Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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CBS Sports unveils way-too-early 2024 NFL Week 1 picks

The 2024 NFL schedule was released last Thursday, which means we can officially start breaking down Week 1. Sportsbooks have already posted lines for these matchups, so you can bet on NFL football right now! 

Let’s break down some of these matchups. As we do every week during the NFL regular season, we will pick and discuss our top five against-the-spread picks. It will be fun to see how these lines shift over the next few months, and with a couple of these lines, it could be a good idea to place your wager now. Let’s jump in.

All odds come courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook

Houston Texans (-2) at Indianapolis Colts

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

While C.J. Stroud had a rookie season for the record books, he did go 1-1 against the Colts — as Zaire Franklin tried to point out to him. Indy defeated Houston in Week 2, 31-20, while Anthony Richardson left the game in the second quarter due to a concussion. Richardson getting hurt was a common theme in 2023, as he finished just one game healthy during his rookie season. 

I’m worried about Richardson’s health and potential rust. As for the Texans, they got better this offseason by adding Joe Mixon and Stefon Diggs on offense, plus Denico Autry and Danielle Hunter on defense. Give me Houston. 

The pick: Texans -2
Projected score: Texans 30-23

Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears (-4.5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (Fox)

Both Tennessee and Chicago had incredibly exciting offseasons. The Titans swung big for Calvin Ridley and L’Jarius Sneed, while the Bears picked up a new franchise quarterback in Caleb Williams, and also landed a couple of new wideouts in Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze. I anticipated the Bears being favorites in this game, but 4.5 points? 

The last 15 quarterbacks selected No. 1 overall went 0-14-1 in their first career start. I’m not saying the Titans are Super Bowl contenders, but new defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson has an impressive track record, and his scheme figures to be aggressive, yet tough to figure out. It may not be a fun defense for a rookie quarterback to go up against in his first professional game, so give me the points with Tennessee. 

The pick: Titans +4.5
Projected score: Titans 20-17

Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills (-7)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

These two teams haven’t met since the “Hail Murray” game in 2020, where Kyler Murray connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a game-winning touchdown as time expired. Hopkins is long gone, but Marvin Harrison Jr. is here.

The Cardinals may have gone 4-13 last year, but they were not some pushover. Arizona was one of two teams to beat both the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys last season, and had more wins over playoff teams than the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs COMBINED. Arizona also recorded the most 200-yard rushing games in the NFL with four. There’s reason to be optimistic for Year 2 of the Jonathan Gannon era. 

The pick: Cardinals +7
Projected score: Bills 24-20

If you want a more analytical approach to your NFL picks, then I highly suggest that you check out SportsLine.

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-5)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

While the Seahawks are entering a new era under head coach Mike Macdonald, he has a lot more to work with in Seattle. Geno Smith has Kenneth Walker III, DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba to run the offense through, while everyone should expect the Seahawks defense to be improved. The former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator may be the youngest head coach in the NFL, but his defense led the NFL in opponent points per game last season with 16.5. This is a borderline playoff team hosting a squad with plenty of question marks. 

The pick: Seahawks -5
Projected score: Seahawks 24-16

Dallas Cowboys (-1) at Cleveland Browns

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (Fox)

The Cowboys had a bit of an underwhelming offseason, and get to kick off the 2024 campaign on the road against an interesting Browns team while Tom Brady calls the action. Cleveland added Jerry Jeudy at receiver, the offensive line is back healthy and that Jim Schwartz-led defense gave teams fits last year. 

It’s about time Deshaun Watson gets rolling. He’s missed 11 games in each of his first two seasons with Cleveland, and ranks 35th or worse in completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating among 45 qualified quarterbacks over the last two seasons. Give me the home underdog to win this game at +100.

The pick: Browns +1
Projected score: Browns 20-14

Other Week 1 picks

Ravens (+3) 24-23 over Chiefs
Eagles (-1) 23-20 over Packers
Falcons (-3) 17-13 over Steelers
Vikings (+1) 25-23 over Giants
Bengals 26-21 over Patriots (+9)
Dolphins (-3.5) 31-24 over Jaguars
Saints 21-20 over Panthers (+5)
Chargers (-3.5) 26-18 over Raiders
Buccaneers 26-23 over Commanders (+4)
Lions 27-24 over Rams (+3.5)
49ers 24-20 over Jets (+5.5)

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