NFL Week 1: In-Depth Analysis

By Rob Pizzola

Thursday, September 7 at 8:30 PM ET:

New England Patriots -9 vs Kansas City Chiefs (Covers 52.9%), UNDER 48.5 (Covers 54.9%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Half-Bet

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Kansas City 17.7 - New England 27.7
SU Pick and Win%: New England wins 74.6%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #1
ATS Pick and Win%: New England Patriots -9 covers 52.9%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #12
ATS Wager for $50 player: $5
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (48.5) 54.9%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #7
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $26

The Teams: KC NE
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #13 #32
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #16 #2
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #18 #23
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #5 #6
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #21 #5
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Steven Nelson, CB, Kansas City Chiefs, Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City Chiefs, Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots, Tony Garcia, T, New England Patriots, Cyrus Jones, CB, New England Patriots, Derek Rivers, DE, New England Patriots

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 29% Kansas City, 71% New England; O/U Bets - 58% Over, 42% Under

Boxscore: Kansas City Chiefs, 18 @ New England Patriots, 28

Analysis: Kansas City typically prides itself on protecting the football and forcing turnovers on defense, as evidenced by a combined +30 turnover differential over the past couple of seasons. The problem for the Chiefs is that the Patriots are also elite in that regard, having finished fifth or better in the league in each of the past three seasons.

Simply put, the Chiefs are not likely to get any extra possessions in this matchup, and asking them to keep pace with the offensive firepower of the Patriots is just too much. Even without Julian Edelman in the lineup, the Pats boast a plethora of talent on offense. There's a reason this team has covered the spread in 60.7% of their contests as favorites over the past three years.

The UNDER is a stronger play than the side as Kansas City averages just 17.7 points in 50,000 simulations. The Chiefs offense was already incredibly thin before they lost their lead back, Spencer Ware, for the season. New England's defense surrendered just 3.91 yards per carry and 6.43 yards per pass attempt a season ago, and their defense is arguably even better this season.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Arizona Cardinals -2 @ Detroit Lions (Covers 55.6%), OVER 48 (Covers 51.1%)
ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
O/U Play Type: Not Playable

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Arizona 26.6 - Detroit 22.1
SU Pick and Win%: Arizona wins 60.3%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #8
ATS Pick and Win%: Arizona Cardinals -2 covers 55.6%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #2
ATS Wager for $50 player: $34
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (48) 51.1%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #16
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

The Teams: ARI DET
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #31 #23
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #22 #12
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #15 #26
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #7 #30
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #6 #23
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: T.J. Logan, RB, Arizona Cardinals, Armonty Bryant, DE, Detroit Lions, Brandon Copeland, LB, Detroit Lions, Taylor Decker, T, Detroit Lions, Jordan Hill, DT, Detroit Lions, Kerry Hyder, DE, Detroit Lions, Khyri Thornton, DT, Detroit Lions

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 63% Arizona, 37% Detroit; O/U Bets - 58% Over, 42% Under

Boxscore: Arizona Cardinals, 27 @ Detroit Lions, 22

Analysis: Our “Lock of the Week” (one day we're going to change that name, I swear) isn't exactly an overwhelming pick, but it represents the best value on the board this week. In our eyes, Detroit was the luckiest team of the 2016 season while Arizona was one the unluckiest. The Lions were outscored by 12 points overall last season but still managed a 9-7 record thanks to the insane amount of fourth quarter comebacks. But as James Hetfield once said, “luck runs out”.

There may not be a bigger individual mismatch this week than Cards defensive end, Chandler Jones, going up against Lions left tackle, Greg Robinson. Typically, teams could limit the effectiveness of a pass rush with a successful running game, but unfortunately for Detroit, they project to have the fourth-worst run efficiency in the league this season and they're going up against one of the league's stoutest run defenses. Matthew Stafford is going to be running for his life all game.

