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2019 NFL betting breakdown: Week 1

Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com, @fitz_doug

Falcons at Vikings

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Vikings -3½, 47

Analysis: This season might be the make or break campaign for highly touted quarterback Kirk Cousins. He had an underwhelming 2018 with the Vikings, who missed the playoffs after being considered a legitimate NFC Super Bowl contender. I expect Mike Zimmer and company to start the 2019 season with a much more hungry attitude and a strong Week 1 performance.

By the numbers: Under Zimmer, the Vikings are 5-1 straight up and 4-1-1 against the spread hosting NFC South opponents. … Zimmer is 7-2 straight up and ATS at home in September and 32-21 straight up, 37-14-2 ATS in his career in nondivision games, including a 21-5-1 record ATS at home.

Pick: Vikings 28, Falcons 17

———

Redskins at Eagles

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Eagles -10, 44

Analysis: I’ve been hearing all week about how the Eagles should destroy the Redskins, and many people are acting as if this game already has been played. The number has moved up toward the favorite offering even more value on the Redskins.

By the numbers: Since 2005, division underdogs in Weeks 1 through 3 are 133-85-10 ATS (61 percent). … Redskins QB Case Keenum is 15-8-4 ATS as an underdog in his career.

Pick: Eagles 28, Redskins 24

———

Bills at Jets

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Jets -3, 40½

Analysis: Bills QB Josh Allen looks far better and more comfortable judging by his preseason performance. New QB coach Ken Dorsey, who comes over from Carolina, should further Allen’s progression. The Bills win straight up.

By the numbers: While I don’t believe solely in preseason stats, perfect preseason teams such as Buffalo was this year are 11-7-1 ATS as road underdogs since 1982. … Buffalo also fits into the above mentioned system of division dogs in Weeks 1 through 3 at 133-85-10 ATS (61 percent) since 2005.

Pick: Bills 21, Jets 17

———

Ravens at Dolphins

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Ravens -6½, 40

Analysis: This is a tough game to handicap. Most so-called experts expect the Dolphins to be the NFL’s worst team, and most expect the Ravens to be one of the most improved teams behind QB Lamar Jackson. I expect a closer game mainly because of the expected typical hot, humid South Florida weather, and I think Miami can sneak under the number.

By the numbers: Miami is 4-2 straight up and ATS over the past three seasons and 45-41 ATS in September.

Pick: Ravens 27, Dolphins 20

———

49ers at Buccaneers

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Buccaneers -1½, 50½

Analysis: With new coach Bruce Arians and the much better looking QB Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers’ season is looking more promising. Winston greatly improved over his last seven games in 2018, throwing for 13 touchdowns and four interceptions with a 91.3 passer rating. San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo is coming off a season-ending knee injury, and he looked inconsistent in preseason.

By the numbers: The 49ers are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games. … The 49ers are 1-7 ATS in their last eight games against NFC opponents. … The home team is 7-3 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head matchups.

Pick: Buccaneers 24, 49ers 21

———

Chiefs at Jaguars

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Chiefs -3, 50½

Analysis: The Jaguars should be improved now that they finally sent QB Blake Bortles packing. Nick Foles is a significant upgrade, but this number seems relatively cheap on the Chiefs. I rarely back road favorites, but I can’t see the Jaguars hanging against the explosive Kansas City offense.

By the numbers: Kansas City coach Andy Reid is 96-58-1 ATS on the road, including a 21-9-1 ATS mark in September.

Pick: Chiefs 38, Jaguars 17

———

Titans at Browns

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Browns -5, 45

Analysis: We shall see if all the offseason hype on the Browns shows up in this game. I’m not sure if the hype is justified, but I do know the Browns have some of the best talent in the league and Baker Mayfield is without question one of the best quarterbacks. I think the Browns want to justify the hype and come up with a strong opening-day performance.

By the numbers: The Browns are 1-18-1 straight up in season openers since returning to the NFL in 1999.

Pick: Browns 28, Titans 20

———

Rams at Panthers

Time: 10 a.m.

Line/Total: Rams -1½, 50

Analysis: The Rams could be facing a serious regression this season. QB Jared Goff is overrated. Panthers QB Cam Newton appears to be healthy, and I think he’ll have a great comeback year.

