San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

MINNESOTA -6.5

The 49ers were a different team last year when Jimmy Garoppolo took over at QB. But that was 2017, and this is 2018. Teams now have enough footage to game-plan the heck out of him, and that starts Sunday against the NFL’s most-dominant defense. Minnesota’s offense is loaded at the skill positions, and San Francisco doesn’t have the tools to fully exploit the Vikings’ big weakness (O-line).

SportsLine Expert: Adam Thompson

Deshaun Watson #4 of the Houston Texans before a huddle during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 25, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

Deshaun Watson (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

NEW ENGLAND -6.5

The Patriots, coming off a tough Super Bowl loss, looked sharp this preseason. While New England’s offense should be able to continue motoring under Tom Brady, questions abound on defense after the departure of Matt Patricia. The Texans have a lot of great individual pieces on offense that could make them the NFL’s most explosive offense, but until they mesh together as a unit, New England is still the AFC king. My projections are indicating a stat-packed day for Deshaun Watson, but too many New England weapons will wear down the Houston defense. Back the Pats.

SportsLine Expert: Stephen Oh (8-2 in last 10 NE ATS picks)

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4:05 pm ET

OVER 48

There’s a real chance this matchup will be missing Joey Bosa (foot) and Eric Berry (heel), or have one or the other play at less than 100 percent. That’s good news in a matchup where I liked the Over anyway, as the Chiefs have an extremely high ceiling on offense and the Chargers should be able to move the ball consistently. We’re getting this right on a key number for totals (six TDs and two FGs), so I’m hopping on it now before it can move if either star player is ruled out.

SportsLine Expert: R.J. White (3-0 in last 3 NFL O/U picks)

>>MORE: See all NFL picks

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior to the game against the Indianapolis Colts at CenturyLink Field on August 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

Russell Wilson (Photo Credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 4:25 pm ET

DENVER -3

Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but the Seahawks are once again looking extremely weak at all other positions. Their offensive line is weak, the running back committee is unproven, and star wide receiver Doug Baldwin has a knee injury that won’t be 100% this season. The matchup against Denver’s tough defense is scary, especially on the road. The line has already moved in Denver’s direction, but there’s still value to be had there. Lay the small number.

SportsLine Expert: Galin Dragiev

Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday, September 9, 2018, 8:20 pm ET

CHICAGO +7.5

This selection is not all — just mostly — about new Chicago LB Khalil Mack. Oddly, the spread did not budge with the Bears’ acquisition, perhaps because of doubts about Mack’s readiness. Indications are that he’ll be ready to go, which places a greater burden on Green Bay’s line to protect Aaron Rodgers. A bonus factor is the absence of RB Aaron Jones (suspension), the Pack’s primary ground-gainer last year. A new-look offense under rookie head coach Matt Nagy and promising QB Mitchell Trubisky adds intrigue to a matchup not as lopsided as recent history suggests.

SportsLine Expert: Mike Tierney (3-0 in last 10 GB ATS picks)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s