Week 1 of the NFL season is always a stark reminder that nothing comes easy in this sport. We’re going to see teams that have had rough offseason – like the San Francisco 49ers – bet against by the public while sweethearts like the Seattle Seahawks, who are deemed to be the top team in the NFC, get bet up. Here’s a look at three games where the public is in love with the favorite.
NFL Odds: Eagles -3 at Bet365
This is a situation in which Sam Bradford, the new quarterback of the Eagles, is being trusted to bring home a victory. He looked great in the preseason – along with the rest of the Eagles – and by now, everyone knows that Chip Kelly knows what he’s doing on offense. Add in the fact that they should have a stellar running game this season as well as the fact that the Atlanta Falcons were not only a bad team last season but had one of the worst defense and it’s easy to see why the public is piling in on the Eagles. They’re a known commodity and they’re offered up at a cheap price (because they’re on the road). However, the buyer may want to beware. The Falcons have a new head coach who supposedly improved the defense and running game, and the NFL odds have them listed as a home as a dog in the Monday Night Football opener.
NFL Odds: Seahawks -4 -115 at SIA
The Seahawks are the two-time defending NFC champions and have led the NFL in scoring defense three straight seasons, becoming the first team to do that since the Minnesota Vikings at the very end of the 1960s and the start of the 1970s, over 40 years ago. With that kind of track record, it’s easy to see why Seattle would be a four-point choice at St. Louis – especially given the Rams backfield situation. St. Louis will definitely be without first-round pick Todd Gurley for this one and they could also be without last year’s starting running back, Tre Mason.
However, the Seahawks have very rarely played well in St. Louis – even as they’ve won consecutive NFC titles. They were fortunate to win a few years ago when St. Louis drove inside the five-yard line at the very end of the game but failed to score a winning touchdown. Last year, they were fooled by a fake punt and by a disguised misdirection punt return. The offense stunk for three quarters before waking up in the fourth, but it was too late. The Rams could make the NFL betting public look foolish here – especially now that they finally feel they have a capable quarterback.
NFL Odds: Bengals -3 -115 at Bodog
We all know the Bengals are going to be the public sweetheart in the Sunday 4:00 o’clock games. They’ve consistently been a playoff team in recent seasons while the Oakland Raiders have been a bad team for a long, long time. Jack Del Rio is an experienced coach, but the Raider organization has been a mess for so long and lacks a competent administrative structure. While Del Rio might bring this team along, nobody is expecting that to happen early on in the season. The Bengals are just that much more of a proven commodity and the public will want to go against the Raiders with their NFL picks.