Saturday, September 9, 2017

Week 1 NFL Picks Against the Spread (Yanotchko)

Every week, four of our contributors pick between two and five games each and assign a number of units (one to five) to their selection based on their confidence in the pick.

Earlier today, John Trifone made his Week 1 NFL picks against the spread. Now, it's Dan Yanotchko's turn.

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With that said, here are Dan's Week 1 NFL picks against the spread:

Atlanta Falcons -6.5 over Chicago Bears (4 Units)

Everyone says that the Super Bowl Hangover is for real, and quite a few people expect the Falcons to flop this year. While I think they will not be as great on offense as they were last year, in part due to the departure of offensive coordinator Kyle Shananhan, I still see Atlanta coming out strong against a fairly weak Bears team, who will be down their top receiver Cameron Meredith for the year.

The Bears secondary was awful last year, as they allowed 22 TDs and certainly were in the bottom tier of ball hawkers with only eight interceptions. I think this will be a big day for Matt Ryan & Co., as Mike Glennon just does not have the weapons and ability to hang with this caliber of a team.

Los Angeles Rams -4.5 over Indianapolis Colts (4 Units)

The Rams will have a fresh start with new coach Sean McVay, and they will look to have a bounce-back year after last year's dismal results. The Rams boast a great defense, and even without All-Pro Aaron Donald, they will get a massive boost with coordinator Wade Phillips coming to town.

The Colts will struggle as Andrew Luck is still on the shelf with a shoulder injury and journeyman Scott Tolzein will start in his stead. He will have an uphill battle against a Rams defense that only allowed opposing passers 223 yards per game last year.

I also look for a big game from Todd Gurley, who gets a great matchup against an Indy rush defense that allowed 4.7 yards per carry and 120 yards per game last year.

New York Jets +8.5 over Buffalo Bills (4 Units)

I know it looks like the Jets are trying to be the 76ers by tanking and going though The Process, but there are just too many question marks still about this Bills team that makes this matchup stand out to me. The Jets were successful last year against the Bills, as they went 2-0 against them. Also the Bills have a decimated passing attack with a hobbled Tyrod Taylor, and new receiver Jordan Matthews. The Bills really run the ball well, but they will be going against a Jets defense that is strong against the run, as they only allowed 3.7 yards per carry and 98.8 yards per game last year.

The Jets have no receivers of note, and will start old wily veteran Josh McCown, but they have a great matchup on the ground against Bills defense that gave up 133 yards per game and 4.6 yards per attempt last year. I look for a big day by both Bilal Powell and Matt Forte, and they will keep this game close.

Related: Powell was Dan's pick in our Week 1 DFS Round Table post.

All of our NFL picks against the spread will be centralized here.

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