A quick look at a few of Sunday’s top games in the NFL and what you need to know from a betting perspective:
- Tampa Bay @ Atlanta -3: Matt Ryan is 8-0 ATS in home openers for his career but don’t fall in love with that trend too much because Tampa Bay has made some serious upgrades on defense drafting CB Vernon Hargreaves and DE Noah Spence and Tampa’s new DC is Mike Smith who was fired by Atlanta in 2014 but has the personnel and the knowledge on his old team to put a good game plan together.
2. Cincinnati -2.5 @ NY Jets: The Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict for this one and S Reggie Nelson is gone too so the Bengals will have a few first-time starters on the field. Cincy is still one of the top teams in the AFC this year, despite losing Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu. The Jets will have to step up in run defense with the loss of DT Damon Harrison and the secondary behind Revis will be tested by Dalton. Keep an eye out for WR Tyler Boyd on Cincinnati who they drafted in the 2nd round this year and was a superstar at Pittsburgh.
3. New England @ Arizona -7: This line moved from -6 to -7 with the injury update to Gronkowski. Tough blow for New England but this isn’t an automatic bet on Arizona like most think – Belichek is 45-23 ATS as an underdog for his career and New England’s defensive front is as good as ever, so you can’t underestimate the gameplan New England will have on defense against a soon-to-be 37 year old Carson Palmer. Jimmy G should lean on Julian Edelman and Bennett heavily and watch out for Chris Hogan matched up against a #3 CB. Arizona owns one of the best home edges in the NFL but laying 7 to New England is never ideal, with or without Brady. Belichek had double digit wins with Matt Cassel so you may want to wait & see how these teams play out before laying money on them
4. Oakland -1 @ New Orleans: Oakland is the better team and has the better defense. That being said New Orleans’ offense is high-powered and healthy this year. Coby Fleener will help Drew Brees with a great TE option now that the Jimmy Graham era is long over. Bruce Irvin opposite Khalil Mack will certainly pose problems for the Saints’ O-line and this game may be the biggest shootout on the board. Should be a fun one to watch. Betting wise, opening day at the Superdome may make this a nail biter if you take either side.
5. Miami @ Seattle -10.5: This is a lot of points for Week 1, regardless of whether or not Seattle is the team laying it. Seattle is starting 5 new starters on the O-line with CHristine Michael as the starting RB for Week 1, NOT Thomas Rawles. Seattle’s defense is as good as ever and can dominate anyone at home. Gase is a smart offensive coach who should have a good gameplan for Tannehill. DeVante Parker is expected to be out for Miami but Tannehill still has Jarvis Landry, Jordan Cameron, and Arian Foster to rely on for production. If you’re betting Miami you have to like the 10.5 point line but I would be cautious of a Miami turnover deep in their zone which can affect the cover in this game.