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NFL Week 1 Betting Previews for Every Game

Sep 09, 2018 7:20 AM EDT
  • If you're looking for comprehensive betting and fantasy football previews for every Week 1 game, you've come to the right place.
  • Our experts cover trends, sharp action, fantasy football sleepers and make the case for a few bets.

All odds as of Friday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NFL odds and track your bets.

Jump to a game: PIT-CLE | CIN-IND | TEN-MIA | SF-MIN | HOU-NE | TB-NO | JAX-NYG | BUF-BAL | KC-LAC | SEA-DEN | WAS-ARI | DAL-CAR | CHI-GB


Betting odds: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

  • Spread: Steelers -4.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

Betting market: Pittsburgh was getting about 68% of spread bets earlier in the week, but that has since dropped to 64% at the time of writing with all of the Le’Veon Bell drama (see live data here).

The line hit 3.5 at some books, but not for long, as the market still believes a Bell-less Steelers team should be at least a 4-point favorite vs. the Browns. — Mark Gallant

Weather report: The forecast has gotten better over the past couple of days if you’re attending the game, but a bit worse if you’re taking the under.

Expected wind speeds have dropped from nearly 20 mph to about 15 mph, which is still high, but not as outlandish. With rain also in the picture, we’ve seen the total drop from 46.5 to 44 over the past week. — Mark Gallant

DFS edge: With multiple viable paths to saving salary this week, James Conner owns a top-five Projected Plus/Minus based on FantasyLabs’ projections powered by Sean Koerner.

Similarly priced running backs who are playing in games with comparable spreads and Projected Plus/Minuses have historically smashed value on DraftKings with a +2.54 Plus/Minus and 54.5% Consistency Rating (per FantasyLabs’ Trends tool). — Joe Holka

Injury watch: The Browns defense is a bit banged up, with corner back E.J. Gaines (knee) and defensive tackle Trevon Coley (ankle) shaping up as game-time decisions.

The good news is wide receiver Josh Gordon (hamstring) said he’s 100% despite practicing in a limited fashion this week. Head coach Hue Jackson has confirmed Gordon will still be on a snap count Sunday.

The Steelers offense could be without starting tight end Vance McDonald (ankle), and more importantly, their workhorse Bell (holdout, doubtful). Their respective absences would lead to enhanced roles for Jesse James and Conner. — Ian Hartitz

Did you know? Last year, the Steelers and Browns played each other in Week 1 after Bell’s preseason contract-negotiation drama. He played but wasn’t effective (10 carries for 32 yards) and the Steelers barely pulled out a 21-18 win (as 10-point favorites)

That win marked the Browns’ 13th straight season-opening loss. They have only one Week 1 win since 1999 (2004 vs. Ravens when Jeff Garcia was under center).

Big Ben, who is 21-2 against Cleveland in his career, has the most wins of any quarterback at FirstEnergy Stadium (including Browns’ signal-callers) since 1999. — Stuckey

Bet to watch: Oddsmakers are expecting a low-scoring game. Don’t be afraid to bet the under. Since 2003, when the average wind speed is 10 mph or stronger and the over/under is 50 or fewer points, the under has gone 403-324-8 (55%). — John Ewing


Betting odds: Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts

  • Spread: Colts -2.5
  • Over/Under: 48
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

Betting market: The line at BookMaker had been 3 with varying juices for the entire month of August right up until Wednesday night, when it was finally moved off the key number, to Cincinnati +2.5.

With nearly 72% of bets and 83% of dollars as of writing (see live data here) on Cincinnati, it’s not hard to see why the books were forced to try and lower their exposure on the Bengals. Mark Gallant

Injury watch: The Bengals are relatively healthy outside of starting left tackle Cordy Glenn (shoulder), who should be considered questionable.

They’ll also be without linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the first four weeks of the season due to suspension.

The Colts’ offense isn’t as lucky, as running back Marlon Mack (hamstring) and left tackle Anthony Castonzo (hamstring) look like game-time decisions despite getting in limited practices this week.

