Week 1 hype surrounding top quarterbacks from the draft is normal but in 2012, NFL bettors need a manual to keep track of the new faces. We look at the Seahawks-Cardinals, Colts vs. Bears, Eagles and Browns, Redskins-Saints and Miami at Houston game with ATS betting stats and our top picks
Robert Griffin III is one of five rookie starters going after Ben Roethlisberger’s NFL rookie record for wins (13) in a season
Top draft picks in the first round go to teams with losing records and for NFL quarterbacks, it used to be a familiar pattern: Learn the playbook, get to know the system and hold a clipboard until the team realizes they’re caught in yet another losing season. Rebuilding.
In 2011, Newton was the seventh QB taken first overall since 2004 to start in Week 1 and here’s the kicker – those teams are 0-7 against the spread (ATS). Indy’s Andrew Luck is the only player who can try to snap that skid Sunday when he takes on the Bears at Soldier Field but four more rooks will look for Week 1 glory and here’s how we see it breaking down.
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INDIANAPOLIS AT CHICAGO
Line: Bears -9.5, Over/Under: 43….. Andrew Luck (1st overall pick)
New QB, new head coach and a debut at one of the toughest fields for opposing teams. If there’s any solace, the Bears were 29th in QB sack percentage last year and after this, Indy gets three-straight home games surrounding a Week 1 bye. This line hasn’t seen much movement, but it could hit double-digits by Sunday.
Pick: Take the Bears
WASHINGTON AT NEW ORLEANS
Line: Saints -7, Over/Under: 50.5….. Robert Griffin III (2nd overall pick)
HC Shanahan is 15-14-3 ATS his first two years with Washington and the Redskins actually started 3-1 SU/ATS in 2011 before the offense fell apart. Griffin III gets up to six weeks of action before his divisional games begin and this might be the toughest of the six, but with nothing to lose, look for a wide open game.
Pick: Take the Over
MIAMI AT HOUSTON
Line: Texans -12.5, Over/Under: 42.5….. Ryan Tannehill (8th overall)
The Dolphins have the 29th ranked schedule but road wins will not come easy. As in, 1-7 best case scenario. This line opened at -6 in April and it guarantees to close as the biggest chalk on the board. Not a very attractive game but gun to our head, we’d lay the points.
Pick: Take the Texans
The 6-4, 220-lbs Weeden will become the 17th different QB to start for the Browns since 1999
PHILADELPHIA AT CLEVELAND
Line: Eagles -9, Over/Under: 43.5….. Brandon Weeden (22nd overall)
Cleveland has not won straight-up in Week 1 since 2004. They are 0-7 SU and 0-6-1 ATS in that span. In Week 1 home openers the Browns are 1-8 SU/ATS since 2002; they also lost their only Week 1 road opener 17-14 SU at Tamp Bay, pushing ATS.
Pick: Take the Eagles
SEATTLE AT ARIZONA
Line: Seahawks -2.5, Over/Under: 41….. Russell Wilson (75th overall pick)
There’s rarely a dull moment in the life of HC Pete Carroll and he’s created quite a buzz around this year’s team on both sides of the ball. Pinnacle Sports has Seattle (+311) as the clear second-place favorite behind San Francisco in the NFC West but the Hawks started 1-4 SU away from Century Link Field last season and you know the old saying about laying divisional road points (Don’t do it!). Lean Cardinals with a play on the total.
Pick: Take the Under
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