NFL Betting: Game-by-Game SU Week 1 Predictions & Free Picks

Indianapolis Colts teammates celebrating

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 9:59 PM GMT

Football is finally here! With the first week almost upon us, we bring you are weekly game-by-game column with a view towards SU NFL picks for each and every game here. Let’s get started.

Preseason Recap
Four weeks of exhibition games provided us with a bit of a preview of what’s to come. Those also served up some significant setbacks for various franchises, namely Dallas Cowboys, and Minnesota Vikings – both of which lost their starters to injury. How that pair fares remains to be seen. In any event, teams are set, rosters whittled down to the required starting 53-man bench and the business of football is set to get underway.

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 odds at the time of writing

Let’s get started then with our week 1 free NFL picks.

 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
The Super Bowl rematch gets us underway on Thursday in a highly-anticipated showdown, but one that is sure to have a different feeling to it now that both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler are off to greener pastures. By and large, the Panthers are trading as the runaway favorites on the NFL odds board to win on the road. Backed in as high as -185 with top-rated sportsbooks Bet Cris, Just Bet and Bookmaker. William Hill takes it as high as -190 for a Panthers road win.

That’s quite the vote of no confidence for the defending champions if you will. The Broncos are backed out to +165 with Bet Cris, Just Bet and Bookmaker after opening in early NFL betting markets as the slight home favourites. The public has clearly bet against Denver. In the eyes of NFL bettors what tips the balance significantly towards the Super Bowl runners-up is the questionable quarterback position in Denver’s camp. Last year’s seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian will get the start over Paxton Lynch (Mark Sanchez was cut). The Question is: will the Broncos really be that much different with Siemian calling the shots?

Granted Manning propelled the Broncos offensively for several seasons by littering the stats sheets but, ironically, it was the defense that finally brought the Lombardi Trophy to Denver. It was painfully obvious Manning was on his last legs and a spent force that barely clung in there. Importantly, the defense is still there.

Everybody and his grandmother are betting the Panthers but, sometimes, when betting NFL games, the best thing to do is to go against the public. So that’s what we’re doing in week 1 where anything can happen.

 

Free NFL Picks: Broncos +165 
Best Line Offered: at BetCris

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers start the show on the road at EverBank Field where they’re set to take on an exciting young Jacksonville Jaguars side that has plenty of upside on paper but still hasn’t quite transcended the field. Rodgers and the Packers are notoriously less explosive on the away than they are at Lambeau but that’s not a deterrent in the market. Packers are runaway favorites to win straight up with NFL odds ranging from -200 or higher depending on your top-rated bookmaker of choice. Last season was a bit of an anomaly without Jordy Nelson, Rodgers’ go-to target. He’s back and should be suited up for week 1, along with a slimmed down Eddie Lacy. All things point to a solid win on the road by the Packers. Colour the world shocked if the Jags pull off the upset.

 

Free NFL Picks: Packers -208 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Buffalo Bills vs. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens rounded out a preseason with four straight wins. Granted exhibition games are just demonstrative and hardly representative of what to expect from the regular season. Ravens went down faster than the Titanic last season so, in some respects, a strong showing in the preseason is a good sign. It’s an indication that they mean business in the regular season and will be careful to avoid the mistakes of the last term. On the flip side, the Bills were subpar in the preseason and closed out the month of preparation without scoring a single point in their final game. Did you know that Rex Ryan is a sportsbook favorite in the first coach to be fired betting market? That’s telling.

 

Free NFL Picks: Ravens -164 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans
The Bears beat up on the Browns in week 4 of the preseason and salvaged some pride in the month of exhibition games, but overall they were big losers in the eyes of the public. Nothing about them inspires much confidence in 2016, and while John Fox is a respected coach he’s not a magician. Unlike the Texans, who made the grade in the preseason and, perhaps, even, surprised some NFL bettors. They look to be a lot better than NFL experts predicted they would be. Brock Osweiler just might be the quarterback of the future in this franchise and the Texans’ defense is nothing to sniff at. More good news for Houston fans is the potential of J.J. Watt starting in this week 1 clash.

