The NFL is back for another season and back to normality with crowds back in the stands at full capacity. Week 1 is normally to watch and learn, but there are a few betting opportunities that really stick out.
San Francisco 49ers v Detroit Lions
3 am Melbourne time
The 49ers are my pick to win the Superbowl this year now that they are fully healthy after last years disaster injury run where 31 of their 53 man roster missed a game through injury. They have an insane amount of weapons with Kittle, Aiyuk and of course Jimmy G at Quarterback all return to the offence. On the defence, Warner leads an impressive outfit that welcomes young superstar Nick Bosa back after injury. This is a championship team on paper, and even though the line of 8.5 is certainly big, the Lions are absolutely awful and replace a solid QB in Stafford with Goff, who was bang on average with one of the best offences in football, now comes to a team that ranked 2nd last in offensive efficiency, only better than the Texans who are a chance to not win a game this season. The 49ers should win this by double figures in a canter, but with it being round 1 and no risks wanting to be taken, we’ll tread with caution around a big number
Back the San Francisco 49ers -8.5 at $1.90 for 1 unit.
NY Jets v Carolina Panthers
3 am Melbourne time
Really interesting market here. The Panthers opened a -3.5 favourite, which was immediately bet all the way to 5.5 indicating very sharp action on the Panthers. However in the last few days the money has been all for the Jets, and now we’re back at the opening line of 3.5. The Panthers at home with a new Quarterback in Darnold under centre who gets away from the horrible Jets and now has some much better weapons around him. The Jets have Zach Wilson on debut at QB and he isn’t in an organisation that screams improvement. The Jets have been horrible for a while and are in the midst of a rebuild. The Panthers aren’t winning anything this year but they are much further along in development and should do enough to now cover the number.
Back the Carolina Panthers -3.5 at $1.90 for 1.5 units
Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons
3 am Melbourne time
Really small bet here on the Eagles who seem a big price to win this game outright in a match up that screams a coin flip. The Eagles ranked 18th in defence and 30th in offence last year, however that was an injury plagued defence and an offence largely led by Carson Wentz who was arguably the worst quarterback in the NFL last year. The Falcons ranked 19th in defence and 25th in offence, so despite being marginally better, losing Julio Jones and having a very young team, they are underpriced here even though they are a deserving favourite at home.
Back the Philadelphia Eagles to win at $2.50 for 0.5 units
Denver Broncos v NY Giants
6:20 am Melbourne time
Two teams that are unlikely to feature at the important part of the season, but in this spot the Broncos are certainly the side to be with at the line of -3. Really like what they bring to the table this season. A reliable Quarterback in Bridgewater who plays a game manager role with very few mistakes, albeit won’t be making the big plays to change a game either. Around him is sensational pinch hitter RB in Gordon who’ll be supported by Williams. A young receiving core of Sutton, Jeudy & Fant who have enormous upside. On the defensive side, Von Miller is back to help claw the Broncos away from their bottom 7 defence last year which was injury ravaged, and while it won’t be a defence that will strike fear into other teams, will certainly have minimal problems here.
The Giants do welcome back star running back Barkley after a year out from an ACL injury, so can’t be expected to dominate straight away, while their offence led by questionable at best QB in Jones ranked bottom 4 last year and doesn’t look to get any better away from the RB. The Nuggets have the big flight over to Jersey, but when fatigue isn’t a factor at this stage of the year, they have just enough class to get them past the line of -3.
Back the Denver Broncos -3.0 at $1.95 for 2 units