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Forecaster Frank: Kicking off the Season (Week 1 Picks)

Last year, my forecasting was feeble as I posted a record of 127-151-1.

Thursday Night

Det + 4.5 (o/u 52.5)

Chiefs 27 Lions 24

The health of Travis Kelce is a question, but the Chiefs still have enough weapons to win the opener. Expect the Lions to have a good showing, as the game will come down to a field goal as time expires.

Sunday at 1

Atl - 3.5 (o/u 39.5)

Falcons 24 Panthers 20

It is a battle of high draft picks as Bryce Young makes his debut for Carolina while the Falcons try to go old school and run the ball with Bijon Robinson. This game could come down to who avoids the rookie nerves, with Atlanta winning a close battle.

Bal -10 (o/u 43.5)

Ravens 31 Texans 10

C.J. Stroud makes his debut for the Texans in one of the toughest places to play. The Ravens are a strong playoff contender, while the Texans hope to climb out of the abyss. Houston will improve later in the season, but this game will be an easy win for the Ravens. 

Cin -2..5 (o/u 47.5)

Bengals 27 Browns 17

Magically things are possible in Cincinnati, as the Bengals are one of the best teams in the NFL. Joe Burrow is trending to be able to start at quarterback after missing the preseason with a calf injury. 

Jax -5 (o/u 45)

Jaguars 31 Colts 6

The Colts have not started a season with a win in Week 1 since 2013. This includes eight losses and a tie last season. This consists of a loss to the Jaguars, who went 1-15 in 2020, and a tie against the lowly Texans last season. The Jaguars are now one of the most exciting teams in the NFL, while the Colts are a dumpster fire. 

Min -6 (o/u 45)

Vikings 34 Buccaneers 13

Each team won their division last season and suffered a loss in the Wild Card round. The Vikings have postseason hopes, while the Buccaneers are heading to dry dock for a rebuild after the retirement of Tom Brady. 

NO -3 (o/u 41)

Saints 24 Titans 20

The Saints are hoping Derek Carr could be the quarterback they have sought since the retirement of Drew Brees. The Titans, meanwhile, face a season of uncertainty after their horrific collapse in 2022. Expect a strong showing from the Saints at home as the Titans' struggles continue. 

Steelers +2 (o/u 41)

Steelers 20 49ers 17

The Steelers finished the season strong last season as Kenny Pickett found his comfort level. The Steelers tend to play well in season openers and face a 49ers team facing an early start. Look for a solid defensive battle, with the Steelers emerging with a win on a late field goal. 

Was -7 (o/u 38)

Commanders 20 Cardinals 3

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that the Cardinals are tanking for the number one pick. With Kyle Murray still sidelined, water in the desert may be more common than Arizona wins, as Josh Dobbs, a literal rocket scientist, starts in Week 1. Expect this game to be ugly as the Commanders get the win. 

Sunday Late Games

Chi -1 (o/u 43)

Bears 24 Packers 13

Over the last decade, the Packers have dominated the NFL's oldest rivalry, thanks to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is no longer in Green Bay, as the Jordan Love era has begun. Expect the Bears to come out hungry, looking to start the season strong, ending their eight-game losing streak against the Packers. 

Den -3.5 (o/u 44)

Broncos 27 Raiders 17

Last year's Week 1 loss with the baffling decisions of Nathaniel Hackett set the tone for the season for the Broncos. With Sean Payton now leading the way, expect a good start in Denver as Russell Wilson looks to bounce back after a nightmarish first season in the Mile High City.

Mia +3 (o/u 51)

Dolphins 30 Chargers 27

Two high-octane offenses meet in Hollywood in what could be the highest-scoring game in Week 1. The Dolphins have concerns on the offensive line, but with Tua Tagovailoa looking to make a statement, expect Miami to win the shootout, as fans in Los Angeles are scratching their heads again with coach Brandon Staley. 

Phi -4 (o/u 45)

Eagles 27 Patriots 3

Expectations have not been this low in New England in more than 20 years. The Patriots are a team that appears to be in transition, as they have fallen behind the rest of the AFC East. The Eagles, after losing the Super Bowl, are one of the favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy.  

Sea -5 (o/u 46)

Seahawks 27 Rams 16

Cooper Kupp is doubtful as the Rams enter a season of uncertainty. The Seahawks were the NFL's biggest surprise last season. Expect Geno Smith to show that it was not a fluke as the 12th man goes home happy after opening the season with a win. 

Sunday Night

NYG +3.5 (o/u 46.5)

Giants 27 Cowboys 24

The Cowboys have owned the Giants in recent years, winning 11 of the last 12 matchups. Many of these have come on Sunday Night Football. The Giants are one of the best-coached teams in the NFL and will formulate a game plan to win the opener. 

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Monday Night

Buf -1.5 (o/u 46.5)

Bills 27 Jets 13

Jets fans have delusional Super Bowl hopes. They are forgetting that Aaron Rodgers is 40, and their offensive line is not good. Look for the disappointment to begin early as Buffalo rumbles to a Monday Night win.