 

Free NFL Picks: Texans -253 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles
One fears for the Browns. Not that the Eagles are so formidable but rather the Browns are so bad that they’re sure to make any opponent look like a heavyweight. If the preseason were any indication, that is…Then again, perhaps, the Browns received a reprieve on the heels of Bradford’s trade to the Vikings just the other day. It’s now Carson Wentz who is to lead the Eagles, assuming he’s fit for week 1. If he’s not then it comes down to Chase Daniel. In lieu of the uncertainty about this matchup, it probably is prudent to avoid an official NFL pick. However, if we can all agree the Browns really are awful then isn’t betting the Eagles the obvious way to go?

 

Free NFL Picks: Eagles -200 
Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons
NFC South rivalry begins in week 1 as the Buccaneers descend on the Falcons, both sides brimming with optimism and hope for the coming season. Although Tampa Bay are installed as the road underdogs here there’s a sense that they could mastermind the upset at the Georgia Dome. Consider Julio Jones is questionable for week 1, as is Kemal Ishmael and Adrian Clayborn. Not only that Jameis Winston is behind much of the hype surrounding Tampa, a young and developing second-year quarterback with a talented group of wide receivers at his disposal. Underscoring the hype with a win over divisional rivals in week 1 would certainly prove it’s warranted.

 

Free NFL Picks: Bucs +150 
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill 

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Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
Boy, the Vikings mean business. They don’t dilly dally at all, snatching Sam Bradford from the Eagles just eight days before their season is set to get underway. Thus, giving Bradford what he wanted all along (a trade) and, more importantly, potentially saving their campaign for 2016. That looked to be headed towards disaster following Bridgewater’s injury. Bradford has to learn a new offense and that is sure to come with some growing pains and adjustments. However, the way the Vikings are built – defensively and to run the ball, mainly – has them well in with a reasonable chance to win this game. Indeed, the Vikings are installed as the road faves with most top-rated sportsbooks.

 

Free NFL Picks: Vikings -125 
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Cincinnati Bengals vs. NY Jets
Of all the early games on the NFL betting menu in week 1, this is the most intriguing of the lot and the most difficult to predict. The Jets are a sneaky good team, better than most give them credit. They are a complete team from top to bottom, from a stellar coaching staff and a stout defense that is nothing to sniff at to an offense loaded with an embarrassment of superstars and a veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Perception has the Bengals as the more “talented” team, however. Perhaps, that is true. It’s certainly behind the favourable outlook for the Bengals in money line markets to win at MetLife Stadium.

Undoubtedly, the Bengals, who were hot on the trot the last term, are a good bet given the talent contained within. Only there’s one teeny, weeny detail. Could be something or nothing…The Bengals are working with a new coaching staff – Hue Jackson (bless him) took the least desirable posting in the NFL, Cleveland head coach. There’s bound to be growing pains and adjustments made to new schemes for Andy Dalton and his O-line. That tips the scale towards the Jets in our books, ever so slightly.

 

Free NFL Picks: Jets +125 
Best Line Offered: at SportsInteraction 

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Oakland Raiders vs. New Orleans Saints
Oakland Raiders are one of the several teams garnering a lot of hype ahead of 2016. Indeed, bookies are giving them some respect in their opener at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. Raiders are trading as low as Even Money with BetOnline, TheGreek, Bookmaker and Bet365 – the latter of which offers 100% cash bonus (just a friendly heads up). That is telling.

Still one wonders whether everybody is simply too high on the Raiders without anything tangible to back it up. There is a case against the aging Saints and the fact they didn’t impress many NFL bettors in the preseason. Then the soon-to-be 38 years of age Drew Brees, who leads an O-line that looks to have too many gaps to be an effective unit from game-to-game. It’s week 1, however. Saints are at home. That counts for something. As well, they’ve got more to prove in some ways after back-to-back disappointing campaigns.

 

Free NFL Picks: Saints -117 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs welcome the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead all while trading as the stupendous -300 (or higher) favourites. By that same token, the Chargers are backed out to superfluous +260 NFL odds at William Hill. Of all the games on the NFL betting floor, this represents one of those with the greatest disparity in NFL betting outlook after the matchup between the Dolphins and Seahawks. It follows if the Chargers were to take the outright win, it would send seismic shockwaves right out of the gates. Takes a bold bettor to back the Chargers. Truth be told, not feeling it.

 

Free NFL Picks: Chiefs -290 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle 

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Miami Dolphins vs. Seattle Seahawks
As mentioned above, this game features the greatest disparity in the context of NFL money lines. The Seahawks are runaway home favourites at a high of -600 with William Hill, a price underscored by one of the best home records in the current NFL game. The Dolphins quite rightly enter the market as the significant underdogs at +425 with bet365. Put it simply, the probability of a road win here is slim to none.