Conversely, Carson Palmer should have a clean pocket for much of Sunday's contest as Detroit's front seven is amongst the worst in the league, and could be without Ezekiel Ansah due to an ankle injury. Games are often won in the trenches, and Arizona has a big edge at the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense. Add in the fact that the Cardinals are loaded with talent at the skill positions, and that's plenty enough to overcome the early start time on the East Coast.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Chicago Bears +7 vs Atlanta Falcons (Covers 55.1%), OVER 48.5 (Covers 53.2%)
ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Atlanta 27.8 - Chicago 22.8
SU Pick and Win%: Atlanta wins 62.3%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #6
ATS Pick and Win%: Chicago Bears +7 covers 55.1%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #3
ATS Wager for $50 player: $29
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (48.5) 53.2%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #12
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $9

The Teams: ATL CHI
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #9 #18
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #1 #20
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #8 #11
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #15 #20
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #24 #27
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Jalen Collins, CB, Atlanta Falcons, Devin Fuller, WR, Atlanta Falcons, LaRoy Reynolds, LB, Atlanta Falcons, Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Chicago Bears, Pernell McPhee, LB, Chicago Bears, Cameron Meredith, WR, Chicago Bears, Patrick Scales, C, Chicago Bears

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 75% Atlanta, 25% Chicago; O/U Bets - 36% Over, 64% Under

Boxscore: Atlanta Falcons, 28 @ Chicago Bears, 23

Analysis: 4.56… that's a number that immediately stands out when breaking down this matchup. It's the number of yards per rushing attempt that the Falcons defense gave up a season ago. While Atlanta still possesses a team that is capable of getting back to the Super Bowl, they failed to shore up a clear and apparent need in the offseason.

With the Bears defense likely to offer very little resistance against Atlanta's high-octane offense, Chicago will have to match points to keep this one close. And while we don't like to draw a lot from preseason, it's hard to ignore that Mike Glennon looked really good. If Chicago can efficiently run the ball—and we don't see why not here—Glennon will be operating out of manageable situations all afternoon. This one could be closer than most people think.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Baltimore Ravens +3 @ Cincinnati Bengals (Covers 55.0%), UNDER 42.5 (Covers 55.2%)
ATS Play Type: Half-Bet
O/U Play Type: Half-Bet

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Baltimore 19.3 - Cincinnati 20.4
SU Pick and Win%: Cincinnati wins 53.2%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #14
ATS Pick and Win%: Baltimore Ravens +3 covers 55.0%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #4
ATS Wager for $50 player: $28
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (42.5) 55.2%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #5
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $30

The Teams: BAL CIN
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #21 #15
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #25 #14
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #21 #25
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #4 #8
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #3 #26
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Maurice Canady, CB, Baltimore Ravens, Kenneth Dixon, RB, Baltimore Ravens, Crockett Gillmore, TE, Baltimore Ravens, Alex Lewis, T, Baltimore Ravens, Albert McClellan, LB, Baltimore Ravens, Darren Waller, TE, Baltimore Ravens, Tavon Young, CB, Baltimore Ravens, Vontaze Burfict, LB, Cincinnati Bengals, Adam Jones, CB, Cincinnati Bengals, Cedric Peerman, RB, Cincinnati Bengals, John Ross, WR, Cincinnati Bengals, Shawn Williams, S, Cincinnati Bengals

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 42% Baltimore, 58% Cincinnati; O/U Bets - 40% Over, 60% Under

Boxscore: Baltimore Ravens, 19 @ Cincinnati Bengals, 20

Analysis: While it's impossible to know exactly how Joe Flacco's back is feeling, it is promising that he returned to practice a full week before the season opener. With Danny Woodhead and Breshard Perriman also practicing, it appears as though Baltimore will have their full compliment of weapons against the Bengals this week. The same can't be said for the Bengals defense, who will be without Vontaze Burfict and Adam Jones. Without Burfict on the field, Cincinnati's run defense is considerably worse, and that should allow for the Ravens offense to be a little bit more efficient than we're accustomed to.

Those who are waiting for the Bengals offense to return to the form from a couple of years ago will continue to wait. Cincinnati's offensive line is abysmal. Andy Dalton was under duress a lot last season and that pressure figures to increase exponentially with the departure of two key offensive linemen. We are constantly trying to identify under-the-radar mismatches and Baltimore's defensive line against Cincinnati's offensive line is certainly a big one.

