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And here we are at the start of the 2013 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.
Normally speaking, the defending Super Bowl champs open up the year in front of their hometown crowd. However, this time around, the Baltimore Ravens are going to be on the road. They are going to visit the Denver Broncos in a rematch of the divisional round of the playoffs last year between these two teams. There is no way that this game can be as epic as the game that these two played last January, but QB Joe Flacco is going to try to pull off yet another upset in what could be a great game. As interesting as it is, Baltimore is the biggest underdog on the board on the Week 1 odds at +9. This is a completely unique situation that you’ll probably never see again with the Lombardi Trophy holders underdogs by one of the biggest margin on the board in the opening week of the campaign.
When the calendar moves to the first Sunday of the regular season, there are going to be some tremendous games. There isn’t a single game that is featuring an NFL point spread of more than seven points. Not surprisingly, the teams that are the big favorites are the ones that were in the playoffs and competing for playoff spots last season, and the teams that are the big underdogs are all teams that didn’t get into the second season and weren’t particularly close.
There are a relatively high amount of road favorites in Week 1, though there is only one team that is favored by more than a field goal on the road. The New England Patriots, in spite of the fact that they are going to likely be coming into that first game without any of the top receivers from last year’s team, are laying nine points on the road to Orchard Park, where they have historically struggled with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills though, are using their first round pick, QB EJ Manuel in Week 1 of the season. It’s tough to think that he is going to be able to stand toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the league. It’s not all that often you see a team getting nearly double digits of points at home all that often on the Week 1 NFL Vegas odds either. This line has had the most movement all week, and it isn’t even close, as New England has gone from an open at -6.5 up as high as 12.5 when QB Jeff Tuel was a possible starter, back to -9 where it sits now, and the oddsmakers could be in for a world of hurt in this game.
The Indianapolis Colts, in the second year of the QB Andrew Luck era, are laying a 9.5 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 as well, while the Pittsburgh Steelers are giving 7 to the Tennessee Titans.
Every other game on the docket enters this week with a spread of 4.5 points or fewer on the NFL betting lines.
Interestingly enough, all of the games that are involving a pair of NFC teams are relatively closely lined. The only game of the bunch between a pair of NFC teams that features more than a 4.5-point NFL spread is the clash between the St. Louis Rams and the Arizona Cardinals. QB Sam Bradford and the gang are 4.5-point favorites hosting Head Coach Bruce Arians in his first game as the head coach of the Cards. Arizona will also be debuting a new quarterback, as QB Carson Palmer heads to the desert to try to resurrect the franchise.
There are some huge divisional games on the first Sunday of the season. The Atlanta Falcons are the favorites in the NFC South this year, but they are going to have a heck of a lot of company. The team is going to have to go on the road to the Bayou for what should be a tremendously emotional game against the New Orleans Saints. The Saints are going to be happy to introduce Head Coach Sean Payton once again after coming back from his year-long suspension, and you can bet that he is going to want to send a message to the rest of the league by winning this first one against the team that hosted the NFC Championship Game last season. Interestingly enough, the oddsmakers think that these two teams are on level terms, knowing that New Orleans is favored by just the value of home field advantage, three points.
The Minnesota Vikings are 4.5-point underdogs against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, while on Sunday Night Football, the Dallas Cowboys are giving a field goal against the New York Giants. Again, the teams in the NFC East are relatively close to each other in the eyes of the oddsmakers, and only be the fact that the Giants feature -115 at -3 can you really tell that they are they are considered to the slightly better of the two teams. QB Eli Manning is going to be excited to get this season underway, knowing that the Giants are essentially hosting the Super Bowl this year at MetLife Stadium. A win over the Cowboys on the road would be an awesome start to the season for the Super Bowl 46 winners.
The biggest game on Sunday though, features the Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners started off last season’s run to the Super Bowl by going to Lambeau Field and beating Green Bay, a win that really set the tone for the whole season. These two teams last met in the postseason, a game in which the 49ers won 45-31. The Pack are going to want a tremendous amount of revenge on San Francisco, but they are going to have a tough time doing it at Candlestick Park, where the Niners went 7-1-1 SU and 5-4 ATS last season. Green Bay is going to get a 4.5-point head start from the oddsmakers though, and the hope is that that is going to be enough to at least snare a cover. If the team doesn’t get its defense in order though (the Pack allowed over 500 rushing yards in two games against the 49ers last year), there is no hope.
