NFL Sunday: Late Afternoon Games and Nightcap!
Who's ready for Tom Brady's debut on the Buccaneers? Check out my Bucs vs. Saints prediction, and the other afternoon games. Also, look for Zeke to eat Sunday Night.
Late Afternoon Games
Los Angelas Chargers (-150) vs Cincinnati Bengals (+130)... Spread: Chargers (-3)
Will Joe Burrow be the next big star in the NFL? His first career game will come on Sunday against the Chargers. The 2020 first overall pick will be up against a ferocious pass rush in his first game, which is not ideal for a QB that has seen ZERO game action (no pre-season). As a result, Burrow may be seeing Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in his nightmares Sunday night. The Chargers with be without Derwin James at Safety as he is out for the year due to injury. But, the Chargers will have new addition Chris Harris Jr. in the secondary alongside
Casey Hayward Jr. to shutdown the Bengals passing attack. So, look for the Bengals to rely on recently signed RB Joe Mixon for a heavy workload. Also, lookout for AJ Green in this game at WR as he looks to make a comeback after not playing in the 2019 season. Burrow may be a future star in the NFL, but it's going to come with growing pains as this Bengals team is sub-par at best. Let's go with the Chargers here to pick up the win and to utilize a simple game plan by limiting there turnovers, this is what I call the 'Tyrod Taylor Special.'
Prediction: Chargers (-150)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+155) vs. New Orleans Saints (-175)... Spread: Saints (-3.5)
I am not sold on this Bucs team and neither should you. Despite the additions of Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette, the Saints are still much more well rounded and will be more in sync in this game. The Bucs have added a lot of new pieces and had no pre-season to build chemistry in a game scenario. For Brady, going from the Patriots to the Bucs is like 'taking the pretty girl to the dance' as opposed to 'not going to the dance at all.' Brady is 43 years old and was carried by one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, which the Bucs certainly don't have. Also, the Bucs will be without WR Mike Evans in this game due to injury. On the other side, the Saints have been dealing with contractual issues with Alvin Kamara. But, Kamara just signed a massive 5 year 75 million dollar extension on Saturday and is ready to run all over the Bucs. Also, with the return of Janoris Jenkins at CB, look for him, Marshon Lattimore, and Patrick Robinson to shutdown the Bucs depleted WR core. This may be Drew Brees' last run at a Super bowl, and it will start off with a big win against the Bucs on Sunday.
Prediction: Saints (-175)
Arizona Cardinals (+240) vs San Francisco 49ers (-290)... Spread: 49ers (-7)
This may be the year the Cardinals breakout. In the past year, they have added DeAndre Hopkins and Kenyon Drake to support Kyler Murray. The former first overall pick, Murray, had a depleted offensive unit last year and it looks like he will have a breakthrough year in the passing game. The Cardinals are underrated defensively as well with standout players such as Patrick Peterson, Chandler Jones and Budda Baker, and they have added linebacker depth by signing Devon Kennard and drafting Isaiah Simmons with their 8th pick in the 2020 draft. But, we may have to derail this hype train in Week 1 as they face the Super Bowl Finalist 49ers. The 49ers had one of the best defenses in the NFL last year, but they traded All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts. However, they still have second year standout Nick Bosa to create havoc on the Cardinals offensive line and Murray. Like Tom Brady last year, Jimmy Garoppolo relied heavily on the defense to win games. The 49ers will need him to step up this year if they are hoping to make another run for the Super Bowl. With that in mind, I don't think the Cardinals will win this game, but I expect them to put up a close fight and make it a compelling affair. Let's take them to cover the 7 point spread.
Prediction: Cardinals Spread (+7)
Sunday Night Football
Dallas Cowboys (-135) vs Los Angelas Rams (+115)... Spread: Cowboys (-2)
What happened to the Rams??? They have fallen from one of the best NFL teams and Super Bowl Finalist to one of the most inconsistent squads. Over the past year, they have lost key parts of their defense that include Dante Fowler Jr., Eric Weddle, and Clay Matthews. They also lost their star RB Todd Gurley to the Atlanta Falcons, and are hoping rookie RB Cam Akers can live up to his potential and fill a much needed gap in the Rams rushing game. For the Cowboys, the clock is ticking for Jerry Jones as the man is so desperate to get a ring. They always seem to be a legitimate title contender, but can't seem to pull through in the playoffs. The Cowboys have added community leaders Aldon Smith and
Everson Griffin to an already stacked front 7 that includes DeMarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. I expect the Cowboys front 7 on defense to run through the weak offensive line of the Rams and get to Jared Goff with ease. Oh, and don't forget their weapons on offense that includes Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott and rookie CeeDee Lamb. The Cowboys are the much more reliable team in this game and I wouldn't be surprised if this was a blowout. Take the Cowboys -3 spread to get extra value.
Prediction: Cowboys Spread (-3)