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Bill Simmons Week 1 Million Dollar Picks NFL 2023

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Bill Simmons is back with his popular NFL picks segment, Million Dollar Picks, to kick off the 2023 season. In his entertaining style, Simmons analyzes the Week 1 slate and places imaginary million dollar wagers on the games he likes best. Read on for his takes on all the key matchups.

Bill Simmons Picks 2023

Bill Simmons Week 1 Million Dollar Picks Summary

  • Dolphins +3 at Chargers
  • Packers +1.5 at Bears
  • Steelers +2 vs Patriots
  • Jets +2.5 vs Bills
  • Falcons -3.5 vs Panthers

“Luca Brasi” Fishy Line Pick

  • Cardinals +7 at Commanders

Bill Simmons Unleashes His Million Dollar Picks for NFL Week 1

Million Dollar Picks

Dolphins +3 at Chargers

Simmons sees strong value in taking the Dolphins as 3-point underdogs against the Chargers in Los Angeles. He believes Miami is firmly the superior team in this matchup. The Dolphins added key pieces like wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the offseason and Simmons thinks they have the most talented roster in the AFC East. Even with injury concerns for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Simmons has faith the Dolphins offense will be explosive. He also points to Miami’s hiring of defensive guru Vic Fangio to bolster their defense.

Meanwhile, Simmons does not buy any of the preseason hype surrounding the Chargers. He brings up their epic collapse last season against the lowly Jaguars as evidence this is the same flaky team. Simmons acknowledges the Chargers have an offensive coordinator now in Joe Lombardi, but asserts this alone does not make them a trustworthy team. With Miami getting points against a Chargers squad with no real home field advantage, this is a bet Simmons is confident in.

Packers +1.5 at Bears

For this long-time NFC North rivalry matchup, Simmons sees strong value in taking Green Bay as a small 1.5 point underdog in Chicago. He firmly believes the Packers are far more talented than the Bears at this point. Simmons cites Green Bay’s coaching advantage with Matt LaFleur, who has led them to consistent success in recent seasons. He is intrigued by young quarterback Jordan Love taking over, believing the three years spent as Aaron Rodgers’ understudy will pay off.

In Simmons’ view, the Bears are destined for a losing season with question marks at key positions like quarterback. He sees this as an ideal “lay down” game for the Packers, facing a division foe they typically dominate. With Green Bay likely to feature a more run-heavy attack and stout defense, Simmons envisions a grind-it-out type of win on the road. This is why getting 1.5 points feels like stealing.

Steelers +2 vs Patriots

Simmons absolutely loves the Steelers this season as a potential Super Bowl contender, so he is more than happy to back them as 2-point home underdogs against the Patriots. He is fully bought into Pittsburgh’s roster, their emerging young quarterback Kenny Pickett, and the coaching brilliance of Mike Tomlin. Simmons sees this as a statement game for the Steelers to show they are true contenders by defending their home field against New England.

While Simmons acknowledges the Patriots still have the great Bill Belichick at coach, he points out they are running it back with the same middling roster as last season. Pittsburgh’s attacking defense should be able to fluster whoever is at QB for New England. Simmons believes the Steelers have the rushing attack and playmakers like Diontae Johnson and George Pickens to make life difficult for the Patriots defense as well. This is the type of prove-it win Pittsburgh needs to start making noise in the AFC, making them an appealing home underdog.

Jets +2.5 vs Bills

For Monday Night Football, Simmons is backing the Jets as 2.5 point home underdogs against the favored Bills. He firmly believes Buffalo is overrated this season and bound to disappoint lofty expectations. Simmons points to Josh Allen’s struggles in big moments as reason not to trust Buffalo as heavily favored road warriors. While Allen is tough to bet against, Simmons ultimately thinks the Jets can rise to the occasion.

He believes New York will be fired up to make a statement on primetime TV in front of a rowdy home crowd hungry for signs of progress. Simmons thinks this game has letdown spot written all over it for Buffalo, while the Jets will do everything to avoid embarrassment. If New York’s young corps of playmakers like Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall can make some explosive plays and get into the end zone a few times, Simmons sees the Jets keeping it extremely close and maybe pulling off the upset. This is terrific value getting 2.5 points at home.

Falcons -3.5 vs Panthers

Simmons loves the Falcons laying 3.5 points against the Panthers, seeing Atlanta as clear favorites at home against a Carolina squad with the look of the NFL’s worst team. He points out Panthers coach Matt Rhule’s terrible track record in season openers, going 0-4 so far in his tenure. Simmons expects Carolina’s struggles to continue, especially on the road in a tough environment like Atlanta.

Conversely, Simmons thinks Arthur Smith has the Falcons on an upward trajectory in his second year as head coach. Although he isn’t sure Atlanta is a playoff contender, Simmons says they are much further along in their rebuild. He believes the combination of Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder at quarterback gives the Falcons an intriguing ceiling. Simmons also likes Atlanta’s collection of skill players like tight end Kyle Pitts and running back Cordarrelle Patterson to do damage against Carolina’s suspect defense. Laying just 3.5 points against a team like the Panthers seems like easy money.

The Luca Brasi Game

Cardinals +7 at Commanders

For his fishy line game, named after The Godfather character Luca Brasi, Simmons is all over the Cardinals as 7-point underdogs on the road against the Commanders. He adamantly does not believe Washington should be favored by a full touchdown against any NFL opponent right now. Simmons sees the Commanders as a poorly run organization with a mediocre roster and no faith in head coach Ron Rivera’s ability to cover big spreads.

Arizona is dealing with major questions at quarterback with Kyler Murray sidelined, but Simmons points out they still have an intriguing collection of skill players like DeAndre Hopkins, Marquise Brown, and James Conner. He could easily envision Arizona keeping the game close by controlling time of possession and effectively running the ball.

Simmons just can’t justify this line when early public betting is heavily favoring Washington. It feels like a classic trap line designed to lure bettors into trusting a mediocre favorite. Simmons is happy fading the public by taking Arizona as a large underdog, believing it has a great chance to cover and potentially pull the upset.

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