Expert NFL Picks: Week 1 predictions, spread picks from TeamRankings

Expert NFL Picks: Week 1 predictions, spread picks from TeamRankings

In preparation for the opening weekend of the 2019 NFL season, we have been arduous at work crunching the numbers on each Week 1 recreation. This submit highlights our pc picks and predictions for 3 large matchups on the Week 1 slate. Earlier than we get to the Week 1 picks and previews, although, we’ll give a fast rationalization of how we use information and math to foretell the NFL and assist together with your betting picks.

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Our method to NFL predictions

Each professional has a specialty. We deal with large-scale information evaluation and predictive modeling. We collect hundreds of stats on NFL groups and gamers, and use that goal information to energy algorithms that predict particular person video games (and, by extension, your entire NFL season).

Whereas each prediction methodology has its strengths and weaknesses, our goal method has confirmed its worth in a number of independently verifiable methods, reminiscent of beating Vegas win totals strains and scoring top-five finishes within the Prediction Tracker.

How we make NFL Week 1 picks

We have now created a number of pc fashions that every use a unique mathematical method to creating NFL recreation predictions. We mix the outputs of those fashions in clever methods to generate picks for each recreation — a technique that analytics geeks discuss with as a “mannequin of fashions” or  “ensemble forecasting.” Contemplating a number of fashions helps overcome the actual blind spots that anybody explicit mannequin is certain to have.

Just a few of the predictive fashions that we have developed and presently use embrace:

  • Predictive Energy Scores Mannequin. Creates a quantitative ranking for every workforce primarily based on margins of victory, adjusted for opponent energy and recreation location.
  • Related Video games Mannequin. Identifies historic matchups which are statistically just like the sport you wish to predict and makes use of the outcomes of these video games to make a prediction.
  • Resolution Tree Mannequin. Makes use of a machine-learning algorithm to investigate workforce efficiency tendencies in subtle methods and establish tendencies which are statistically important.

Week 1 NFL Picks, Betting Predictions

Now that you just’re accustomed to our method, let’s get to some picks and mannequin predictions for NFL Week 1. We’ll dive into three particular matchups on this submit, however bear in mind you may get our predictions for all NFL and faculty soccer video games by signing up for the season or making an attempt out our free Week 1 trial.

Necessary Notice: All predictions and betting strains beneath are as of Thursday morning, and should change earlier than kickoff time on account of betting line motion or different new information changing into obtainable to our fashions.

Kansas Metropolis Chiefs @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas Metropolis’s high-powered offense rolls into Jacksonville to face a Jaguars squad with elevated expectations after signing former Philadelphia QB Nick Foles within the offseason. Foles is a disciple of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, having performed beneath Reid each in Philadelphia and Kansas Metropolis.

Each the betting markets and our 2019 predictions count on Jacksonville to rebound from final yr’s free fall. Thanks partially to Andrew’s Luck retirement, we give the Jags a 24.Four-percent likelihood of profitable the AFC South in 2019, making Jacksonville the more than likely “worst-to-first” division winner candidate within the NFL this season.

In the meantime, new Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo helmed the Giants protection throughout their 2007 Tremendous Bowl run when he was working for now-Jags Government VP Tom Coughlin. If the Chiefs’ protection ranges up this yr and QB Patrick Mahomes performs like he did in 2018, be careful. After all, that’s definitely no assure. After such gaudy numbers Mahomes might be no less than as more likely to regress as enhance. Nonetheless, Kansas Metropolis has performed sufficient to land our preseason No. 1 rating, albeit by the slightest of margins, over New England.

This matchup is a case of energy vs. energy: Kansas Metropolis’s passing offense towards Jacksonville’s go protection. KC averaged a league-best Eight.Three yards per go with the emergence of Mahomes final season, whereas the Jaguars held offenses to six.2 yards per go (fourth finest). In what could also be a extra telling signal, within the one matchup between these groups in 2018, Jacksonville prevented Mahomes from throwing a TD go (the one workforce within the NFL to take action) and held Mahomes to his lowest passer ranking of your entire season.

The hype is large on Kansas Metropolis because of Mahomes Mania, however particularly taking part in at house, Jacksonville is a sneaky upset menace. The purpose unfold says all of it. Regardless of Kansas Metropolis being a Tremendous Bowl contender and Jacksonville coming off a poor season, the road sits at Chiefs -Three.5.

Energy Scores Prediction: Kansas Metropolis by 2.Three

Related Video games Prediction: Kansas Metropolis, 63.2-percent win odds

Resolution Tree Prediction: Kansas Metropolis, 60.Three-percent win odds

Unfold Choose: Jacksonville +Three.5, 51.5-percent confidence

Over/Below Choose: UNDER 51.5, 51.6-percent confidence

Need these goal predictions for each NFL recreation? Join the season or attempt our free Week 1 trial.

