NFL Week 1 Bets, Predictions: Expert Picks on Patriots vs Dolphins, Giants vs Titans
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Daniel Jones
Patriots vs. Dolphins — Under 46.5 (DraftKings)
The Patriots' offense could get off to a slow start following Josh McDaniels' departure to the Raiders. Joe Judge and Matt Patricia have been tasked with coming up with their new offensive scheme and the results have been sloppy through camp and preseason.
In Week 3 of exhibition play, New England's offense had its dress rehearsal against the Raiders' second-string defense. The first-team offense played four drives that resulted in: Punt, interception, punt, field goal. One of the reasons the offense may get off to a slow start is due to the fact they will be trying to implement more outside zone running plays, which is going to take some adjusting to for the offensive line.
The Dolphins' offense will be much more explosive under new head coach Mike McDaniel. The addition of the most dynamic playmaker in the game, Tyreek Hill, doesn't hurt either.
However, the Dolphins also might be a bit more balanced after ranking seventh in early down pass frequency last season. After beefing up their offensive line with the additions of Terron Armstead and Connor Williams — and also adding RBs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert — it’s clear they will run the ball more this season.
The total of 46.5 seems way too high considering the Patriots' offensive struggles could allow the Dolphins to have a more conservative game plan on offense. Plus, the weather could be an issue as the temperature is expected to be over 90 degrees, with the added potential of rain. That could force these teams to play at a slower pace.
I would bet this down to 45.5.
I think Brian Daboll will be able to bring out the best version of Daniel Jones as he brings a more innovative, analytical approach to the Giants organization. After having the second toughest schedule last year, they will have the easiest schedule in 2022 (according to my power ratings).
They could also benefit from improved injury luck this season after missing the sixth-most adjusted games lost due to injury (per Football Outsiders) — though they are already off to a shaky start with both Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari expected to miss Week 1. However, this might be the first time in Daniel Jones’ career the entire starting offense is healthy.
The Titans are a team I’m bearish on and I bet on them to finish with fewer than 9.5 wins. Their offense will take a step back this season following the A.J. Brown trade, and his potential replacement, rookie Treylon Burks, doesn’t appear close to being able to fill Brown’s shoes quite yet. Tennessee also benefited a ton from one-score luck last season, going 6-2 in such games. Harold Landry and Elijah Molden are both out for the Titans, which should help offset the Giants' injuries along their defensive line.
I love the fact two teams I expect to go in different directions this year face off in Week 1. I’m all over the Giants +5.5 here and would bet this down to +4.5.