Wed 06/09/2017 - 16:14 EDT

    NFL Week 1 Predictions

    NFL Week 1 Predictions

    NFL Games Week 1

    The first week of a NFL season is always loaded with anticipation from bettors as they've been scouring over futures odds and Week 1 lines for months. All of the action gets going on Thursday night when the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots are listed as 9-point favorites at most sportsbooks and they are one of a few teams laying that kind of chalk in Week 1.

    My Week 1 NFL previews will focus on the Sunday/Monday games though as that's the day when it truly feels like Christmas morning to NFL bettors. There are 14 games (12 on Sunday) spread out between those two days now that that Tampa Bay/Miami game has been postponed, and while many of you will be focused on who wins and/or covers the point spread this week, I prefer to look at some of the totals that are out there.

    Results / FixturesNFL

    Betting on NFL totals in Week 1 is something I prefer to do because while there are countless opinions and projections out there about which team(s) will be good/bad this year, seeing just how good or bad some of them are first hand is my approach. NFL point spreads are the sharpest numbers oddsmakers put out there each and every year, and although the numbers aren't theoretically as "sharp" in Week 1, the oddsmakers are working off all the same information that bettors are, so really where is the edge? 

    There is always a bit more guesswork in releasing totals for bettors to digest, and if totals are already "softer" than point spreads in general, Week 1 totals are the softest of the bunch. There are also specific situations that come up every year in the opening Week (division rivals vs each other, AFC vs NFC games etc) that total bettors can apply to specific games and get strong wagers down that way. Hopefully that's the way Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season shakes out for us:

    NFL Picks Week 1

    Both of these teams failed to live up to expectations in 2016, but after a long offseason of retooling and rebuilding, both are excited about the prospects 2017 can bring. From a long-term projection standpoint, Detroit will likely be the worse of these two teams record-wise when all is said and done this year, but it won't be because of their offense. 

    The Lions are built like one of those generic 6-10 SU NFL teams we get every year that can put up plenty of points but rarely stop anyone (think the New Orleans Saints most years). QB Matt Stafford just signed a highly lucrative extension to remain the man in Detroit, and he's got plenty of weapons around him to help the cause. But Detroit's defense isn't going to be good, and against a Cardinals team that has some explosive playmakers themselves, this game should see 50+ points.

    Finally, the Lions are 6-0 O/U in Week 1 games the last six years and those contests have averaged just over 56 total points. Arizona's last 10 road games as a franchise - going back to late 2015 - have all cashed 'over' tickets as well (10-0 O/U), and their last 12 games vs. Detroit have posted a 9-3 O/U record. With early action on this total going 'under' and pushing this number down to 48, I've got no problem taking the high side of this total at the current number and price.

    The Jets are widely regarded as a team that's in full "tank mode" this year as their roster is full of guys who would have a tough time making a NFL roster on any of the other 31 teams. NFL bettors fading the Jets will become a popular refrain as the 2017 season rolls along, but in a divisional game against a Buffalo team that's not going to be much better in my eyes. 

    Many will argue - and the 90% of bettors that have already taken this 'under' will - that it's tough to expect points from teams with below average rosters and subsequently below average QB's out there, but I beg to differ. Bad teams become bad teams because they typically give up a lot of points, and when two of them square off, it's not rare to see a shootout breakout. 

    As 9-point favorites, Buffalo is expected to cruise to an easy win here, but the Jets aren't looking to prove everyone right by "tanking" Week 1. I'm sure we will see plenty of ugly games from New York this year, but by naming veteran journeyman Josh McCown as the Week 1 starter, they'll give NFL bettors the allusion they'll be competitive this year. 

    Buffalo will definitely do their part to score against a bad Jets defense, and Buffalo's 8-0 O/U run at home suggests they are a much more efficient offense on their own turf. 40 points is way too low for a game everyone expects to be extremely "ugly," as it would not be surprising to see both sides get 20+ points to easily cash this 'over' free pick. 

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      Category : Sports News

      Tag : arizona cardinals , buffalo bills , detroit lions , New York Jets , nfl , nfl betting , nfl odds

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