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NFL Pro Football 2013 Week 1 Picks

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Fearless Rick's NFL Week 1 Picks - Early Games

Welcome to the very best in winning NFL and College Football picks.
Rick Gagliano | September 5 - September 8, 2013

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, September 5

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos (-7 1/2, 48 1/2), 8:30 pm - The 2013 NFL season begins with a return match-up of a playoff meeting between these two teams that resulted in a 38-35 win for the Ravens as they marched to the Super Bowl.

Denver lost that game due to breakdowns in the secondary and some insane plays by Ravens' QB Joe Flacco and his receivers.

That game was in Denver as is the return date, but many of the Ravens' championship squad have departed, while the Broncos reloaded in the off-season. The line-makers have this one correct; Denver will come out gunning and not be taken down late.

Prediction: Broncos 34 Ravens 24

Sunday, September 8

New England Patriots (-11, 50 1/2) at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 pm - The Bills have issues at QB going into the opener, but on Wednesday announced that first round draft pick, E.J. Manuel will be available and start the season opener.

With that bit of news, expect the line to move in Buffalo's favor as game time approaches, but the result will, nonetheless, remain the same. New England has beaten the Bills 23 of the last 25 times they've met, and that's known as "owning" a team.

Besides, the Bills are a shoddy 2-4 in their last six ATS, while the Patriots are a gaudy 14-4-2 its last 20 on the road. And, everybody knows that gaudy beats shoddy every time.

Prediction: Patriots 38 Bills 20

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Seattle Seahawks (-3 1/2, 45) at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 pm - An enticing match-up with the Seahawks having to travel cross-country for their season opener, while Cam Newton and the Panthers enjoy the luxuries of a home game.

Despite the home-away travel angle, the Seahawks - with good reason - are picked by many to challenge the 49ers in the NFC West, while the Panthers are expected to finish somewhere behind Atlanta and New Orleans in the South. While those predictions may be hopeful or doubtful, Carolina appears to be up against it as the Seahawks hold statistical advantages from least season in virtually every meaningful department.

Russell Wilson and the Seattle defense will be the difference-makers in this opening test.

Prediction: Seahawks 27 Panthers 21

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Cincinnati Bengals at Chicago Bears (-3, 41 1/2), 1:00 pm - Both teams had productive preseasons, but the Bengals were more impressive, going 3-1 with wins over the Falcons, Titans and Colts, while the Bears beat pedestrians units from Oakland and San Diego, while losing to Carolina and Cleveland.

The history is not very recent in head-to-head meetings, but the Bengals hold a 3-1 edge over the Bears both SU and ATS.

Cincy QB Andy Dalton is poised to have an exceptional season and the Bengal defense may prove to be one of the best in the league. Chalk up a win for the visiting team here.

Prediction: Bengals 24 Bears 13

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (even, 41 1/2), 1:00 pm - This looks like a coin-flip kind of game with the Dolphins returning from a 7-9 mark in 2012, while the Browns suffered through a 5-11 season, but Cleveland showed signs of improvement in the preseason, upsetting the Rams, Lions and Bears.

The Dolphins have a solid core defense, but QB Brandon Weeden has some sneaky-good receivers and rugged Trent Richardson in the backfield, which makes for a potentially-explosive offense.

Cleveland also holds a 4-1 edge in recent meetings between the two clubs, dating to 2004, the last time Miami beat the Browns, though the games have typically been close.

Prediction: Browns 20 Dolphins 13

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Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-7, 46 1/2), 1:00 pm - The Lions may have an offensive arsenal that is the envy of many NFL teams, but the Vikings have Adrian Peterson and a wickedly good defense, especially with the return of a healthy Jared Allen at defensive end.

The line here is an overshoot for the favorites, who, incidentally, were a major disappointment last year, going 4-12, while the Vikings made the playoffs with a 10-6 mark.

What appears to be a bad line just may prove to be, as the Vikings get a leg up in the NFC North.

Prediction: Vikings 27 Lions 24

Oakland Raiders at Indianapolis Colts (-10 1/2, 47), 1:00 pm - The Raiders may be the worst team in the league, and while the Colts may not have a solid defense, they still have Andrew Luck and aggressive play-calling that could turn this into a rout for the Colts.

The question for the Raiders pre-season was who would be the starting QB, and it turns out to be Matt Flynn, listed as probable to start. What is also probable for Flynn are dropped passes and a completion percentage under 50 because the Raiders simply don't have a roster worthy of competing in the NFL.

Prediction: Colts 42 Raiders 6

Kansas City Chiefs (-4, 41) at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 pm - If there's a place known as "Stinkerville" it would show a continuous loop of this game at all the local bars, forever. These are two teams which finished with identical 2-14 records last season, though, according to the odds presented, some people actually believe that Andy Reid and Alex Smith can revive animal spirits in Kansas City.

Jacksonville gets the nod only because they have home field advantage and are getting points from a team six of the last nine times they've met. Oh, and they have Maurice Jones-Drew, who is pretty good.

Prediction: Jaguars 24 Chiefs 16

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-3, 54), 1:00 pm - The Falcons looked stupendously bad in the preseason, going 0-4 after blowing through the league with a 13-3 season in 2012.

The Saints were just 7-9 last year, but hopes for a better season spring eternal in the Big Easy, partially because they beat the Falcons at home last year, 31-27, and because nobody really believes their defense was as bad as it was. But, it was, really, really bad, so bad that it cannot be corrected in one year. That gives the edge to Atlanta, who should be able to shake off the rust and the dust and earn a victory on the road in a high-scoring shootout.

Prediction: Falcons 34 Saints 31

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2013, 2014, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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