NFL Best Bets for Week 1|
September 7th 2016 - Old Man Winner
Hou -6 vs. Chi
Welcome to a fresh NFL wagering season, where we all start the season
undefeated! Remember your hurdle rate for the year, boys. The number is 52.4%.
That is the percentage of time you need to win in order to clear the juice/vig
hurdle. I've cleared it for six years in a row. How about you?
I love week #1 in the NFL. I find it one of the easiest weeks to pick games.
There is no in-season stats to lean on, no sense of how team's looked 'last
week', and no expert pickers . . . yet! While most analysts these days love to
lean on all the data and numbers, I enjoy doing the qualitative work of trying
to figure out how new coaches and new schemes will impact teams with new players
and sometimes even playing in new stadiums, alla Minnesota this year.
Traditionally, week #1 is filled with underdogs that cover. That is not always
the case, but it happens more often than not. And, with that said, I do like a
lot of dogs this week to cover or even outright win their games. However, my
best bet this week is being played in Houston and I will be on the favorite.
I am from Chicago, and I normally try to love my Bears, but these are not my
Bears. Over the past decade this team has had as many Offensive Coordinators as
Jay Cutler has smoked cigarettes in a day. Ya, that's a lot! Look, Cutler lost
his competitive fire years ago and is now just playing out his contract. They
lost three starters on the offensive line and Kyle Long, their best starter, has
been banged up. Their line is currently ranked as one of the five worst in the
league. They also lost their pro bowl running back, Matt Forte, to free agency.
He had the full compliment of skills (running, catching, and blocking). They now
turn that duty over to a relatively unknown commodity in Jeremy Langford. He
most certainly does not share those same skills as Forte. Their receiving
options are super questionable as well with Jeffery, Kevin White, and Eddie
Royal - all who have a history of injuries. The outstanding Houston defense,
especially their front seven, should destroy any offensive rhythm the Bears may
try to establish. I saw Vince Wilfork live in the pre-season and he looks to
have put on a few more pounds (I know, you didn't think that was possible). He
will stop any runs between the tackles and outside linebackers Clowney and
Mercilous will stop anything to the outside. JJ Watt appears to be ready to go
and should disrupt any dropbacks. I simply don't see how the Bears score in this
On the other side of the ball, Houston's offensive line ranks in the top third
of the league and the offense has picked up several exciting new weapons,
including a big improvement at RB with Lamar Miller, a proven three down back.
They have also added two new rookie receivers, in Will Fuller and Braxton
Miller, that both looked great in the pre-season. And, obviously, their new
quarterback Brock Osweiler should be a definite improvement over what they had
last year. They should destroy an awful Bear defense that will struggle all day
against a much more physical line. Expect the Texans to establish the run and
for Miller to have a big day, while at the same time beating the Bears deep a
few times after their safeties start to cheat up.
I also give the coaching edge to Bill O' Brien. He is tough minded and learned
from his time in New England to have the team well-prepared coming into game
one. John Fox is a one-trick pony - only good when he can play defense and pound
the ball. He doesn't have that team this year . . very far from it.
I expect Houston to score early and often in this one and for Cutler to be
throwing picks by early in the 3rd quarter.
Hou 37 Chi 17
Bonus Pick: I also love the LA/SF UNDER 44.5 total points play this week. I just
can't see how two very weak offenses can get to 45 pts. in this one. Take the