NFL Picks Week 1: New England Patriots vs. Tennessee Titans
The New England Patriots are counting down the days until their season-opening contest against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 9, as the team hasn't been seen on a field since suffering a 21-17 loss to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
Sports bettors will likely examine how Tom Brady and the Patriots responded after dropping Super Bowl XLII on Feb. 3, 2008, coming away with a 17-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs as 16-point home favorites in the 2008-09 season opener.
Fantasy football owners remember that affair, as Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter. He has compiled an impressive 54-34-1 against-the-spread (ATS) record in his career away from Foxborough.
Tennessee finished with a 9-7 straight-up record last year, but managed to cover the spread in just six of those contests. The Titans are 4-2 ATS as home underdogs since the start of the 2008 campaign.
All eyes will be focused on running back Chris Johnson, who ran for a career-low 1,047 yards a year ago, which can be attributed to missing most of the preseason renegotiating his rookie contract.
The Titans are 1-3 ATS in the last four meetings in this series, which includes a 59-0 blowout loss as 9.5-point road underdogs on Oct. 18, 2009. Few players on the current roster played in that contest, but it should supply plenty of motivation for a proud franchise.
I'm going to recommend a play on the Patriots at this time, as they covered all four of their road wins a season ago when favored by seven or fewer points.
Pick: New England Patriots -6.5
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