By: 3GTS Staff Writers | Sept 8 2016 | 6:20PM ET
It’s amazing how fast time flies with the NFL season already upon us! Expanding on our success from last year where each of us provided you with 5 NFL picks each week, this upcoming season we will provide you with every pick for every game! Keep in mind we are picking each game utilizing the point spreads set in Las Vegas. In addition to our picks, we will each provide analysis for our 3 “Locks of the Week”.
The below is the schedule for Week 1, with our picks shown directly to the right. The teams that are highlighted are our individual “Locks of the Week.” Read further below to see why we each chose these games!
Zac’s 3 Locks of the Week:
Minnesota at Tennessee (+2): On paper, the Vikings looked every bit a playoff contender coming into this season until QB Teddy Bridgewater suffered his season ending knee injury in practice. The Vikings still boast a solid offense and defense, but with Shaun Hill (or Sam Bradford) being thrown into Week 1 as the starting QB, they will have their hands full against a Titans team that has looked very good in preseason. On offense for the Titans, expect Marcus Mariota and the running back tandem of DeMarco Murray & Derrick Henry to find success. I expect this to be a close game but the underdog Titans outright winning this game.
Pittsburgh at Washington (+3): The Redskins open up the season as 3 point underdogs at home to the Steelers on Monday Night Football. There are many key match-ups in this game but the biggest one will be the Redskins Josh Norman (league’s highest paid CB), facing off against the Steeler’s WR Antonio Brown (136 receptions; 1,834 yards, 10 tds in 2015). The Steelers, however, will be without running back La’Veon Bell (suspension) in addition to losing WR Martavis Bryant for the year due to suspension. The Redskins offense, playing in prime time at home, will need the 3 points Vegas is giving them, but will be a lock for betting purposes to come away with this one.
Carolina (-3) at Denver: This game has a much different feel than the rematch of last year’s Super Bowl 50, which saw the Broncos defeat the Panthers 24-10 in convincing fashion. With the retirement of Peyton Manning, 2015 7th round draft pick Trevor Siemian will get the start under center behind an offensive line that is returning just 1 of 5 starters (center Matt Paradis) from last year’s Super Bowl victory. Although the Panthers defensive secondary is inexperienced, the Panthers offense should help carry the team Thursday night with a solid ground attack and the return of Kelvin Benjamin at WR.
Jose’s 3 Locks of the Week:
Atlanta (-3) vs Tampa Bay: Them Dirty Birds are going to fly this weekend! Well… mainly Julio Jones, but yea FLY!!! I expect JuJo (that’s right, i coined the nickname, lol) to blast off this season potentially breaking single season receiving yards record currently held by Megatron, but JuJo’s in second place at the moment. I like Jameis Winston this year coupled with Evans/Jackson as targets to make some points on the board.
Green Bay (-5) at Jacksonville: Rodgers to Nelson is going to be said A LOT… I mean, EVERY. SINGLE. GAME! Nelson is back healthier and ready to contribute. Rodgers has history with Nelson and both are telepathically connected. And when opponents have triple coverage on Nelson there’s Cobb as another good option for Mr. Rodgers.
New England at Arizona (-6): Ok, so call me Mr. Obvious but Brady being out does cause some issues (although Pat’s HC Belichick is going to do what he always do…win) But this time it’s going to be closer.
Jeremy’s 3 Locks of the Week:
NY Giants (Even) at Dallas: The Giants are coming off a very disappointing season in which it seemed like they lost all 10 games in the last minute (not far from the truth). They went crazy in free agency on the defensive side of the ball at all 3 levels. The only glaring weakness on paper is the right side of the offensive line. They did nothing to address the issues they had last season. Eli will have to be on his toes, but had his best statistical year last year even under pressure. The Cowboys need to put Tony Romo in a bubble, the guy just can’t stay on the field anymore. With a rookie QB in his 1st game I have to go with my G-Men here in a big win to start the season off right!!
Detroit at Indianapolis (-4): This spread is a little puzzling to me. Is Vegas daring us to take the Colts? Andrew Luck is healthy and the team looks like middle of the pack. The Lions on the other hand lost one of the best WR’s in the NFL to early retirement in Megatron. I could be wrong, but I see this as at least a TD+ win at home for the Colts. Lock it up for my pick of the week.
Pittsburgh (-3) at Washington: Big Ben to Antonio Brown all day. I don’t care that Josh Norman is in Washington. He is slightly overrated, like most “shut down” corners. The NFL has made this a WR league, so CB’s have their hands tied. Let Bell rest up for a few weeks during his suspension and be ready for the stretch run. I think the Steelers could be AFC Championship bound if their key players stay healthy.