While the Ravens have notoriously struggled on the road under Flacco, they have an edge on both sides of the ball in this contest. Look for Baltimore to keep things tight in a low scoring game on the road.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Washington Redskins +1 vs Philadelphia Eagles (Covers 54.7%), OVER 47.5 (Covers 53.9%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Philadelphia 23.9 - Washington 26.2
SU Pick and Win%: Washington wins 54.5%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #13
ATS Pick and Win%: Washington Redskins +1 covers 54.7%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #5
ATS Wager for $50 player: $24
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (47.5) 53.9%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #9
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $16

The Teams: PHI WAS
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #3 #8
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #21 #3
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #14 #10
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #18 #25
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #17 #28
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Keith Marshall, RB, Washington Redskins, Trent Murphy, LB, Washington Redskins

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 59% Philadelphia, 41% Washington; O/U Bets - 79% Over, 21% Under

Boxscore: Philadelphia Eagles, 24 @ Washington Redskins, 26

Analysis: Perception of these teams couldn't be more different heading into the season. The Eagles seem to be on everyone's radar as a sleeper, and while we project the Eagles at 8.4 wins for the entire season, we're going to pump the brakes on the hype train. Yes, Lane Johnson missed 10 games due to suspension a year ago, but his return does not address all of their concerns.

While nobody seems to want to admit it, Kirk Cousins is an extremely efficient quarterback. His 8.1 yards per attempt a season ago was one of the top marks in the league, and not too far astray from his career mark of 7.8 yards per attempt. Losing DeSean Jackson will be a blow to the offense in the long run, but against a secondary consisting of Ronald Darby, Patrick Robinson, and Jalen Mills at corner, Cousins could have a field day. Philadelphia's front seven on defense could potentially be the best in the league, but it's neutralized a bit by this matchup.

Philadelphia may also struggle against teams with a true top cornerback, since aside from Alshon Jeffery, they're left with the aging Torrey Smith (who has gotten progressively worse for three seasons) and the ever-inconsistent Nelson Agholor at receiver. The Redskins defense is one of the worst units in the league, but again, this isn't necessarily a matchup that the Eagles can easily exploit. Styles make fights, and while Philadelphia is the better team, that doesn't necessarily translate to success.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Tennessee Titans -2.5 vs Oakland Raiders (Covers 54.3%), OVER 50.5 (Covers 55.1%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Half-Bet

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Oakland 24.8 - Tennessee 29.1
SU Pick and Win%: Tennessee wins 60.2%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #9
ATS Pick and Win%: Tennessee Titans -2.5 covers 54.3%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #8
ATS Wager for $50 player: $20
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (50.5) 55.1%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #6
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $29

The Teams: OAK TEN
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #4 #29
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #11 #13
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #5 #2
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #29 #21
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #19 #14
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Gareon Conley, CB, Oakland Raiders, Keith McGill, CB, Oakland Raiders, Tajae Sharpe, WR, Tennessee Titans

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 60% Oakland, 40% Tennessee; O/U Bets - 64% Over, 36% Under

Boxscore: Oakland Raiders, 25 @ Tennessee Titans, 29

Analysis: The Titans ended last season winning six of their last nine games, and we expect that trend to continue into this season. Tennessee has assembled arguably the best offensive line in the league, and that has allowed for their offense to become extremely efficient. Negative plays are very uncommon with the Titans offense, and they should have their way with an inferior Raiders front seven. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin are the lone highlights in an awful Oakland defense, but they are edge defenders who will be going up against arguably the best tackle tandem in the league in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Tennessee has the tools in place to neutralize the best players on Oakland's defense.

With Oakland's defense struggling to get stops, the Raiders are going to have to match points with the Titans. And while Derek Carr is more than capable of that, the edge that the Titans offense has over the Raiders defense exceeds the edge that the Raiders offense has over the Titans defense. Aside from Leshaun Sims at corner, the Titans do not have a below average defender, which makes them a sneaky good squad entering the season. Add in home field advantage for Tennessee, and they make for a decent play against-the-spread in Week 1.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 @ Houston Texans (Covers 53.9%), UNDER 39.5 (Covers 57.3%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Normal

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Jacksonville 15.9 - Houston 20.0
SU Pick and Win%: Houston wins 62.0%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #7
ATS Pick and Win%: Jacksonville Jaguars +5.5 covers 53.9%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #9
ATS Wager for $50 player: $16
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (39.5) 57.3%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #3
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $52

The Teams: JAC HOU
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #17 #14
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #27 #29
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #22 #20
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #11 #2
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #11 #13
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Carson Tinker, C, Jacksonville Jaguars, Alfred Blue, RB, Houston Texans, Will Fuller, WR, Houston Texans, Jaelen Strong, WR, Houston Texans, Wendall Williams, WR, Houston Texans

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 25% Jacksonville, 75% Houston; O/U Bets - 72% Over, 28% Under

Boxscore: Jacksonville Jaguars, 16 @ Houston Texans, 20

Analysis: It's a shame that Jacksonville still has the walking turnover machine, Blake Bortles, under center. With a league average quarterback, the Jags are likely a playoff team, but such is life.

