The wait is finally over. Week 1 of the 2014 NFL regular season is upon us, and it’s time to break down the picks for every game on the schedule, the latest odds and expert predictions.
With the Seattle Seahawks starting their quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions Thursday night against the vaunted Green Bay Packers, there is no better way to begin the football season than with a battle of this magnitude.
Here are the predicted winners in each Week 1 game and a breakdown of the experts’ predictions.
|NFL Week 1 Schedule, Odds and Predictions|
|Green Bay||Seattle (-5.5)||8:30 p.m. (Thur.)||30-27 SEA|
|New Orleans (-2.5)||Atlanta||1 p.m.||31-21 NO|
|Cincinnati||Baltimore (-1)||1 p.m.||28-17 CIN|
|Buffalo||Chicago (-7.5)||1 p.m.||34-20 CHI|
|Washington||Houston (-3)||1 p.m.||27-23 HOU|
|Tennessee||Kansas City (-3.5)||1 p.m||30-17 KC|
|New England (-5)||Miami||1 p.m.||37-21 NE|
|Oakland||NY Jets (-5.5)||1 p.m.||20-10 NYJ|
|Jacksonville||Philadelphia (-11)||1 p.m.||33-16 PHI|
|Cleveland||Pittsburgh (-7)||1 p.m.||30-13 PIT|
|Minnesota||St. Louis (-3)||1 p.m.||27-20 MIN|
|San Francisco (-4.5)||Dallas||4:25 p.m.||31-24 DAL|
|Carolina||Tampa Bay (-1)||4:25 p.m.||24-17 CAR|
|Indianapolis||Denver (-9)||8:30 p.m.||38-20 DEN|
|NY Giants||Detroit (-5.5)||7:10 p.m. (Mon.)||27-21 DET|
|San Diego||Arizona (-3)||10:20 p.m. (Mon.)||34-21 SD|
|Source: NFL.com and OddsShark.com.|
*Odds via OddsShark.com.
|Week 1 Expert Predictions|
|Matchups||Jason La Canfora||Pete Prisco||Jarrett Bell|
|Green Bay at Seattle||Seattle||Seattle||Seattle|
|New Orleans at Atlanta||New Orleans||Atlanta||New Orleans|
|Minnesota at St. Louis||St. Louis||St. Louis||St. Louis|
|Cleveland at Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh|
|Jacksonville at Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Philadelphia||Philadelphia|
|Oakland at NY Jets||Oakland||NY Jets||NY Jets|
|Cincinnati at Baltimore||Baltimore||Cincinnati||Baltimore|
|Buffalo at Chicago||Chicago||Chicago||Chicago|
|Washington at Houston||Houston||Washington||Houston|
|Tennessee at Kansas City||Kansas City||Kansas City||Kansas City|
|New England at Miami||New England||New England||New England|
|Carolina at Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay||Tampa Bay|
|San Francisco at Dallas||San Francisco||San Francisco||San Francisco|
|Indianapolis at Denver||Denver||Denver||Denver|
|NY Giants at Detroit||Detroit||Detroit||Detroit|
|San Diego at Arizona||San Diego||Arizona||Arizona|
|Source: CBS Sports and USA Today|
*Pete Prisco and Jason La Canfora’s picks via CBSSports.com.
*Jarrett Bell’s picks via USAToday.com.
Breaking Down the Experts
Breaking down the expert picks for Week 1 is an important part of the research fans should be doing before making their own predictions. These are the people who cover the league extensively and have the inside scoop on who will do well and who will struggle.
More so than ever, Week 1 will see experts picking the favorites in each game until there is actual regular-season game footage to judge off. Our experts this week are Jason La Canfora and Pete Prisco of CBS Sports and Jarrett Bell of USA Today.
La Canfora, Prisco and Bell agree on many games this week. The trio all believe that Seattle will start the season off with a win over Green Bay. In Sunday’s action, they are all riding with St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, Kansas City, New England, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, Denver and Detroit to walk away victorious.
Most of the unanimous selections are betting favorites and the consensus pick to win, but it was stunning to see all three agree on St. Louis beating Minnesota despite the injury to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.
It’s also telling that none of the experts gave Carolina the win over the Buccaneers.
It wasn’t all agreement, though, as La Canfora and Bell had similar mindsets this week. Both sided against Prisco by picking New Orleans, Baltimore and Houston to win. La Canfora went out on his own by picking San Diego over Arizona and Oakland over the New York Jets.
As the weeks progress, we will see differing opinions on many teams, and the predictions will be shaken up. Picking the better team heading into Week 1 is a mixture of studying tape and guesswork.
After Week 1, the experts and fans alike will have some hard evidence to go off when making their picks in Week 2.
*Stats via NFL.com.