As always on the first Monday of the season, there are a pair of Monday Night Football games. The first of the two games pits the Washington Redskins against the Philadelphia Eagles. Knowing that Head Coach Chip Kelly is going to do with his offense is still impossible, and knowing whether QB Robert Griffin III is going to be able to play effectively is also impossible. That said, at least we know at this point that QB Michael Vick will be going against RG3 in what will be a clash of two of the most athletic pivots in the league. How that is going to translate on the field is still a mystery. Still, Washington is giving 3.5 points on the first Monday Night Football game of the season at FedEx Field, though the last time we saw the Skins on the field, they were getting beaten at home in the first round of the playoffs. Philly though, is coming off of one of the worst ATS seasons in the history of the league at 3-12-1 ATS.
The last game of the week pits the San Diego Chargers against the Houston Texans. This is the start of the Head Coach Mike McCoy era, and Bolts fans are going to be eager to take on one of the best teams in the league. This is a tough start of the season for the Texans, who are playing under the expectations that this will be a third straight year with the AFC South title. The Texans are going to be expected to be healthy going into the start of the year, which is why QB Matt Schaub and the gang are giving a field goal and a hook.
Totals are all over the place in Week 1, though the numbers are generally a lot higher than we are used to seeing after one of football’s highest scoring years in history. Only one of the 16 games feature totals of lower than 40. The clash between the two teams that had the worst two records in football last year, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to fight it out in the Sunshine State to start the season, and that game has a total of just 39.5. The Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns, neither of which were all that close to the second season last year but both of which are hoping to take big steps in the right direction, also featured a total of 39.5 at the open, but that number has risen up to 41.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of 48+ numbers out there. The opening game of the season between the Ravens and the Broncos features a total of 48.5, while the same could be said for that big time duel between the Packers and the 49ers. The clash between Washington and Philadelphia starts off the year at 50.5.
The highest numbers of the week are in the games involving the Patriots and Bills and the Falcons and Saints. We are a bit surprised that a game between a rookie quarterback and a team with an entirely new set of receivers (New England/Buffalo) features a total of 51, even after the announcement that it was likely going to be Tuel quarterbacking in Week 1. With Manuel under center though, the game makes a heck of a lot more sense with a number this high, as the rookie out of Florida State looked good in the preseason until he was hurt. However, that number pales in comparison to the 54 between the Falcons and the Saints. That’s one of the highest numbers that we have ever seen in a Week 1 game, and this could be a heck of a battle right out of the blocks.
Week 1 NFL Point Spreads for Thursday, September 5th (8:30 ET Kickoff)
451 Baltimore Ravens +7.5
452 Denver Broncos -7.5
Week 1 Pro Football Betting Lines for Sunday, September 8th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
453 New England Patriots -9.5
454 Buffalo Bills +9.5
455 Tennessee Titans +7
456 Pittsburgh Steelers -7
457 Atlanta Falcons +3
458 New Orleans Saints -3
459 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3.5
460 New York Jets +3.5
461 Kansas City Chiefs -4
462 Jacksonville Jagurs +4
463 Cincinnati Bengals +3
464 Chicago Bears -3
465 Miami Dolphins pk
466 Cleveland Browns pk
467 Seattle Seahawks -3.5
468 Carolina Panthers +3.5
469 Minnesota Vikings +5
470 Detroit Lions -5
471 Oakland Raiders +9.5
472 Indianapolis Colts -9.5
Week 1 NFL Spreads for Sunday, September 8th (4:25 ET Kickoffs)
473 Arizona Cardinals +4.5
474 St. Louis Rams -4.5
475 Green Bay Packers +4.5
476 San Francisco 49ers -4.5
NFL Week 1 Betting Lines for Sunday Night Football, September 8th (8:20 ET Kickoff)
477 New York Giants +3
478 Dallas Cowboys -3
NFL Week 1 Point Spreads for Monday Night Football, September 9th (7:00 & 10:15 ET Kickoffs)
479 Philadelphia Eagles +3
480 Washington Redskins -3
481 Houston Texans -3.5
482 San Diego Chargers +3.5
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