clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Niners Nation picks: 49ers one of many heavy favorites heading into Week 1

Our own Marc Delucchi predicts the winner in every Week 1 matchup.

Trey Lance #5 of the San Francisco 49ers Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

It's time for a new NFL season, so it's time for more predictions. The 49ers are massive seven-point favorites over the Bears in their first game of the season, but they are far from the only lopsided matchup in Week 1.

Here are my game-by-game predictions:

Bills over Rams

The NFL was wise to start the regular season with one of the best matchups of Week 1. The defending Super Bowl champs against the current Super Bowl favorite makes this one of the harder predictions, but I think a lot of things are going to lead to a dip from the Rams this season, and the Bills probably have the best team in the NFL.

Saints over Falcons

I wanted to pick the Falcons to pull the upset at home given that I think Marcus Mariota is an underrated quarterback and has a good shot at succeeding this year under Arthur Smith, but the Saints have a much more talented team. Going from Sean Payton to Dennis Allen has me concerned New Orleans could collapse this year, but I'll let Allen prove his ineptitude before betting against him.

Panthers over Browns

The Browns have quietly lost a lot of depth over the past two seasons, and the Panthers are more mediocre than terrible. Baker Mayfield is better than he was last season and should be a massive upgrade for Carolina. I'm going with Carolina's home-field advantage to help Mayfield get the win in his revenge game.

49ers over Bears

I am as high as anyone on Justin Fields, but I don't think he has a chance to succeed in Chicago this year. Even if Trey Lance struggles, the Niners should be able to win comfortably.

Bengals over Steelers

Mitchell Trubisky is far from an above-average starter, yet he's still a massive upgrade for the Steelers. I'm sticking with the reigning AFC champs at home, but I'm very interested in seeing if Pittsburgh can find a way to contend in the stacked AFC North because they have the skill position players and defense to compete now that they have a quarterback that can make most NFL throws.

Eagles over Lions

I like what the Lions are building in Detroit, but the Eagles have so much more talent on both sides of the ball. This feels like a make-or-break year for Jalen Hurts, but even if he's only a league-average starter, he has a good enough supporting cast to win the NFC East.

Colts over Texans

The Colts would probably be a favorite in the NFC after adding Matt Ryan to an already well-rounded roster. The Texans finished last season strong (relative to their atrocious start), but I'm not sure how much of that will carry over after the team unjustifiably fired head coach David Culley. I'm expecting Texans quarterback Davis Mills to regress in his second season, and given the death of talent on the roster, Houston's only path to competitiveness is with Mills taking a big step forward.

Dolphins over Patriots

One of my bolder predictions for this NFL season is that Tua Tagovailoa will be a better quarterback than Mac Jones. For one, Tagovailoa and Jones have posted quite similar numbers early in their careers. In my opinion, the much loftier expectations thrust onto Tua alongside the much lesser hype around Jones has distorted perceptions of both players. Secondly, I think Tagovailoa is in a much better situation in Miami than Jones in New England. The surrounding offensive talent is astronomically better on the Dolphins roster, and the chaos surrounding New England's offensive coordinator

Ravens over Jets

Joe Flacco vs. Lamar Jackson, Jackson won this competition before; he'll easily do it once again.

Jaguars over Commanders

Carson Wentz is an upgrade for the Commanders at quarterback over what they had last season, but their defensive line needs to bounce back from an underwhelming 2021. After losing Chase Young for the season, I'm skeptical that's in the cards. The Jaguar's defense is going to be bad this year, but the offense added a lot of talent this offseason and now has a competent coaching staff. The Jaguars will need to force a couple of turnovers to pull out the victory, but I'll bet

Titans over Giants

I don't think either team is going to be particularly good this year, but the Giants are more overtly tanking. The Titans are going to regress from playoff contention, but barring a stinker from Ryan Tannehill, they should cruise past New York.

Kansas City over Cardinals

I think this will be Kliff Kingsbury's last year in Arizona, and he's going up against Patrick Mahomes. Enough said.

Chargers over Raiders

I considered picking the Raiders to pull the upset, but I'm too on board with the Chargers this season. It's hard to choose such an unproven team given the strength of the conference, but they have all the pieces of a title contender. The Raiders should be perfect, but I think they'll be a tier below Los Angeles.

Packers over Vikings

I don't know why I've been seeing so much Kirk Cousins hype recently, but as much as Vikings fans want to pin his shortcomings on Mike Zimmer, we know who Cousins is at this point. He's an above-average quarterback (probably 10-15th best in the NFL), but he will be inconsistent. The Packers may have lost Davante Adams, but I'm not going to pick Cousins to beat Aaron Rodgers until I see Rodgers start to fade.

Cowboys over Buccaneers

I think the Cowboys' early elimination from the postseason alongside the Eagles' fantastic offseason has Dallas a bit underrated heading into the year. I understand their turnover rate is almost guaranteed to regress, but Dak Prescott is the third-best quarterback in the NFC behind Tom Brady and Rodgers. Week 1 always gives some funky results, and while I still think Tampa Bay will be a better team than the Cowboys this season, I think the Buccaneers are a bit rusty after Brady's peculiar offseason, and Dallas' offense leads the charge.

Broncos over Seahawks

Let's ride.

I'll keep a tally of my predictions this season, but feel free to play along in the comments and keep a tally of your own. We'll see who comes out on top at the end of the season!

If you are interested in placing some bets to put some added stakes on your picks, head on over to the DraftKings Sportsbook, SB Nation's official sportsbook partner, to get them in for Week 1.

While we know casual gambling can be fun for some fans, we recognize that it can cause problems for others. If you would like to talk to a professional about your gambling habits, an anonymous national hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-522-4700.