NFL Week 1 Preview and Predictions

Previews and predictions for Saints at Flacons and Packers at Vikings from Ross Benjamin and Doug Upstone.

Betting tips and predictions for Week 1 NFL action

The NFL season is back and with it comes great anticipation for fans and bettors. Week 1 is always tough to gauge as very few starters play in the preseason anymore and with just three bland games, it's tough to  find winners out of the gate. But, there are opportunities and my Friday partner on the Winners Circle video sports betting podcast, Doug Upstone and I have a couple of NFL free picks on tap for Week 1.

Saints at Falcons Preview and Pick

The Saints embark on the post-Sean Peyton era with Dennis Allen, whose last head coaching job was with the then Oakland Raiders. He led the Raiders for three seasons, compiling a dismal record of 11-37-0, which doesn't instill a lot of confidence from me. The Saints will have Jameis Wilson under center and he's done nothing that gives me any assurance that the Saints will compete for the NFC South this season. For example, Winston is -130 on the NFL prop board at the top online sportsbooks to throw an interception in the game! 

Saints Falcons free pickAtlanta on the other hand, is not going to be very good at all this year. They start Marcus Mariota, who had a few good seasons early on with the Titans, but hasn't impressed since. However, Tennessee head coach Arthur Smith was the offensive coordinator when Mariota had his best years and the familiarity should breed at least some success for the Falcons. 

The Falcons are a home dog here and fit a profile where divisional home underdogs of 6.5 points or less that won seven games or fewer the year before are 27-7 ATS and 19-14-1 SU. I like the 5.5 points and think that this particular game situation works out well for the Falcons to cover the point spread.

Packers at Vikings Preview

Packers at Vikings betting tipsAnother home dog in this matchup as the Vikings are down to just a one point dog at home currently at industry giant BetOnline. Though the Packers being a slight favorite is justified, Doug makes the point in the video, that this line may be playing a bit into the 'public perception' of who is going to win. Maybe some folks forget that Green Bay lost their top two receivers from a season ago in Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. They are also a bit banged up in their starting offensive lineup, leaving Aaron Rodgers in a tough spot.

Packers free pickThe Vikings have the opposite situation where a solid QB in Kirk Cousins has two of the top receivers in the game to pass to in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. They are also nowhere near as banged up, with no one on the injury report. This is a great divisional matchup already in Week 1 of the NFL season and Doug offers way more info and his free pick in the video

Good Luck with all of your bets in Week 1of the NFL season and make sure to check back every week during the football season for more betting advice and free picks from the Winners Circle. 

Ross Benjamin is a top sports analyst and one of the sports industry's most respected handicappers. Follow him on Twitter: @RossBenjamin1 or visit his website at

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