Free NFL Picks: Game-by-Game ATS Week 1 Predictions

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Nikki Adams

Monday, September 5, 2016 6:06 PM UTC

Monday, Sep. 5, 2016 6:06 PM UTC

In this weekly column, we serve up NFL picks against the spread for each and every single game of the NFL regular season. Week 1 is on the cards so let’s get started and start cashing those tickets!

Nikki Adams Preseason Game-by-Game Record SU, ATS and Total
SU 33-31-0
ATS 30-31-1*
Total 30-29-3*
*Two games omitted in week 1 due to absence of NFL betting odds at the time of writing

It’s the first week of the NFL 2016 season. Anything can happen as teams get their campaigns off the ground. The preseason gave us a slight preview of what may come but avid NFL bettors know that the preseason and regular season are mutually exclusive. Just because a side did well in the exhibition games doesn’t mean it's poised for a standout run.

The preamble out of the way, let’s get cracking.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
On the heels of their Super Bowl win, Denver Broncos opened as the considerable favourites in week 1 for their rematch with the Carolina Panthers. Six months later and things couldn’t be more different as the public bets up the Panthers from an opening +1 to -3. That’s more than a fence jump. It’s a complete and utter turnaround inspired largely by the quarterback dilemma in Denver. Mark Sanchez gets cut, prized draft pick Paxton Lynch is backup and Trevor Siemian gets the start. In a quarterback-centric game the absence of a proven shot caller can be detrimental to a campaign – ask Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Where the Broncos are still worthy of consideration is on defense. Indeed, defense won the Super Bowl last term. Is it such a long shot to assume they could serve up the win here at Mile High, where the altitude can wreak havoc on many a team? Undoubtedly, this is a top billing with angles for profit on both sides of the coin. Shading either side on your NFL picks makes sense. For our money, we’re taking the points with the Broncos at home until proven otherwise. The thinking here: is Trevor Siemian really a step down from an injured, tired Peyton Manning?


Free NFL Picks: Broncos +3 +105 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Green Bay Packers are the road favourites in week 1 at EverBank for good reason. The question is whether the 4 points or higher is too much to lay at the expense of a Jacksonville Jaguars side that could potentially turn this game into a shootout if Blake Bortles and his talented O-line live up to the hype. It might seem that way but consider Rodgers has his favourite target Jordy Nelson and a slim and trim Eddie Lacy raring to go in week 1 it might not be as close as the bookies would have it.


Free NFL Picks: Packers -4.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are the field-goal favourites over the Buffalo Bills in week 1 NFL betting markets, which is an NFL line that makes total sense in our books. The Bills have a lot of individual talent but will they gel in time for what is a tough opening game. Truth be told, they didn’t look too hot in the preseason and there are rumours about dissent and dissatisfaction in the locker room, which probably play a hand in serving up Rex Ryan as the likeliest coach to get the axe first in 2016. But that’s another matter entirely. As far as this game goes, the Ravens are looking to bounce back after a forgettable 2015 campaign. Home advantage and a solid preseason have us tipping it in their favour.


Free NFL Picks: Ravens -3 -115 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans
The Chicago Bears aren’t fooling anybody as the NFL betting line for this game is moving against them. Opening around the 5.5-point mark they’re up to 6 points with most sportsbooks and, even, in some instances a touchdown underdog. Look, that’s a lot of points to lay with any team, especially one that is set to debut a new quarterback in the regular season. Brock Osweiler has done well but many will be asking whether he has done enough to warrant such an NFL betting outlook. Valid point. But, we come back to one thing: it’s the Bears.


Free NFL Picks: Texans -6 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011198, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,93,180,139], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]


Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Cleveland Browns are set to get their campaign underway in Philadelphia on Sunday [insert dramatic shiver]. Both teams are keen to put behind a disappointing 2015 campaign but, arguably, the Eagles seem to be in a better position to do so given their preseason. They’ve traded away Sam Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings, which means they’re relying on inexperienced quarterback play from Carson Wentz or Chase Daniel, whichever gets the start on Sunday. Given the uncertainty there four points does seem a lot to lay with the Eagles. If the alternative is to take the points with the Browns though, it’s not that many points to lay is it?


Free NFL Picks: Eagles -4 -110 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365 

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
The NFC South rivalry heats up in week 1 as the Bucs and Falcons collide in week 1 of the 2016 NFL betting season. Predictably, the hosts are the favourites hanging on an NFL line anywhere from -2.5 to -3 depending on your choice top-rated sportsbook, but, it’s worth noting, the juice tips the Bucs to cover as the +3 underdogs (anywhere from -110 to -115). This is a game that is splitting the public almost down the middle and there’s a case for either side coming up trumps for spread bettors.


Free NFL Picks: Bucs +3 -110 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
The Vikings have traded for Sam Bradford and it’s going to take some time for the markets and public to react to this news. As it is, the game hangs on a nominal spread – anywhere from a PK to -1 depending on your choice bookmaker. The Vikings showed in week 4 they were able to win without Teddy Bridgewater, if only just in a 27-25 win over the Rams. This is a team built on the sum total of its parts and not just around a quarterback. So long as Bradford doesn’t botch his start the Vikings defense and run game could wreak havoc in Tennessee.


