Tennessee and Denver will kick off the season on Monday night. The big football news out of Denver is the possibility that former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Von Miller may miss the 2020 season.
That is going to have a huge impact on the Broncos pass rush. DE Bradley Chubb is returning from a knee injury last season. What that all means for Tennessee will have a direct impact on Titans QB Ryan Tannehill.
Tannehill, the 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year after guiding Tennessee to the AFC title game, will face a larger number of clean pockets. The running game, led by last year’s NFL leading rusher Derrick Henry, should also take some pressure off of Tannehill.
The result is that Tannehill will throw for more yards than expected. Look for the Titans quarterback to hit at least 251.
BEST BET: Tannehill 251+ Passing Yards (+120)
NFL Week 1 Rushing Yards Props
Todd Gurley will put on the Atlanta Falcons uniform for the first time. It should help rejuvenate the former NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Gurley had a down year in 2019 rushing for just 857 yards in 15 games. He did score 12 touchdowns though.
The Falcons averaged 4.4 yards per touch by their running backs a year ago. Gurley averaged 4.2 in L.A. Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has said Gurley is likely to get at least 15 touches on Sunday. That would put Gurley at 66 yards.
The Seahawks defense was 22nd in the NFL against the run last year. Maybe Seattle is improved, but without a preseason Coach Rick thinks Gurley can pull out at least an extra six yards. Check out our Seahawks vs. Falcons picks.
Lamb is big (6-2, 200), fast, and can play inside in the slot or on the outside as well. Playing with Amari Cooper in the NFL’s second-best passing offense a year ago, Dallas QB Dak Prescott should be able to target Lamb more than a handful of times.
In his first pro game, Lamb comes through with at least 51 receiving yards.
BEST BET: Lamb 51+ Receiving Yards (-114)
Steelers vs. Giants Props Betting Preview
Pittsburgh has beaten the Giants in each of the last two games between the two teams. In 2012, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Four years later in 2016, he tossed two touchdowns and threw for 289 yards.
Coach Rick likes his Steelers and is tempted to go for Big Ben to throw for over 291 yards at +104. However, another interesting statistic is that the Giants have given up a 100-yard rusher in each of those last two games against Pittsburgh.
In 2019, the Giants were 20th against the run giving up an average of 113.3 yards per game. With James Conner back at full strength behind one of the better offensive lines in the NFL, Coach Rick likes the longshot bet here.
BEST BET: Conner 96+ Rushing Yards (+317)
Brady vs. Brees Week 1 Props Analysis
A few years ago, Tampa Bay and New Orleans slugged it out in a 48-42 season opener. Tom Brady was still in New England at the time. Now, he’ll be a Buc and has a loaded offense with 1,000-yard receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, former teammate Rob Gronkowski at tight end, and RB Leonard Fournette.
Brees could throw for over 300 yards against a very suspect Tampa Bay pass defense. With all that talent around Brady though, the future Hall of Famer should have a solid day against a not-so-great New Orleans pass defense. The Saints were 20 th in pass defense last season.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Rick, a Generation X-er, who now lives just north of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan. A former high school, college, and professional football player, Rick now spends his time as a high school coach and as a personal quarterback trainer. An all-state high school quarterback, he went on to become an Academic All-American at Division II Indiana University of PA. He later coached at his alma mater helping lead the program to the 1990 NCAA Division II national championship game. Rick has also served as a high school head coach and as an assistant in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan.
His passion for sports writing started when he was the sports editor for his high school newspaper and continued when he worked as a sportswriter for the Jamestown (New York) Post-Journal in the early 1990s. A true sports fanatic, Rick enjoys all things Pittsburgh: Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins. The Immaculate Reception, the 1979 We Are Family Pirates, and the ’91-’92 Penguins are among his favorites. After working as an educator and athletic director for several years, he again took up sports writing and has contributed to several websites and publications, including Coach & Player magazine, X & O Labs, American Football Monthly, and many others.
When not consumed with coaching, watching, thinking about, or writing about football and other seasonal sports, he finds himself working out like he was still in college and reading everything from military history to Brad Thor novels. Rick has also been chasing rock god stardom as a drummer who has played with bands that have opened for the likes of Fuel, Days of the New, and Alien Ant Farm. He continues to play with his church worship group. Most importantly, Rick is married to the love of his life, Lisa, and has two beautiful daughters.