NFL Picks - Week 1 Best Value Bets Across The Board

Oakland Raiders Players Entering The Field

Jay Pryce

Sunday, September 11, 2016 3:57 AM UTC

Sunday, Sep. 11, 2016 3:57 AM UTC

The 2016-17 NFL season starts in earnest on Sunday, and Week 1 offers an exciting slate of games. Need a value play for Week 1? We've uncovered a few picks worth wagering. Check out our predictions here. 

The first Sunday kickoffs for the 2016-17 NFL regular season are a little more than 24 hours away. Opening weekend odds have been posted for quite some time, but value is still abundant across the board. Let’s uncover some potentially profitable picks for Week 1, and make some bold predictions along the way.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Tennessee Titans
Value NFL Pick: Vikings -2.5

No Teddy, No problem. The Vikings didn’t make the playoffs last season due to stellar quarterback play; the defense is the difference-maker. Bridgewater does a fine job managing the offense, but this unit is one of the most conservative in the NFL, and will do just fine whether it’s Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford under center in this one. Running back Adrian Peterson will be the workhorse and give the Titans defense fits.

Tennessee is a dismal 9-23 ATS in the last two seasons. Over half of these covers (5-7) occurred when the Titans defense held opponents to 100 rushing yards or less. Minnesota averaged 133.5 yards per game on the ground last season, fifth highest in the NFL, and were held south of the century mark just six times all season—twice against the Seahawks. When Minnesota controls the clock under its game plan, look out.

The Titans came out swinging in Week 1 last season with rookie QB Marcus Mariota guiding the team to a 41-14 victory over the Buccaneers, but offensive production will likely still be a problem against good teams. Tennessee average 10.8 points per game over the last two seasons when facing a team with a winning percentage over .500, and a defense allowing less than 24 points per game. Mariota started four of these, the Titans failed to score more than 16 points in each. The Vikes went 11-6 last season yielding 18.4 points per contest. Nice number and value here for Minnesota.

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Raiders vs. Saints
Value NFL Pick:  
OVER 51.5

Former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan left the Saints defense in shambles, and it will take a long time to heal. The Raiders enter New Orleans with one of the most relentless passing attacks in the NFL with quarterback Derek Carr and wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree the core. The Saints’ secondary is as green as they come with three of their four cornerbacks, P.J. Williams, De’Vante Harris, and Ken Crawley, playing in their first NFL game. Expect them to get picked on, a lot.

The Saints still have QB Drew Brees though. Brees led the league in passing yards per game in 2015 (310.6), and will not let the Raiders out of the building without a fight. New Orleans averaged 32.4 points per game at the SuperDome last season with and average combined score of 64 points. The OVER is 8-3-1 over the last two season when the Saints kick off at home with a game total at 50 or over. Perfect recipe in this game for a lot of points.

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Patriots vs. Cardinals
Value NFL Pick: Patriots +7.5

Some books like 5Dimes are dangling the hook for the Pats-Cardinals matchup, and it’s worth buying in at 7.5 points. Tom Brady has only missed 15 games in his career since assuming the starting role over Drew Bledsoe back in 2001. All of these came in 2008 when he tore his ACL in the season opener against the Chiefs. The following week, the Pats were hammered 38-13 by the Dolphins as 12.5-point chalk, but got their act together and finished the year 10-5 SU and 9-6 ATS with Matt Cassel under center. Imagine what mastermind head coach Bill Belichick can do when he gets more than an entire month to prepare knowing he’ll be without his franchise signal-caller for the first four games of the season. Don’t expect a huge drop-off with Jimmy Garoppolo guiding the ship. An outright upset at a price isn't out of the question.

Since 2000, New England is 6-2 ATS when a touchdown pup or greater, but all of one occurred in the 2001 season when books were still adjusting to Brady under center. In 2009, it spotted 7.5 points to the Texans and covered 34-27 after giving away three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Arizona is a Super Bowl favorite, and rightfully so, but its preseason left a lot to be desired, particularly QB Carson Palmer and the starting offense. Palmer went 12-of-22 for 139 yards and three interceptions, and the first-team scored one touchdown during the exhibition period. Maybe it’s a bad hangover form the 49-15 beatdown the Cardinals experienced at the hands of the Panthers in the NFC Championship Game; Palmer coughed up six turnovers in that one. It wouldn’t shock to see the unit put up a big score, it averaged 28.1 points per game at University of Phoenix Stadium last season, but something seems off. Pats plus the points and a little on the money line.

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