Atlanta Falcons @ Minnesota Vikings

Our 2019 NFL preseason predictions place each Atlanta and Minnesota in a big group of NFC groups competing for a playoff spot, and our projected win totals for each groups are remarkably shut (Eight.Four for Atlanta, Eight.5 for Minnesota). That backdrop makes this early contest a doubtlessly high-leverage recreation for future tiebreaker functions.

Each Atlanta and Minnesota are coming off disappointing 2018 seasons through which they each missed the playoffs. Atlanta cleaned home and fired all three of its coordinators however introduced again former offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who held the identical position from 2012-’14.

The Falcons offense was definitely the energy of the workforce final yr with 25.9 factors per recreation (ninth finest within the NFL). Working again Devonta Freeman returns after lacking most of final season with accidents, and the workforce invested closely in retooling the offensive line. The protection is pinning its hopes on the wholesome returns of stars Deion Jones and Keanu Neal, together with a greater pass-rush from its entrance seven.

After firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in the course of the 2018 season, the Vikings are anticipated to point out extra steadiness this yr after passing the ball 64.Four p.c of the time final yr (fourth most within the NFL). Minnesota returns most of its 2018 roster after a cash-strapped offseason, and the workforce used most of its draft picks on offensive gamers, together with three offensive linemen, in a bid to search out some assist for quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Vikings protection declined final season however nonetheless ranked 10th within the league with 21.Three factors allowed per recreation.

Leaning extra closely on the run on this recreation may gain advantage Minnesota towards an Atlanta protection that allowed Four.9 yards per rush final season (second worst within the NFL). Minnesota’s go rush additionally had an NFL-best 9.04-percent sack price final season, so Atlanta QB Matt Ryan might face additional stress to launch the ball rapidly.

The purpose unfold has moved barely in Atlanta’s favor since final week, from Minnesota -Four.5 to Minnesota -Three.5, however then again as much as Minnesota -Four. This would be the first recreation for Atlanta at U.S. Financial institution Stadium, which opened in 2016; Minnesota is 2-Four towards the unfold there towards different dome groups (Detroit and New Orleans).

Energy Scores Prediction: Minnesota by 2.Eight

Related Video games Prediction: Minnesota, 60.7-percent win odds

Resolution Tree Prediction: Minnesota, 64.Three-percent win odds

Unfold Choose: None (Lay off)

Over/Below Choose: UNDER 48, 55.Three-percent confidence

Need these goal predictions for each NFL recreation? Join the season or attempt our free Week 1 trial.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots

The primary Sunday Evening Soccer recreation of the yr options what’s develop into an AFC rivalry between the Patriots and Steelers. The defending World Champs are hoping to compensate for tight finish Rob Gronkowski’s retirement with the return of WR Josh Gordon. Nonetheless, TE depth could possibly be a difficulty as veteran Ben Watson is suspended for 4 video games and Matt LaCosse has been battling a excessive ankle sprain.

A lot of the New England protection returns, although, with the notable exception of Michael Bennett changing Trey Flowers at defensive finish.

Pittsburgh’s personnel adjustments are arguably extra drastic. The Steelers additionally misplaced a high passing goal once they traded risky wideout Antonio Brown to Oakland, changing him with Donte Moncrief. On protection, they signed cornerback Steven Nelson and linebacker Mark Barron and traded as much as draft linebacker Devin Bush within the first spherical.

We undertaking each these groups to win their divisions this yr. New England is our No. 2 workforce (barely) behind the Chiefs, however the Patriots nonetheless have the highest odds within the NFL to win the Tremendous Bowl (12.1 p.c) because of a fortuitous schedule that features a house recreation towards Kansas Metropolis. We give the No. 7 Steelers just below 40-percent odds to win the AFC North, together with a 9.5-win projection.

Pittsburgh was the victor within the one assembly between these groups final yr, snapping a five-game dropping streak to New England. It’s additionally the sixth straight assembly between these groups with an over/beneath line of 49 or extra; the UNDER has gone 1-Four within the earlier 5 video games, however our fashions have a really slight lean the opposite manner.

Energy Scores Prediction: New England by 5.7

Related Video games Prediction: New England, 68.2-percent win odds

Resolution Tree Prediction: New England, 65.5-percent win odds

Unfold Choose: Pittsburgh +6, 54.Eight-percent confidence

Over/Below Choose: OVER 49, 52.1-percent confidence

Need these goal predictions for each NFL recreation? Join the season or attempt our free Week 1 trial.

In a choose ’em contest or survivor pool?

Do not forget that along with our NFL betting picks, for those who’re taking part in in a soccer pool this yr, TeamRankings might help you get an edge.

Since 2017, our subscribers have gained almost $1.5 million in prize cash in NFL survivor swimming pools, and 80 p.c reported profitable a prize in an NFL choose ’em contest final yr. See our NFL Survivor Picks and Soccer Choose ’em Picks.


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