Meanwhile, Indy’s defense could be without linebackers Anthony Walker (groin) and Darius Leonard (lower leg). Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The Bengals were horrendous against tight ends last year, ranking 30th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

Andrew Luck’s low yards-per-attempt output in the preseason (6.4) should help TE Jack Doyle thrive underneath. — Joe Holka

Bet to watch: Over 48.

Can you name one Colts starter on defense? I bet 90% of you couldn’t. And I don’t blame you much, because it’s a bad unit.

The Bengals can exploit the Colts’ extremely young linebacking corps and bad secondary with all of their now-healthy weapons.

The Bengals also have a solid advantage on the defensive line, even though the Colts’ O-line should be improved.

Regardless, I expect a heavy dose of quick passes from Luck (which is when he’s at his best) and for the Colts to utilize the middle of the field.

Cincy will really miss Burfict when trying to cover the middle of the field. I don’t see either team getting too many stops. Stuckey


Betting odds: Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins

  • Spread: Titans -1.5
  • Over/Under: 45
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: This line has struggled to move away from the very uninteresting 1/1.5 range for the better portion of the summer.

Two-thirds of bettors like the Titans at the time of writing (see live data here), but there clearly hasn’t been enough sharp action to push their line into the -2/-3 range as of yet. — Mark Gallant

Sneaky storyline: I don’t think Tennessee deserves to be a road favorite here, but the special teams factor might scare me off Miami.

The Titans have a Pro Bowl punter (Brett Kern) and one of the most reliable kickers in football (Ryan Succop), while the Dolphins have an inconsistent punter (Matt Haack) and a rookie kicker (Jason Sanders)

Sanders has a big leg, but he made just 25 of 35 career field goals at the University of New Mexico. — Stuckey

DFS edge: Delanie Walker (toe) is off the injury report and has a great matchup against the Dolphins — Miami yielded 8.1 targets and 60 yards per game to opposing tight ends last season.

Walker has the third-highest median projection in the FantasyLabs Models among tight ends on FanDuel to go along with a 95% Bargain Rating. — Justin Bailey

Injury watch: The Dolphins’ offense will be without wide receiver DeVante Parker (finger, doubtful) and starting tight end MarQueis Gray, so second-round tight end Mike Gesicki could have an enhanced early-season role.

While the Titans have the healthier skill position players, right tackle Jack Conklin (knee), defensive end Harold Landry (ankle), linebacker Derrick Morgan (knee) and linebacker Rashaan Evans (undisclosed) should be considered questionable for Sunday. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Many have talked about the lack of chemistry between Marcus Mariota and Corey Davis in the preseason, but I’m much more concerned with how the offensive line looked in the third preseason game when Steelers D-lineman Stephon Tuitt ate the first string alive.

If Conklin can’t go, Dennis Kelly would likely get the nod at right tackle.

That would be bad news for the Titans against Cameron Wake — especially since they are already weak at the right guard spot with Josh Kline.

The Dolphins are extremely deep at defensive end and recently got back William Hayes, who will help set the edge against Mariota.

With questions along the offensive line and on the outside (Walker and Rishard Matthews returning from injury), expect Tennessee to rely on its run game against the weak middle of the Dolphins’ defense.

The clock will be moving, and I don’t expect Miami to do much offensively, so I think the under is the look here.Stuckey


Betting odds: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

  • Spread: Vikings -6.5
  • Over/Under: 46
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: Despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s impressive showing with San Francisco to end the 2017 season, only 35% of bettors are taking him and the 49ers plus the points as of writing (see live data here).

Over the past two weeks, the line has gone from +5.5 to +6.5, but I imagine it would take another wave of sharp action on the Vikings to bump them up to the key number of -7.Mark Gallant

Injury watch: The 49ers are without stud linebacker Reuben Foster for the first two games of the season due to suspension, and starting running back Jerick McKinnon (torn ACL) will miss the entire season.

The rest of the 49ers offense is at least healthy, with tight end George Kittle (shoulder) and running back Matt Breida (shoulder) good to go following preseason injuries.

The Niners’ defense, however, could be without starting linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) and versatile defensive back Jimmie Ward (quad).

