2017 Week 1 NFL ATS Picks
Last Week's Results
Week 1 Picks
Jags +5 @ Texans
The last image we had of the Texans was an unbelievable defensive performance against the Patriots in the Super Bowl that resulted in a defeat due to gross incompetence on offense. The main culprit of the Texans' ineptitude is gone, and it's tempting to buy into the narrative that marginal improvement on offense will lead to a better season, but in reality, this offense has very little chance of achieving even an average level of proficiency. Recency bias from the Patriots game is driving this line higher than it should be. Houston is not a good team, and I like the Jags to win outright.
Bears +6 vs Falcons
The Falcons had one of the best post season runs of all time last year despite imploding during the final quarter of the Super Bowl. The Offense was always great and when the Defense started figuring it out, things got out of hand quickly for their playoff level opponents. The Falcons beat the Packers and Seahawks by a combined 39 points, and built a 25 point lead of the eventual Super Bowl champions. However, defenses get hot all the time and we are more likely to overvalue that streakiness when those defenses peak in the playoffs. The Bears have a high quality offensive line, which will allow them to score points and stay on the field. That's a great recipe for beating a fast, high octane offense.
Seahawks +3 @ Packers
As good as Aaron Rodgers is, it's time to recognize how bad the rest of the Packer's organization has been over the last few years. The Packers run a back yard offense with minimal complexity, placing all the pressure on Rodgers to overcome poor system design. To make matters worse, the front office over indexes on player development and cap management, and has let a ton of talent walk out the front door into free agency. I think these dynamics will come home to roost this year as Rodgers struggles behind a line that can protect the interior and receivers who can't create separation. A healthy Seahawks team just makes the pick easier. I like the Seahawks to win outright.
Chargers +3 (100) @ Broncos
It wasn't too long ago that Phil Rivers was considered an elite QB. Widespread injuries over the last two years have led to underperformance and the Chargers have all but fallen off the map. A regression on injury luck isn't enough to make the Chargers a contender in 2017, but they have a sneaky amount of talent and competent QB. That's enough to win games. The Broncos are still superior defensively, but I do think they decline a bit. Given these two trends, I suspect the Chargers to be undervalued in this spot.