The Touchdown Three: Week One NFL picks
By Paul Mainwaring
What are Mainzey's top-three picks this week?
Each week I will be looking at the 3 games I believe are the best picks of the week, mostly against the Vegas spreads but sometimes straight up. I will highlight why I am picking that way, and why I believe you should do the same.
While we are at it, let’s keep a running score on those games so I can be proven a genius, or an idiot on the internet. Without further ado let us get on with week one
Ravens -6.5 @ Dolphins
If you have read my preseason stuff on the Miami Dolphins (AFC Biggest Concerns) I have highlighted that Miami may not be trying to win many games this season. With all the trades over the last week, the Dolphins, have gone from a team battling to get the number 1 pick to the absolute frontrunner for it.
It is a very different story in Baltimore, after a playoff appearance last season, and an offseason to build an offense, optimism is very high. There is no doubt that this is Lamar Jackson’s team now and they have tried to build the offense to suit his style. I am not convinced the offense they will run will last long term but Baltimore are not being half-hearted in trying to make it work.
The Ravens will run a lot. The Dolphins allowed 145 yards per game on the ground last year. The Dolphins were trying last year and they had the 31st rush defense. This is a terrible matchup for them, and they will get destroyed. Take the Ravens as I expect them to win by multiple scores.
Rams @ Panthers +2.5
Is there such a thing as a Super Bowl hangover. Prior to this year, since 2009 20 teams have made the Super Bowl and 14 have made the playoffs the next season. So you could say no, however for 6 teams to go from the best team in their conference to not being in the top 8 is a serious fall. The Rams are one of the teams trying to avoid the hangover this year. A great season was spoiled by a dud of a performance in the Super Bowl, and the Rams will be looking to show that the performance was an aberration. Lots will rest on Gurley and Goff like last season, but both now have question marks that need to be answered.
Prior to the injury to Cam Newton the Panthers were 6-2 and in prime playoff position, the season was a disaster after that with them finishing 7-9. Cam has had surgery and an injury scare so people have forgotten how well they were playing prior to week 9. If Cam is healthy and the young skill continue to improve, I have the Panthers as a playoff team.
A home team with Cam Newton as the QB getting 2.5 points, I will take that please, in fact I expect the Panthers to win the game
Broncos +1 @ Raiders
What to make of the Denver Broncos. On the Waxing Lyrical AFC West Preview (http://www.spreaker.com/show/561433/episodes/feed) I was not high on them or their decision to bring in Joe Flacco as the QB. Since that Podcast I have been convinced that the defense under Vic Fangio has a chance to be really good, and Miller and Chubb could torment offensive lines all year.
I know what to make of the Raiders, and it isn’t much. I am not a fan of the Coach, or the roster and I think their over of 5.5 regular season wins is too high. The Antonio Brown story and Hard Knocks has kept Oakland in the headlines, but when the season comes around I would expect them to be forgotten until we start to think about high picks in the 2020 draft.
I know the Raiders are at home but the Broncos are a much better team and I expect them to show that here. Since 2011 the Broncos are 11-5 against the Raiders and I expect them to make it 12-5. Take the Broncos here
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A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else he can slide past the editorial team.
Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil Dutts Dutton.
Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.