NFL WEEKLY PICK 'EM: WEEK 1

September 8, 2016

We break the lines for each game for Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season below and offer our predictions.

 

CAROLINA (-3) at DENVER

Is the Broncos defense still good? Very. But Trevor Siemian making his regular season debut against Luke Kuechly and co. may be too tall an order, despite having Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders on the perimeter. Expect Virgil Green to be targeted a lot, as new QBs tend to use their TE as a crutch early in their career, but again, Green is matching up against Kuechly in coverage.

 

PANTHERS 24 BRONCOS 13

 

GREEN BAY (-5.5) at JACKSONVILLE

The Jaguars actually match up well against the Packers. If Duval can get off to a quick start against Green Bay and then control the clock by running the ball with Chris Ivory against a young defensive Packers spine, that can have a huge effect on this score. Unfortunately, it's Gus Bradley, and that is not bloody likely.

 

PACKERS 31 JAGUARS 20

 

BUFFALO (+3) at BALTIMORE

The Bills have been marred by injuries and the Ravens edge rush with a returning Terrell Suggs is going to force Tyrod to be swallowed into the pocket and keep him from using his legs to extend plays. Expect the Ravens to use a lot of screens to get their stable of RBs the ball in space and take advantage of an over-aggressive Rex Ryan defense.

 

BILLS 17 RAVENS 21

 

CHICAGO (+6.5) at HOUSTON

This is my "slam dunk" game of the week. I don't think the Bears are as bad as people think they are and the addition of Josh Sitton gives them one of the best interior lines in the league . JJ Watt may think he's back (no pun intended), but it's going to take him a few weeks to re-gain his form, otherwise, he is clearly taking HGH and should offer Jadeveon Clowney some. The Texans offense also has too many new parts that are going to take some time to get clicking. Bears definitely cover this.

 

BEARS 22 TEXANS 17

 

CLEVELAND (+4) at PHILADELPHIA

I just don't know what to think of this game. Carson Wentz is making his regular season rookie debut and the Browns defense has made some nice additions this offseason. I can absolutely see the Browns winning this game, but the Eagles defense under new DC Jim Schwartz is very, very good. Fletcher Cox and Bennie Logan should terrorize an inferior interior line, and I think that's what this game comes down to.

 

BROWNS 10 EAGLES 13

 

TAMPA BAY (+3) at ATLANTA

I'm not buying Atlanta tbh. The Bucs first six games of the year are brutal, so they know they have to take advantage of this game to start with momentum. I expect a big jump from Jameis Winston this season while Matt Ryan seems to be regressing. 

 

BUCCANEERS 25 FALCONS 18

 

MINNESOTA (-2) at TENNESSEE

I think this is the most difficult game to pick this week, especially with the uncertainty of the Vikings QB situation. The Titans are going to have to run the ball (A LOT) to have a chance in this game, but that's what their offense is predicated on, anyway. I still think the Vikings get this W. 

 

VIKINGS 20 TITANS 17

 

CINCINNATI (-3) at NEW YORK

The Jets have looked shaky this Preseason and having the Bengals on deck for week 1 is a disaster match up. AJ Green against Darrelle Revis will be a fun battle to watch, but the Bengals defense will be very active and cause a few turnovers in this one. Bengals win big.

 

BENGALS 38 JETS 17

 

OAKLAND (+1) at NEW ORLEANS

This will be a fun one to watch, as both teams are pretty even in talent. Khalil Mack against Terron Armstead will be a treat of a match up, but ultimately, I think the Raiders surprise everyone and put the league on notice that the hype is real. Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have good situations this week and that new, expensive Raiders offensive line get to go against a Saints defensive line that lost Sheldon Rankins. Unfortunately, they only win by one on a Derek Carr two-minute drill and cover the spread.

 

RAIDERS 31 SAINTS 30

 

SAN DIEGO (EVEN) at KANSAS CITY

Another divisional game to kick off the season. The Chiefs are a better team and the game is at Arrowhead. That's literally the only logic I need to make this pick. 

 

CHARGERS 18 CHIEFS 24

 

MIAMI (+10.5) at SEATTLE

Similar to the pick above - the game is in Seattle and Pete Carroll gets to go against a rookie Head Coach in Adam Gase. Keep it simple and don't overthink this one. 

 

DOLPHINS 7 SEAHAWKS 31

 

DETROIT (+3.5) at INDIANAPOLIS

The Colts are actually a #bad team, and if Darius Slay takes away TY Hilton, this thing can be over fairly quickly. Expect Ezekial Ansah to give Anthony Castonzo fits and with Vontae Davis injured, the three headed monster of Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, and Anquan Boldin is a terrible situation for Indy. The Lions have a rookie starting at LT in Taylor Decker who had an inconsistent Preseason, but the Colts offer very little in their edge rush, so go Lions.

 

LIONS 35 COLTS 21

 

NEW YORK (-1) at DALLAS

Looks like Vegas has Dak fever, too. I would be really, really surprised if Dak has the type of production in this game that he has had in the Preseason, and he might be coming down to reality very soon. His first regular season action will have him going against a very good defensive line that added Olivier Vernon in the offseason, but more importantly, a secondary that boasts Janoris Jenkins, DRC, and a physical press guy in Eli Apple that can just body Cole Beasley off the line in the slot.

 

GIANTS 31 COWBOYS 20

 

NEW ENGLAND (+6) at ARIZONA

Jimmy Garoppolo going to play in one of the most difficult environments in the NFL on prime time against a defense that not only has a returning Tyrann Mathieu, but a familiar foe in OLB Chandler Jones? This is a recipe for disaster for New England. Cardinals win and they do so comfortably.

 

PATRIOTS 11 CARDINALS 26

 

PITTBURGH (-3) at WASHINGTON

First Monday Night Football of the year has two prolific offenses going against fairly mediocre defenses - time for a shootout! A battle to watch will be how Steelers rookie NT Javon Hargrave does against C Kory Lichtensteiger, who may be the worst starting Center in the league. Josh Norman also gets to go up against the best WR in the league in Antonio Brown, so the other WRs on the team are going to need to step up and be productive.

 

STEELERS 34 REDSKINS 27

 

LOS ANGELES (-3) at SAN FRANCISCO

What practical joker scheduled a late-night MNF game for Week 1 featuring Jeff Fisher vs. Blaine Gabbert? This is the most uninteresting match up of Week 1 and I expect the Rams defensive line to make Gabbert make some silly decisions. If Carlos Hyde is on your fantasy team this week, I'm sorry.

 

RAMS 18 49ERS 8

 

 

All betting lines are from Bovada from ESPN.com.

 

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