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NFL picks, Week 1: Straight-up picks and TNF against the spread

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The return of the NFL means it is time once again for a pick ‘em contest. Here are my picks for Week 1.

Divisional Round - Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Welcome back, football! The NFL kicks off the 2017 regular season later tonight with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots are sizable favorites in this game, and expectations are high that they will repeat as Super Bowl champs. Alex Smith and the Chiefs have a strong chance to win the AFC West, although once again, Smith finds himself on a team with a different quarterback expected to be their long-term answer.

The San Francisco 49ers get their season going this Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers. The 49ers have won six straight season openers, but once again are a home underdog. There is so much mystery to this new-looks 49ers team. We’ve seen a huge roster turnover, and implementation of new schemes on both sides of the ball. The 49ers can win this game, but much of what to expect is still a mystery.

For tonight’s season opener, the Patriots are a big favorite. They opened as touchdown favorites and the line has climbed to nine points. I don’t like betting lines that require a double digit win, but the Patriots look like a team that could roll up a lot of double digit victories this season. I’m going to wait and see though before considering betting on them. I feel like the public will be betting the Patriots heavily this season, and I generally prefer to stay away from heavy public betting where possible. For this one I’ll predict a Patriots cover.

We’re back with the NN prediction contest, so make sure and head over here to make your six game predictions.

Additionally, I set up a Yahoo! weekly pick ‘em league. If you want to join in, head over to Yahoo! and join our group. Here's the information you need:

Group ID#: 41069
password: go49ers

Here are my straight up picks for this week.

Chiefs @ Patriots: Patriots
Jets @ Bills: Bills
Falcons @ Bears: Falcons
Ravens @ Bengals: Ravens
Steelers @ Browns: Steelers
Cardinals @ Lions: Lions
Jaguars @ Texans: Texans
Raiders @ Titans: Raiders
Eagles @ Washington: Washington
Colts @ Rams: Rams
Seahawks @ Packers: Packers
Panthers @ 49ers: 49ers
Giants @ Cowboys: Cowboys
Saints @ Vikings: Vikings
Chargers @ Broncos: Chargers