NFL predictions and picks for Week 1 from the experts at ESPN are now here, and many are in agreement for the majority of outcomes. While many of Sunday and Monday’s games have the potential to end in a blowout, there is always the chance of an upset when it comes to professional athletes. In addition to the predictions by the experts at ESPN, the latest NFL odds from Vegas Insider were also used as reference points. Here are a few of the notable games.
Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles – WINNER: Eagles
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) September 10, 2016
Always one of the most talked about teams in the league, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Cleveland Browns tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET. Neither team had much success last season, and it appears as though both will continue their rebuilding process this year. Regardless, Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz is set to start tomorrow, and he could be the future of their franchise. Additionally, the Eagles defense looks improved with new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz at the helm, and the unit could cause problems for new Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III. While it should be a fairly close game, eight out of nine ESPN experts believe the Eagles will win.
New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals – WINNER: Cardinals
After finishing with a record of 13-3 last season, the Cardinals ended up being one of the biggest surprises in the NFL. While quarterback Carson Palmer has struggled in the preseason, he still has enough talent around him where the offense should quickly find its footing. The Patriots will be without quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Even with Brady and Gronkowski in the lineup, this would have been a tough matchup for the Patriots. Without either of them, the Patriots are going to struggle mightily on the road. All nine of the ESPN experts predict the Cardinals to win the game, and it could get ugly.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins – WINNER: Steelers
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) September 10, 2016
With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and running back Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers have one of the most prolific offenses in the league. While Bell will begin serving his three-game suspension on Monday night, the Steelers still have enough weapons to move the ball comfortably. Even though the game is in Washington, the Redskins still have a lot to prove after winning a weak NFC East last season. This should be a close game, but six out of nine ESPN experts believe the Steelers will win.
Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers: WINNER: Rams
While neither team is expected to be very good this year, both the Rams and 49ers made a few major changes in the offseason. In addition to moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles, the Rams also drafted quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick. While Goff will not be playing in Monday’s game, the Rams may have finally found their franchise quarterback. The 49ers hired controversial head coach Chip Kelly, and they are looking to get back to their former glory from the Jim Harbaugh years. Rams running back Todd Gurley is likely to be the difference maker, and the Rams should squeak out a victory on the road. Six out of nine ESPN experts agree that the Rams will win.
More ESPN NFL Picks for Week 1
- Packers Over Jaguars
- Ravens Over Bills
- Texans Over Bills
- Falcons Over Buccaneers
- Vikings Over Titans
- Bengals Over Jets
- Raiders Over Saints
- Chiefs Over Chargers
- Seahawks Over Dolphins
- Colts Over Lions
- Giants Over Cowboys
As always, there are going to be a few surprise teams this season. Teams that are viewed as potential division winners are going to finish with losing records. Teams that are expected to finish in last place could compete for playoff spots.
[Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images]