2016 Week 1 NFL ATS Picks
Season 47-37-1, All Time 193-162-3
Week 1 Picks
Chicago +6 @ Houston
Chicago spent much of 2015 struggling through poor defensive play and massive injuries in the receiving corp. Despite these adverse conditions, Jay Cutler had one of his best seasons as a pro. Chicago likely won't be a competitor in 2016, but they should be much better after adding pieces on defense and getting healthy at WR. Houston will also be a better team in 2016. They are returning an excellent defense and improved at both the QB and RB positions. While Houston has received praise for its off-season, Chicago has flown under the radar. For that reason, I think Chicago has a chance to surprise in Week 1.
Green Bay -4 @ Jacksonville
Talented defensive personal, an elite WR tandem and an exciting young QB made Jacksonville a trendy play-off sleeper pick for 2016. This line makes me believe that Jacksonville hopefuls are a little too eager to cash in on their predictions. While I do think the team can push for a wildcard, that doesn't mean they have to win in week one--especially when they are playing against the best QB in the league. Green Bay is still in a class well above Jacksonville and I don't think this game will be particularly close.
New Orleans -1.5 vs Oakland
Derek Carr had an impressive second year in 2015 as he threw 32 touchdowns to only 12 interceptions. However, much of his success was schematic. He was put on the move to avoid pressure and was given defined looks to keep things simple. Teams adjusted over time, and Carr actually looked average during the second half of the season. I think Carr will have a challenging third year in the league as he continues to evolve as a QB. Oakland will eventually meet the hype, but I do not believe it will be in 2016.
Dallas -1 vs New York
Despite Tony Romo's injury, this is still one of the most talented Dallas teams in recent memory. They are stacked across the offensive line and at skill positions. Though the defense is only average, it is capable of great things when Dallas' ball control offense keeps it well rested. With Romo sidelined, Dallas is no longer an elite team--but it's still pretty good. New York on the other hand is deeply flawed defensively and only slightly above average offensively. NFC East games have a tendency to get wonky, but I think a better team, playing at home, always has great odds.
Los Angeles -2.5 (115) @ San Francisco
It is difficult for me not be enamored with the Los Angeles Rams. They have an ungodly amount of athleticism in the front seven and defense as a whole. Unfortunately, that talent has always been backed into difficult spots by an offense that can't sustain drives or protect the football. The team showed flashes of complimentary football last year, but was always held back by the QB position. QB will not be a point of pride for Los Angeles in 2016, but it should at least be serviceable and stable with Keenum. If the Rams can finally get the most out of their talent, then beating arguably the worst team in the NFL should be no issue.