NFL Preview: Week 1

NFL Betting

The Wolf runs his eye over Week 1 NFL action and gives his recommended bet for each game.

NFL Preview: Week 1

Friday, 9am
Carolina @ Denver:
Carolina -3 ($1.90)
Defending Super Bowl champions Denver host the team they conquered in the big game in Carolina in what is an enticing opening to the 2016 season. The Broncos have lost Peyton Manning and it is set to have a big impact. The Panthers are forecast to be a better team and in a revenge situation look an excellent bet.

Monday, 3am
Buffalo @ Baltimore:
Baltimore -3 ($1.85)
The Ravens are expected to be sharp improvers this year and will need to get their season rolling early. They are 10-2 (7-5 ATS) in home games in the first four weeks dating back to 2010. The Bills have covered just 1 of their last 7 road games.

Chicago @ Houston: Chicago +6.5 ($1.90)
Since 2000 the NFC North is 6-2 ATS when on the road and getting 6 or more points to an AFC South team. The Bears have covered 4 of their last 5 getting a start of 6 or more. Not a lot of confidence but would rather be with the points.

Cincinnati @ NY Jets: NY Jets +2.5 ($1.90)
The Jets are an outstanding 7-2 ATS as a home underdog since 2013 covering their only game as a home dog last year. The Bengals go in without star TE Tyler Eifert. The AFC East are 7-2 ATS as a home underdog against the AFC North dating back to 2008. Home underdogs of less than a field goal are 17-12 ATS in Week 1 since 2000.

Cleveland @ Philadelphia: Cleveland +4 ($1.90)
The Eagles were terribly disappointing as home favourites last year going 2-5 ATS when favoured by at 3 or more. The Browns have covered 5 of their last 7 in Weeks 1-4 as an underdog. Cleveland should be better than forecast this season.

Green Bay @ Jacksonville: Green Bay -4.5 ($1.90)
Home underdogs of 3.5 or more in the opening week are 9-12 ATS while the Jags are 9-22 ATS since 2010 getting 3 or more on home turf. The Packers have covered 6 of their last 9 season openers while they have covered 9 of their last 12 on the road games dating back to 2014.

Minnesota @ Tennessee: Tennessee +2.5 ($1.90)
Home underdogs of less than a field goal are 17-12 ATS in Week 1 since 2000 so siding with Tennessee. The Titans finished last year off with 3 of 4 wins and covers. Minnesota lost their starting QB last week and the Vikings already seemed like a team ready to regress. The Titans are a great upset play.

Oakland @ New Orleans: New Orleans -1 ($1.90)
The Saints are 7-2 ATS since 2013 at home when the line is between a field goal either way. Oakland are 1-3 ATS on the road when shorter than a 3.5-point underdog. Oakland are the overrated team to avoid this year.

San Diego @ Kansas City: San Diego +7 ($1.90)
The Wolf is in love with the Chargers this year and cannot believe they are getting a full touchdown in Week 1. All the metrics suggest San Diego are in for a big bounce-back year. Away underdogs of 7 or more have covered 7 of the last 10 AFC West division battles while the Chargers have covered 5 of 6 back to 2010 getting 7 on the road against divisional rivals. Bet of the week.

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta: Tampa Bay +3 ($1.90)
The Wolf has little idea in this divisional matchup. The Bucs covered both games last year while the Falcons have covered just 1 of their last 6 home games.

Monday, 6.05am
Miami @ Seattle:
Seattle -10.5 ($1.90)
Since 2009, home double digit favourites in the first week of the season are 5-2 ATS while in Weeks 1-4 they are 21-14 ATS. Seattle are the best team in football while Miami are truly mediocre. The Seahawks win this well.

Monday, 6.25am
Detroit @ Indianapolis:
Detroit +3.5 ($1.90)
Andrew Luck is questionable for this game while the Colts appear to be one of the most overrated teams coming into 2016. Indy have covered just 1 of their last 8 Week 1 games. Detrouit finished last year with three straight wins and covers.

NY Giants @ Dallas: Dallas ($1.87)
While it is unfortunate that Tony Romo is out for the Cowboys, Dallas go into this with a much better team than the Giants. Dallas have the top offensive line in the NFL, a potential superstar running back and a reasonably solid defence. Dallas have won 5 of the last 6 against the Giants.

Monday, 10.30am
New England @ Arizona:
New England +6 ($1.95)
The Cards have covered just 1 of their last 7 as a home favourite of more than a field goal so going with the Pats here. New England have covered 9 of their last 13 against NFC opponents while they are 11-5 ATS as an underdog since 2009.

Tuesday, 9.10am
Pittsburgh @ Washington:
Pittsburgh -3 ($1.90)
Week 1 road favourites of 3 to 7 points are 24-13 ATS over the last decade. The Steelers have covered 7 of their last 10 against the NFC and won both games as a road favourite last year. Be wary though as the Redskins covered five straight last year as a home underdog.

Tuesday, 12.20pm
LA Rams @ San Francisco:
San Francisco +2.5 ($1.90)
Home underdogs of 2.5 or less in the opening week of the season are an incredible 12-3 ATS since 2006. The Niners have lost a lot of talent but they have gained a competent coach. The Rams are only fair. In an ordinary game, the home underdogs are the play.

Best: San Diego +7 ($1.90)
Tennessee ($2.30)