The ManDog takes you through his favorite picks against the spread throughout the season and even includes a 6 point teaser, every week.
Let’s kick it off with NFL Week 1.
49ers (-7.5) @ Bears
- Trey Lance gets his first chance to prove he’s the future for San Francisco with the organization firmly behind him. The Niners have massive talent edges against the Bears, specifically in the trenches. San Francisco is predicted to be the 6th best defensive line this year, while the Bears’ OL is assumed to be dead last in the NFL.
- San Francisco will be hungry after a devastating loss in the NFC Championship game last year and should come out with vengeance against a bears team with a single respectable receiver in Darnell Mooney.
- Those worried about Lance’s inexperience should be calmed by the fact opposing QB Justin Fields is only entering his second season as well. The Bears have very little to show on either side of the ball, and the Niners are a well-rounded football team that should dominate. Expect the 49ers OL to hold up in the trenches. Projected the 9th best unit this year, they should be able to protect Lance against a solid Bears defensive line. I’ll take the Niners to win by over a touchdown.
THE REST OF MY CARD
Colts @ Texans (+7)
- Were the last two matchups between these two teams a bloodbath? Absolutely. The Colts won the two games by a combined score of 62-3.
- Davis Mills has a year of play under his belt, and now he adds Dameon Pierce in the backfield to complement receivers Brandin Cooks and Nico Collins. Pierce shined in the preseason and offers a spark of hope for a Texans team that hopes to improve from last season.
- Matt Ryan begins his new chapter with the Colts. I’m hesitant for him to overperform on a new team with new weapons. Seven points is a reasonable cushion for the Texans to come out in the season opener and put up a fight against a division rival at home.
- *NFL division game underdogs are 28-9-1 ATS in Week 1 since 2015*
- Give me the points for the home team with young weapons that will continue to develop.
Eagles @ Lions (+4)
- This is another opportunity for a team to make up for last year’s struggles. The Lions got clobbered 44-6 by the Eagles last season and there’s a lot of hype towards Philly as the favorite in the NFC East after adding AJ Brown and drafting Jordan Davis.
- However, the Lions enter this season much improved. They have a top-tier offensive line and a healthy DeAndre Swift. Jared Goff will continue to grow with Amon-Ra St. Brown and new addition DJ Chark.
- On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions added potential ROY candidate Aiden Hutchinson, who should give Jalen Hurts some trouble on Sunday, and former first round corner Jeff Okudah returns from injury.
- *Detroit was 6-2 as home underdogs ATS in 2021*
- Give me the points for a healthy and hungry Lions team looking to take the next step with a young and promising roster under Dan Campbell.
Saints (-5.5) @ Falcons
- New Orleans added ball-hawking safety Tyrann Mathieu to an already loaded defense that looks to shut down one of the least talented offenses in the league.
- Atlanta lost their leader in Matt Ryan this offseason and now puts its faith in Marcus Mariota, who will start his first game for the Falcons.
- Falcons GM expects to “take it on the chin” this year following Ryan’s departure and over $62M in dead money.
- The Saints have a revamped offense led by Jameis Winston, who’s ready to sling it to stud Michael Thomas, rookie Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry.
- The Falcons have Kyle Pitts, but first round draft pick Drake London is questionable to play due to a knee injury.
- There are lots of tailwinds behind the Saints and big concerns for Falcons. I’m comfortable with Saints -5.5 even on the road.
6 POINT TEASER
Ravens (-1.5) and 49ers (-1.5)