Carolina (-3) @ Denver
Niko: Two teams destined to take at least a small step back this season. I’m going to roll with Carolina to win the Super Bowl rematch, in what should be a low scoring slugfest.
Pete: Like Niko said, both of these teams are going to take a step back. Carolina is still hungover from their Super Bowl loss and I seriously question the mental fortitude of Cam Newton. Additionally, losing Josh Norman could potentially be a huge detriment to that defense. Nevertheless, Trevor Siemian was a third stringer last year and the defense has long some key pieces. Carolina pulls it off here.
Jordan: Like both guys said before, both of these teams are going to take a step back from last year. This game is going to be all hype with little to no excitement. Even with the loss of Josh Norman to that Carolina secondary, I'll take Cam Newton and Carolina over Trevor Siemian and the Broncos.
Tampa Bay (+3) @ Atlanta
Niko: I really liked Matt Ryan at BC. Loved him at school. At Boston College, he was great…. Catch my drift? I don’t trust the Falcons and Tampa Bay seems like they are going in the right direction. Very interested to see how Winston looks in year 2. Bucs upset Falcons on the road.
Pete: I don't think either team is necessarily good, but they are definitely trending in opposite directions. Atlanta has an veteran QB who may have lost a little something in Matt Ryan, while Jameis Winston looks like he could be a very viable option at the QB position. Bucs all the way.
Jordan: I truly think the Bucs made the right selection when they took Jameis Winston last year. Throughout the season, we saw him show flashes of being a potential top tier QB in the NFL. As for the Falcons; they caught lightning in a bottle last year with Devonta Freeman yet still missed the playoffs after a great start to the year. I love Matty Ice, but I'll the Bucs in this one.
Minnesota (-2) @ Tennessee
Niko: Minny vastly overpaid for Sam Bradford. That being said, for a team with playoff aspirations to lose their starting QB two weeks before the season opener, it’s an extremely difficult position. Tennessee is still in transition and should take a step forward this season, but the Vikings are better from top to bottom. They’ll cover on the road.
Pete: Really tough to see what happened to Teddy Bridgewater last week when we are so close to the regular season. Nonetheless, life goes on and the Vikings still have a pretty good team. I don't think Sam Bradford is a particularly good quarterback, and, to be completely honest with you, I hate the guy. GO LONGHORNS! That being said, I really like what the Titans are doing with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry, and I think Marcus Mariota will be able to flourish with less of a burden. This will be a tough, old-school type of game, but I think the Titans will pull off the upset at home.
Jordan: I don't think either of these teams pose much of a threat. But with the loss of Teddy Bridgewater to an ACL tear, the Vikes look like a team that is going to be tested this year. Now I don't think Teddy Two Gloves is a very good QB, but he sure as hell is better than Sam Bradford (LOL), and Shaun Hill. With Mariota and his tandom of Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray in the backfield. The Titans will excite some people and take this Week 1 matchup.
Cleveland (+4) @ Philadelphia
Niko: Philly has officially entered rebuilding mode, and Cleveland is still… looking for an identity. I, admittedly, have no idea what to expect of RG3 this season, but I do expect Philly to struggle especially in the early going while bringing Wentz along. I’ll take the points and roll with the Browns.
Pete: This game is a true toss-up, with both teams most likely picking high in the 2017 NFL Draft. With that being said, I don't trust RG3 enough to bet on him beating a better opponent on the road. Eagles by a TD.
Jordan: I think Niko put it nicely when he said Cleveland is looking for an 'identity." To put it simply, they suck. Then again, so does Philly; and with rookie Carson Wentz under center, I don't like his chances against even the Browns; expect at least 2 picks thrown. I have no clue what RG3 is anymore, but I'll roll with the points and the Browns.
Cincinnati (-2.5) @ New York Jets
Niko: One of the better games of the weekend. Two teams that should be in the wildcard mix come playoff time. I’ll go with Cincy doing the Pats a favor on the road, but wouldn’t recommend messing with this game betting wise.
