The 2015 NFL season got underway on Thursday night as the New England Patriots began the defense of their Super Bowl title by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21. If you took the under on the game, you were good, and if you had the Pats at minus 6.5, you also got paid. The spread varied with the Pats anywhere from minus 7.5 to minus 7.0 (a push this time) to minus 6.5.
There’s a full weekend of action upcoming. Here are some games on which sports bettors should be focused.
Miami vs Washington
The odds makers have Miami at anywhere from minus 2.5 to minus 4.0. The Dolphins at 2.5 is a very good deal. Neither of these teams will be contenders this season, but Miami has more to offer on both offense and defense. They play on Washington turf, FedEx Field, giving the Skins a slight advantage. The over/under is 43.5. Take the Fins at minus 2.5 with a final of 21-10, which means the under looks solid. The game will be played on Sunday at 1:00 pm.
Green Bay vs Chicago
The Pack visits Chicago at Soldiers Field for a 1 pm game on Sunday. This is a classic NFC North battle. You can still get the Packers at minus 6.5. That’s a deal. If you were monitoring odds, the early line came in at around 4. If you got that, you are golden. The over/under is 49. With a final score of around 30- 14, go with the under.
Indianapolis vs Buffalo
The setting is Ralph Wilson Stadium for this game between the Colts and the Bills. You’ve got a fine Colt offense going up against what looks to be a tough Buffalo D. The Bills, on offense, will feature a strong running game going up against a weak Colt frontline. Indy is favored by 2.5. This is a tough game to handicap. If the Bills can run, they have a good shot at taking this one down. But Colt QB Andrew Luck is one tough competitor. Go for the upset with this one and bet Buffalo. The Bills tend to do well at the top of the season.
New York vs. Dallas
The New York football Giants travel to Dallas for a Sunday night game. This is always an exciting matchup. Dallas is favored by six points and the over/under is 51. Romo needs to be solid for Dallas to win and the Cowboy running game has to be cranking. Eli Manning will need to be in good form for the Giants to have a chance. Take the Cowboys and the over for this contest. Then hold onto your seat for an exciting game.
Philadelphia vs. Atlanta
The over for this game stands at 55 points. That seems excessive when you consider the QB and offensive situations. Go with the under. The Falcons, who are the underdogs by three points and are at home in the Georgia Dome seem to be better situated to win than the Eagles. They have a strong offense overall and a much better air game. The Flacons will be tested by the Philadelphia ground attack, which is especially strong. Take Atlanta at home. Final 23- 15.
Week 1 games are tough to assess. Once you get to the fourth week or so, handicapping these games starts to get a bit easier. Still, NFL spreads tend to be the toughest to beat. Look for value, remember that the underdog often beats the spread or wins outright. Best of luck this week!