J.J. Watt Houston Texans
The Houston Texans and J.J. Watt, pictured at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 22, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts, should be able to cover the spread against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season. Getty Images

There might never be a more difficult time to make NFL predictions than in Week 1 when teams haven’t played meaningful games in at least seven months. Following the postponement of Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 15 contests make up the first schedule of the 2017 NFL season with three betting lines of more than seven points.

Below are picks against the spread for every game in Week 1, as well as updated betting odds at Las Vegas and online sportsbooks. Betting lines and trends are courtesy of OddsShark.

Kansas City Chiefs (+9) at New England Patriots

The Patriots should be favored in every game, but they’re giving too many points to the Chiefs in the season opener. With a defense that consistently ranks among the league’s best and a quarterback that protects the ball, Kansas City has rarely gotten blown out since Andy Reid took over as the head coach in 2013. New England’s offense could be slow to get things going without Julian Edelman, and the Chiefs will keep Thursday’s game close for most of the way.

Prediction ATS: Kansas City

New York Jets (+9.5) at Buffalo Bills

With the entire world betting against the Jets, taking the points is the right pick. New York’s defense won’t be the abomination that their offense promises to be, and Buffalo is far from an offensive juggernaut. The Jets were fourth in opponents' yards per carry last year, while the Bills led the NFL in rushing. New York can certainly keep the game within single digits if they win that battle.

Prediction ATS: New York

Atlanta Falcons (-7) at Chicago Bears

The Falcons are a strong play if the point spread doesn’t get any higher than seven. They’ve still got more offensive talent than most teams, and other than Jordan Howard, the Bears have fewer weapons on offense than just about anyone else. A few touchdowns by Matt Ryan and this game could be over early, leaving Chicago fans anxiously waiting for Mitchell Trubisky to replace Mike Glennon.

Prediction ATS: Atlanta

Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5) at Houston Texans

The Jaguars are about to be reminded why they considered replacing Blake Bortles with Chad Henne. Bortles is 0-6 against Houston with a 63.1 passer rating, and the Texans should nudge the quarterback even closer to the bench than he already is. Houston is 8-2-1 against the spread in their last 11 AFC South games, as well as in their last 11 games as a favorite. J.J. Watt could have a field day in his return to regular-season football.

Prediction ATS: Houston

Philadelphia Eagles (PK) at Washington Redskins

Ever since the Redskins opened as a 2.5-point favorite, the point spread has moved toward the Eagles, who could be favored when the game finally kicks off. Philadelphia can win the NFC East if things break right for them in 2017, but there’s still not enough evidence to suggest that they are three points better than Washington on a neutral field. Kirk Cousins doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a top-10 quarterback, and the Redskins should be favored at home with a clear advantage at the sport's most important position.

Prediction ATS: Washington

Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at Detroit Lions

Don’t be blinded by the opportunity to take a home team that’s getting points. Detroit could be headed for a major step backward after making the playoffs, and Arizona has more potential Pro Bowlers than most NFC teams. David Johnson might put up massive numbers against what will likely prove to be a below average defense, and Matthew Stafford simply doesn’t have enough help around him.

Prediction ATS: Arizona

Oakland Raiders (+2.5) at Tennessee Titans

The betting line indicates that the Raiders are better than the Titans on a neutral field, but that might not be the case. Tennessee has a dominant run game and a quarterback that’s ready to become a star. After revamping their secondary, the Titans have a real chance to finish among the AFC’s top teams. Oakland could have a top-five offense, but their defense has warts that can be exposed by Marcus Mariota and the Titans’ “exotic smashmouth” offense.

Prediction ATS: Tennessee

Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Flacco might have to shake off some rust after missing all of the preseason, and even when the quarterback is in mid-season form he’s far from elite. Baltimore’s offense won’t be able to keep up with Cincinnati and their assortment of weapons, which now includes Joe Mixon and a healthy A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. Cincinnati has won five straight home games against the Ravens, including four by at least six points and three by eight points or more.

Prediction ATS: Cincinnati

Pittsburgh Steelers (-8) at Cleveland Browns

The Browns will probably surprise some teams this year—it just won’t happen in Week 1. The Steelers are 24-3 in their last 27 games against the Browns, winning by at least 15 points in three of the last four meetings. A healthy Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell might give Pittsburgh the NFL’s best offense, and DeShone Kizer hasn’t proven he’s ready to be an NFL starter after completing just 51 percent of his passes in the preseason.

Prediction ATS: Pittsburgh

Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) at Los Angeles Rams

Here’s all you need to know about Colts’ starting quarterback Scott Tolzien: he went undrafted six years ago and has no wins since joining the NFL. He also has a 66.4 passer rating and just one touchdown on 128 career pass attempts. Andrew Luck dragged Indianapolis to eight wins in 2016, and the team didn’t get any better in the offseason. Tolzien doesn’t stand a chance against L.A.’s top-10 pass defense, and Jared Goff just needs to be serviceable in order for the Rams to win.

Prediction ATS: Los Angeles

Todd Gurley LA Rams
Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams gets tackled by Damien Wilson and Nolan Carroll of the Dallas Cowboys during the preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 12, 2017 in Los Angeles. Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Green Bay Packers

This is probably the most difficult game to call in Week 1. Seattle and Green Bay might be the NFC’s two best teams, and Sunday could ultimately decide which team gets the No.1 seed in the playoffs. When in doubt, go with the home team and the better quarterback.

Prediction ATS: Green Bay

Carolina Panthers (-5.5) at San Francisco 49ers

The Panthers probably aren’t 11.5 points better than the 49ers on a neutral field, which is what the betting line indicates. Brian Hoyer has actually put up serviceable numbers much of the time he’s been given a chance to play, especially early in the season. A healthy NaVorro Bowman and the additions of first-round picks Reuben Foster and Solomon Thomas won’t make things easy on Cam Newton and Co.

Prediction ATS: San Francisco

New York Giants (+4) at Dallas Cowboys

The Giants showed last year that they know what it takes to beat the Cowboys. New York was tough against both Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, handing Dallas two of their three regular-season losses. Damon Harrison, Landon Collins and Janoris Jenkins might give New York the NFL’s best defense in 2017, and they’ve got a real chance to upset the Cowboys, let alone keep Sunday night’s game within a field goal.

Prediction ATS: New York

New Orleans Saints (+3.5) at Minnesota Vikings

It’s not exactly clear heading into Week 1 that Minnesota is better than New Orleans. The Saints have the major edge at quarterback, where Drew Brees continues to laugh in the face of Father Time and Sam Bradford has never been better than average. If Adrian Peterson looks rejuvenated now that he’s getting the chance to play behind a legitimate offensive line, the Saints can steal this one on the road.

Prediction ATS: New Orleans

Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5) at Denver Broncos

The Broncos just missed the playoffs as the AFC West’s third-place team last year, while the Chargers finished well behind in last place. Look for the two teams to swap spots in 2017, as long as L.A. can stay healthy. The Chargers have been derailed by injuries the last few years, but they’ve gone 5-0 against the spread in Week 1 games dating back to 2012. Grab the 3.5 points and take Philip Rivers over Trevor Siemian.

Prediction ATS: Los Angeles