While Bortles and his penchant to give games away certainly concerns us, it's difficult to not take the points against a pedestrian Texans offense. Houston enters the season with the 30th-ranked pass offense and 20th-ranked rush offense in our Team Rankings and that's not exactly what you're looking for when laying 5.5 points. And while it doesn't factor into our simulations, it's difficult to determine how much Hurricane Harvey may have affected the Texans' preparation for this week's matchup as well.

The strongest play in this contest is the UNDER. Houston and Jacksonville would be expected to score the 26th and 29th-most points on offense, respectively, against a league average defense, and neither of these defenses are league average. Houston surrendered the fewest yards in the league a season ago, and that was without J.J. Watt on the field. Meanwhile, a quick scan of Jacksonville's defense reveals very few weaknesses, and potentially one of the best cornerback duos in the league in A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey. Points will be hard to come by in Houston this week.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

New York Jets +9 @ Buffalo Bills (Covers 53.2%), OVER 40 (Covers 57.3%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Normal

The Vitals:

Projected Score: New York 18.0 - Buffalo 26.0
SU Pick and Win%: Buffalo wins 71.0%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #2
ATS Pick and Win%: New York Jets +9 covers 53.2%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #11
ATS Wager for $50 player: $9
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (40) 57.3%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #4
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $52

The Teams: NYJ BUF
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #19 #30
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #31 #26
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #19 #1
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #31 #22
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #9 #30
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Quincy Enunwa, WR, New York Jets, Jalin Marshall, WR, New York Jets, Lorenzo Mauldin, LB, New York Jets, Bryce Petty, QB, New York Jets, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, New York Jets, Lucky Whitehead, WR, New York Jets, Anquan Boldin, WR, Buffalo Bills, Seantrel Henderson, T, Buffalo Bills, Walter Powell, WR, Buffalo Bills

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 39% New York, 61% Buffalo; O/U Bets - 4% Over, 96% Under

Boxscore: New York Jets, 18 @ Buffalo Bills, 26

Analysis: Don't get us wrong—the Jets are a complete abomination. They may have the worst assembled roster of the past decade, having completely gutted their team in the offseason. But while the Jets were busy blowing things up, the Bills were doing the same, shipping stud wideout Sammy Watkins out of town. And while Buffalo certainly this has more firepower on both sides of the ball, asking the Jets to keep this game at a single-digit loss isn't unreasonable.

Buffalo's secondary in the nickel package consists of Shareece Wright, Leonard Johnson, E.J. Gaines, Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer. Yikes. Hyde was the only player of that group that wasn't below average a season ago. If there ever was a game where Josh McCown could find some success through the air, this is it, and there will be some added motivation for the veteran as there's a quarterback competition in New York.

Our simulation engine likes the output of both offenses when compared to the betting market right now. A total of 40 is too low when accounting for the complete lack of talent on these defenses, and while it may look ugly with these two offenses, we don't argue with value.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 1:00 PM ET:

Cleveland Browns +9 vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Covers 52.3%), OVER 47 (Covers 52.0%)
ATS Play Type: Not Playable
O/U Play Type: Not Playable

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Pittsburgh 28.2 - Cleveland 20.0
SU Pick and Win%: Pittsburgh wins 70.6%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #3
ATS Pick and Win%: Cleveland Browns +9 covers 52.3%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #13
ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (47) 52.0%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #15
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $0

The Teams: PIT CLE
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #6 #1
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #6 #28
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #4 #6
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #14 #26
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #12 #25
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Tank Carder, LB, Cleveland Browns, Danny Shelton, DT, Cleveland Browns, Howard Wilson, CB, Cleveland Browns

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 72% Pittsburgh, 28% Cleveland; O/U Bets - 22% Over, 78% Under

Boxscore: Pittsburgh Steelers, 28 @ Cleveland Browns, 20

Analysis: We have no opinion on the side or total in this one. Cleveland is an improved squad this year, but so is Pittsburgh, with Martavis Bryant returning to the fold on offense. The Browns are tempting as big divisional home pooches, but our model just doesn't see any value with DeShone Kizer making his first career start against an offensive powerhouse.


KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 4:05 PM ET:

Los Angeles Rams -3.5 vs Indianapolis Colts (Covers 51.4%), UNDER 41.5 (Covers 53.7%)
ATS Play Type: Not Playable
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Indianapolis 17.7 - Los Angeles 21.7
SU Pick and Win%: Los Angeles wins 60.2%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #10
ATS Pick and Win%: Los Angeles Rams -3.5 covers 51.4%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #14
ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (41.5) 53.7%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #10
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $14

The Teams: IND LA
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #28 #20
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #30 #32
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #24 #32
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #27 #12
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #29 #8
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts, Ryan Kelly, C, Indianapolis Colts, Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts, Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams, Lance Dunbar, RB, Los Angeles Rams, Dominique Easley, DT, Los Angeles Rams, Temarrick Hemingway, TE, Los Angeles Rams, Troy Hill, CB, Los Angeles Rams, Mike Thomas, WR, Los Angeles Rams

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 19% Indianapolis, 81% Los Angeles; O/U Bets - 43% Over, 57% Under

Boxscore: Indianapolis Colts, 18 @ Los Angeles Rams, 22

Analysis: The difference between Andrew Luck and Scott Tolzien is massive, to say the least. Indianapolis goes from scoring 27.2 points against a league average defense with Luck at the helm to just 20.2 points with Tolzien. The market has already reacted accordingly though, leaving no more value on the Rams.

The UNDER is worth a look here though. Even with Vontae Davis out of the lineup for the Colts, don't expect Jared Goff to light the world on fire. Goff was a check-down machine a season ago, posting an embarrassing 5.3 yards per pass attempt. The Rams went 0-7 in his seven starts, and while he figures to improve this season (there's nowhere to go but up), it's still a struggle to envision Goff having moderate success.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 PM ET:

Seattle Seahawks +3 @ Green Bay Packers (Covers 54.4%), UNDER 51 (Covers 53.1%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Seattle 23.9 - Green Bay 25.0
SU Pick and Win%: Green Bay wins 52.9%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #15
ATS Pick and Win%: Seattle Seahawks +3 covers 54.4%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #7
ATS Wager for $50 player: $21
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (51) 53.1%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #14
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $8

The Teams: SEA GB
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #27 #10
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #9 #7
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #16 #7
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #10 #24
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #1 #16
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: George Fant, T, Seattle Seahawks, DeShawn Shead, CB, Seattle Seahawks, Geronimo Allison, WR, Green Bay Packers

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 20% Seattle, 80% Green Bay; O/U Bets - 65% Over, 35% Under

Boxscore: Seattle Seahawks, 24 @ Green Bay Packers, 25

Analysis: A three-point spread implies that these teams are relative equals, but our model favors Seattle over Green Bay. While the Packers boast an incredible offense, the defense leaves much to be desired. Green Bay allowed a whopping 7.6 yards per pass attempt a season ago, and while some of that can be contributed to injuries on defense, there are once again major issues at cornerback this season.

The Seahawks' glaring weakness is their poor offensive line, but that is unlikely to be exploited by a Green Bay defense that doesn't have much pass rushing ability. Clay Matthews is a shell of his former self, which was one of the many reasons the Packers only managed a sack on less than 6% of quarterback dropbacks last season.

We can expect the Packers offense to score points, even against a defense as talented as Seattle's, but the only exploitable unit on the field on Sunday is Green Bay's defense, and that leads to an edge on the visitors.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 4:25 PM ET:

San Francisco 49ers +5.5 vs Carolina Panthers (Covers 50.7%), UNDER 47.5 (Covers 53.2%)
ATS Play Type: Not Playable
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Carolina 25.4 - San Francisco 20.2
SU Pick and Win%: Carolina wins 63.6%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #5
ATS Pick and Win%: San Francisco 49ers +5.5 covers 50.7%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #16
ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (47.5) 53.2%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #11
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $9

The Teams: CAR SF
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #5 #22
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #19 #24
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #17 #13
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #17 #28
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #7 #31
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Joshua Garnett, T, San Francisco 49ers, Malcolm Smith, LB, San Francisco 49ers, Joe Williams, RB, San Francisco 49ers

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 83% Carolina, 17% San Francisco; O/U Bets - 24% Over, 76% Under

Boxscore: Carolina Panthers, 25 @ San Francisco 49ers, 20

Analysis: Our engine doesn't have a play on the side, but we can turn to the UNDER for some value in Santa Clara this weekend.