 

Free NFL Picks: Seahawks -500 
Best Line Offered: at Heritage 

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Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts
Whether this game is going to be as good as some would have it remains to be seen. Both sides have a so-so defense, pass-happy offenses, and recognisable quarterbacks in Matthew Stafford and Andrew Luck. The former is notorious for being erratic and unpredictable while the latter is touted as an elite quarterback with a newly-minted contract to substantiate that notion (if not actual results). If you want, the Colts are the better team on the strength of their quarterback position. That said, neither side impressed in the offseason. Would it be so surprising if this game turned into a right doozy? Put this way, we’re on the fence. So we’re hedging our bets with Colts to win in this game-by-game SU picks a column and, then, with the Lions to cover (if not win outright) in the ensuing game-by-game ATS picks column.

Free NFL Picks: Colts -195 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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NY Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
Rookie Dak Prescott is set to debut at the AT&T Stadium on Sunday against the NY Giants, an NFC East rivalry that served up a right cracker in the 2015 season as Tony Romo led the Cowboys to a sensational come-from-behind win. It was one that Tom Coughlin and the G-men let slip through their fingers and sent their campaign into a tailspin. Obviously, with Prescott leading the Cowboys and Coughlin out of New York this is going to be a different game. As it is, bookies are being rather coy with the NFL betting lines. Serving up the Cowboys as the fractional favorites at -115 and the Giants only a smidgen larger at -105.

So the Cowboys have impressed in the preseason; hence, the respect. It remains to be seen how the rookie will handle the regular season, though. There are bound to be rookie mistakes. Keep in mind there’s a lot of pressure and hype surrounding Prescott as well, which might be a distraction. Adrenaline, eagerness to succeed and youthful exuberance lead players to overdo it, go for too much sometimes.

 

Free NFL Picks: Giants -105 
Best Line Offered: at BetCris 

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New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals
And we are here, the long-awaited debut of Jimmy Garoppolo as the Patrtiots’ starter. Of all the games under his responsibility during the four-game suspension to Tom Brady, this is the toughest one. Winning it would mean so much, not to mention it would propel the Patriots through the next few weeks until Brady’s return with momentum and confidence. Easier said than done, right? Especially, at the University of Phoenix Stadium where the Cardinals are coming off a solid 2015 regular season account, right?

Hmm… Is it so straightforward? Call it a niggling feeling, but the way Carson Palmer and the Cards bowed out of the playoffs continues to flash on a big screen in technicolour before our eyes. More worrisome were the very same flashes of concerning play during dress rehearsal week as the Cards succumbed to a loss to the Texans. It really looked as if Palmer was still carrying the disappointment of the NFC Championship loss on his shoulders.

Free NFL Picks: Patriots +220 
Best Line Offered: at WilliamHill

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
The Steelers look to have one of the best offense in the league this season, so long as the stay healthy. Big Ben and his high octane offense kick off the season in the nation’s capital where the Washington Redskins begin their NFC East title defense as the significant home underdogs. Washington fans are sure to view this as a bit of a snub towards their beloved Redskins. The reality is the Redskins can be sneaky good this season but the Steelers are the better team all around. Steelers should win but Redskins could win at home.

 

Free NFL Picks: Steelers -175 
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
The Chip Kelly era begins in San Francisco. What pray tell can we expect? Well, Blaine Gabbert is set to start in week 1 against the St. Louis Rams and that doesn’t seem to inspire much confidence in NFL betting markets. Be that as it may, it’s shocking that the Rams are the road favourites at -145 or higher with various sports betting platforms. When did the Rams under Jeff Fischer become a good team to bet on? Didn’t get the memo.

Ok, so the Niners are hardly the bees knees either – wonder how long Gabbert’s leash is with Colin Kaepernick and Christian Ponder waiting in the wings, chomping at the bit to get a crack at it should Kelly’s chosen starter tank right out of the gates as the NFL betting board inadvertently suggests. And they might not be wrong, he could be average or worse. But aren’t we forgetting something here? No.1 draft pick, Jared Goff? Is the rookie really ready for the NFL? Heck, for Monday Night Primetime Football? That’s a lot to be asking of a rookie in his debut, to come up with the goods.

 

Free NFL Picks: Niners +125 
Best Line Offered: at TheGreek 

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