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Week 1 NFL Picks: Underdogs That Will Beat Spread on Opening Weekend

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 16:  C.J. Spiller #28 of the Buffalo Bills runs against the Seattle Seahawks at Rogers Centre on December 16, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IISeptember 8, 2013

Everyone likes to root for the underdog in the NFL, but they like to root for it even more when it can beat the spread.

The beauty of the NFL is that any team can win on any given Sunday. This is certainly the case in today's age of the NFL, in which a number of teams emerge every year while others struggle and fall.

Sometimes it's hard to predict what certain NFL teams will do at the start of the season, which means that some of the spreads are a bit off.  

So, with that being said, there are a few underdogs that have very good chances to beat the spread during Week 1.

Note: All betting lines are provided by Bovada.

 

Atlanta Falcons (+3) at New Orleans Saints

I know that Sean Payton is finally back and that New Orleans is going to be playing with a chip on its shoulder, but I really don't see the Saints taking the home opener against the very talented Falcons.

If the Falcons were really good last year, this year they're going to be even better.  

Atlanta brought in a huge upgrade at running back with Steven Jackson, got an answer for the pass rush in Osi Umenyiora and brought in some youth to help strengthen the secondary.

With so many upgrades and not really any major downgrades, the Falcons are going to be a scary team. I think they should be the favorites to win this game, but Vegas seems to think otherwise. This would be an ideal time to go with Atlanta, while they're the underdogs, because that won't happen often.

 

Arizona Cardinals (+4.5) at St. Louis Rams

The Arizona Cardinals were really bad last year, but I don't really think the Rams are going to be that much better this season.

Bruce Arians has taken things over in Arizona, and he has the perfect quarterback in Carson Palmer for his vertical offensive scheme. Now Larry Fitzgerald will have someone that can actually throw to him.

Along with that, the Rams lost their franchise player in Steven Jackson and are trying to find the pieces to build a winning team. Jeff Fisher seems to know what he's doing, but St. Louis is a couple of years away from being a playoff team.

I'm not sure if the Cardinals will win this one, but I certainly think they can stay within five points to beat the spread.

 

Buffalo Bills (+10.5) vs. New England Patriots

Yes, it's the Bills that we're talking about here.

No, I don't think they will win, but a 10.5-point spread is a big gap in the NFL, and I think the Bills are good enough to at least make this a competitive game.

I feel like people tend to forget about C.J. Spiller, who has the opportunity to have a huge year in Buffalo this season. The Bills will also have some new faces on offense, including EJ Manuel, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin.

Meanwhile, the Patriots are still trying to find guys Tom Brady can throw to. I know that he makes everyone around him better, but there's a big difference between Wes Welker/Brandon Lloyd and Danny Amendola/Julian Edelman.

The Patriots will win this, but I don't believe that it will be by as much as people are thinking.

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