Sat, Sep 10, 8:20am by Jake Equid
The 97th NFL season has arrived with 32 teams ready to battle it out between now and the week after Christmas over a 17-week regular season. Each team plays 16 games and has one bye.
The excitement that is opening week actually began on Friday morning (AEST) with the replay of last year’s Superbowl match-up between the Broncos and the Panthers, resulting ina thrilling win for the Broncos.
On Sunday, there are 13 games including the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots ($3.25) who head to Arizona Cardinals ($1.82) where all eyes will be on stand in quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. These two teams are expected to go late into the post season.
Elsewhere on Sunday, New Orleans Saints ($1.82) who have one of the scariest defences in the league host the Oakland Raiders ($2.03). The battle of the quarterback newbies takes place in Philidelphia when the Eagles ($1.52) host the Cleveland Browns ($2.61). Eagles number two draft pick Carson Wentz makes his debut for the Eagles while at the Browns we see the reincarnation of former Washington QB Robert Griffin III. Or as he is known RG3.
Onto Monday night and RG3’s old team the Washington Redskins are outsiders ($2.33) when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers ($1.64). The opening week rounds out with the LA Rams playing their first game as an LA franchise since 1994 when they travel to fellow Californian side the San Francisco 49ers ($2.13).
WATCH: Oddsshark’s Preview of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Washington Redskins
Here’s our best bets for the first week of the NFL:
Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
EverBank Field, Jacksonville – Monday September 12, 3am AEST
The Packers head to Jacksonville to start their campaign as favourites after going so close last year in the overtime divisional playoff loss to the Cardinals. The Jaguars were 5-11 last year but QB Blake Bortles is improving all the time which will see that record improve.
The head-to-head market has the Green Bay Packers at red-hot-favourites at $1.44 with Jacksonville Jaguars outsiders at $2.90. The line or handicap as it’s called in the States, is 4.5 which I’ll be taking.
Scoring points won’t be a problem at Green Bay this season with receiver Jordy Nelson set to return after tearing his ACL last pre-season. The latter returns to complement Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy which is great news for the team. Pre-Season expectations have seen the Packers come into $10.
BEST BET: Packers by over 4 points: $1.89
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City –Monday September 12, 3:00am AEST
San Diego are coming off a miserable year where they went 4-12 and may be in store for another rebuilding year while the Chiefs have their sights set on the AFC West Title.
Kansas City have built a nice squad under Andy Reid by developing a lot of quality players on both sides of the ball. They won their first playoff game in 22 years last year and under QB Alex Smith will be looking to go at least that deep into the playoffs again this season.
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
AT & T Stadium, Arlington, Texas – Monday September 12, 6:25am AEST
The New York Giants head to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Sunday to take on a Cowboys side who are not only without their starting QB Tony Romo but also without pass-rushers Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence.
WATCH: Oddsshark’s Preview of the New England Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals
In an incredible turn of events Dak Prescott who was drafted in the fourth round will start for the Cowboys at QB. He had a magical pre-season with a 78 percent completion rate, five TD passes, no interceptions and a team-leading two rushing touchdowns. Pre-season is much different to the regular season though.
The Giants also have their issues though, they managed a total of only 48 points in their four pre-season games. Eli Manning is 0-3 in opening games against Dallas but we’re backing that to change here, we’re taking the Giants to win.
BEST BET: Giants to win: $1.94
MULTI OF THE WEEK: Combining all of the below for $7.22 at Sportsbet
Packers to win by over 4: $1.89
Chiefs to win by over 6: $1.97
Giants to win: $1.94
NFL Week One odds:
Odds sourced by Sportsbet and were correct at the time of publishing*
Stay tuned to australiangambling.com.au. Where we will bring you the best bets each and every week of the NFL season.
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