It’s going to be tough for Joe Flacco to keep up with his former team – The Denver Post




1 p.m., Ravens by 6 ½, 45

HANK’S HONEYS: No one prepares his team better for the start of the season than John Harbaugh. Since 2008, his Ravens have a 10-4 Week 1 record, including 5-1 over the last six seasons with a 204-59 point differential and a 7-2 ATS record in the favorite’s role. The Ravens are healthy after an injury-ravaged 2021 season (no Lamar Jackson to close out the season) and this will be an announcement to the league that they are back. Look for Baltimore to run the ball effectively and for Jackson, in spite of the contract intrigue, to take advantage of an inexperienced secondary. He’ll take advantage of the Jets’ age-old weakness covering tight ends with Mark Andrews. We can’t see Joe Flacco (0-5 as NYJ starter), game manager at best these days, keeping pace against his old team.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Ravens and the over.


4:25 p.m., Titans by 5 ½, 44

HANK’S HONEYS: We love the under for starters. The Giants’ defensive strength is up front and it will suit them well here. Derrick Henry may be healthy again but Tennessee’s offensive line is without Rodger Saffold and David Quessenberry this season. Ryan Tannehill is on the downside of his career and he doesn’t have a No. 1 receiver with A.J. Brown traded. That should allow the Giants the luxury of focusing on Henry and getting after Tannehill enough to take pressure off a questionable secondary. Daniel Jones is an enigma for sure but at least he won’t be running away from elite pass rusher Harold Landry, lost for the year. The Titans were big-play prone a year ago and the Giants’ new staff under Brian Daboll should have opportunities to unleash Jones’ big arm, making those six points very attractive. While the Giants are on a 0-5-1 ATS streak in season openers, the Titans have failed to cover in their last five and with the Bills up next, they could be looking ahead.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Giants and the under.


4:05 p.m., Saints by 5 ½, 43

HANK’S HONEYS: The Saints could be the biggest public play of the week but why not? The Falcons, on an 0-7 ATS home schneid, are expected to struggle in the post-Matt Ryan era while most of the matchups favor New Orleans in its first game under Dennis Allen. The Saints have a nasty, quick big-time defense and should be all over Marcus Mariota as he operates behind a weak O-line. The Falcons could struggle to score more than 14 points. The Atlanta secondary is hurting at the safety position and Jameis Winston, one of the many injured Saints last year, should have plenty of time to find comeback kid Michael Thomas, rookie Chris Olave and new arrival Jarvis Landry. The Saints’ O-line might be a question mark but they are a wash against a Falcons team that can’t rush the passer.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Saints and the under.


1 p.m., Commanders by 2 ½, 44

HANK’S HONEYS: There’s a lot more upside with the Jaguars as the teams head into 2022. After suffering through the Urban Meyer debacle as a rookie, Trevor Lawrence gets a fresh start with QB guru Doug Pederson and, while the QB’s preseason was a mixed bag, this is a pretty good spot for him against a so-so defense that will be missing pass rush wiz Chase Young and SS Kamren Curl. Pederson will be intimately familiar with opposing QB Carson Wentz, who was abysmal against these Jags in his final game as a Colt. Travis Etienne is poised for a breakout year after missing 2021 with a Lisfranc injury and it starts here. In spite of some pretty horrid teams, the Jags are 3-2 SU in openers over the last five seasons. There’s sharp money on Jacksonville for good reason.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Jaguars and the under.


1 p.m., Niners by 6 ½, 40 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: The Bears were 0-5 ATS as a home dog last year, 3-10 ATS overall as an underdog and they haven’t gotten much better, even with Matt Nagy and his staff having left the building. It’s going to be hard for Justin Fields to take the next step if he’s constantly running for his life and this Niner pass rush, starting with a healthy Nick Bosa, is elite. True, Trey Lance is making his first start and no one knows how that will turn out but the guy who led the Niners to last year’s NFC Championship Game is holding the clipboard and could be on the field at a moment’s notice. And the 49ers aren’t going to have to light things up to cover. Bear backers are saying they can’t possibly be as bad as people think. Or maybe they can.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Niners and the under.


