NFL Week 1 Picks - Late Games

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NFL Week 1 Late Games

All times Eastern

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(8:00 pm) Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears (-3, 38) - The Bears come fully loaded after a 12-4 season and a 16-15 loss to the Eagles in the wild card round last season.

Kalil Mack leads a dangerous defense and Mitchell Trubisky QBs a potent offense. Even the backups look good for the Bears and Carolina may find itself hard-pressed to keep their offense on the field. The Panthers know that last season's 7-9 mark isn't going to cut it in the ultra-competitive NFC South. Carolina suffered lots of injuries to key players last year and should be in the playoff mix throughout the season. Playing in Chicago in the summertime is a plus for an underrated squad.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Panthers 17 Bears 14

(8:00 pm) Houston Texans at Green Bay Packers (-2, 35 1/2) - Aaron Rodgers will get some reps, but the Packers probably want to see what DeShone Kizer has. Drafted by Cleveland in 2017, he got in some good experience, but sat most of last season before being traded to the Packers.

QBs AJ McCarron and Joe Webb III will get most of the field time after starter, DeShawn Watson, goes to the bench. This figures to be one of the better match-ups of the week, as both teams missed out on the post-season in 2018 and are looking for better results this year. The Texans may be the better team after Rodgers leaves the field.

Coin Flip: Green Bay

Prediction: Texans 24 Packers 14

(10:00 pm) Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals (-2, 35) - Arizona will debut Kyler Murray at QB, the top pick in the draft out of Oklahoma and that is cause for some excitement in the dessert after the Cardinals' 2018 3-13 flop. Murray won't likely play more than a quarter for obvious reasons, and that should afford the Chargers some second half opportunities for QBs Tyrod Taylor and Cardell Jones.

The Cardinals are only favored because of Murray, though he may not make as big an impact here as many are seeking.

Coin Flip: LA Chargers

Prediction: Chargers 16 Cardinals 14

(10:00 pm) Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-2, 36) - The Broncos didn't really show much in their 14-10 win over Atlanta in the Hall of Fame contest last week, and Seattle should handle them with relative ease. The Seahawks remain one of the better, more dangerous teams in the league. They have a winning record in recent preseason play and are extremely tough at home (6-2 last season).

Denver will likely give Joe Flacco some time on the field and much is expected of him, though there are some obvious doubters about his ability to return Denver to prominence.

Coin Flip: Seattle

Prediction: Seahawks 28 Broncos 10

Friday, August 9

(7:30 pm) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-2 1/2, 37) - The Steelers are always very good at home and Tampa Bay will be looking at new faces in the secondary after a disaster of a year on defense in 2018. The Buccaneers were the worst defensive team in the NFC (464 points allowed) last season.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Steelers 24 Buccaneers 14

(8:00 pm) Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-3, 37) - Saints' QB Drew Brees will only play a few series, if that, but the Saints are loaded after blitzing the NFC South with a 13-3 record. Also not forgotten amongst fans and players is the bad call that kept them out of the Super Bowl.

If the Saints roll up the score against this pretty good Vikings team, nobody will be surprised.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Saints 34 Vikings 17

Saturday, August 10

(8:00 pm) Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs (-3 1/2, 36 1/2) - While the Chiefs have the look of a Super Bowl contender, the Bengals are in a deep downward spiral and the opening of exhibition games isn't going to help a team in such turmoil. Potential blowout.

Coin Flip: Kansas City

Prediction: Chiefs 27 Bengals 13

(8:00 pm) Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders (-4, 36) - Surprising line, given that the Rams went to the Super Bowl and the Raiders languished at 4-12 with the worst defense in the league, allowing a massive, 467 points. It is still only the first preseason game, but the Rams are surely the better team.

Coin Flip: Oakland

Prediction: Rams 20 Raiders 14

(9:00 pm) Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers (-3 1/2, 36) - Might be the most interesting game of the weekend, given some of the implications going forward. The Cowboys are in a "win or change" mode, meaning, owner Jerry Jones isn't going to sit idly by without a trip to the playoffs and a shot at a ring.

The 49ers have rebuilt rather quickly despite a 4-12 mark last season and they have a budding star in QB jimmy Garoppolo and possibly in rookie defender, Nick Bosa. The game will be hyped breathlessly and good one is expected. Dallas has more to prove right away.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: Cowboys 18 49ers 17

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