The Houston Texans are hoping to make an extended playoff run in 2017 now that they finally have a ‘real’ quarterback while the Carolina Panthers are looking to unleash their prized rookie on the rest of the league as they attempt to get back to being a playoff participant this coming season.
The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills are both looking to reach the playoffs in 2017 after failing to do so a year ago. The Miami Dolphins will look to improve on their surprising 10-win campaign while the Atlanta Falcons will look to regroup after their now, historic Super Bowl 51 collapse.
If you like betting on preseason NFL action and you love making either side or total wagers, then you’re going to love the quartet of expert Week 1 preseason picks that you’re about to get!
Odds & Picks NFL Preseason Week 1
Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers -2.5
Wednesday, August 9 at 7:30 PM ET
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Carolina Panthers will be going with veteran Derek Anderson under center for a while and then third-stringer Garrett Gilbert but this game will be more about young future stars like Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel and other guys like receivers Damiere Byrd and Keyarris Garrett and linebacker Jeremy Cash.
The Houston Texans will start veteran Tom Savage this season, but it’s all about rookie signal-caller Deshaun Watson moving forward. The former Clemson star and veteran backup Brandon Weeden will get the majority of playing time under center while rookie running back D’Onta Foreman, and deeper backups like Alfred Blue, Tyler Ervin and Akeen Hunt try to nail down roster spots. The Texans are also looking at backup wide receivers, Jaelen Strong and Braxton Miller in an effort to add some quality depth behind starters Will Fuller and DeAndre Hopkins.
The Texans are the pick for me with Watson and Weeden outplaying their counterparts on the other side of the field. The biggest difference-maker in this preseason opener, however, will be running back D’Onta Foreman. Carolina is 2-5 ATS in their last seven home games.
Pick: Houston 20 Carolina 17
Minnesota Vikings -1 at Buffalo Bills
Thursday, August 10 at 7:00 PM ET
Ralph Wilson Stadium, New York
Buffalo will be going with veteran backup T.J. Yates and rookie Nathan Peterman while Minnesota counters with veteran Case Keenum and third-stringer Taylor Heinicke. The Bills foolishly traded strong-armed signal-caller Cardale Jones, even though they have more pressing needs in finding someone, hell…anyone, to catch passes behind the talented, but oft-injured Sammy Watkins.
The Vikings will get the win in this matchup despite being on the road as Laquon Treadwell and Dalvin Cook star. The Bills are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games and while the Vikings are just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 road games, Minnesota is also an insane 38-17 ATS in their last 55 games overall.
Pick: Minnesota 20 Buffalo 14
Atlanta Falcons -1 at Miami Dolphins
Thursday, August 10 at 7:00 PM ET
Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens, Florida
Miami veteran backup quarterback and Atlanta counterpart Matt Schaub won’t play much, meaning this game will come down to third and fourth string signal-callers like Miami’s Brandon Doughty and David Fales and Atlanta’s Matt Sims and Alex Torgersen. I like the Fins for the home win as DeVante Parker ‘shows out’ and backup running back Kenyan Drake solidifies his roster spot while challenging Damien Williams as the No. 2 back in Miami. The home team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings between these two.
Pick: Miami 27 Atlanta 24