Spread and totals for Week 1 of the NFL season have been on the board since the spring, and while 99 percent of the total handle of those games will show up in September there has been some early action dictating line moves in the middle of July. Here are three Week 1 games in which oddsmakers have already adjusted the spreads and some of the sports handicapping services already bet into:
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (OTB)
The defending Super Bowl champs opened as big as 6-point favorites in this Thursday night season opener at home to the Steelers. But since Tom Brady’s “Deflategate” suspension – and pending appeal – books trimmed this matchup as low as Pats +1 before taking action on New England. With Brady’s fate expected to be announced any day now, this Week 1 game is either sitting at Patriots -3 or it’s not even on the board.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (+5.5)
This classic NFC North rivalry highlights Week 1 with plenty of eyeballs on the Bears and their new coaching staff. Chicago opened as low as +4.5 but that spread has climbed a full point with early money siding with the road team. The Bears have a lot riding on rookie receiver Kevin White and hope Alshon Jeffery can emerge as a true No. 1 option, now that Brandon Marshall is gone. Add to that a new playbook and it looks like football bettors see growing pains in the Windy City in Week 1.
Cleveland Browns at New York Jets (-3)
People are high on the Jets after a huge offseason that saw the franchise bring back its formidable secondary combo of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie as well as former Chicago WR Brandon Marshall. Those positives weigh much heavier than what’s happening in Cleveland this offseason. The league’s love affair with Johnny Manziel has worn off and bettors have walked this line from Jets -2 to a full field goal. Depending on how things trickle down in the preseason for both sides, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a half point hook on this line by kickoff in Week 1.