Here’s a look at Thursday night game opening lines for the 2016 NFL season, first offered in April by CG Technology in Las Vegas, along with a few trends and tidbits to help your football handicapping.
Thursday Night Football starts in earnest in Week 2 following the Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos meeting on Sept. 8 in the 2016 Kickoff Game. It’s the first Super Bowl rematch in the opening weekend since 1970. Despite beating the Panthers for the Lombardi Trophy in February, Denver is a 3-point home underdog in the opener. The line opened with the Broncos at -1.5 but has since adjusted. Head coach Gary Kubiak named Trevor Siemian his 2016 starting quarterback, which has some bettors scared. Siemian, a second-year pro, has taken one regular-season snap in his career, a kneel down. The Broncos have kicked off a home dog four times under Kubiak, each at short prices, winning all of them outright by a 10.3 average margin.
Here's a look at Thursday night lines, minus the handful of Thanksgiving Day games.
Opening Line: Broncos -1
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Week 2 (Sept. 15): New York Jets vs. Buffalo Bills
The Jets are just 2-4 SU, but 4-1-1 ATS in Thursday night road contests. The Bills have won the last five matchups SU and ATS, head coach Rex Ryan beating his former team 22-17 as 2.5-point dogs last season at New Era Field late in the year.
Opening Line: Bills -2
Week 3 (Sept. 22): Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
The Patriots are 6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS on Thursday nights at Gillette Stadium, three times kicking off the NFL regular season opener. New England is 20-2 (15-7 ATS) all-time when hosting an AFC South foes.
Opening Line: Patriots -8
Week 4 (Sept. 29): Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
New coach Adam Gase will get a chance to display his new Dolphins offense to a national audience. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph worked under Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis in the past, so expect Miami’s defense to give a good showing. Cincy is 3-1 SU and ATS at Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday nights.
Opening Line: Bengals -6.5
Week 5 (Oct. 6): Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers
The UNDER is 4-0 when the 49ers take the field in San Francisco on Thursday nights. They’ve averaged just 7.2 points, combining with their foes for 20.0 points per game overall. The score has stayed south of the total by a whooping 20.9 points per contest. The Cardinals eked out a 19-13 win as 9-point chalk last season in San Francisco.
Opening Line: Cardinals -6
Week 6 (Oct. 13): Denver Broncos vs. San Diego Chargers
The Broncos are 6-1 SU and ATS in their last seven trips to San Diego, three times winning as underdogs.
Opening Line: Broncos -3
Week 7 (Oct. 20): Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
The Bears have stunned the Pack in two of their last three trips to Lambeau Field, winning outright in 2013 (27-20) and 2015 (17-13) as 10.5- and 7.5-point dogs respectively. Last season’s stunner was a Thursday night affair on Thanksgiving Day. Outside of that defeat, the Packers are 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS under the lights in a mid-week affair at home.
Opening Line: Packers -9
Week 8 (Oct. 27): Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans
Two teams looking to make giant strides this season, this is just the second Thursday night road trip for the Jags in franchise history. They were routed 41-14 as 13.5 point underdogs by the Falcons back in 2011. Last year’s meeting in Nashville was a shootout, with both teams combining for 41 points in the fourth quarter. The Titans won 42-39 as 2.5-point favorites, sailing over the 43.5 total by 37.5 points.
Opening Line: Pick’em
Week 9 (Nov. 3): Atlanta Falcons vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Falcons and Bucs have played within a field-goal spread in the last seven meetings at Raymond James Stadium. Oddsmakers have been right on the mark too. Atlanta is 4-3 SU, 3-3-1 ATS, winning by an average scoring margin of 0.7 points. Atlanta is 7-1 ATS on Thursday night games not scheduled on Turkey Day.
Opening Line: Buccaneers -1.5
Week 10 (Nov. 10): Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens
Offense has been an issue in Cleveland for years now, and it tends to falter on short planning headed into mid-week away games. The Browns average 11.6 points per outing on Thursday night road trips, the UNDER going a perfect 7-0. Sportsbook 5Dimes has the team listed as the longest price on the board for the highest scoring team in this season at +15000 NFL odds, so yeah.
Opening Line: Ravens -8.5
Week 11 (Nov. 17): New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
Carolina has not faired well on Thursday nights at Bank of America Stadium, going 0-3 SU and ATS. It has lost by an average of 18 points and scored just 11.3 points per game. Last season’s top points-getter may reverse these fortunes this year against one of the NFL’s leakiest defenses. This is the first time in 42 meetings Carolina has spotted the Saints double-digit points.
Opening Line: Panthers -10
Week 13 (Dec. 1): Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
Quarterback Tony Romo may be back for this one, but newly injured QB Teddy Bridgewater will not, out for the season with a torn ACL and dislocated the knee. This is Minnesota’s first trip to Dallas since 2013. It is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 matchups, winning and covering the spread in all six in which it kicked off as a favorite, including two in Texas.
Opening Line: Vikings -4.5
Week 14 (Dec. 8): Oakland Raiders vs. Kansas City Chiefs
This game will likely have major playoff implications in the highly competitive AFC West. The Raiders are just 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS in the last six meetings, dropping both games last season as 3- and 6.5-point underdogs. K.C. has lost its last three Thursday night games at Arrowhead.
Opening Line: Chiefs -4.5
Week 15 (Dec. 15): Los Angeles Rams vs. Seattle Seahawks
Tied for the longest price on the board with the Panthers-Saints matchup, the Seahawks hold teams to 12.5 points per game when favored by 10 points or more at home. They are 23-2 SU and 18-7 ATS in this situation. Set your snooze button.
Opening Line: Seahawks -10
Week 16 (Dec. 22): New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
New coaches Ben McAdoo and Doug Pederson will have their feet wet by the time this late-season division clash arrives. This game will likely help determine the NFC East winner, which is a wide-open contest. The UNDER is 6-0 in New York’s last six trips to the Linc.
Opening Line: Eagles -2.5