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Palmer’s picks: 49ers, Raiders open season as underdogs

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Whether it’s Cody Kessler or DeShone Kizer playing quarterback for the Browns, it’s usually a good idea to bet against them. Karl (Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS)


NYJ at Buffalo BUF -9 NYJ +380, BUF -475 +/- 40

Atlanta at Chicago ATL -6.5 ATL -270, CHI +230 +/- 49.5

Jacksonville at Houston HOU -5 JAX +200, HOU -240 +/- 40

Philadelphia at Washington PHI -1 PHI -120, WAS EVEN +/- 48

Arizona at Detroit ARI -1.5 ARI -125, DET +105 +/- 48.5

Oakland at Tennessee TEN -2.5 OAK +130, TEN -150 +/- 51.5

Baltimore at Cincinnati CIN -3 BAL +135, CIN -155 +/- 42.5

Pittsburgh at Cleveland PIT -9 PIT -500, CLE +400 +/- 47

Indianapolis at LA Rams LAR -4 IND +180, LAR -210 +/- 42

Seattle at Green Bay GB -3 SEA +140, GB -160 +/- 50.5

Carolina at San Francisco CAR -5 CAR -220, SF +190 +/- 48

NYG at Cowboys DAL -4 NYG +165, DAL -185 +/- 48.5


New Orleans at Minnesota MIN -3.5 NO +155, MIN -175 +/- 48

LA Chargers at Denver DEN -3 LAC +145, DEN -165 +/- 43.5

BYE: Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Palmer’s picks

Ravens ML

I’m not convinced the Bengals are going to be good this season, and Joe Flacco being out for the entire preseason has some people panicking. Not me. Andy Dalton will be good in this contest but will make just enough mistakes late to keep the game close. That’s when Justin Tucker — the best kicker in the league — seals it for Baltimore.

Steelers -8.5

Don’t be concerned about the fact that Ben Roethlisberger was terrible on the road last season. In Pittsburgh’s game at Cleveland last season, they won going away — as most teams do. Big Ben disappointed in that contest, but his team proved they didn’t need him to beat a tanking Browns team. Nothing indicates it won’t be another lost season for the team on Lake Erie, and these lines will only get higher as the season progresses. Get them while they’re relatively low now.

Panthers/49ers — Over 48

Kyle Shanahan’s offenses have scored points no matter where he’s been. He is inheriting the worst defense in the NFL. As long as Carolina isn’t successful at dominating time of possession and Brian Hoyer can limit mistakes — which is his defining skill as a quarterback — there should be plenty of points scored at Levi’s Stadium today. It might not be a close contest, but it won’t be short of scoring.

Saints +3.5

This should be a classic contest of a good offense going against a great defense. The reason I want New Orleans and the points is because of Sean Payton and Drew Brees’ ability to inspire hope during primetime contests. Expect the Saints offense to be varied and exciting, but their defense to be lackluster. As long as they can keep Sam Bradford guessing and establish any kind of pass rush, this should stay close enough.

Chargers/Broncos— Under 42

Monday Night Football was nearly unwatchable last season — making the under a smart play on a weekly basis. The Chargers shouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles, and Denver should’ve signed Colin Kaepernick to solve their quarterback problems. Both teams will look lost in the last game of the opening week.

2016 record: 45-39-1

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