NFL Week 1 Picks: Predicting Both Monday Night Football Games Against the Spread

Alex KayCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 01:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Monday Night Football is always one of the most exciting programs of the week for NFL fans and gamblers alike.

Everyone realizes that one more game—a day after the bulk of Sunday’s schedule concludes—is a great opportunity to recoup any inopportune losses that accorded in the prior day or so.

These MNF matchups include all the excitement of a primetime contest and often have some of the highest stakes of any game that week.

With that in mind, here are some predictions for the two divisional matchups that will be featured on ESPN on Monday night.

*Odds via



Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5) at Baltimore Ravens

The Bengals challenged their AFC North rival—the Ravens—twice last year and lost by seven and eight points in those attempts.

It’s a tough call in 2012, but it’s time to take the points and go with the underdog road team in this contest.

Cincy signal-caller Andy Dalton should be better than ever, now that he has a full offseason and another training camp under his belt going into his sophomore campaign.

A.J. Green should also be much improved. Plus the addition of BenJarvus Green-Ellis gives the Bengals a legit chance to make a dent on the tough Baltimore D.


Prediction: Cincinnati 25, Baltimore 24



San Diego Chargers (+1) at Oakland Raiders

These two AFC West teams cannot stand one another. They, coincidentally, happen to be two of the premier teams in the division and end up playing one another in a Week 1 showdown.

While absolutely anything could happen in a rivalry game such as this, it’s always smart to lean towards the better team and hope that injuries don’t screw up your wagers.

Go with the Raiders here, who have a refined offensive game now that Carson Palmer has experience in the system and an elite RB in Darren McFadden.

Don’t sleep on the Chargers, but getting one point simply isn’t enough in Oakland.


Predictions: Oakland 31, Chargers 28