NFL: Lookahead Week 1 Betting Preview
With the NFL preseason now fully underway and the first meaningful contest inside a month, another NFL season ripe with sports betting opportunity is upon us. The league’s extreme popularity has forced most on and offshore sportsbooks pay per head to post Week 1 many months in advance, in addition to season win totals and other season-long props. With preseason games already complete, teams are starting to take form and the lines are already starting to tighten. Let’s look at some of the first week’s games and see where the edges still exist.
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky indicated improvement throughout the 2018 season, but I’m still not buying totally in. For the Packers, it’s been another dramatic offseason for Aaron Rodgers who has been forced to yet again defend himself and his character in the media for seemingly the entire spring and summer. Assuming no incident in what should be limited preseason action, Rodgers should be fully healthy for the first time since this time last year and as good as the Bear’s defense was last year and should be this season, I’ll still take a healthy Rodgers when it counts. As September approaches, I think this line also dips to below a field goal with the public jumping on Green Bay.
Los Angeles Rams (-3) @ Carolina Panthers
The last time we saw an NFL game that mattered, we witnessed Sean McVay and his Rams get one of the worst coaching beat-downs in the history of the Super Bowl. The offensive strategist McVay has now been given the entire offseason to prepare for what has been a one-dimensional Cam Newton-lead team with an aging roster and simple-minded Ron Rivera. In this one, give me the team that’s better on both sides of the ball and undoubtedly in the coaching department. Currently sitting at -3, I could see this point spread dipping to below a field goal by kickoff and might be worth waiting on.
Indianapolis Colts (+3) @ Los Angeles Chargers
This line originally opened as high as Colts +3.5 and has since been bet down to where it sits now. As week one approaches, I see the number continuing to dip, pending any injuries in training camp or a preseason game. The Colts finished off the 2018 campaign as one of the hottest in the NFL, winning 10 of their last 12 games including a blowout win in the playoffs game against the Texans. Most offshore and local sportsbooks also have the Colts as one of their top teams to win Super Bowl LIV at +1400, with the Chargers closer to +1600. With little to no field advantage yet again, I expect the Colts to be able to take advantage of this opening spot in LA.