Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos raised the curtain on week 1 of NFL Betting with the Broncos winning convincingly. Although the Broncos were favoured to win the game, the result was an upset in the broad spectrum of the sport – after all, the Ravens are the defending Super Bowl champions.
POTENTIAL UPSET ALERTS
Analysis: Last season, the Atlanta Falcons were soaring high in the NFC South, clinching the division with a stellar 13-3-0 record (7-1-0 at home, 6-2-0 on the road). High expectations preceded them into the preseason but they failed to live up to expectations, falling well short of the mark with four straight defeats. That’s partly why the Falcons descend on the Saints as the +150 underdogs. The other reason, aside from being on the road, is the fact that the Saints are 10-2 against the Falcons when Payton (he’s back) and Drew Brees combine. Still the real season is where it counts and – call it a hunch – the Falcons will be up to the task. The Saints are a familiar foe and their biggest divisional rival. It’s a game the Falcons will want to win and one they can win. It should be a close one.
NFL Picks: Atlanta Falcons @ +150 at Bet365
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns
Analysis: Miami Dolphins go into their season opener as the +100 underdogs but with a lot of expectations riding on Ryan Tannehill and the revamped squad. The Browns have lost eight season openers in a row and the Dolphins will be looking to heap yet another defeat when they kick-off on Sunday. What makes the Dolphins the value NFL pick here is their beefed up offense with the emergence of Lamar Miller and addition of Mike Wallace. As well, the Browns haven’t exactly been an NFL heavyweight of late. Just like the Dolphins they’ve struggled in seasons past and boast a sophomore QB, which means that both teams stack up rather well against each other. This is a game the Dolphins can win.
NFL Picks: Miami Dolphins at +100 at Bet365
Analysis: Seahawks are an interesting prospect this season, a side with a lot of upside and with a refreshing young QB Russell Wilson and a solid defense, which could be one of the best this season. Combined with a standout preseason bookies send the Hawks to Carolina as the hot favourites at -175 to win outright at the expense of Carolina Panthers, who are listed as the +155 NFL betting odds underdogs. But the Seahawks are starting on the road and it’s a long, coast-to-coast trek to Carolina. Moreover, the preseason isn’t always the best indicator of what to expect when the real deal gets going. It remains to be seen whether the Seahawks can underscore their solid preseason effort with a road win and so it seems they are a bit overrated at the expense of a Panthers side that will have home advantage and, importantly, that didn’t do too badly during the preseason (3-1, 2-0 at home) and beat the Ravens to boot.
NFL Picks: Carolina Panthers +155 at Bet365