NFL 6 Pack – Week 1 Picks Against the Spread

Broncos Demaryius Thomas

The NFL season is finally here! And that means lazy Sunday’s on the couch, all the fantasy football you can handle and picking games! Each week on NFL 6 Pack, Aaron Marcotte and I will each pick three games.

Check out our Week 1 picks against the spread!

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Kyle’s Picks

Denver Broncos -3 vs Seattle Seahawks

I’m all in on the Denver Broncos this season. The biggest upgrade for 2018? Denver has gone from a flaming turnstyle at the quarterback position to Case Keenum, who proved a season ago to be much more than serviceable. The Broncos also added Royce Freeman who should add a dynamic weapon out of the backfield and add a new wrinkle to the offense.

The Broncos also took huge strides on the defensive side of the ball. They added Bradley Chubb to play along with Von Miller. Derek Wolfe is also back on the field after missing time a season ago. When Denver was at its best, they had Miller and Demarcus Ware wrecking shop in the opposing backfields.

I love the prices on Denver to win the Super Bowl, AFC, and AFC West if you are looking for some value in the futures market.

This week they take on the Seattle Seahawks. Offensively they should be fine with Russell Wilson guiding the ship but all of his weapons have issues. Rashaad Penny is banged up and Chris Carson will start. The pass catchers are a huge mystery outside of Doug Baldwin who is 80% to start the season per him.

Don’t even get me started on their defense. Outside of Bobby Wagner, who knows how they will play. Their secondary has been depleted losing Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas.

I expect the Broncos defense to create havoc in the Seattle backfield and their offense to put up enough points to win comfortably at home covering the 3 points with ease.

Kansas City Chiefs +3 at Los Angeles Chargers

All off-season the buzz surrounding the Chargers has been hard to avoid. They are a dark horse Super Bowl pick for many pundits. Everyone is all in on the Chargers and because of that, I am out!

The injury bug has not done them any favors during the off-season. They have lost one of Philip Rivers favorite targets in Hunter Henry and their top corner Jason Verrett for the season. Old man Gates is back for one more rodeo.

The Chiefs enter 2018 improved offensively adding Sammy Watkins, who I don’t love for fantasy but provides a field stretcher and another deep target for Patrick Mahomes, who will be under center this season.

The defense is still TBD losing Marcus Peters, Derrick Johnson and more. The return of Eric Berry should help.
I expect the KC offensive line to be able to do enough to negate the strong Charger pass rush and the Chiefs to get huge week 1 win. The Mahomes era is getting started with a bang!

New York Giants +3 vs Jacksonville Jaguars

This match-up is all about regression to the mean for me. The Giants are not nearly as bad as we saw a season ago. Offensively they give Eli Manning a full complement of weapons including a healthy Odell Beckham Jr, a outright lock for rookie of the year in Saquon Barkley in addition to Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard. Eli is a different QB when he has reliable weapons. His offensive line should be vastly improved as well.

As for Sir Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville Jaguars, i expect them to come back to earth a bit. I think the defense will still be strong but the offense is missing Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns who left in free agency. Marqise Lee is done for the season after getting injured in the preseason. That means a lot of Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

I will gladly take the home team getting points in Week 1. The Giants start their climb to the top of the NFC East in Week 1!

Mike Ehrmann – Getty Images

Aaron’s Picks

Carolina Panthers -2.5 vs. Dallas Cowboys

Am I the only one that feels like the Cowboys aren’t going to be great this year on the offensive side of the ball? Even though Dez and Witten were past their prime last year, I still feel like they lost the entire receiving core. I think the Boys will pull it together as the year goes on, but I don’t think Dak has a go-to guy at this point. Zeke should get his touches and earn his 100 yards, but going into Carolina against the Cams is going to be a struggle. I see this as an established team at home, with a couple of young guys getting better and better (McCaffrey, Funchess), along with the return of Greg the (broken) Leg. I think the Panthers come out strong to start this season and make a statement that the NFC South is theirs to lose.

Denver Broncos -3 vs. Seattle Seahawks

This may be classified as a homer-pick now that I live in Denver, but this one is a no-brainer for me. Denver has a good majority of their team returning this year (on both sides of the ball) and upgraded at the key positions they were weak at last year. Case Keenum is serviceable enough to throw when needed but is also a smart QB who can let the ground-and-pound game take hold of the game. Royce Freeman looked more than capable this preseason to handle the workload required of him. Seattle, on the other hand, lost a huge chunk of their defense. Baldwin is banged up and the backfield saga has no clarity to speak of. The Seahawks have the firepower to keep this game close, but I see Denver controlling this game from the kickoff and not looking back.

Baltimore Ravens -7.5 @ Buffalo Bills

This pick isn’t just about picking against the Bills… even though that would be easy to do with Peterman starting at the helm for the Bills. The Ravens made some nice off-season moves acquiring Crabtree and John Brown, which should help this offense really take flight. Flacco is going to come out gunning as he can practically smell Lamar Jackson waiting in his jockstrap for the starting role. Buffalo’s line is looking decimated with 3 starters injured. Couple that with McCoy nursing an injury (as usual) and this offense is going to look anemic. It would be too easy to talk about what happened in Peterman’s debut last year, so I’ll just leave this here and let it speak for itself.

Good luck this week!

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