Finally, week one of the 2016 NFL Season is here. I think the first week of the NFL season is really the sketchiest week of the year to bet on, but we are so excited as a fan base that it’s almost impossible to avoid. To help, I want to offer a few games I like and a couple that I would recommend staying away from.
Games I Like:
Tampa Bay (+3) @ Atlanta Falcons
You can consider this game a stay away because it’s a week one divisional matchup, which are usually the most unpredictable, but I really like the Bucs this year. I think Jameis Winston takes a big step this season, and it starts in week one against a questionable defense. On the other side, I personally don’t think Matt Ryan is a good QB. At the least, he’s not better than Winston should be this year.
That’ll be the difference in this one, and we will be talking about Winston becoming a top 10 QB this year after he lights up Atlanta in week 1.
New York Giants (-1) @ Dallas Cowboys
In another division game, I would truly recommend staying away. Dallas and NY is one of the hardest matchups to predict, but even as a Cowboys fan, I think this is a great game for the Giants to win. The Giants haven’t won in Dallas since 2012, they were terrible in the preseason, and Dak Prescott was outstanding, leading people to believe the Cowboys truly can win this game.
The fact of the matter is that Dallas’ pass rush is nonexistent and Eli should have a lot of time to throw to his explosive receiving core. The Giants are completely healthy, and I think they win this game convincingly.
Detroit Lions (+4) @ Indianapolis Colts
I really like the Lions here. Everybody is high on the Colts: Andrew Luck is back, and this team is headed back to the playoffs. I’m not ready to jump back on that bandwagon just yet. The Colts are bad everywhere besides the QB and WR position, and it’s going to show up Sunday. The Lions will cover this spread, and may even win the game outright.
Buffalo Bills (+3) @ Baltimore Ravens
I think this is another game where the outcome surprises the public. The Ravens are coming off a terrible 2015 season, and the Bills are a complete mess on defense. They’re dealing with suspensions, injuries and more, and the Ravens are presumably fully healthy going into their home opener. Call me crazy, but I like the Bills to keep this close. One reason why: They have Tyrod Taylor, LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins. Nobody the Ravens have scare me like the Bill’s trio, and I think that will be the difference maker.
Games I don’t Like:
Oakland Raiders (+1) @ New Orleans Saints
Originally, I really liked the Raiders in this game. They’ve had a great offseason and seem ready to make the next step this season. But that’s probably exactly how the public feels, which usually pans out to be the opposite. The Saints are home and coming off a terrible year, and I want no parts of betting on this Raiders team until they prove it first.
Chicago Bears (+6) @ Houston Texans
Again, this is a game I suggest staying away from considering the big hype surrounding the Texans this season. They should win this game, but that spreads a little too high for me to feel confident about them covering it. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe they blow the Bears out, but I’m staying away from the Texans today.
Green Bay Packers (-4.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars
This is another game I don’t want any part of. The Packers are primed for a huge season, but the Jags are knocking on the door. Their defense is improved and their offense should move the football as long as Blake Bortles keeps playing well. Either way, I think the Jags can cover this spread, but wouldn’t bet against a Packers blow out. It’s probably best to let this one play out and see how the new-look Jaguars look before betting against them.