So what the start of the 2016 NFL regular season is still months away from getting underway. Thanks to the Week 1 NFL regular season odds that are now being offered to pro football bettors across the globe, you can cash in on regular season NFL odds right now! Okay, let’s get started with my top betting picks for Week 1.
Analysis: The Panthers are the easy pick in this Week 1 opener for several reasons. First and foremost, the Panthers will have a ton of motivation after losing to the Broncos 24-10 in Super Bowl 50. Carolina will also be facing mediocre quarterback Mark Sanchez and that gives them a big edge under center. The Panthers are 7-3 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 road games, but they’ve also lost two straight away from home.
The Pick: Carolina -3
Sunday, Sept. 11
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, 48)
Analysis: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heading in a new direction under first-year head coach Dirk Koetter while Atlanta looks to improve on the respectable 8-8 campaign they had in Dan Quinn’s first season a year ago. Matt Ryan and the Falcons got off to a fantastic 5-0 start last season before collapsing in a big way to finish at .500. Atlanta will be looking for a bit of revenge after losing to the Bucs 23-20 at home last season and failing to cover the NFL betting line as an 8-point favorite. Still, with Tampa Bay losing seven of its L/10 home games, the Falcons are the pick to get the ‘W’ in this important early season NFC South divisional battle.
The Falcons are just 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games as a favorite of four points or less, but I believe it’s going to take Jameis Winston and the rebuilding Buccaneers some time to find their new persona under the offensive-minded Koetter after playing for a defensive genius in Lovie Smith last season.
The Pick: Atlanta -3.5
Minnesota Vikings (-3, 42.5) at Tennessee Titans
Analysis:Let’s see…the Minnesota Vikings are coming off an 11-win campaign and NFC North division title while the pitiful Tennessee Titans are looking to improve on their three-win season in quarterback Marcus Mariota’s rookie campaign last season. The Vikes are expected to contend for another division title if not much more in 2016 while Tennessee will look to approach a half-dozen wins under new head coach Mike Mularkey. Minnesota added gifted wide receiver Laquon Treadwell to help improve its passing attack while Tennessee brought in veteran running back DeMarco Murray and drafted offensive tackle Jack Conklin to help protect their prized young signal-caller.
It won’t matter much that the Titans are playing at home in this one. The Vikings have won five of their last six road games and are a bankroll-boosting 9-1 ATS in their last 10 road games overall. Conversely, the Titans are just 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 home games.
The Pick: Minnesota -3
Cincinnati Bengals (PK, 43.5) at New York Jets
Analysis: I really like Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles and I was super impressed by the surprising 10-6 mark he recorded in his first season a year ago, but I’m absolutely stunned that the Jets are a Pick ‘Em in this contest. The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to contend for the AFC Championship this coming season and they’ve got plenty of motivation after seeing their 2015 campaign end on a bad, injury-riddled note last season.
Right now, the Jets have a quarterback situation that can best be described as ‘tenuous’ a best while Andy Dalton and the Bengals have compiled a consistent 8-2 ATS in their last 10 road games. I know New York is 5-1 SU in their last six home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home dates, but the Bengals are the better team on both sides of the ball, particularly offense.
The Pick: Cincinnati as a Pick ‘Em