Pete: Sneaky great game of the week. The Bengals will be looking to rebound last season with a healthy Andy Dalton, and I don't see a reason why they won't be able to handle the Jets with relative ease. I don't trust Ryan Fitzpatrick all that much and think key guys, like Darrelle Revis and Matt Forte, are overpaid and over the hump. Cincy in a close one.
Jordan: I expect the Jets to come out of the gates with a little more motivation and hype since it takes a legend getting suspended for any other team in the AFC East to even dream about winning the division. However, I expect that hype to lead to some bonehead plays on the defensive side of the ball; leading to a Cincy victory.
Oakland (+1) @ New Orleans
Niko: Interesting game here. New Orleans was an abomination on defense last season, and if Oakland’s young guys (Carr, Cooper, etc.) can improve as they’re expected to, the Raiders could have an explosive offense. I’ll take the Raiders in a shoot out, with Khalil Mack and co. doing just enough to keep Brees and the Saints’ offense off balance to seal the deal.
Pete: Gotta agree with Niko here. I think the Raiders could threaten for a playoff spot this season, and maybe even win the AFC West if all goes according to plan. Unlike the Saints, who mostly have old veteran players, the Raiders have a nice mix of young stars just entering their prime (Amari Cooper, Derek Carr) and vocal veterans that are looking to lead (Michael Crabtree, Sean Smith). Raiders will open our eyes with this one.
Jordan: What sucks about this game is that I have both of the starting QBs in my Fantasy leagues; but to be honest, this Raiders team is sick. I love their young core of Carr, Cooper, and Latavius Murray. Only issue is losing the veteran presence of Charles Woodson in the secondary. That being said, Raiders will win this one in a slugfest.
San Diego (+7) @ Kansas City
Niko: This is a lot of points, especially for a divisional rivalry. On the other hand, Arrow Head is notoriously difficult to visit, as Patriots fans remember quite well. I’ll roll with the Chiefs to just barely cover here at home.
Pete: Really hate what I am seeing here with the Chargers. Veterans like Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates deserve more than this. There is no shot that San Diego can knock off the Chiefs here at home.
Jordan: Like Pete said, Rivers and Gates deserve way better than what they're getting in San Diego. And with this game being in KC, I don't see the Chargers coming close to knocking off the Chiefs.
Buffalo (+3) @ Baltimore
Niko: Week 1 you ALWAYS roll with Rex, unless he’s playing NE. I don’t want that playoff guaranteeing post game presser, I need it. Buffalo upsets the Ravens on the road.
Pete: Another candidate for sneaky great game of the week. Baltimore has improved from last season and are finally healthy, but they are relying on old veterans like Terrell Suggs, Eric Weddle and Joe Flacco. Meanwhile, Buffalo doesn't have the same talent, but I wouldn't be surprise if Tyrod Taylor comes out guns blazing as he tries to live up to that massive contract he just signed. Buffalo in a good one.
Jordan: It can't get much worse than the 2015-16 Baltimore Ravens, and as we move towards 2016-17, a couple of names stick out to me; Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett. If those two can be effective, the Ravens should be able to be competitive this year. As for this game, I have to take Rex and the Bills.
Chicago (+6) @ Houston
Niko: Houston spent a ton of cake this offseason, and with that comes great expectations. If you can’t beat the Bears at home, you have major issues. I’ll give them that much credit and roll with the Texans.
Pete: Agree with everything that Niko said. Lamar Miller, Brock Osweiler, Braxton Miller, and Will Fuller are just some of offensive names that have joined Bill O'Brien in Texas. Additionally, JJ Watt appears ready to go. Texans.
Jordan: Agree with what the guys said before. The amount of loot on the books from Houston this offseason was serious. Plus the additions of Braxton Miller and Will Fuller, the Texans look good. If that wasn't enough to convince you for at least week one, they're facing the Bears. Texans.
Green Bay (-4.5) @ Jacksonville
Niko: Jacksonville should be much improved this season, but the Jaguars need to crawl before they can walk. Aaron Rodgers welcomes back Jordy Nelson with two scores and Green Bay gets it done in style on the road.
