Other than Seattle-San Francisco, I don't think you could ask for a better NFC opening opponent on Thursday night's NFL Kickoff Game for the champion Seahawks than Green Bay. Let's take a look at NFL special props for the matchup.
No Replacement Refs This Time
This is the first meeting between these teams since Week 3 of 2012 when Seattle beat Green Bay 14-12 on the "Fail Mary," one of the worst calls in the NFL this century. At least it led to the end of the NFL locking out the regular officials. Think that play might get showed on Thursday night?
QB Russell Wilson
Golden Tate caught that ball from Russell Wilson, and while Tate is now in Detroit there are a few Wilson specials from the game: +333 to score a rushing touchdown and Seattle wins; +800 to have at least 25 completions; +900 for more than 300 passing yards; and +1200 for at least four touchdown passes.
Obviously both teams are different from 2012, but here's what Wilson did in that defensive battle: 10-for-21 passing for 130 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He rushed three times for 18 yards. Wilson is a vastly different player than that guy as it was just his third career NFL game. Last season, Wilson rushed for a single touchdown, in an overtime win over Tampa Bay. In fact, he never got more than eight carries in Seattle's final 10 games. I don't believe the Seahawks want him running much and subjecting his body to punishment. Wilson had at least 25 completions in one 2013 game and 300 yards in two. It's just not how the Seahawks are built.
NFL Pick: No on these props.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Now on to "Beast Mode" Marshawn Lynch, who might be in his final season in a Seattle uniform. The guy has had a lot of carries and will be 29 next April. He had to bicker with the team for a smallish raise to even report to camp. Lynch's props are: -115 to score a touchdown and Seattle wins; +275 to score two or more touchdowns; +500 for at least 125 rushing yards; and +700 for more than 150 combined rushing and receiving yards. Lynch had 25 carries for 98 yards in the last meeting with the Pack and didn't reach the end zone. The Packers were 25th against the rush in 2013 and already have lost run-stuffing tackle B.J. Raji for the season.
NFL Pick: I believe Lynch scores at least one and that Seattle will win so take that at -115 on your NFL picks. I'd probably roll the dice for two touchdowns as well but not more than 125 yards. Also go Lynch at +400 for first touchdown of game by any player.
QB Aaron Rodgers
For Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers -- who is receiving a ton of love on the NFL MVP props at sportsbooks from bettors -- has to face off against the NFL's top-ranked pass defense. Seattle allowed just 172 pass yards per game last year and a scant 16 touchdowns while picking off an NFL-high 28 passes. It's almost unfair how good cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas are.
Rodgers was 26 of 39 for 223 yards without a TD in the last meeting. He was on track for another monster season in 2013 before breaking his collarbone in Week 9. So in a way, Rodgers doesn't fully know what it's like to have a franchise-type running back in Eddie Lacy as those two didn't play a full season together. Rodgers' props are: +500 for at least 30 completions; +1200 for more than 400 passing yards; +1400 for at least five TD passes; and +2200 to score a rushing TD and the Packers win.
NFL Pick: only recommendation here is the 30 completions. I could see him throwing it around 45 times and completing 30ish.
RB Eddie Lacy
Seattle's run defense was no slouch a year ago, tied for seventh in allowing 101.6 yards per game. The Seahawks tied for the NFL lead in giving up only four rushing touchdowns. So Lacy could have his work cut out for him. He rushed 284 times for 1,178 yards and 11 scores in winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. His props are: +225 for more than 100 rushing yards; +450 for more than 150 combined rushing and receiving yards; +500 for Lacy to score a TD and Packers win; +700 for two or more touchdowns.
NFL Pick: Lacy is the clear-cut goal-line back, so roll the dice on two or more TDs at +700. The Packers should score at least 21 points -- that's the site's over/under for Green Bay, both at -115 -- and Lacy can account for two of those.
Be sure to check out other Week 1 Value Bets for your NFL Picks here.