The week 1 NFL Survivor Pool requires a lot of speculation and sweat.
We don't really know what these times will do in week 1. And early results in the NFL aren't indicative of how well a team will do this year. So even if the Los Angeles Chargers will compete for a Super Bowl, it doesn't mean the notoriously slow-starting squad will have a successful September.
There's plenty of big spreads in this week's Survivor Pool, but there's plenty of doubt to be considered. Here's my favorite picks for the week 1 NFL Survivor Pool.
Green Bay Packers
In Aaron Rodgers' last 15 meetings with the Chicago Bears, he owns 13 victories.
That's why it's easy to trust the Green Bay Packers in this instance. In situations like week 1 in the NFL, you need to find consistently trustworthy options. And Rodgers is that kind of player.
Green Bay wasn't very good last season. The offense averaged a measly 4.5 yards per play and only 5.6 yards per pass attempt, ranking 30th in the NFL.
But Rodgers adds at least a yard per play through the air, meaning this offense should have a strong advantage over the Bears. And while the Bears have a better defensive lineup, it's not enough to make up for the offensive difference.
There's plenty of big spreads this week and Green Bay is favored by more than a touchdown. Don't just trust oddsmakers. Trust Rodgers.
OK, maybe it's not much of a sleeper pick, but with all the hype surrounding San Francisco, this may come as sort of a surprise.
The Vikings have better personnel than last year's NFC Championship team. So why should I doubt the Vikings in a home opener against a West Coast team without its starting running back?
Minnesota has a defense capable of being a top-two unit again this year, so it should make life difficult for the new-look 49ers offense.
And the Vikings won't take a step back on the offensive side of the ball, welcoming back Dalvin Cook and utilizing new quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is an upgrade on Case Keenum.
San Francisco is going to be better this season, but this is not the matchup to exploit.
Baltimore is another one of those touchdown favorites heading into week 1. And the Ravens own the better team, but how can you trust the Ravens?
Baltimore utilized a defense capable of scoring touchdowns last year en route to nine wins. You can't count on that on a year-to-year basis.
And last I checked that offense didn't magically get better from last season.
Baltimore ranked 31st in yards per play in 2017. That makes it very challenging to trust the Ravens in a spot where sometimes strange things occur. The Ravens are better than the Bills, but week 1 doesn't always play the way it's intended.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor for the Clinton Herald. During his free time, he blogs about fantasy sports and handicaps games. His Against The Chalk blog has earned him back-to-back Iowa Newspaper Association awards for Best Blog. Check out more NFL betting coverage at Against The Chalk.
Scott Levine can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @ScottLevineCH