The Vikings are down two starting linemen in left guard Nick Easton (neck, IR) and center Pat Elflein (shoulder/ankle, doubtful). But the likes of cornerback Xavier Rhodes (hamstring), wide receiver Adam Thielen (leg) and left tackle Riley Reiff (ankle/shoulder) are all expected to suit up Sunday.

Head coach Mike Zimmer also confirmed that running back Dalvin Cook (ACL) is back to 100% and ready to roll. Ian Hartitz

Trends to know: In Week 1, casual bettors are influenced by last season’s results. The public overvalues playoff teams and often ignores teams that missed the postseason the year before.

There has been contrarian value betting non-playoff teams against a playoff opponent from the year before in Week 1: 55-38-2 against the spread (59%) since 2003. John Ewing

Did you know? No coach covers the spread quite like Zimmer.

Since becoming the Vikings’ coach in 2014, Minnesota is 43-21 ATS (+19.4 units) under Zimmer, making him the most profitable coach in the NFL over that span.

Under Zimmer, the Vikings are 23-9 ATS (+12.6 units) at home. And when the Vikings have time to prepare at home, they are virtually unbeatable.

Including the playoffs and Week 1s, Minnesota is 7-0 straight up and 5-2 ATS since 2015 with more than a week to prepare. Evan Abrams

Metrics that matter: Kirk Cousins is 0-3 with a 71.7 passer rating, two touchdowns to five interceptions in Week 1. Only Jets backup Josh McCown (0-8) has a worse rating in season openers among active quarterbacks (minimum 100 attempts).

Cousins does have better weapons now, but maybe there’s something to a slow Cousins start. — Stuckey

DFS edge: San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is an excellent tournament option on DraftKings for $4,600 against an elite Vikings defense. He averaged 8.2 targets per game with Garoppolo under center last season.

Goodwin’s role in this offense and lid-lifting speed puts him in consideration on a weekly basis. His +2.73 Projected Plus/Minus is also a top-six mark on DraftKings’ main slate.

The 49ers struggled to defend the pass last season, ranking 28th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA metric and surrendering the eighth-most passing touchdowns.

Cousins is projected for only 2-4% ownership according to FantasyLabs’ ownership projections for large-field tournaments as of writing.

That helps give him a leverage score in the 90th percentile. This is our proprietary metric that weighs a player’s projected ownership and ceiling. Justin Bailey


Betting odds: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

  • Spread: Patriots -6
  • Over/Under: 50.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

Betting market: Spread bets and dollars are both within a handful of points of 50% as of writing (see live data here), with the public clearly undecided about how it feels on this one.

The line has been in limbo between NE -6 and -6.5 for most of the week, and there was even a brief bump down to -5.5.

It’s highly unlikely that we’ll see the Texans available at +7 again, which was last available at BookMaker on June 8. Mark Gallant

Trends to know: As Mark noted, the line for this game has moved against the Patriots since New England opened as a 7-point favorite.

Are you betting against Tom Brady? I wouldn’t. Since 2003, when the line moves against TB12, the Patriots are 58-36-5 against-the-spread (62%). John Ewing

Since 1999, the previous year’s Super Bowl losers are 6-13 straight-up and 4-15 ATS in Week 1.

But like most trends, that doesn’t really apply to the Patriots, as they’ve gone 2-0 SU (1-1 ATS) in season-openers following both of their Super Bowl losses over that span.

  • 2012: 34-13 at Tennessee as 4.5-point favorites
  • 2008: 17-10 vs. Kansas City as 16-point favorites Stuckey

Did you know? Brady enters 2018 having been favored in 50 consecutive starts, including the playoffs.

He currently owns the second-longest streak of consecutive games favored since at least 1990, behind only Kurt Warner (54 straight starts as a favorite).

Brady is 40-10 SU and 32-16-2 ATS (+15.6 units) over the streak, making him the most profitable quarterback in the NFL by more than five units. Evan Abrams

Injury watch: The Patriots’ ever-evolving backfield will have running back Rex Burkhead (knee), while first-rounder Sony Michel (knee) remains questionable.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman will miss the first four games of the season due to suspension, so Burkhead and running back James White could see additional snaps in the slot during Edelman’s absence.