Free NFL Picks: Vikings PK -115 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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Cincinnati Bengals vs. NY Jets
The Bengals and Jets collide in a game that is cornered in the visitors’ camp in both SU and ATS betting markets. Seems as if bookies aren’t putting much stock in the Jets and their 10-6 SU season in 2015, but that’s not the correct assumption. In fact, the NFL line did open as a PK on this game – giving respect to both teams. The public is responsible for this move on the NFL odds board, so high are they on the Bengals it seems that they’ve bet up the NFL line to -2.5 with the Bengals to the good. To be fair, Bengals are a good team and could very well deliver on this expectation. So too are the Jets and, sometimes, especially in the early goings, it’s a good idea to fade the public. So we’re shading the Jets as the 2.5 point home dogs on our NFL picks. How about you?


Free NFL Picks: Jets +2.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at BetCris 

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Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
There are those that would serve up the Oakland Raiders as serious playoff contenders this season, so much upside does this young team have. It remains to be seen whether they’ll live up to the expectations set for them across the board, but a date at the Mercedes Benz Superdome in the year of Hurricane Katrina’s tenth anniversary is no mean feat. The Saints have a lot to prove and critics to silence after back-to-back disappointing seasons. Offensively, they have Drew Brees, who can still light up the scoreboard. Defensively, they’ve been likened to Swiss cheese. As such, this game could really go either way and no matter which way it goes it’s not necessarily going to be a sign of what’s to come for each of these franchises down the road. It’s week 1. Nerves, excitement, adrenaline… the lot. When in doubt, err on the side of the home team?


Free NFL Picks: Saints PK -120 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
San Diego Chargers have a legitimate threat in Philip Rivers. Beyond their prized quarterback it’s up in the air what they really have. If the NFL odds were any indication, not enough apparently. The Chargers are served up as the whopping +7 road underdogs or thereabouts in week 1 and a date with the Chiefs, who finished last season riding a 10-game winning streak and carried that momentum into the second round of the playoffs where the lost. Not sure about you, but laying that many points with the Chiefs in the first week of the NFL does seem a bit much given their preseason was touch-and-go.


Free NFL Picks: Chargers +7 -114 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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Miami Dolphins vs. Seattle Seahawks
The Dolphins began their 2016 NFL campaign on the NFL odds board as the 7.5-point road underdogs. In a blink the public bet up the line to double-digits – you’ll find the Seahawks trading around 10.5-points with most sports betting exchanges. That’s a lot of points to lay with most teams but not the Seattle Seahawks, who many figure to be not only defensively sound but also offensively sharp.


Free NFL Picks: Seahawks 10.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011202, "sportsbooksIds":[169,19,1096,999991,123], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]


Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts
If the powers that be in Indianapolis are willing to splash the cash on Andrew Luck, it’s  no surprise the public is all over the Colts in their home opener with the Detroit Lions. It helps that opinion about the Lions is mixed with most looking at Calvin Johnson’s departure as a serious blow to the offense and Matthew Stafford. What if Luck is being overrated though? Let’s face it, he’s coming off injury and really hasn’t done anything quite so tangible to support his emergence as the highest paid quarterback.


Free NFL Picks: Lions +4 -105 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011204, "sportsbooksIds":[169,999996,19,123,180], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/] 


NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
The Giants and Cowboys collide in a highly-anticipated NFC East showdown in week 1 that will mark the debut of rookie Dak Prescott. It’s a tight NFL betting line on offer for this game, largely down to the surprisingly solid play from the fourth round draft pick. There are those NFL bettors that are quietly optimistic about the Cowboys, not only in this game but also for the season, believing a repeat of the 2015 fiasco isn’t on the cards. This game could set the tone for an optimistic campaign.


Free NFL Picks: Cowboys -1 +100 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes 

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New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are trading as the whopping touchdown favourites over the New England Patriots, which is a rather surprisingly lopsided outlook by bookmakers. Granted Tom Brady is on the sidelines for this game along with three others. Jimmy Garoppolo is an unproven entity for the most part and the Cardinals are a solid team, particularly at home. However, two things have us considering going against the grain here. Firstly, Bill Belichick and the Patriots as a whole can’t be dismissed out of hand. Secondly, is Carson Palmer over his disastrous NFC Championship account? It didn’t look like he was in dress rehearsal week. Something to consider before making your NFL picks.


Free NFL Picks: Patriots +6 -105
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
Good teams win, great teams cover. So they say. Everybody and their grandmother is touting the Steelers offense as one of the best in the league, so long as Big Ben is healthy and calling the shots on the field. Although he can still win games while hobbling on one foot apparently. Injured or not Big Ben is a monster quarterback and a tough competitor that can torch any opponent. The Redskins don’t figure to be slouches but in the first of the Monday Night Football matchups to mark week 1, it’s hard to look past the Steelers to win straight up. Kirk Cousins and the Redskins could make it interesting if they turn this game into a right shootout.


Free NFL Picks: Redskins +3.5 -115
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
There’s not a lot of love for the Niners in NFL betting circles at the moment, but when did the Los Angeles Rams emerge as a force under Jeff Fischer? Favoured on the road to win and cover is quite the statement on the NFL odds board, one that isn’t supported by anything tangible. Not the stats or, for that matter, the way the roster stacks up on paper. Keep in mind, it’s a rookie quarterback Jared Goff that is set to lead the Rams into Levi Stadium, on Monday Night Football no less. With the eyes of the nation trained solely on this game it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Goff buckles under the pressure.


Free NFL Picks: Niners +2.5 -105 
Best Line Offered: at JustBet

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