2011

Most recent year in which Phillies had winning record

Putting it on the Line

Posted by Eric Fisher On September 5

This year is different.

With sports betting legalized in the Delaware Valley, I understand that it is more likely that readers of Putting it on the Line will place a bet, which creates some additional responsibility when picking NFL games for PhillyPhanatics.com.

What you’ll get at Putting it on the Line is honesty. Don’t expect any guaranteed, game-of-the-year, once-in-a-lifetime mortal locks. And if I don’t feel strongly about one of my prime picks, I’ll let you know.

Speaking of honesty, the first week of the NFL season is a crap shoot. Nobody really knows what to expect from each team. Keep that in mind if you’re considering putting a wager down on a game this week.

In another moment of honesty, I’ll tell you that there’s no such thing as momentum from one season to the next. All I can do is hope that my hot streak at the end of last season – I went 6-2-1 during the playoffs – carries over to the opening week of the 2018 season,

For my “best bet,” I selected the Vikings (-6½) over the visiting 49ers. The 49ers showed tremendous improvement during the second half of last season, but the loss of former Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon to an ACL injury hamstrings the 49ers offense against a terrific Vikings defense.

For my “other top picks,” I selected two 4-point road favorites. That’s a play I usually don’t like, but the Rams appear to be so much better than the Raiders, and I have a feeling the Steelers will be determined to show holdout running back Le’Veon Bell that they can win handily without him – at least against the Browns.

For my last two top picks, I selected the Broncos (-3) against the visiting Seahawks and, yes, the Falcons (+1) over the Eagles. I simply don’t believe the Eagles are ready for the regular season, and the Falcons should be motivated after they were shut out during the second half of the Eagles’ 15-10 playoff victory at Lincoln Financial Field in January.

There’s some more honesty for you. I’m not a homer. I’ll give you my honest assessment of the Eagles each week, picking with my mind and not my heart.

Let’s kick off the 2018 season with my Week 1 selections:

(Home team in CAPS)                                           

(Winning team against the line in bold)

Falcons +1 at EAGLES

Steelers -4 at BROWNS

VIKINGS -6½ vs. 49ers

COLTS -3 vs. Bengals

Bills +7½ at RAVENS

Jaguars -3 at GIANTS

SAINTS -9½ vs. Bucs

Texans +6½ at PATRIOTS

DOLPHINS +1½ vs. Titans

CHARGERS -3½ vs. Chiefs

BRONCOS -3 vs. Seahawks

PANTHERS -3 vs. Cowboys

CARDINALS -1 vs. Redskins

PACKERS -7½ vs. Bears

Jets +6½ at LIONS

Rams -4 at RAIDERS

Best bet: VIKINGS -6½ vs. 49ers

Other top picks: Rams -4 at RAIDERS; BRONCOS -3 vs. Seahawks; Falcons +1 at EAGLES; Steelers -4 at BROWNS.

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