Free Thursday NFL Week 1 Picks: Packers vs Seahawks (9/4/14)

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks
Date and Time: Thursday, 9/4/14 at 8:30pm on NBC
Game Line: Seattle Seahawks -6 (from WagerWeb)
Over/Under: 47
NFL Football Analysis: The Seattle Seahawks are the reigning Super Bowl champions and proved they can beat the best teams in the NFL in 2013. Seattle led the NFL in defense throughout the season and capped it with a 43-8 rout of Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. With that defense essentially intact and the improvement of Russell Wilson and a healthy Percy Harvin, Seattle remains the class of the league. Harvin missed all but one regular season game with a hip injury last season but he returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, proving he can add a dynamic to the Seattle offense this season. He will have to be an effective number two receiver as Golden Tate left for Detroit in the offseason. Wilson looked very sharp in the preseason, scoring nine touchdowns and two field goals in 13 possessions with him on the field. On the other side of the ball, the Green Bay offense will be among the leagues best as well if they can keep QB Aaron Rodgers upright. He’s been sacked and injured often and having him play a 16 game season will be key to Green Bay’s success. Hopefully reigning offensive rookie of the year Eddie Lacy will help balance the offense and give Rodgers less chances to be hit. Lacy provides the Packers with some much needed balance, rushing for almost 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Multiple sources have said the Packers are going to try to speed up the tempo this season with a lot of no huddle which will be very hard to execute in Seattle, the toughest place to play in the NFL. It will be even louder there in a primetime, opening night setting. The addition of Julius peppers and first round draft pick Ha Ha Clinton-Dix should help improve a below average defensive unit last season. Clay Matthews is back after a thumb injury that kept him out for five games last season and B.J. Raji already had a season ending bicep injury. This unit is going to be the key to how far the Packers can go this season. Their offense is one of the best in the league but if they want to make a deep playoff run and beat a San Francisco or a Seattle in the playoffs their defense is going to have to improve.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks Free NFL Picks: Seattle Seahawks -6 and under 47
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks Game Prediction: 24-17 Seahawks
What to expect in this Week 1 NFL Football match up: Playing on the road in Seattle on opening night isn’t the environment you want to test out a new up tempo offense if you’re the Green Bay Packers. Their defensive line is one of the best in the league and will be a big problem for the Green Bay offense. Green Bay’s defense will be much better than they have in years past and they will prove it early, containing Lynch and Wilson and keeping their team in the game but the home field advantage and the big mismatch for the Seattle defensive front seven will be the difference in the first NFL game of the season.

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.