Carolina's offense still has its fair share of issues, especially since they'll be relying on Matt Kalil to hold up at left tackle this season, which is unlikely. Christian McCaffrey in the backfield should provide a small boost, but there isn't much of a difference between this unit and the one that managed just 22.95 points per game a season ago. With the return of linebacker NaVorro Bowman and the addition of a solid group of defensive rookies through the draft, the 49ers defense will be improved, although still not great by any means.

Despite the issues on offense for the Panthers, their defense is in a strong position to succeed. Brian Hoyer is an upgrade at quarterback for San Fran, but he's still more of a game manager than anything else. Hoyer is unlikely to have the help of a solid running game against a Panthers defense that excels at stopping the run, making things much more difficult for him in Week 1. We don't see a whole lot of scores in this one.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Sunday, September 10 at 8:30 PM ET:

Dallas Cowboys -4 vs New York Giants (Covers 53.9%), UNDER 47.5 (Covers 53.1%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: New York 20.1 - Dallas 25.5
SU Pick and Win%: Dallas wins 64.0%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #4
ATS Pick and Win%: Dallas Cowboys -4 covers 53.9%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #10
ATS Wager for $50 player: $16
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (47.5) 53.1%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #13
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $8

The Teams: NYG DAL
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #16 #25
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #18 #4
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #30 #3
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #9 #19
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #2 #10
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Owa Odighizuwa, DE, New York Giants, Randy Gregory, DE, Dallas Cowboys, Anthony Hitchens, LB, Dallas Cowboys, David Irving, DE, Dallas Cowboys

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 78% New York, 22% Dallas; O/U Bets - 12% Over, 88% Under

Boxscore: New York Giants, 20 @ Dallas Cowboys, 26

Analysis: Ezekiel Elliott is now eligible to play this week, which is a boost for a Cowboys offense that will need their stud running back against a very stingy Giants run defense. New York had great success shutting down the Cowboys offense a season ago, so Dallas will definitely consider themselves lucky that Zeke is in the mix.

The status of Odell Beckham is still up in the air. For the purposes of this simulation, we have him playing on Sunday night; however, his absence could shift this even more in the Cowboys' favor. ODB averaged 13.5 yards per reception last season and that number could have been even larger had Eli Manning had some more time to throw the ball downfield.

Even assuming that Beckham does play, the Giants boast the worst tackle tandem in the league and it's difficult to envision Eli have any more time in the pocket than he did a year ago. The issues on the offensive line will also affect the running game, which was stagnant to say the least last year. The Cowboys defense is not good by any stretch of the imagination, but there's little reason to believe that the Giants offense will be any different than the flaccid offense we saw a year ago. The Cowboys and the UNDER both offer some value.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Monday, September 11 at 7:10 PM ET:

Minnesota Vikings -3.5 vs New Orleans Saints (Covers 50.9%), OVER 48 (Covers 54.0%)
ATS Play Type: Not Playable
O/U Play Type: Light

The Vitals:

Projected Score: New Orleans 23.3 - Minnesota 27.2
SU Pick and Win%: Minnesota wins 59.4%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #11
ATS Pick and Win%: Minnesota Vikings -3.5 covers 50.9%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #15
ATS Wager for $50 player: $0
O/U Pick and Win%: OVER (48) 54.0%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #8
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $17

The Teams: NO MIN
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #11 #26
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #5 #17
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #12 #29
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #32 #3
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #15 #18
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Terron Armstead, T, New Orleans Saints, Delvin Breaux, CB, New Orleans Saints, Dannell Ellerbe, LB, New Orleans Saints, Nick Fairley, DT, New Orleans Saints, Willie Snead, WR, New Orleans Saints, Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Minnesota Vikings, Michael Floyd, WR, Minnesota Vikings, Sharrif Floyd, DT, Minnesota Vikings