Texans running back Lamar Miller is poised for a three-down role with D’Onta Foreman (Achilles) on the reserve/PUP list, and the offense should be at full strength with wide receiver Will Fuller (hamstring) expected to suit up.

Houston outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus (hamstring) is also expected to play through the pain and start on Sunday. Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Burkhead is the front-runner to stand alongside Brady on the first snap of the season. He ranked as the RB8 in PPR points per game in Weeks 7-15 last season, and his average of 2.14 yards per route run ranked third.

Burkhead lined up in the slot or as a wide receiver on 18% of snaps in 2017. He’s only $4,200 on DraftKings and has a 95% Bargain Rating in FantasyLabs’ Models.

As for the Texans, it’s been awhile since Miller was a sexy fantasy commodity, but he’s positioned to work as Week 1’s cheapest three-down back.

Miller averaged an additional five PPR points per game with Deshaun Watson under center last season.

The Miami product is only $5,200 on DraftKings against a Patriots defense that ranked 31st in Football Outsiders’ rush DVOA last season.Hartitz


Betting odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

  • Spread: Saints -10
  • Over/Under: 49.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: With 75% of spread bets as of writing (see live odds here), the Saints could very well end up the most heavily bet team of the week. — Mark Gallant

Trends to know: The Saints are Week 1’s biggest favorite. Since 1993, the biggest favorites on opening weekend of the NFL season have burned bettors, going 12-22 ATS (35%). (More than one team closed with the same spread some years.)

All teams favored by more than a touchdown in Week 1 over that same span are 19-36 ATS (35%). John Ewing

Did you know? Ryan Fitzpatrick made his first start in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams in 2005. He’s struggled as an underdog since then, going 28-41-5 ATS (-14.2 units), making him the least-profitable quarterback as an underdog in the NFL.Evan Abrams

Injury watch: The Bucs likely won’t have first-round defensive tackle Vita Vea (calf), but left tackle Donovan Smith (knee) at least has a chance to suit up after a worrisome initial diagnosis back in August.

Fitzpatrick will run the offense during Jameis Winston’s three-game suspension.

The Saints could be without starting guard Andrus Peat (quad) in addition to suspended running back Mark Ingram, but they’re largely healthy elsewhere on the roster.Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: It’s not hyperbole to say Drew Brees and Michael Thomas are the most efficient quarterback-receiver combo in the league.

They have connected on a ridiculous 72.6% of targets over the past two seasons — the highest rate over the past 25 years (minimum 150 targets).

Thomas has been particularly dominant against divisional foes, averaging an additional 3.2 DraftKings points per game with a +5.1 Plus/Minus and 66% Consistency Rating in 12 games against the NFC South. Hartitz


Betting odds: Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Giants

  • Spread: Jaguars -3
  • Over/Under: 42.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: This game has been very quiet in terms of line movement and sharp action. With a 50-50 bet split at the time of writing (see live data here), the line has remained at the key number of 3 for nearly a month at BookMaker. — Mark Gallant

Injury watch: Saquon Barkley (hamstring) and Evan Engram (concussion) have been cleared from their respective injuries suffered during training camp, but starting OLB Olivier Vernon (ankle) is looking very iffy after missing practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Jaguars are expected to roll with Keelan Cole, Dede Westbrook and Donte Moncrief in 3-WR sets after Marqise Lee’s season-ending knee injury.

New Jaguars tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core) should be considered questionable, but stud corner back Jalen Ramsey (ankle) is expected to play despite being downgraded to limited in practice on Thursday.

The Jaguars will be without DE Dante Fowler until next week due to suspension. Ian Hartitz

Did you know? These two teams are on very different paths heading into this season.

The Jaguars are favored to win their Week 1 game for the first time since 2011, and they have not been favored on the road during opening weekend since the 2008 season.

The Giants have not started the season as a home underdog since 2006.

