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Expert NFL Predictions: Lindy’s Best Bets for Sunday, Including Bijan Robinson (September 10)

It’s time to continue our Lindy’s Best NFL Locks Today series. For Sunday’s expert NFL picks, we’re looking at two games, one of which features an exciting rookie seeing his first NFL action. Let’s get into the expert NFL picks and locks for Week 1.

Looking for more 2023 NFL predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this NFL season — make sure to check out the rest of our NFL articles, including our AFC North and NFC South season previews. Still need more picks? Subscribe to OddsShopper Premium for our market-based betting model’s picks and best bets — or try it out for Week 1 now!

Expert NFL Picks Today: Sunday, September 10

Carolina PanthersAtlanta Falcons

Panthers-Falcons is one the most disgusting games on the slate given its sub-40 total — but one I am absolutely in love with from a prop perspective. That’s because, for all intents and purposes, Bijan Robinson should smash in this matchup and all season long in Arthur Smith’s ground-laden offense. That might terrify those of you who just saw rookie and top-12 pick Jahmyr Gibbs of the Lions wearing the kiddie gloves in the Thursday opener against the Chiefs, playing just 27% of the snaps there.

But that is not the approach I see the Falcons taking with their prized prospect. If you didn’t see Robinson play college ball at Texas, you’re in for a treat. The kid averaged 6.3 yards per carry in his three years at school, scored 35 total touchdowns in just 22 games, ran a 4.46 40 at the combine and had a 37-inch vertical … He’s a specimen even among a league of other specimens.

But back to how much the Falcons should be running the ball in 2023: They led the entire NFL with 559 rushing attempts last season and attempted the third-fewest passing attempts at 415. They were third in the league with 159.9 rushing yards per game, and now they need to divvy those up based on touches to Robinson, sophomore back Tyler Allgeier and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson, who’s actually listed as questionable here, which could further solidify Robinson’s workload.

And let me tell you: It would appear I am far more bullish on his workload than the books are, with this rushing prop set at 69.5 at Caesars Sportsbook near even money. Robinson is facing last season’s 18th-ranked rushing defense in the Panthers, who do have absolute freak Derrick Brown on that defensive line as well as a solid linebacking crew of Frankie Luvu and Shaq Thompson. But this is a volume thing, and if you put Robinson in for 50% of snaps, based on last season’s 160 yards per game on the ground for the Falcons, that’s 80 yards (look at that: Math). So don’t overthink this one — fire up my favorite prop of the entire weekend, and thank me (or yell at me) later.

Best NFL Locks Today: Bijan Robinson Over 69.5 Rushing Yards (LOCK) -101 at Caesars Sportsbook

Arizona CardinalsWashington Commanders

My favorite spread to bet on Sunday actually breaks my heart because a month or so ago THIS was the spot. THIS was the slam. THIS was the lock. But alas, it’s NFL Sunday, and this line has catapulted from 4.5 at open to a standard 7. And somehow someway, the Cardinals quarterback situation has actually improved compared to what I expected.

Obviously, Kyler Murray was never playing Week 1, and now he will be out at LEAST until Week 5 but most likely longer. But I had Colt McCoy getting this start a while back, and, well, the Cardinals cut him, so that’s not happening anymore! Instead it will be Josh Dobbs, whom the Cardinals went and traded to get from Cleveland all of two weeks ago. He started Weeks 17 and 18 last season for the Titans, completing a lackluster 58.8% of passes for 205.5 yards per game. And now he heads on the road in Washington throwing to teammates he’s known for mere days ago? Good luck.

Also, Commanders star wideout Terry McLaurin was plagued the past few weeks by a toe injury that put his Week 1 in apparent peril, but he’s now off the injury report completely. And Jahan Dotson is another wideout set to take a leap here because new starting quarterback Sam Howell could surprise a lot of people with his arm and ability to make plays when things breakdown around him. And new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who jumped from Kansas City’s offensive coordinator position after five years to Washington’s in order to better feature his offense for potential head coaching positions, is pretty good at developing young quarterbacks based on that Patrick Mahomes fellow.

So the question becomes, do I still like this line at -7? Yes, it is wildly different than 4.5 … but I do. Washington is more skilled at nearly every position on the field besides safety (Budda Baker is a monster), so we’ll give them a small bit of action here if you’re jumping on late. Washington -7 is my favorite play on a spread of the day.

Best NFL Locks Today: Washington Commanders -7 (LIKE) -110 at Caesars Sportsbook

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