The wait is over, Football is *officially* here! Not only do we get some real football tonight, we get a rematch from Super Bowl 50. Capper Jordan Sharp provides his views on the posted team props for the season opener.
Halleluiah, it's football season at last! We have waited months for this very night and finally we get to see some real football between the Panthers and Broncos. It's that time of the year once again, so after crushing our preseason NFL football picks, based on the posted lines at top ranked sportsbook BetOnline here are my best team prop picks for the opening night game between the Panthers and Broncos.
O/U 4.5 touchdowns
The first game of the season is not only a Super Bowl re-match, it is two of the best defenses in the NFL going toe to toe. Combine that with it being the first game of the season, where defenses are fresh and offenses have new stuff to try out, anything goes in this opening night game.
However, one of the trends established over the last few years in this game have been low scoring games. The under has cashed in three of the last four years on the NFL's opening night and with these two defenses going against one another, it is bound to be another low scoring game.
The Panthers' offense might struggle some against this Denver defense, while the Panthers' defense has played really well this preseason, so Trevor Siemian is likely going to struggle some in his first NFL start, even though it is at home.
I can see the Panthers and Broncos only putting up one or two touchdowns against one another, then making this a field goal and field position battle on opening night. We will get more into the kicking game for these two teams here in a minute, but with the thinner air in the altitude of Denver, these two teams' kickers are going to be more inclined to try some 50-yard field goals in this game tonight. That in mind, take the under with this play.
NFL Football Picks Week 1: UNDER 4.5 (-125)
O/U 3.5 field goals
Similarly, the field goal total is a little too low for these two teams and their defenses. Graham Gano and Brandon McManus both have extreme range. McManus' young leg might be able to tough 60 yards at home, while Gano has a career long of 59 yards and has been pretty good from 50-plus yards. In the last five years, Gano has hit 67 percent of his attempts from 50 yards or more.
These two teams were both in the top 10 in the NFL last year in field goal attempts, as they both attempted more than two per game last year. As long as those attempts come again here on the opening night of the season, there is some nice profit to be made from this play.
At +140 for the over, I think we see four or more field goals between these teams. In the Super Bowl last year, there were four field goals made between these two teams, including three in a row between the end of the first half to the start of the fourth.
On top of that, science tells us that field goals in Denver play longer. You can usually add on another five yards to a kicker's max distance, meaning that kicks from 40-45 yards usually have a much high success rate when playing at Mile High. With how well the Panthers and at time the Broncos played defense in the red zone, I see over 3.5 field goals made in this one. With the total so low, I think the sportsbooks see this one as a field goal game too.
Also, just a reminder, check out our NFL Futures page, because the NFL preseason future odds will be closing this week!
NFL Football Picks Week 1: OVER 3.5 (+140)