Week 1 is finally here! It all kicks off on Thursday when the Bears host the Packers to get things started for the 100th season of the National Football League. Let’s be honest, everyone needs to get their action on Sunday one way or another. Many of us have our favorite team, fantasy teams, and DraftKings teams, but that doesn’t stop us from putting a few bucks down on some bets as well. Here are some of my favorite Week 1 bets…
Chiefs -3.5 @ Jaguars
Photo credit: CBS Sports
Most people would say the Chiefs or the Patriots are the best team in the AFC. Meanwhile the Jags are coming off a 5-11 season. Back in March, they went out and signed former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles (still makes me sick saying that as a Patriots fan). It’s important to note that they also lost former Pro Bowler Telvin Smith… and I think this is going to be a big factor in this game. Smith was one of the best coverage linebackers in the NFL. He’d constantly be matched-up with RBs and TEs. Other than throwing the deep ball to Tyreek Hill, what does Pat Mahomes love to do? He loves throwing to the best TE in the league (Travis Kelce) and he loves getting the RBs involved in quick screens and wheel routes. Andy Reid teams constantly come out of the gates hot. The Chiefs haven’t lost a game under Reid in September since 2016. They’re also 14-6 against the spread in September since he took over. The Chiefs are clearly among the Super Bowl favorites and to get them as 3.5 favorites, against a new look Jags team, feels like a steal.
Rams @ Panthers +3
Photo Credit: SB Nation
The Panthers were one of the more disappointing teams in the NFL last year. They started out 6-2, and would go on to lose 7 of their last 8 games finishing 7-9. Meanwhile, the Rams are the defending NFC Champions. Vegas is giving the Rams the respect they earned last season as they come into this game as 3-point favorites. I actually like the Panthers in this battle. A big reason for the Panthers downfall last season was Cam Newton’s shoulder injury. He had surgery in the off-season and all indications out of training camp are that he looks back to 100%. The Panthers also added Gerald McCoy to pair up front with stud DT Kawann Short. The combination of Short, McCoy, and Luke Kuechly should give the Panthers one of the better rushing defenses in the league. The Rams love to run the ball and they could run into some issues with the Panthers potentially stout run D and their own offensive line changes. As we saw at times last season, you don’t want to put the game completely in Jared Goff’s hands. Lastly, for people who like trends, the previous year’s Super Bowl losers are 3-16 ATS in their last 19 season openers and an even more putrid 1-12 ATS spread on the road since 2000 (courtesy of OddsShark.com). The Panthers are my favorite under the radar team in the NFC this year. Watch out for them!
Steelers @ Patriots UNDER 50.5 total points
Photo Credit: International Business Times
As a die-hard Patriots fan, I know a lot about this team and follow them very closely. I also took a big interest in the Steelers this off-season. I’m very curious to see how they look following the departures of AB and Lev Bell. I think that these teams feature two of the most underrated defenses coming into the season… especially the Pats. They are as deep as ever in the secondary, hence the trades of Keion Crossen and Duke Dawson, two 2nd year corners they had to give up due to their depth at this position. I expect Michael Bennett to be a more than serviceable replacement for Trey Flowers. The Steelers have a lot going for them as well on the defensive side of the ball. T.J. Watt became one of the best pass-rushers in the league last year, amassing 13 sacks. They also added STUD! rookie LB Devin Bush out of Michigan to replace the gap left behind by the Ryan Shazier injury. I think T.J. Watt and crew could cause some issues for the Pats O-line. Sunday will be Patriots’ LT Isaiah Wynn’s first NFL game. They’re also dealing with the loss of C David Andrews, who will most likely be replaced by Ted Karras. I expect the Pats to try win this game on the ground and with their defense. The Pats top 3 wideouts in Edelman, Josh Gordon, and DT, all had their first pre-season action last week, so I don’t envision Bill trying to win this game on TB12’s shoulders with 3 wideouts that didn’t have many training camp reps. As I touched on earlier, the Pats have one of the most underrated defenses in the NFL, and I expect Big Ben and crew to have some struggles finding the end zone. I see this game finishing somewhere around 24-17. The Under of 50.5 is one of my favorite plays of the week.
Enjoy week 1 everybody!! FOOTBALL IS BACK!