Welcome Sports Fanatics,

This is 2UP 2DOWN, the NFL edition. Each week this season, 2UP 2DOWN will preview two teams that could pull of the big UPsets, and two teams that you should double DOWN on for the big bucks. With week 1 officially set to kick off tonight, heres the first edition of 2UP 2Down NFL.

UPSET 1 – The New Orleans Saints

Just a three point underdog, the New Orleans Saints should not be only able to cover the spread but win this game. Drew Brees is simply one of the best to ever sling the rock. In 2017, he’ll have the best arsenal at his disposal in a few seasons. Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn Jr. and Colby Fleener are all big targets, sure handed and can make plays. Although Minnesota will have home field advantage, Adrian Peterson has made it clear he’s fired up to return to Minneapolis. Peterson will share snaps with Mark Ingram, when he gets the ball look for him to push for every inch.  Sam Bradford and the Vikings should be able to exploit a weak Saints secondary and turn this game into a shootout, which could play to the Saints favour. There aren’t many better gun slingers that Drew Brees. Saints should cover the spread and possibly earn the road win.

 

DOUBLE DOWN 1 – The New England Patriots

The Patriots are a nine point favourite tonight in Foxbourgh and they should be. It’s a simple formula, Brady + Belichik in Foxbourgh = Pats Win. The defending champs have won 104 games at Foxborough throughout the Belichik-Brady era. Not to mention they’ve won 12 of their last 13 season openers. The Pats do need to proceed with caution. Kanas City’s defence forced 33 turnovers last season and have kept that core together. Yes, the loss of Julian Edelman is a huge blow to the receiving core, but a healthy Rob Gronkowski is a great news. Gronk coupled with rising star Chris Hogan and sure handed Danny Amendola, should give Brady more than enough targets to execute the offence. Patriots to cover the spread.

UPSET 2 – The Chicago Bears

The Bears are a seven point underdog, which makes perfect sense. Matt Ryan and the high flying Falcons had the leagues highest scoring offense last season and almost won the Super Bowl… almost. After the 28-3 third quarter lead that was blown, the Falcons should come out hungry Sunday. With that being said, don’t count out DA Bears. Although they traded up and picked their Golden Boy, Mitchell Trubisky, Mike Glennon will start on opening day. In four career appearances against Atlanta he has a 71.5% completion percentage, a 109.2 passer rating and has thrown six touchdowns with no picks.  Plus he can hand the rock to last years second leading rusher, Jordan Howard. If Glennon can find his groove don’t be surprised if the Monsters rule the Midway Sunday… Or at least beat the spread.

 

DOUBLE DOWN 2 – The Houston Texans

The City of Houston needs the Texans to stand tall at NRG Stadium this Sunday. The Police Chief, Fire Chief and local heroes from Hurricane Harvey will lead the team on the field.  JJ Watt has raised $27 million in relief efforts and the city has begun to rally around the Texans. This is more than a game for Houston, this is a sign of hope. On the field, De Andre Hopkins is healthy and ready to roll. There is a question mark around starting QB Tom Savage. Jacksonville on the other hand has a solid quarterback in Blake Bortles. Just note Bortles is coming off a wrist injury. A healthy JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney will tear through a subpar Jaguars offensive line. The Texans cover the six point spread.

Conner Rowntree