They have now been listed as a home underdog for the seventh consecutive game with Eli Manning at quarterback. — Evan Abrams

DFS edge: Odell Beckham Jr. and Jalen Ramsey will square off in the week’s marquee WR-CB matchup. Ramsey is expected to travel with OBJ all over the field, something he was very good at in 2017.

Overall, the league’s premier trash-talking corner allowed an average of just 2.8 catches for 32.2 yards in six games of shadow coverage last season.

Antonio Brown was the only wide receiver to surpass 100 yards on the Jaguars in 2017, but Beckham just might be the league’s next-best option.

It’s rare to see OBJ with sub-8% projected ownership on both DraftKings and FanDuel. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: I’m not sure how the Jaguars will find a consistent flow on offense in this game.

Jacksonville will miss Lee’s pass-catching ability — and his blocking — especially after letting Allen Robinson go in the offseason.

I give the Giants a significant advantage at every WR-CB matchup.

That means the Jags will have to run even more, but I’m not so sure that’s a great game plan. Jacksonville’s new-look O-line has never played a live snap together. Plus, the Giants’ strength is defending the power run game with Damon Harrison in the middle.

Similarly, I expect the Giants to have their fair share of struggles on offense, even after massively upgrading at running back with Barkley.

Jacksonville’s secondary is just that tough to move the ball against.

Yes, this game should be ugly — and I haven’t even brought up the 10+ mph wind.

Give me the Under and the home dog, considering all of the Jags’ moving parts on offense.


Betting odds: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens

  • Spread: Ravens -7.5
  • Over/Under: 40.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

Betting market: A crazy 82% of bets are on the under as of writing (see live data here).

If that holds, it would mark just the sixth time we’ve ever tracked an under with that level of public backing — and we’ve seen only 30 games since 2003 where an under has even received 70% of bets. — Mark Gallant

Injury watch: Buffalo’s starters are almost completely healthy, and running back LeSean McCoy (legal) will also play after not being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list.

The Ravens aren’t so lucky, as they’ll likely be without rookie tight end Hayden Hurst (foot) in addition to stud cornerback Jimmy Smith, who will serve the first game of his four-game suspension. Ian Hartitz

Did you know? This will mark John Harbaugh’s 11th season in Baltimore. The Ravens continue to take the preseason seriously, having won 13 games straight.

That approach seems to pay off in Week 1, as the Ravens are 8-2 straight-up (7-3 ATS) in home openers under Harbaugh.

Add in the fact that the Ravens are 8-2 ATS after a bye under Harbaugh, and that means he is a spectacular 15-5 ATS (75%) with extra prep (bye or offseason) during his tenure in Baltimore.

In all other games, he is a subpar 62-70-8 ATS (47%). Stuckey

Weather report: Mother Nature isn’t making anything easier on Nathan Peterman (38.4 passer rating) or Joe Flacco (80.4 passer rating).

Though the rain forecasted earlier this week no longer looks like it will be an issue, the winds between 12-15 mph will definitely boost those interception chances. Gallant

DFS edge: The Bills’ offense is a complete disaster, but McCoy could be in play as a volume-based leverage option for tournaments.

With limited weapons in the passing game and at the goal line, McCoy could be a reasonable pivot off of more popular options in his price range (such as Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey) with a similar workload expectation.

Rostering any Bills player as a +7.5 road dog is not ideal, but it’s notable that Baltimore tied for the sixth-most rushing touchdowns allowed in 2017.

No running back owns a higher DraftKings leverage score in FantasyLabs’ Models than McCoy in Week 1. Joe Holka

Trend to know: The Ravens are one of three teams this week to see the point spread move in their favor by at least one point.

It’s Week 1, so let’s get a little crazy: Over the past five seasons, home teams that didn’t make the playoffs the year before but saw the spread move in their favor at least one point are 21-38 ATS (-17.8 units) when facing a playoff team from the year before. Evan Abrams

Bet to watch: I actually project the Bills as the worst team in the NFL. Their offensive line is going to be especially horrid. I really like their safeties, but that’s about it.

It’s either Baltimore or nothing in my opinion here. Stuckey


Betting odds: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers

  • Spread: Chargers -3.5
  • Over/Under: 48
  • Time: 4:05 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: CBS

Betting market: While there’s not much to report regarding the spread, sharp action on the over has pushed this total up from 47 to 48.

