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Week 1 NFL odds, picks: Eagles upset Falcons on the road and more of Jason La Canfora’s best bets

Another season and hope springs eternal. I am committed to bouncing back from a down year. I fired our offensive and defensive coordinator as well as a bunch of quality control coaches. Plenty of introspection … And finger pointing!

Bottom line is we have to take a more streamlined approach to this for 2021. There are still plenty of unknowns, COVID-19 is still a factor and this early in the season – even though we did have exhibition games this summer unlike the last – it still makes sense to tread lightly as we continue to gather more data on teams.

Latest Odds:

Atlanta Falcons
-3.5

I am trying to figure out why the Falcons are the favorite, outside of them playing at home. But when you consider how many debacles they have had in front of their own fans, how hospitable their dome has been to opponents and the Falcons’ disturbing trend of waiting until November to start playing with a pulse, it’s hard to favor them. Is new rookie coach Athur Smith going to cure all of that in his first game? I strongly favor the Eagles personnel in the trenches on both sides – offensive and defensive line – and their multiplicity in the run game should be a problem for a perennially suspect Atlanta front seven. Matt Ryan does not fare well under pressure at this point, and I suspect he is forced to pick up his feet more than he would like Sunday.  Both teams have brand new young coaches, but I favor the guy on the road who doesn’t feel like he needs to put on a show or unveil all of his offensive tricks and bells and whistles. This would be a moneyline play for me. I like the dog to win.

Latest Odds:

Detroit Lions
+8

The Lions are years away from competing. The disparity in talent and coaching experience in this matchup is difficult to quantify. Part of me believes the 49ers can cover just by running the ball every offensive play. I don’t see how Detroit stops that proven outside zone scheme with San Fran finally healthy. Trey Lance adds even more spice to those concepts on the plays Kyle Shanahan decides to turn to him, and this defense knows plenty about Jared Goff from his years in the NFC West with the Rams. Only now there is far less talent and no Sean McVay. He has a career QB rating of just 88.2 in eight meetings with the 49ers, they have a book on him, and the Lions have major concerns up front. I don’t think playing in a road dome will be a big deal for a 49ers team with real Super Bowl aspirations and I don’t reckon this will be a hostile environment for all that long. You can find plenty of personnel men in this league who believe the Lions have a bottom three roster in the NFL. That’s enough for me. I’m thinking these rookie coaches have a tough time of it early, as that tends to be the case. And this game has major blowout potential to me.




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