The first week of the NFL season means a lot of uncertainty around the league, but that doesn't mean there are no sure picks to lock up this week.
Whether they are consistent franchises that find ways to win regardless of turnover in the offseason or teams that figure to be so awful that you can feel comfortable picking against them even this early into the season, it's still possible to find some value this week.
While you can take your best stab at any of the games around the league, these teams pan out to be the safest picks to cover the spread this week.
Note: All lines via Bovada.
Indianapolis Colts (-10.5) over Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are easily the least talented team in the league. They didn't do anything particularly well last season and finished the year by losing eight of their last nine games.
The offseason didn't do much to improve this team. The only notable move was bringing in Matt Flynn to replace Carson Palmer, but it's Terrelle Pryor who will be the starting quarterback in Week 1 when Oakland travels to Indianapolis.
Pryor is in his third year in the league but will be making just his second career start. This is one of the biggest spreads of the week, but Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton should have no problem putting up the necessary points to cover.
St. Louis Rams (-4.5) over Arizona Cardinals
Those improvements aside, there are still plenty of questions out in the desert. Palmer may be a small upgrade over those quarterbacks, but he still threw 14 interceptions and only won four games as the starter for the Raiders last season.
Throw in concerns about the running game after losing first-round pick Jonathan Cooper for the season due to a broken leg, and this could be another long season for the Cardinals.
Making this pick even safer is the fact that the Rams beat the Cardinals both games last season by 14 points, including a 17-3 win in St. Louis that ended the Cardinals' 4-0 start.
Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) over Carolina Panthers
Now they enter Year 2 of the Russell Wilson era with the same ferocious defense and another year for the young quarterback to mature.
While it's always a questionable move to take the road favorite, it's not often that one of the top teams in the NFL is giving up less than four points to a team that went 7-9 last season.
The Panthers have a reason to be optimistic about the season. They did finish on a four-game win streak in 2012, but playing the physical Seahawks is not something to look forward to.
|Away Team||Home Team||Predicted Winner|
|Atlanta Falcons||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|New England Patriots||Buffalo Bills||Patriots|
|Cincinnati Bengals||Chicago Bears||Bengals|
|Miami Dolphins||Cleveland Browns||Browns|
|Minnesota Vikings||Detroit Lions||Vikings|
|Tennessee Titans||Pittsburgh Steelers||Titans|
|Oakland Raiders||Indianapolis Colts||Colts|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Jacksonville Jaguars||Chiefs|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New York Jets||Buccaneers|
|Seattle Seahawks||Carolina Panthers||Seahawks|
|Green Bay Packers||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Arizona Cardinals||St. Louis Rams||Rams|
|New York Giants||Dallas Cowboys||Cowboys|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Washington Redskins||Redskins|
|Houston Texans||San Diego Chargers||Texans|