Sports Insights’ Bet Signals triggered a steam move on the over Tuesday afternoon that included quick line adjustments from Pinnacle and Buckeye, two sportsbooks that are willing to take big-money action from professionals. — PJ Walsh

Trends to know: Andy Reid is known as a good bet following a bye week with his teams posting a 10-5 ATS record with 14 or more days between games.

If you expand this to the regular season with more than a week to prepare, Reid’s teams are 30-19 ATS.

Unfortunately, this success hasn’t carried over to openers, he is 8-7 ATS in them since 2003. — John Ewing

If the Chargers are going to become a real AFC threat in 2018 (as I think they can), they need to address two issues that have held them back in recent years: slow starts and the Chiefs.

They get a chance to reverse both in Week 1 against a Chiefs team that has won eight straight in the series, including three in a row by double digits.

The player who needs to step up the most? Philip Rivers, who just can’t seem to figure out Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton (6 TDs and 13 INTs during this 0-8 stretch).

If he can’t do it this year, he never will, as I am very low on this Kansas City defense. Stuckey

Injury watch: Both the Chargers and Chiefs are dealing with one massive injury on defense.

LA could be without Pro Bowler Joey Bosa (foot), while the Chiefs might not have all-world safety Eric Berry (heel).

The good news for the Chargers is that the rest of the team’s training camp injuries have cleared up, as defensive backs Casey Hayward (hamstring) and Trevor Williams (ankle) and receiver Tyrell Williams (foot) are all good to go for Sunday. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Kansas City prides itself on taking away the short area of the field, but after trading away Marcus Peters to the Rams this offseason, the Chiefs are at a massive talent disadvantage where Keenan Allen does the majority of his damage.

In 2017, Allen’s total target depth was just 9.4 yards, and he is expected to run the majority of his routes against Kendall Fuller. That is PFF’s ninth-best wide receiver/cornerback advantage of the week.

Tight end Travis Kelce looks like a solid pivot in tournaments given how loose pricing is on both sites and with more ownership expected to go to Rob Gronkowski at the high end of the salary scale.

Admittedly, the matchup isn’t fantastic — the Chargers tied for the second-fewest touchdowns allowed to tight ends last season. But Kelce owns the top leverage score at the position in FantasyLabs’ Models. — Joe Holka


Betting odds: Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos

  • Spread: Broncos -3
  • Over/Under: 42.5
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: A whopping 81% of dollars wagered have come down on Denver in this matchup at the time of writing (see live data here).

That explains why this line has ticked off the opener of Broncos -2.5 up to the key number of 3.

Over the past week, some sportsbooks have dropped this number to -2.5, and each time Denver money has showed up to knock it back to -3.PJ Walsh

Key matchup: It’s obvious, but important: The Broncos’ defensive line will dominate an improved but still very poor Seahawks offensive line. Germain Ifedi vs. Von Miller. Enough said. — Stuckey

Trends to know: Denver comes into this game having won its last six season openers. The Broncos are 38-19-1 (.664) in Week 1, which is the best mark in NFL history.

One theory why: The altitude in Denver gives the Broncos a major home-field advantage early in the season as players are still rounding into shape.

Again, this is just a theory, but I’m not sure it’s factored into the line enough, and a semi-small sample size supports my hypothesis: Since 1980, the Broncos are 28-13-1 ATS (61%) at home in the first two weeks of the season. Stuckey

Broncos-Seahawks is tied for the second-lowest over/under in Week 1 (42.5 points).

There has been value betting the over in non-divisional games with a low total (44 or fewer points) where wind is not a factor (less than 10 mph).

The over is 615-499-21 (55%) in those games since 2003. — John Ewing

I’ve got some good and bad news for Seahawks bettors this weekend.

The good news is that Russell Wilson is 14-5-1 ATS (+8.5 units) in his career as an underdog, and the Seahawks are covering the spread by 6.8 PPG.