1 p.m., Dolphins by 3 ½, 46 ½

HANK’S HONEYS: Bill Belichick took his team to Florida five days early to acclimate to the heat and humidity in a locale that hasn’t been kind to the Pats (2-7 SU in last nine trips). We don’t know if the Patriots got any better. We do know the Dolphins have. On paper, they have the second-best team in the division. Tua Tagovailoa has new coaches and new weapons, including the versatile Tyreek Hill, while the Patriots pretty much have more of the same. Mac Jones has issues against man coverage and that’s what the Dolphins play. Belichick won’t want to open things up here but this is a good offense that can force his hand.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Dolphins and the under.


1 p.m., Panthers by 2 ½, 42

HANK’S HONEYS: Is revenge overrated? Not in this one. Baker Mayfield is all about emotion and he’s been waiting for this for months. The Browns never seem to be ready for the start of the season. They are 0-16-1 SU in Week 1 since their last opening week win in 2004. Now they’ve gone through a mess of an offseason with the Deshaun Watson thing hanging over their heads and with journeyman Jacoby Brissett as their starter. Mayfield, meanwhile, doesn’t really have to do all that much. Christian McCaffrey starts the year fully healthy and his blocking unit was upgraded with Bradley Bozeman at center and Austin Corbett at guard.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Panthers and the under.


Monday, 8:15 p.m., Broncos by 6 ½, 44

HANK’S HONEYS: Maybe this is too easy but is there any scenario where Russell Wilson returns to Seattle in prime time and doesn’t torment his old team? Not one that we can see. He has more weapons than at any time in his career with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Javonte Williams, and Albert Okwuegbunam. Nor do we see Geno Smith being able to keep up using Wilson’s old worn-out weapons. The Broncos have a talented secondary across the board and a vastly improved pass rush that will make Smith jittery. The Seahawks’ home-field advantage isn’t what it used to be. The 12th Man can boo Wilson all it wants. He’ll leave the winner, just like old times.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Broncos and the under.


1 p.m., Bengals by 6 ½, 44

HANK’S HONEYS: Forget the trends that beg bettors to fade Cincy, like the one about Super Bowl losers. On the contrary, the Bengals are in a position to crush the rivals who have historically owned them. They outscored Pittsburgh, 65-20, in last year’s two meetings and there is nothing to indicate that the Steelers can slow them down. The talent gap is huge — starting with Joe Burrow vs. Mitch Trubisky at QB — and the Bengals will enjoy a significant matchup advantage with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins against the Steelers cornerbacks. Trubisky could struggle behind an offensive line that was a big concern during the preseason.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Bengals and the over.


4:25 p.m., Packers by 1 ½, 47

HANK’S HONEYS: There are 10 home underdogs this week including this game, which is of particular interest as a divisional game. If you like trends, Week 1 home divisional underdogs are 19-6 since 2009 and 5-1 since 2018. With Davante Adams gone and Allen Lazard injured, Aaron Rodgers will be without a big-time threat for the first time in his career and while the Packers should be able to run the ball, it’s more likely to become a shootout. If anything, the Minnesota offense should be even more energized under Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings have scored 34 points in their last two home games against their NFC North rivals and are 6-1-1 SU in their last eight meetings, including a 3-0 mark as home dogs.

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Vikings and the over.

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4:25 p.m., Chargers by 3 ½, 52

HANK’S HONEYS: First off, points will be flying everywhere so if you have to bet it, bet the over. After that, it’s tough. The Chargers spent the offseason bolstering the defense, including ex-Raider Khalil Mack, and the Raiders the offense, including the No. 1 trade prize of the offseason, WR Davante Adams, while hiring offensive mastermind Josh McDaniels as head coach. The Raiders’ biggest question mark is their offensive line. The Chargers can bring pressure but Derek Carr is adept at getting rid of the ball. Justin Herbert has been great in his matchups against the Raiders but the hook makes this a Vegas lean.

CAN’T HELP YOURSELF? Raiders and the over.

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1 p.m., Colts by 7 ½, 46

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Texans and the under.


4:25 p.m., Chiefs by 5 ½, 54

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Cardinals and the over.


8:20 p.m., Bucs by 2 ½, 50 ½

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Cowboys and the under.


1 p.m., Eagles by 3 ½, 48 ½

IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Lions and the over.

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WEEK’S BEST BET: Saints. Avert your eyes. This could get ugly.

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Overall: 143-137-4

Over/under: 156-126-1

Best Bets: 13-8



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