Pete: A lot of people have already said that Green Bay is destined to win a Super Bowl this season, but I am coming in here to pump the breaks on that, at least for a little bit. Jordy Nelson is coming back from a serious ACL injury and Aaron Rodgers' sphincter tightens up whenever he faces any type of pressure. That said, they are a better team than the Jaguars, but this may be a lot closer than we all think.
Jordan: Every week I leave one head-scratching prediction, this is the one. I like the Bortles led Jags with options like Julius Thomas, Allen Hurns, and Allen Robinson. Plus with TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory in the backfield, the sky is the limit for this team. Jaguars take this one by anywhere between a FG and a TD.
Miami (+10.5) @ Seattle
Niko: This game shouldn’t be close. Miami continues to spend big money each offseason for incremental (at best) improvements. Seattle runs away with this one at home, covering the 10 and change.
Pete: Should be a relatively easy game for Seattle, but they have lost some significant pieces on both sides of the football as of late. I am not sure if they will be able to be as dominant as they have been in the past couple of years. It will be an interesting season for the Hawks.
Jordan: Can anyone else not wait until Miko Grimes gets pissed on Twitter again? This year it will be quick; Seattle runs away with it and absolutely crushes the Dolphins.
New York Giants (pick’em) @ Dallas
Niko: Interesting game. Dallas’ entire rookie backfield vs. New York’s suddenly very expensive defense is an interesting storyline, but may not end up being the deciding factor in this one. Half of the Cowboys defense seems suspended; the other half just plain stinks. I’m rolling with the G-men to outshoot the ‘Boys at JerryWorld in what should be a very entertaining one.
Pete: The Giants spent so much money on defense this winter, I would be amazed if they came out of the gate in the 2016 season with a loss against the Tony Romo-less Cowboys.
Jordan: I'm going to make the old man proud of me here. Even with Romo out, Dak Prescott and Ezequiel Elliot are going to be legit and I think the home atmosphere will be enough to lead the charge for the Boys in Week One. #DoYourJobGate
Detroit (+4) @ Indianapolis
Niko: I can’t stand it, but I have to pick Indy here. As bad as the Colts are, they should be able to cover this line at home against the impossible to predict Lions.
Pete: With the retirement of Calvin Johnson, I am not sure how the Lions will look this season. I loved the addition of Marvin Jones, but is that enough to propel them into relevancy? My guess is no. Indy in a close game, but Andrew Luck will not play well.
Jordan: The Lions will absolutely miss Megatron this season, and they will definitely show that Week One. I have to go with Indy at home.
New England (+6) @ Arizona
Niko: Give me the points. Defense should keep this one close, no matter what happens. Pats cover.
Pete: That spread is absurd. It is borderline disrespectful. The Patriots' defense will keep them in this game and, similar to Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer suffers from an obtuse case of Sphincter Shrinker Syndrome. Terrible disease. Pats cover the spread, not sure yet if they win the game.
Jordan: Sigh. I didn't think I would see another QB start for the Pats in Week One for at least another couple years. That being said, I agree with Pete. Palmer is a pansy and tends to shrink in big games. Defense keeps it entertaining. Pats cover, victory still in question.
Pittsburgh (-3) @ Washington
Niko: I don’t see how Washington can consistently force Pitt to punt. I’ll take the Steelers to cover on the road in what should be a high scoring affair.
Pete: This is the game of the week, in my opinion. Washington is vastly improved, and the Steelers will be without Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant. This is a toss up to me, but I am going to pick the Redskins just to spite Ben Roethlisberger. Douchebag.
Jordan: As much as I hate Big Ben, the dude can ball. Unless against the Pats, I have a really hard time seeing them lose a Week One affair. That being said, no Bell or Bryant could kill this team on Monday. I see the Redskins pulling this one out.
Los Angeles (-2.5) @ San Francisco
Niko: Kind of a gross Monday Night game, but Todd Gurley will certainly make or break some fantasy weeks here at the buzzer. Plus, I’m pretty curious to see how Chip Kelly’s second go-around works out. I’ll go with LA to win their first of 7 games.
Pete: LA all the way. Screw San Francisco and that prick Kaepernick.
Jordan: I hate everything about this game. But for sake of the argument, I'll take a QB who stands for the Anthem any day, LA all day baby!