By the numbers: Teams that lost in the Super Bowl are 17-30-2 ATS as road favorites in nondivision games since 2000. … Carolina is 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight games against the Rams, including a 5-0 ATS mark at home.

Pick: Panthers 24, Rams 17

———

Lions at Cardinals

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Lions -3, 46½

Analysis: This is arguably a battle of the two worst teams in the NFL. I can’y justify the Lions being a road favorite against anyone, even with the short spread. The Cardinals should win this game outright, but this is hardly a ringing endorsement.

By the numbers: The Cardinals are 8-1 ATS at home against the Lions. … The Lions are 5-13 straight up and 7-11 ATS in road opening games, including an 0-4 ATS record as favorites.

Pick: Cardinals 31, Lions 28

———

Bengals at Seahawks

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Line/Total: Seahawks -9½, 44½

Analysis: The Seahawks are obviously the superior team, but the number is way too high. The Bengals keep this game closer than most people expect, and the line value gives them the edge.

By the numbers: Under QB Andy Dalton, the Bengals are 17-11 straight up and 17-8-3 ATS in September, including 11-3-1 ATS as underdogs. … The Bengals are 10-2 ATS in September against NFC opponents.

Pick: Seahawks 27, Bengals 24

———

Colts at Chargers

Time: 1:05 p.m.

Line/Total: Chargers -6½, 45

Analysis: The line move is highly overadjusted and unjustified in moving from Andrew Luck to Jacoby Brissett at quarterback. Brissett had a decent 2017 replacing Luck, who missed the season with injuries. The Colts still have an excellent offensive line, so Brissett should get ample time to throw. The Colts should rally around their beleaguered starter. I’ll call for an outright upset.

By the numbers: Since moving to Los Angeles, the Chargers are 5-5 straight up and 2-8 ATS at home in games with a total of more than 43 points, including 0-4 ATS as a favorite of at least seven points.

Pick: Colts 27, Chargers 24

———

Giants at Cowboys

Time: 1:25 p.m.

Line/Total: Cowboys -7, 45½

Analysis: The Ezekiel Elliot holdout has to be a huge distraction and negative for the Cowboys. He hasn’t been with the team during any of the preseason, and his talent will take some time to come back to form, if it does at all. These teams usually play each other close even without all the added drama.

By the numbers: The Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last five season openers. … Dallas coach Jason Garrett is 17-33-1 ATS as a home favorite, including 3-11-1 ATS when favored by seven or more points. … In Weeks 1 through 3, division underdogs are 133-85-10 ATS (61 percent) since 2005.

Pick: Cowboys 24, Giants 21

———

Steelers at Patriots

Time: 5:20 p.m.

Line/Total: Patriots -5½, 49

Analysis: Although betting on Super Bowl champions in Week 1 has been good, this number is too high and the Patriots historically struggle in their first couple of games each season.

By the numbers: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is 34-18-3 ATS in his career as an underdog, winning 30 of those games straight up. … The Steelers are 8-3-1 ATS as an underdog of three or more in Sunday night games. … The Patriots are 7-12 ATS as home favorites on Sunday nights, including 3-8 ATS in their past 11 games.

Pick: Patriots 38, Steelers 36

———

Monday

Texans at Saints

Time: 4:10 p.m.

Line/Total: Saints -6½, 52½

Analysis: The Saints have been downright horrible for some reason in their recent season openers. The Texans should be able to take advantage and keep the game close. The number is too high and based on the Saints’ overall reputation.

By the numbers: The Saints are 0-5 straight up and ATS in their last five season openers. … They’re also 1-4 ATS in their last five Monday night games. … Blindly betting underdogs in season-opening Monday night games is 35-17-1 ATS.

Pick: Saints 34, Texans 30

———

Broncos at Raiders

Time: 7:15 p.m.

Line/Total: Broncos -2½, 42½

Analysis: All the numbers point to Denver, but I’ll give the Raiders a weak endorsement since they’re back to a small underdog after Saturday’s release of Antonio Brown.

By the numbers: In Weeks 1 through 3, division underdogs are 133-85-10 ATS (61 percent) since 2005.

Pick: Raiders 24, Broncos 23

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