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 82% New Orleans, 18% Minnesota; O/U Bets - 24% Over, 76% Under

Boxscore: New Orleans Saints, 23 @ Minnesota Vikings, 27

Analysis: The Vikings defense may be one of the more overrated units in the league. After getting off to an incredible start a season ago, Minnesota played at a league average level for the second half of the season. For what is considered to be a great defense, there sure seems to be a lot of mediocrity, especially when the Vikings are forced into their nickel and dime packages. That's going to be a problem against a Saints offense that can spread it out, even with Willie Snead suspended.

The issue for New Orleans is that their defense is an absolute train wreck. With Delvin Breaux on the shelf again, the Saints defense is comprised of Cameron Jordan, Kenny Vaccaro, and a bunch of nothing. Minnesota's offense is known for being very vanilla, but Sam Bradford should have no problem dinking-and-dunking his way to points, especially since the Vikings have an improved running game as well this season. Expect some points on Monday night; we look to the OVER.



KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN

Monday, September 11 at 10:20 PM ET:

Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 @ Denver Broncos (Covers 54.7%), UNDER 43 (Covers 57.4%)
ATS Play Type: Light
O/U Play Type: Normal

The Vitals:

Projected Score: Los Angeles 18.6 - Denver 20.4
SU Pick and Win%: Denver wins 55.4%
Week 1 SU Confidence Rank: #12
ATS Pick and Win%: Los Angeles Chargers +3.5 covers 54.7%
Week 1 ATS Confidence Rank: #6
ATS Wager for $50 player: $24
O/U Pick and Win%: UNDER (43) 57.4%
Week 1 O/U Confidence Rank: #2
O/U Wager for $50 Player: $53

The Teams: LAC DEN
Straight-Up Record 0-0 0-0
Against-the-Spread Record 0-0 0-0
Over/Under Record 0-0 0-0
Avg. Points For vs. Against 0.0-0.0 0.0-0.0
Strength of Schedule Rank (of all NFL) #12 #2
PM Passing Efficiency Rank #8 #23
PM Rushing Efficiency Rank #28 #31
PM Pass Defense Efficiency Rank #16 #1
PM Rush Defense Efficiency Rank #4 #22
Actual Pass/Run Ratio 0.0%/0.0% #0.0%/0.0%
Turnover Margin 0 0

Injured Players: Forrest Lamp, T, Los Angeles Chargers, Tenny Palepoi, DE, Los Angeles Chargers, Denzel Perryman, LB, Los Angeles Chargers, Max Tuerk, T, Los Angeles Chargers, Mike Williams, WR, Los Angeles Chargers, Jake Butt, TE, Denver Broncos, Carlos Henderson, WR, Denver Broncos, Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos, Shane Ray, LB, Denver Broncos, Billy Winn, NT, Denver Broncos

Wagering Information: ATS Bets - 28% Los Angeles, 72% Denver; O/U Bets - 46% Over, 54% Under

Boxscore: Los Angeles Chargers, 19 @ Denver Broncos, 20

Analysis: Denver has historically dominated their series with the Chargers, but that doesn't play a factor in our simulations. This season should look a lot like last season for the Broncos. An elite defense can only do so much when the offense is incapable of moving the ball, and we simply have no faith in Trevor Siemian. L.A. (it feels weird to type that) can get after the quarterback with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, so we'd be shocked if Siemian finishes this game without at least one turnover.

It's weird to look at a healthy Chargers roster since they've been depleted for the better part of two seasons, but it actually looks quite solid on both sides of the ball. Philip Rivers continues to remain one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the league, and while he turned the ball over far too often last season, a large portion of that can be attributed to what he was working with on offense. San Diego's offensive line still remains an issue and that will affect them against a solid Broncos defense, which is why we strongly advise the UNDER here. But we also think that these teams are much closer than this line suggests, so we'll gladly grab the points with the far superior quarterback.

KC @ NE ARI @ DET ATL @ CHI BAL @ CIN PHI @ WAS OAK @ TEN JAC @ HOU NYJ @ BUF PIT @ CLE IND @ LA SEA @ GB CAR @ SF NYG @ DAL NO @ MIN LAC @ DEN