vegas a run here because Matt Rhule is savvy. It makes no sense on the surface, because I really like LV for the playoffs this season, but I think Carolina is a better team than we think and catches LV napping. Low confidence.
SEA (-2.0) at ATL
Computer says: SEA…this is The Computer’s Best Bet. It thinks Seattle by 8.8
RC says: ATL…I like the ATL at home after a strong close to 2019 season, but The Computer loving Seattle so much rattles me. The Computer thinks ATL’s weak pass rush will allow Seattle’s deficiency to be hidden…their weaker O-Line.
I love Chris Bilello’s stat on this from our Monday Night Q&A – just how bad Seattle has been in road openers under Pete Carroll. I like ATL here.
BLAZING FIVE PICK
PHI (-6.0) at WAS
Computer says: WAS…Philly wins by 4.4, but FT covers.
RC says: WAS…I do not like the heavy laying six on the road with two key OLs down and if Peters can’t play LT anymore, with the Washington pass rush, this game could be a mild shocker for Washington over Philly. Washington’s offense stinks…but Philly’s offense is pretty weak too.
Philly is the superior team, but the gap Week 1 may not be as big as we think.
CHI at DET (-3.0)
Computer says: CHI…The Computer really likes Chicago here. Bears win by 1.4
RC says: CHI…the more I talked about this with Bet The Close Podcast’s Chris Bilello on Monday, the more I loved this play. The Lions are getting way too overheated.
BLAZING FIVE PICK
IND (-8.0) at JAX
Computer says: IND…Colts win by 11.1. This would be The Computer’s SURVIVOR pick.
RC says: IND…I so want to just take the points with so many of them for the home team, and a hot/humid Jacksonville game…but I think Indy can grind JAX down and cover. I fear the Jags roll over fast once they get down. The Jags have no run game and a weak O-Line…could get messy first-half and then the 2nd-half is like a scrimmage/training for the Jags (like last Week 1 v. KC).
GB at MIN (-2.5)
Computer says: GB…The Packers win by 3.2. The defensive turnover in personnel and Danielle Hunter out is too much here and the loss of the loud/home crowd for Minny.
RC says: GB…I’m just taking the points when in doubt.
LAC (-3.0) at CIN
Computer says: LAC…the Chargers win by 3.4, getting the advantage of experience over the rookie QB in a Week 1. A few weeks from now it might be different.
RC says: CIN…I believe Joe Burrow gets the win here and the Anthony Lynn head coaching career takes a huge hit, losing to Cincy (of all teams) Week 1.
ARI at SF (-7.0)
Computer says: ARI…SF wins by 4.1, a close game and cover for the fighting Kingsbury’s.
RC says: SF…I have thought all offseason that Kyle Shanahan having months to prep vs. Kingsbury’s lack of prep would allow SF to smoke Arizona, and I’m not changing it now.
TB at NO (-3.5)
Computer says: TB…Saints win by 0.4 on the strength of home field and Mike Evans wobbly to play, but that might change and make this an even closer call.
RC says: TB…I like the Bucs here to come out and hand it to the Saints, but Mike Evans out makes me less confident.
DAL (3.0) at LAR
Computer says: DAL…the Boys win by .8.
RC says: LAR…The Computer surprised me with how strong it likes Dallas here. I like Sean McVay with months to prep over Mike McCarthy. I think the Rams cover, and the Rams win.
BLAZING FIVE PICK
PIT (-6.0) at NYG
Computer says: PIT…Steelers win by 6.4. The Computer could go either way ATS here. David DeCastro’s eligibility is weighing hard on it.
RC says: PIT…I wish DeCastro was playing too, but the Steelers are so far superior here that I’ll go with the Steelers, including them as my SURVIVOR play.
The Giants have been smoked on defense by injuries. They have a bottom five QB talent in Daniel Jones. They have a weak WR group with Golden Tate a possible scratch. The Steelers got better this offseason just by Ben returning. Plus, Joe Judge as a head coach doesn’t do anything for me.
BLAZING FIVE PICK
TEN (-2.5) at DEN
Computer says: TEN…Titans dominate by 7.9
RC says: TEN…I think the Titans might blow Denver out in a bad matchup for Denver with their weak ILBs and now missing Von Miller + Bradley Chubb limited. Loved the Titans Monday as a pick ‘em, still like them laying 2.5.
BLAZING FIVE PICK
Computer’s Best Bets by spread differential (five road teams, two dogs):
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