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NFL Week One: ‘Niners Seek To Make Statement In Pittsburgh

John Fredericks NFL and College Picks ATS 2023

September 10, 2023

College: 6-2 Sept. 9; 12-3 Overall 

NFL: 1-0 Overall 

PITTSBRUGH, Pennsylvania—

San Francisco at Pittsburgh (+2) 

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin makes a living as a home dog. I was downtown last night and the city was teaming with fans of both sides, who poured in Rivers Casino and the area hotels. This is really the battle of two young quaterbacks: Purdy vs. Picket. One has proved himself by winning a playoff game, one has not. The Steelers have once again put together a stout defense. It’s a nightmare flying six hours to take on this bunch. This a tough draw for any team on the west coast in week one. The bottom line: Tomlin wins these games.

Pick: Steelers (+2)

Bucs at Vikes (-4.5) 

Minnesota has got to step up. How long can they go on winning games by one point? This is a Tampa team in a rebuild with Baker Mayfield calling plays. Mayfield is making his Tampa debut as the second coming of Tom Brady. This is his fourth team in three seasons. If Baker Mayfield is the answer, it must be a pretty stupid question.

Either the Vikings win these games at home or its another Kirk Cousins type of season: one big nothing.

In a tough but not overwhelming division-its now or never for the Vikings.

Pick: Vikes (-4.5) 

Houston at Baltimore (-9.5) 

The Ravens see themselves as a Super Bowl contender. With a healthy Lamar Jackson and that secondary, Baltimore is going to be very tough at home this season. Remember, they blew a number of gut wrenching games last season, that lingered for ten months in their heads. Lamar is back.

The Texans are a never-ending dumpster fire of a franchise with all new coaches, players, beer vendors and ticket window sellers. Even playing in the worst division in the history of organized football can’t save this clown show going on in Houston.

Pick: Ravens (-9.50) 

Jags (-4) at Colts 

I love this matchup because I can’t wait to see who the hell Anthony Richardson is. The Colts picked him high in the draft based on his athletic ability. Then the Colts screwed around with Jonathan Taylor all summer, then put him on the PUP list, until week 5.

The Jags are everybody’s darling team now, having won the division and come back from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Chargers in a playoff game.

Hype doesn’t win football games. The Colts have nothing to lose.

But then reality sets in. They have a QB debuting in the NFL with a new head coach against a very savvy Doug Pederson.

Experience matters. The best thing the Colts have going for them this season is they fired the NFL’s second worse coach: Frank Reich. The worst was Matt Rhule, who can now get blown out of college games in Nebraska by Deion Sanders.

Pick: Jags (-4) 

Bengals (-1.5) at Browns 

LOL! Here we go again! The Browns hype machine in full gear, in all its glory, trying to make us believe in fake news. Here is three things I know: Trump won, Biden is guilty and the Browns still suck. Are you going to fall into this trap again?

Joey Burrow just signed a $275 Million dollar deal, and the Browns counter with Dashaun Watson, the most over-rated player in the NFL. Show me a metric where you would bet Jackson over Burrow in any situation? One thing we can always count on: the Browns are over-hyped and over-valued.

Pick: Bengals (-1.5) 

Titans (+3) at Saints 

I’m going to say it: Titans will win the AFC South and win a playoff game. This is the most under rated team in the league. They have the best run defense in the NFL, their edge rush is top tier and they control the clock. Derick Henry is back healthy for one more 1,500 yard season, Ryan Tannehill is coming back with a vengeance–and throw in Dee-Hop.

The Saints are without Alvin Kamara, who is serving a suspension.

Tennessee lost their last seven games last season, was wracked with injuries and were a last minute fumble away from a quaterback they signed off the street to winning the division.

Pick: Titans (+3) 

Arizona at Washington (-7) 

Oh my. This is the stinker game on the schedule. The Cardinals are a calamity and the Washington Whatever’s at least have a new owner. Let’s wave goodbye to the disastrous Daniel Snyder era with a convincing win while playing in the worst NFL stadium known to man. Riverboat Ron needs a big win here to get something established. The Cardinals are a contempt franchise with no culture and no vision.

Pick – Only Because I have to: Whatever’s (-7) 

Panthers at Dirty Birds (-3.5) 

The Carolina Panthers hired the worst head coach in football: Frank Reich. I guess he’ll run around the sidelines today in his woke mask, his rubber gloves and his mini-Hazmat suit to virtue signal on TV. A pandemic is coming! Mask up!

Atlanta will run the football by handing it off a gazillion times to any one of its ten running backs, then kick eight field goals.

At least I know what I’m getting in Arthur Smith: three yards, a cloud of turf dust, and a field goal try.

Pick: Dirty Birds (-3.5) 

Eagles (-3.5) at Pats 

This is a Bill Belichick line. Sorry Pats fans, reality sets in today. The Eagles are a University of Georgia juggernaut, all their puzzle pieces are back and you’ve got Mack Jones.

While I like what Coach Belichick has done with his defense, and firing defensive Coach Matt Patricia with the pencil in his ear has to help the offense, this is a roster pick. The Eagles just have a better team all around and they want another crack at a ring.

Pick: Eagles (-3.5) 

Fish at Bolts (-3) 

The Chargers blew a 24-o lead late in the first half In the opening round of last year’s playoffs at Jacksonville. Do you think that has not haunted them for the better part of a year? Hebert signed his nice long-term big contract and is ready to go. While the Fish have the speed and Tua back, this is Bolts team has got a lot of talent all around. They can win the division and the conference if they stay healthy.

Pick: Bolts (-3) 

Rams at Hawks (-4.5) 

Rams have to face the Legion of Doom with an aging team and no Cooper Kupp. No thanks. Geno loves these early season games.

Pick: Seahawks (-4.5) 

Bears (-1) at Packers 

I absolutely LOVE THE BEARS in this game. This may be the most under-valued team in the NFL this season. Chicago’s defense is stout, and I think you’ll see Justin Fields throw more this season. Either way, this is game one of the non-Aaron Rodgers era and the Packers have just too many unanswered questions. The Bears are going to be a wrecking ball.

Pick: Bears (-1) 

Raiders (+3) at Broncos 

Is Sean Peyton playing on the field or just coaching? Is Russel Wilson still the Broncos quarterback? Give me a break. One guy comes out of retirement and fixes this calamity in seven months? Nope.

Pick: Raiders (+3) 

Cowboys (-3) at Giants 

You’ve got to believe. I believe in Mike McCarthy calling his own plays, I believe in Micah Parsons and that doomsday defense, I believe in Dak and his interceptions, I believe this is a Super Bowl team. I don’t believe in the Giants or Daniel Jones.

Pick: Cowboys (-3) 


  • John Fredericks, Publisher

    John Fredericks, the Godzilla of Truth, has spent more than 40 years in the media, previously working as a journalist, newspaper editor, and television host. Fredericks is an avid sports fan, journalist, and handicapper. He brings his unique voice and style, crafted by years of political commentary broadcast on the airwaves, to the world of sports. He cut his teeth on the radio announcing high school football, basketball and baseball games. His weekly column, You Can't Buy Culture, follows ebbs and flows of a diehard fan at the whims of his favorite teams.

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