Top 5 Pick’em
Los Angeles -2.5 (@ San Francisco) – A new city, a new QB (although not starting yet… or even dressing), and a new season. The Rams were able to put together some great wins in 2015 against some solid opponents, including a shocking win against the Seahawks in Week 1. Expect Todd Gurley to control the clock and have his way with the 49ers defense. This is also a great matchup for the Rams defense against Blaine Gabbert and company.
Jacksonville +4.5 (vs. Green Bay) – Look for Blake Bortles and the passing game to take it down a couple notches this year. The Jaguars will have a more rounded offense in 2016 with the addition of Chris Ivory to the backfield, but their improved defense will carry some of the burden as well. I expect this game to be high scoring, but still very close.
Minnesota -2 (@ Tennessee) – This matchup is similar to the Rams/49ers game. It is all about Adrian Peterson and the Vikings defense. Shaun Hill or Sam Bradford, both steps down from Teddy Bridgewater, won’t greatly impact this game barring a lot of turnovers.
New York Giants 0 (@ Dallas) – The Giants have shown for multiple years that they can win in Dallas. The loss of Tony Romo is huge, and while Dak Prescott looked fun in the preseason, he is still a 4th round rookie. Ezekiel Elliott looks like a beast and probably will be, but is also just a rookie. I’m surprised the Giants aren’t favored.
Houston -6 (vs. Chicago) – The Texans have had one of the most exciting offseasons this year and their offense benefited the most. Lamar Miller is getting a shot as a true #1 running back, Brock Osweiler is guaranteed to be an upgrade at QB, and Will Fuller looks to take some pressure off of DeAndre Hopkins at wide receiver. J.J. Watt also looks like he’ll be suiting up to lead the defense against the always flustered Jay Cutler.
Top Survivor Pick
Seattle (vs. Miami) – Week 1 is always tricky when it comes to survivor and a wrong choice actually does end your season before it really gets going. The Seahawks are the most popular pick this week and also carry the crown of heaviest favorite – normally two stay away signs. Despite that, it’s hard to ignore the Seahawks at home when all of the other matchups have varying amounts of uncertainty.
Green Bay (@ Jacksonville) – See above. The Packers are the second most popular pick this week.