The bad news is that Wilson is 7-15-1 ATS (-8.3 units) with more than seven days to prepare, including 1-10-1 ATS (-9.1 units) in this spot since 2015. — Evan Abrams

Injury watch: The Seahawks’ offense is expected to have running back Rashaad Penny (hand) and wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett (leg) despite each dealing with injuries during training camp,

But Seattle’s offensive line could be an even bigger issue than normal if Ifedi (ankle) and right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring) ultimately can’t suit up.

While all-world free safety Earl Thomas (holdout) reported to the team on Wednesday, it’s still unclear if he’s in good enough shape to play Sunday. The defense is already without starting linebacker K.J. Wright (knee). — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: Thomas finally ended his holdout Wednesday, but his status remains uncertain going into Sunday. The Seahawks’ new-look secondary might be better named the Legion of Doom, as Richard Sherman (49ers) and Kam Chancellor (retired) have been replaced by unproven commodities.

Emmanuel Sanders might be in the best position to thrive, as he’s expected to work primarily from the slot this season. New Broncos quarterback Case Keenum is an upgrade in the Broncos’ post-Manning era, and he fed Adam Thielen — the Vikings’ primary slot option — a team-high 8.9 targets per game in 2017. Sanders costs just $5,000 on DraftKings and carries a strong +2.74 Projected Plus/Minus. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to Watch: I love this Broncos defense, and the Seahawks’ D is on the decline. Add in multiple questions on offense outside of Wilson — O-line, Baldwin’s knee, a lackluster running game — and I think Denver extends its Week 1 winning streak to seven games.

I’ll roll with Denver -3.Stuckey


Betting odds: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals

  • Spread: Cardinals -1.5
  • Over/Under: 44
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: This game opened as a pick’em at BookMaker in April and did not move off that number until Wednesday when Arizona money finally hit the market, moving the line to Cardinals -1.5 at the time of writing. — PJ Walsh

Trends to know: Have bettors forgotten who is playing quarterback in Arizona? Sam Bradford is 40-40 ATS in his career, perfectly mediocre.

But when the line moves in his direction, Bradford’s teams have gone 11-21 (34%) ATS. — John Ewing

Injury watch: The Redskins are healthy for once, as TE Jordan Reed (toe), WR Jamison Crowder (groin) and RB Chris Thompson (leg) aren’t even listed on the injury report.

The same can’t be said for the Cardinals, as they boast question marks along the offensive line with C A.Q. Shipley (knee, IR) sidelined and TE Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) very questionable.

Things are even worse on the defensive front, considering DT Robert Nkemdiche (foot), DT Corey Peters (knee), and DE Markus Golden (knee) aren’t guaranteed to suit up. — Ian Hartitz

DFS edge: The Redskins didn’t ask Josh Norman to shadow once last season, and he lined up in the slot on just 38 of his 902 snaps (4.2%).

This means there’s a good chance Norman won’t follow Larry Fitzgerald into the slot Sunday, where Fitzgerald lined up on 51% of his snaps last season.

Fitz’s matchup is made even better by the fact that Washington traded stud slot corner Kendall Fuller, who was tied with Jalen Ramsey as PFF’s second-best cornerback in 2017, to the Chiefs as part of the Alex Smith trade.

Fitzgerald’s $6,600 price tag on DraftKings comes with a strong 10-point projected floor in our Pro Models. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: Both defenses are underrated, and I expect the Cardinals to be very run-heavy with the immobile Bradford playing behind a subpar O-line and against a very solid Washington pass rush.

You should expect a heavy dose of David Johnson against a defense that finished 29th against the run, per Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric.

On the other side, I’m not sure how the Redskins move the ball.

They have major question marks in the backfield after Derrius Guice went down, and it’s not like you can run on the Cardinals anyway. Arizona finished 2017 No. 1 in the NFL in rush defense DVOA.

The cherry on top: This game will feature two quarterbacks who rarely turn it over.

If you like punters, tune in. I like the Under 44Stuckey


Betting odds: Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers

  • Spread: Panthers -3
  • Over/Under: 42.5
  • Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: FOX

Betting market: Both offensive lines are beaten up, so bettors have focused on the under in this matchup.

