Top NFL ATS Picks for Week 1

Posted by Peter Boysen on September 5, 2016 in

The long off-season and that seemingly longer preseason have finally come to an end, which means that this week we’ll see the first week of real NFL action. Get your NFL betting started the right way by taking our advice on these picks.


Top NFL ATS Picks for Week 1

Thursday: Carolina over Denver


The Denver Broncos could easily become one of those infamous Super Bowl champions who end up missing the entire postseason the next year. After all, that happens about a third of the time, and the Pittsburgh Steelers actually did that twice. But a lot of teams didn’t do what the Broncos did: see the winning quarterback retire and then follow that up by signing a laughingstock, which Denver did by signing Mark Sanchez to replace Peyton Manning. They saw Sanchez lose the starting quarterback position to unknown Trevor Siemian, and so they put him on a bus to Dallas, where Jerry Jones’ cavalier management style had just rookie Dak Prescott and UTEP standout Jamielle Showers on the roster as quarterbacks. You know that the Carolina Panthers’ defense will be licking their chops to give Siemian a brutal welcome to the NFL.

Sunday: Oakland over New Orleans

It’s time for Derek Carr and Amari Cooper to take the NFL by storm, and the Oakland QB-WR duo will begin that journey in The Big Easy, as they open against a New Orleans defense that doesn’t do much to stop the pass. I like the Raiders to move the ball easily against the Saints, who struggled to do much of anything in the preseason.

Sunday: Houston over Chicago

It’s true that the Houston Texans basically won the AFC South last year because Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts went down to a season-ending injury fairly early on, and neither Jacksonville nor Tennessee could mount a competitive team in the division. As we saw in the first round of the playoffs, the Texans did not have an offense that could move the ball against a solid defense. However, they did have a terrific defense that is still in place, and with new quarterback Brock Osweiler (whom the Broncos should have kept — see above) the Texans will be more multidimensional. I like them to knock off a Chicago Bears team that will have more confidence in John Fox’s second year but still won’t be able to win against playoff contenders from last year.

Sunday: Arizona over New England

If Tom Brady were playing in this game, I’d be thinking about picking a New England upset. However, he’ll be watching the game on the couch with his supermodel wife while Jimmy Garoppolo leads the Patriot offense during Brady’s four-game suspension. The Patriots’ backup led the offense in a rather pedestrian manner during the preseason, which would probably work in Buffalo or Miami but won’t work against the Arizona Cardinals, who have one of the elite defenses in the NFL. While Carson Palmer struggled with the interception bug during the preseason, I like him to return to his regular season form from the past two seasons when the Patriots arrive.