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And here we are at the start of the 2012 NFL betting campaign! The opening kickoff is right here upon us, and that means that there are plenty of NFL betting lines to discuss. Join us for a brief discussion of the NFL Week 1 pointspreads and check out how NFL line movements have looked as we have counted down to the start of the season.
The year is going to begin on a very odd Wednesday night, with the New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys. QB Eli Manning and the crew are going to be hanging their second banner in the Head Coach Tom Coughlin era, and you can bet that they aren’t going to want to go down without a fight. Dallas has a lot to prove this year, but this is a team that it has had a hard time figuring out over the years. The champs are up to 4-point favorites, while the ‘total’ on the board of 44 has been dropping ever since it opened at 48.
On the first Sunday of the season, we know that we are going to be seeing plenty of new players taking the field. We are going to be seeing a whopping five rookies start off their seasons for their new teams under center, and amazingly, the only one that finds himself as a favorite is QB Russell Wilson, who was the only one of the bunch drafted outside of the first round. His Seattle Seahawks are getting the 2.5-point nod against the Arizona Cardinals in a crucial tilt in the NFC West.
QB Andrew Luck is going to be leading the Indianapolis Colts onto the field in the dawn of a new era in Indy. He’s got a tough start going against the Chicago Bears and their new look offense led by QB Jay Cutler and WR Brandon Marshall. Luck and the Colts are catching 10 points, making them one of the biggest underdogs of the weekend. Of course, QB Robert Griffin III is one of the big pups as well, as he is getting 9.5 with his Washington Redskins against the New Orleans Saints in the first game in the Bayou without Head Coach Sean Payton. The Cleveland Browns are 8.5-point underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles in their opener with QB Brandon Weeden under center.
The biggest underdog of the bunch though, is QB Ryan Tannehill with the Miami Dolphins. The Fins were once just seven-point underdogs to the Houston Texans, but that number has ballooned up to 13 over the course of the last few weeks after watching the Dolphins struggle so badly in the preseason.
The Eagles are one of the few teams that are favored on the road in Week 1 when they go to the Dawg Pound. The New England Patriots are also -6.5 against the Tennessee Titans, while the Carolina Panthers in the second year for QB Cam Newton against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are -1.5. The Atlanta Falcons are -2.5 against the Kansas City Chiefs as well at Arrowhead Stadium, though they have never won a game here in KC over the course of their franchise history.
The New York Jets and Buffalo Bills both picked up some big time names in the offseason, and this is going to be the debut for DE Mario Williams for Buffalo and QB Tim Tebow for New York. The Jets have a lot of pressure this year to perform, but they have had an absolutely atrocious preseason, scoring just one total touchdown. The Jets were once five-point favorites in Week 1, but they are now just -1.5 at home against their divisional rivals.
The showcase game of the day pits the Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. These two teams both made great runs last year, as the Pack flirted with a perfect regular season, while the 49ers ended up hosting the NFC Championship Game. There are high hopes for both once again this year, and they should be putting on quite the show on the first Sunday of the season. The Packers are laying five, but you know that Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and his Niners aren’t going to go down lightly.
The only other games that we have yet to discuss on the NFL Sunday schedule include the St. Louis Rams and the Detroit Lions, a game that features the hosts being favored by 8.5 and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who will be getting RB Maurice Jones-Drew back in the fold after his 38-day holdout against the Minnesota Vikings. These two teams both have a lot of problems going into the year, and Minnesota is laying 3.5 at home.
Sunday Night Football is a doozy, as the Pittsburgh Steelers return to the scene of the crime, where they were knocked out of the playoffs last year at Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium. The Denver Broncos are waiting for the Steelers again in this one, but this time around, it will be QB Peyton Manning and not QB Tim Tebow taking snaps for the hosts. It is the much anticipated debut of Manning with the Broncos, and it should be quite the test against a Pittsburgh defense that he has historically struggled with. Denver has gone back and forth as a slight favorite and right around a pick ‘em this year, and the Broncos are currently sitting right there at a pk.
As has become the case over the years, the first weekend of Monday Night Football showcases a pair of games. They are almost always divisional battles, and this is no exception. The Cincinnati Bengals are going to have a lot of work to do if they want to get back to the playoffs this year, and they are getting 6.5 on the road at the Baltimore Ravens, who came up just short of the Super Bowl a season ago. Meanwhile, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders meet as well, and you can bet that the Raiders are going to be out for blood after San Diego knocked them out of the playoffs on the final day of the regular season last year. That being said, Raider Nation is a short 1-point underdog here at home.
Week 1 NFL Point Spreads for Wednesday, September 5th (8:30 ET Kickoff)
451 Dallas Cowboys +3.5
452 New York Giants -3.5
Week 1 Pro Football Betting Lines for Sunday, September 9th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
453 Indianapolis Colts +9.5
454 Chicago Bears -9.5
455 Philadelphia Eagles -9.5
456 Cleveland Browns +9.5
457 Buffalo Bills +2.5 (+105)
458 New York Jets -2.5 (-125)
459 Washington Redskins +8
460 New Orleans Saints -8
461 New England Patriots -4.5
462 Tennessee Titans +4.5
463 Jacksonville Jaguars +3.5
464 Minnesota Vikings -3.5
465 Miami Dolphins +13
466 Houston Texans -13
467 St. Louis Rams +8.5
468 Detroit Lions -8.5
469 Atlanta Falcons -2.5
470 Kansas City Chiefs +2.5
Week 1 NFL Spreads for Sunday, September 9th (4:25 ET Kickoffs)
471 San Francisco 49ers +5
472 Green Bay Packers -5
473 Carolina Panthers -2.5 (-115)
474 Tampa Bay Buccaneers +2.5 (-105)
475 Seattle Seahawks -2.5 (-120)
476 Arizona Cardinals +2.5 (+100)
NFL Week 1 Betting Lines for Sunday Night Football, September 9th (8:20 ET Kickoff)
477 Pittsburgh Steelers +1.5
478 Denver Broncos -1.5
NFL Week 1 Point Spreads for Monday Night Football, September 10th (7:00 & 10:15 ET Kickoffs)
479 Cincinnati Bengals +7 (-105)
480 Baltimore Ravens -7 (-115)
481 San Diego Chargers pk (+105)
482 Oakland Raiders pk (-125)
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