NFL expert picks for Week 1 are in. The ESPN NFL picks for Week 1 were updated Thursday (Sept. 4) and predictions from most of the analysts have been tabulated. According to the update, there are nine games where they are in unanimous agreement on a game outcome. That includes the Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. That serves as the season opener and will take place at CenturyLink Field.
Some of the other noteworthy games include New Orleans vs. Atlanta on Sunday (Sept. 7), the San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys, and the Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos on Sunday night. That night game will receive national coverage and begins at 5:30 p.m. PT. Then there are the two Monday night games (Sept. 8), beginning with New York Giants vs. Detroit Lions and finishing with San Diego Chargers vs. Arizona Cardinals.
In the Week 1 NFL predictions, the ESPN experts are completely split on just one game. That 4-4 tie from the eight voters is the Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Panthers fans won’t be pleased that the No. 2 seed from last year’s NFC Playoffs isn’t even projected to win the first game of this season by most analysts. The other close call (5-3) is the Minnesota Vikings vs. St. Louis Rams, where the Vikings are barely favored.
Some of the analysts from the network haven’t submitted their picks yet, presumably waiting till the last moment to hedge their best. That includes Adam Schefter and Chris Carter, which could provide clarity to the Panthers vs. Buccaneers game later on opening day. One pick to also pay close attention to is the prediction from Mike Ditka that the Jacksonville Jaguars will beat the Philadelphia Eagles on the road to open the season.
ESPN NFL Expert Picks Week 1:
*Seattle Seahawks beat Green Bay Packers (Thurs. 8:30 p.m. ET)
*New Orleans Saints beat Atlanta Falcons (Sun. 1 p.m. ET)
*Minnesota Vikings beat St. Louis Rams
*Pittsburgh Steelers beat Cleveland Browns
*Philadelphia Eagles beat Jacksonville Jaguars
*New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders
*Cincinnati Bengals beat Baltimore Ravens
*Chicago Bears beat Buffalo Bills
*Houston Texans beat Washington Redskins
*Kansas City Chiefs beat Tennessee Titans
*New England Patriots beat Miami Dolphins
*Carolina Panthers (Even) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:25 p.m. ET)
*San Francisco 49ers beat Dallas Cowboys (4:25 p.m. ET)
*Denver Broncos beat Indianapolis Colts (8:30 p.m. ET)
*Detroit Lions beat New York Giants (Mon. 7:10 p.m. ET)
*Arizona Cardinals beat San Diego Chargers (Mon. 10:20 p.m. ET)