After the total opened at 44, under money has driven it down to 42.5 at BookMaker.eu, which is crucial considering 43 is the most common landing spot for combined scores since the NFL moved back the extra point before the 2015 season. — PJ Walsh

DFS edge: If Christian McCaffrey’s preseason usage (89% percent of first-team snaps) continues, he could have workhorse potential in the Panthers offense this season.

He has a nice floor in the passing game regardless, but thankfully, Dallas finished 28th in DVOA at defending running backs as receivers in 2017.

McCaffrey’s matchup sets up well for a huge Week 1. — Joe Holka

Injury watch: The Cowboys will be without safety Xavier Woods (hamstring), and the Panthers will miss receiver Curtis Samuel (irregular heartbeat), but as PJ mentioned earlier, each team’s biggest concern is the offensive line.

Cowboys center Travis Frederick (illness) will miss his first career game, while guard Zack Martin (knee), tackle Tyron Smith (hamstring), and tackle La’el Collins (ankle/calf) will suit up after missing practice time during training camp.

The Panthers will be without left tackle Matt Kalil (knee, IR). guard Amini Silatolu (knee) and right tackle Daryl Williams (knee) might be ready to go after they were able to get in some limited practice time this week. — Ian Hartitz

Trend to know: Good teams from the previous season are often overvalued in Week 1.

Since 2003, teams with a winning record the year before have gone 86-106-6 ATS (45%) in the opening game. If that team is an underdog, the record falls to 26-43-2 ATS (38%).

Dallas won 9 games in 2017 and is a 2.5-point underdog in Carolina. — John Ewing


Betting odds: Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers

  • Spread: Packers -7
  • Over/Under: 47.5
  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBC

Betting market: At the time of writing, 53% of spread tickets are on Green Bay, yet 68% of actual dollars wagered are taking Chicago and the points (see live data here).

The Bears are a trendy team, especially since acquiring Khalil Mack, so don’t be surprised to see Chicago money flow in if this pops above the key number of 7 again. — PJ Walsh


Trends to know: Since Aaron Rodgers’ first start in 2008, no quarterback has been more profitable against divisional opponents (35-18 ATS vs. the NFC North, +15.6 units).

In fact, the next-closest quarterback has profited bettors almost five units fewer than Rodgers in almost 40 fewer division starts (Brian Hoyer, 12-1-1 ATS). — Evan Abrams

In the past 10 years, Rodgers is a ridiculous 41-18-3 ATS at home (70%).John Ewing

Injury watch: Offseason addition TE Trey Burton is poised for a massive role considering the Bears placed backup TE Adam Shaheen (foot) on IR.

Chicago is healthy otherwise, and the Packers aren’t in a bad position either.

The only projected starter who could miss the game appears to be LB Oren Burks (shoulder), who is the new man in the middle with LB Jake Ryan (knee, IR) sidelined.

RB Jamaal Williams is expected to work as the Packers’ featured back while RB Aaron Jones serves a two-game suspension. — Ian Hartitz

Bet to watch: You know the name Khalil Mack — and rightfully so. The Bears added one of the best defenders in the league just in time for the season, and he’ll be a difference-maker when he’s on the field against Green Bay.

Do you know the name Adrian Amos? You should. He’s one of the best safeties in the game and was the Bears’ highest-graded player last season, according to PFF.

I like Amos to limit TE Jimmy Graham in this matchup.

Rodgers will always get his, but with Amos and a solid CB group that matches up well against Green Bay, the Bears’ defense can keep this within reach.

I also like Chicago’s matchups in the passing game against one of the youngest secondaries in the NFL. There’s a reason the Packers used first- and second-round picks on cornerbacks: They need reinforcements after ranking 27th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric vs. the pass (29th vs. RBs and 32nd vs. No. 1 WRs).

Expect the Bears to take full advantage with WR Allen Robinson and RB Tarik Cohen.

I bet Chicago at +7.5 and will gladly take anything at 7 or above. Stuckey


Editor’s note: The opinions on these games are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

Credit:

Credit: USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Rodgers, Von Miller, Jimmy Garoppolo

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