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Dan Leach's 2015 NFL Locks: Week 1 Liftoff

By Dan Leach

Follow Dan on Twitter @dtmleach

Season's greetings to one and all! It seems like it took forever, but the 2015 NFL campaign is finally here and not a second too soon. As the NFL season heats up, so do my NFL picks, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends and just become a more whole football fan and human being.

I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding lock of the week 1-10 Bagels and Lock scale. And……away….we…..go!

DTM Song Of The Week: "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones

When you hear the opening guitar riff you just know something special is brewing as the blood and juices get flowing. This song by one of the most legendary bands of all time is the perfect tune to have in the background to as all the games from Thursday to Monday kick off Week 1 of the 2015 NFL season!


Miami Dolphins at Washington Redskins: Sunday 1 p.m. EST, TV: CBS 62 (Dolphins -3.5)

While the Robert Griffin III era appears to be over in the nation's capital, the team actually might have gotten lucky by naming former Sparty Kirk "Kissing" Cousins the starter for the 2015 season. While Cousins has impressed at times in filling in for RG3, he has always really stumbled at times as well.

The Fins have high expectations this season and could have one of the more balanced teams in the AFC. But on opening day at home, look for Cousins to start off with a bang. He will impress, making Hogs fans forget about RG3 at least for one week and Washington will get something that won't happen much this year -- a win over a good team.

5.5 on DTM Bagels and Lock of the Week Meter – Redskins (+3.5)


Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sunday 4:25 p.m. EST, TV: CBS 62 (Bucs -3)

The "Heisman Bowl" lifts off from The New Sombrero in Tampa Bay as the last two winners of college football's most coveted trophy go head-to-head. The Titans' Marcus Mariota and Bucs' Jameis Winston also went No. 2 and No. 1 overall -- respectively -- in the 2015 NFL draft.

While both these teams are going to have tough 2015 campaigns, the Titans seem like they are much closer to getting their head above water than the Bucs. Mariota looked like a seasoned vet in the preseason while Winston struggled mightily. Book the fighting Whisenhunts for a nice opening win on the road in Tampa Bay.

6.5 on DTM Bagels and Lock of the Week Meter – Titans (+3)


Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons: Monday 7:10 p.m. EST, TV: ESPN (Eagles -3)

I have been telling you for years about home dome dogs and the great value they carry. Now a home dome dog on openign night of Monday Night Football takes it to another level. While I feel the Eagles will be a top four NFC contender most of the year -- as long as Sam Bradford can stay upright -- this is a great spot for a Falcons team that will be better than many expect them to this year.

Look for Kyle Shanahan's offense to shine on Monday night, and for Bradford to show just how ready he is to lead a team with some of the most dynamic weapons in the NFL.

7.1 on DTM Bagels and Lock of the Week Meter – Falcons (+3)


Indianapolis Colts at Buffalo Bills: Sunday 1 p.m. EST, TV: CBS 62 (Colts-2.5)

What drama on opening day in Buffalo. Rex Ryan taking over as the head man in the hometown of the Chicken Wing. Andrew Luck and the Colts are one of the true Super Bowl faves looking to get off to a solid start against a Bills team led by....Tyrod Taylor!

Really Sexy Rexy? The T-Man is going to be your opening day starter? While I feel that Buffalo will have a decent first year under Ryan, this spot reeks of blowout city at the hands of one of the best offensive teams in the NFL whether this game was played in Buffalo, Indy or on Neptune. Colts Big!

7.4 on DTM Bagels and Lock of the Week Meter – Colts (-2.5)


Detroit Lions at San Diego Chargers: Sunday 4:05 PM EST, TV: FOX (Chargers -3)

The Lions are a team on the rise with a legit chance to make some noise in the NFC in 2015 in the second year under Jim Caldwell. Many think the Lions opening three weeks are brutal with road games at San Diego and Minnesota, then the home opener on Sunday Night Football against the Broncos at Ford Field.

I look at it this way: if the Lions are the fast-improving and solid team I see them as, they will come out of those games 2-1 or 3-0 and it starts with a good performance on the west coast against a Chargers team that will be tough, but definitely beatable.

Detroit simply has the most overall depth on both sides of the ball than they've had in at last 20 years, even with the tough news that stud LB Deandre Levy could miss the opening game. Their defense under coordinator Teryl Austin has simply found ways to play at a top level with injuries or not.

Matthew Stafford is going to continue to make a move upward this season and will start the 2015 campaign off in a major way, looking as sharp as he did early in the Lions last game of the 2014 season in the NFC Wildcard at Dallas. Detroit makes a major opening day statement in San Diego and will be in control the whole way in a game that will show just how dynamic the Lions will be this season on both side of the ball.


8 on DTM Bagels and Lock of the Week Meter – Lions (+3)


Odds Tidbit

Lions are 18-1 ($100 wager wins $1800) to win the NFC and are 40-1 ($100 wager wins $4000) to win Super Bowl 50

NFC North Odds  

Green Bay -$250

Detroit Lions +$450

Minnesota Vikings +$450

Chicago Bears +$2500

Lions QB Matthew Stafford has the same odds at 50-1 to win the MVP Award as Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater


DTM'S 2014 Record ATS: 58-40-1

DTM's ATS Record in last 15 Super Bowls: 13-2

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