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Week 1 Picks

It's Wednesday, the day before the start of the 2021 Season! Check out TRO's picks against the spread for Week 1:

via The Denver Post


Each Wednesday, TRO will be making picks against the spread. While we will make picks for every game, we will place emphasis on our "First Four Downs" which will the four picks we feel most confident about. Our record against the spread will be kept on the Green Zone page, be sure to check it out each week!


TRO'S FIRST FOUR DOWNS:


1st Down: Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8.0)

via Jamie Squire / Getty Images


While 8.0 seems like a lot of points, especially to a potentially potent Cowboys offense, TRO believes that there will be no Super Bowl hangover in Tampa Bay Thursday night. No one knows what's truly going on with Dak Prescott's shoulder, as he was on a pitch count not long ago, and most importantly, Dallas will be without arguably their best payer in Zack Martin after testing positive for COVID. Martin's absence will have the Bucs' deep defensive line licking its chops, helping them start 2021 strong with a 10+ point win.


2nd Down: Green Bay Packers (-4.5) @ New Orleans Saints

via Twitter


The good people over in Las Vegas seem to be a bit higher on the New Orleans Saints than TRO. Giving Green Bay only -4.5 seems like a layup as they will likely win this game rather comfortably. The Saints will be very short on offensive weapons, giving the Packers' secondary loads of confidence entering into this matchup. We do not recommend siding with a Jameis Winston comeback story while betting against an extra motivated Aaron Rodgers.


3rd Down: Seattle Seahawks @ Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)

via USA Today


We all know that home teams are typically spotted 3 points when it comes to the spread. That means that Vegas believes this matchup will be rather even. While Indianapolis has a better roster if you're placing checkmarks at each position, the Seahawks are exponentially better at the most important position - quarterback, and their signal caller has far better weapons than what the Colts can offer theirs. This will be a close game, but all Seattle has to do is pull out a win to cover against a Colts team with uncertainty surrounding the health of their quarterback and their best player.


4th Down: Arizona Cardinals @ Tennessee Titans (-3.0)

via Norm Hall / Getty Images


Another game Vegas expects to be close. TRO believes that this one will be closer than the one mentioned above, but that Arizona will squeak away with a win. The Titans' defense took a step back in the secondary from last year and will have a hard time covering the plethora of weapons available to Kyler Murray, who will be able to buy extra time for them to get open early and often with his ability to scramble around, keeping plays alive. The Titans will try to run the ball, but it won't be enough to keep up with the Cardinals' air raid.


THE FIELD:


New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers (-5.0)

The Jets are still under a full rebuild, and Zach Wilson will have his hands full with this potentially ferocious Panthers defensive line and speedy secondary. New York simply won't have an answer for Christian McCaffrey and company. Sam Darnold leaves with a smile on his face against his former team.


Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons (-3.5)

These might be two of the most volatile teams to bet on all year, but with that being said, the Falcons won't have any help on defense. The Eagles are a bit better on both sides of the trenches, which will likely be the difference. This game will be closer than 3.5 points either way.


Los Angeles Chargers (-1.0) @ Washington Football Team

Washington's defense will prove to be a bit too much to handle for Herbert and company, as they will make just enough plays to gain an extra possession, allowing them to control the flow of the game.


San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) @ Detroit Lions

San Francisco should put this one away by two or more scores. They are more physical, with a much deeper roster, and will simply bully Detroit.


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5)

This might be the toughest game of the week to predict. It's hard to go against Pittsburgh with that many points on the table, but Buffalo is simply better at nearly every position and will have home field advantage.


Minnesota Vikings (-3.0) @ Cincinnati Bengals

This might not be as much as a slam dunk for Minnesota as some might expect. If the game turns into a shootout, then the Bengals could pose a threat, but the Vikings won't let it get to that point. They'll run the ball and let their defensive line dominate up front.


Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.0) @ Houston Texans

Trevor Lawrence starts his career in the W column, as Jacksonville will be able to run the football, allowing him to thrive off play-action, and their defense will grant them an extra possession or two.


Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-3.0)

Another rookie starting off his career to the good. This Patriots team played Miami well in both matchups last year, and New England's roster has since improved. Mac Jones will have the luxury of an excited home crowd boosting his confidence, and the Patriots will squeak out a 4-7+ point win


Denver Broncos (-2.5) @ New York Giants

Noting that the home team usually gets 3 points, Denver is the true favorite on a level field. Daniel Jones turns over the ball way too many times for this secondary and pass rush not to capitalize.


Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs (-6.0)

Kansas City will likely win the game, but it will be closer than 6 points. Look for Cleveland to cover as they'll be seeking revenge from last year's playoff matchup with an improved squad.


Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams (-7.5)

The Bears will have too tough of a time overcoming the Rams's defensive line, and Matthew Stafford will look impressive with his new team. 10 point win for Los Angeles.


Baltimore Ravens (-4.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders

The Ravens might have health issues at some skill positions, but Lamar Jackson's ability to scramble, the matchup nightmare Mark Andrews will pose to the Raiders' defense, and Baltimore's defensive completeness will have them cruise to a 7+ point win.


Come back next Wednesday for Week 2's picks!





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