Muscle Sport Magazine

2020 Week 1 NFL Predictions: Two Backdoor Plays

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It’s going to be an interesting first couple of weeks of NFL football.


I’ll be honest … as a betting man, I probably won’t be laying down a whole bunch of money in Week 1. Sure, it looks like we’ll get some preseason play, but players and teams, in general, have lost a lot of time this off-season.


They’re going to be rusty.


So, we should watch how preseason plays out and use Week 1 like curb-feelers for our 2020 betting. That said, let’s look at a few early betting lines that show promise and follow the advice of the handicappers.


Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions -1.5

The Monsters of Midway head to the Motor City for a Week 1 division rivalry game. The easiest way to start breaking this one down is the Chicago Bears are lined out to win 8.5 games. Actually, they are -120 to go over the number and win 9. The Detroit Lions are set to win 6.5 games and -120 to go under that number, winning just 6 games.


So, what better place to start a sub-five-hundred season than at home against a Bears team that finally has a QB that can lead an offense. This is one where I think the bears can win outright. They still have a monster defense and now that BD Nick is in town, they should have a better offense. I won’t say they are Super Bowl contenders yet, but they should score more than they have over the last couple of seasons.


Chicago only scored 17.5 points per game last season. The Lions we not spectacular at 21.3 – and over the last three, they only put up 18. While playing away, the Bears put up a point more per game, at 18.4. But this is the kicker … the Bears had the No.4 scoring defense last season, allowing just 18.6 per game and only 19 on the road. You have to scroll all the way down to No. 26 to find the Detroit Lions … who allow 26.4 per game and a horrendous 29 per game at home.


I do think the Lions D will be marginally better this year with Darius Slay and Kearse… but they are not going to suddenly be catapulted above the NFL average. This spells trouble opening at home against a mean Bears D and a playmaker under center.




Take the Bears +1.5


Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos -3

This might be the most laughable line of the bunch. Tennessee finished the season strong, especially on the road. They played tough highway games and came out on top. Denver was a massive disappointment. The hype behind Fangio reminded me of when the Portland State Vikings hired Jerry Glanville … Well … PSU still sucked while playing in a sucky Big Sky Conference.


The Broncos allowed 19.8 per game last year against the Titans 20.6. But in their last three, the Titans D showed up, shutting teams down to just 18.9 per game, while the Broncs took a laxative and slipped to 21.8. Another important thing to note is how much better the Titans played on the road. Over the course of the season, the Titans only allowed an average of 18.3 road points per game. Denver was beastly at home, allowing just 17.9. So, we have a defensive stalemate in this one.


Offensively, the Titans put up 24.9 per game overall, and on the road. The Broncos were a pitiful 28th in the league with just 17.6 per game scored and 18.8 at home. So, we have Ryan Tannehill versus Drew Lock with two comparable defenses? I’ll take Tannehill and the Titans and the gifted field goal.


Tennessee Titans +3


Bonus Lean


Another line worth looking at when the time comes is the Jets at Bills. You can still find the Bills at -5.5 which I really like. That said, the second the line hits 6 or 6.5 it isn’t nearly as valuable. Under six points at home with that No. 2 defense … I will put an early lean on Buffalo to cover the 5.5.

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