Let's get to the pay window this weekend, football bettors!
Let's get to the pay window this weekend, football bettors!
Photo by Jackson Gorman

NFL Football, Week 1 — This Weekend's Best Bets

I won't say that I do this as a committed rule in this space, but I TRY to give three college football and three NFL picks each week here. Some weeks it will split four of one and two of another, but generally speaking I like to split it down the middle.

So after the one weekend where I have to give SOLELY college football picks, let me just say that I am thrilled the NFL is back. I didn't touch either of these games, but they were a fair indicator of how perilously risky betting on the college game can be — Liberty winning outright over 33-point favorite Baylor, and Howard taking down 45-point favorite UNLV.

A $100 money line parlay on both of those teams would have paid $4.2 million. So, yeah, I am glad we have some NFL to throw into the mix this weekend. Let's go to the games...

Nebraska +14 over OREGON
Both of these offenses can rack up points, so a small taste on the OVER (which was 69.5 last I checked) isn't a bad idea. Oregon put up 77 on Southern Utah last weekend, but it's hard to tell if Willie Taggard's regime is taking hold when they're treating an FCS school like a piñata. Nebraska took down Arkansas State in a bit of a shootout. So I think I am going to bet on this one going back and forth, and coming down to the last couple of possessions in the fourth quarter. Fourteen points is nice and comfy.

UTSA +16.5 over BAYLOR
So last Saturday I was at the Astros game and following the Baylor-Liberty game very closely on my phone, what with my son being a Baylor freshman. At first I was following on my scoreboard app, but soon I was able to follow via the slew of livid texts he was sending me about the Bears defense. I'll be honest, when I went to check the spread on this game this weekend, I was expecting a one-score spread. I'm told UTSA is a live Group of Five school. (Their opener against Houston was canceled because of the hurricane.) I saw nothing from Baylor this past weekend that says they can get off the field enough times defensively to cover a three-score spread.

PENN STATE -21 over Pitt
Last season, Penn State was in the College Football Playoff conversation at the end of the year, but ultimately their two-loss record kept them out. They lost a conference game to Michigan (no shame there), and their other loss? The Pitt Panthers early in the season. Now Penn State is one of the five best teams in the country, and fully equipped to exact revenge on a Panther squad that struggled in their season opener against FCS foe Youngstown State.

Falcons -7 over BEARS
The Bears were actually pretty good in this spot last season, going 4-1 ATS as a home underdog, the most covers for a home dog of any team last season. But here's the thing — last season those Bear starting quarterbacks were not named "Mike Glennon." They were named...actually, I forget their names, but just know they were not named "Mike Glennon." Unfortunately for Bears fans this season, their quarterback IS named "Mike Glennon," and he is a terrible NFL quarterback who looks like he ate paste by the jugful as a kid. The Bears defense is awful as well, and will be riddled with aerial bullets from MVP Matt Ryan and ground force from Devonta Freeman.

Jaguars/TEXANS UNDER 39.5
The Texans offense has a quarterback who has yet to throw a touchdown pass, a left tackle who hasn't shown up at the building yet, and rampant injuries in their receiving corps and backfield. The Jags offense has Blake Bortles as its quarterback. In other words, I have no idea how either of these teams gets to 17 points. I love the UNDER, even at this sub-40 number.

PACKERS -3 over Seahawks
Aaron Rodgers is the best football player on the planet. He is playing the Seahawks, who are a far different team on the road than they are at home. For example, how about last season's Seahawk trip to Lambeau, where they came in as three point favorites and got whacked 38-10 by the Packers? That's something, right? Also, the Packers are money in home openers, going 8-1-1 ATS in their last ten. Take the Pack.


Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.

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