Week 1 totals are tough to handicap because teams had all training camp to prepare for one another. So does that favor offense or defense? Here are three Bookmakers' highest Week 1 NFL Odds totals.
New Orleans Saints vs. Arizona Cardinals (48 in NFL betting)
We could see history in this game Sunday if Drew Brees has a big game. He is sitting on 396 career touchdown passes, so obviously four short of 400. The record for fewest number of games to reach 400 TD passes is 209 by Manning. This is Brees' 203rd game, so he's going to break Manning's mark likely no later than Week 2. The Saints aren't going to start running the wishbone or anything, but I do think they run more in 2015 after trading star tight end Jimmy Graham for a first-round pick and Pro Bowl center Max Unger. New Orleans also traded rising young receiver Kenny Stills to Miami for a draft pick. The team re-signed No. 1 running back Mark Ingram and added free-agent running back C.J. Spiller That's one of the best 1-2 punches in the league. However, Spiller is likely to miss the opener with a knee injury. The Cardinals' biggest offseason loss was defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, the new head coach of the Jets. No team blitzed more in 2014 than the Cards. Will they do the same under promoted linebackers coach James Butcher? Arizona QB Carson Palmer has some fine receivers, and New Orleans is missing two projected starters in the secondary, but once again the offensive line and running game are major questions. No weather concerns here.
NFL Pick: 'Under' the total. It has hit in six straight September games for the Cardinals.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos (48.5 on NFL odds)
Technically, Green Bay-Chicago and NY Giants-Dallas have bigger totals than this game, but I touched on those two games in the "Biggest Spreads Of Week 1" story here at SBR. I would go 'over' both of those. If the past two meetings between the Ravens and Broncos are any indication, this game will be the highest-scoring of Week 1. In the opener of the 2013 season, Denver won 49-27 at home -- the Ravens should have hosted as defending Super Bowl champions but couldn't due to an Orioles game -- behind 462 yards and a record-tying seven TD passes from Peyton Manning. In the divisional round of the 2012 playoffs, the Ravens stunned the Broncos in Denver 38-35 in double overtime thanks to a 70-yard TD pass to tie in the final minute and Manning pick late in the first OT. These teams are linked also by Gary Kubiak, Denver's new head coach and the Ravens' offensive coordinator in 2014. Both teams also lost a key offensive player to free agency: the Ravens said goodbye to receiver Torrey Smith and the Broncos to tight end Julius Thomas. It will be a very nice day in Denver so Manning and Joe Flacco should have no troubles throwing the ball. Manning is usually much better at home than away.
NFL Pick: Go 'Over' the total with your NFL picks. The 'over' is 5-2-1 in Baltimore's past eight on the road. The 'over' is 5-2 in the Broncos' past seven at home and 5-0 in their past five season openers.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (55 at sportsbooks)
As in past years, there's a doubleheader on Monday night and this is the opener. Some very intriguing debuts in this one. For the Eagles, it's new quarterback Sam Bradford and No. 1 running back DeMarco Murray. This will be Bradford's first regular-season start since Oct. 20, 2013 in Carolina. He suffered a season-ending ACL tear in that one and then did so again last preseason with the St. Louis Rams. Eagles coach Chip Kelly loves his upside, however, and traded Nick Foles for Bradford. Take this how you want, but the former Heisman winner was spectacular in this preseason finale, completing 10-for-10 for 121 yards and three scores against Baltimore. As for Murray, the 2014 NFL rushing king with the Cowboys was signed to a big free-agent deal, which both helps the Eagles and hurts defending NFC champion Dallas. The Eagles have a scary-good trio of running backs with Murray, fellow new addition Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. Meanwhile, it's the debut of Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator. The Falcons were dead last in total defense last season so you can see why they focused on that side of the ball for a head coach. It's a tough opener for Quinn as Philly plays faster than anyone and was No. 3 in scoring last season. No weather worries here with the dome.
NFL Pick: 'Over' the total at -110 NFL odds at Bookmaker. There's only so much Quinn can do with a lack of overall talent on the Atlanta defense. The 'over' is 4-0 in the Eagles' past four on Monday. It is 7-2 in their past nine overall. The 'over' is 6-1 in Atlanta's past seven in September.