NFL Week 1 odds have been out for a while now, but with teams getting their mini camps underway and full-blown training camp coming soon, football bettors will be look at gain an advantage over the market by grabbing these early sports handicapping services.
If you’re looking ahead to the fall, these games could provide the most value in terms of line movement between now and Week 1 kickoff.
Los Angeles Rams at Carolina Panthers (+3, 51)
The Rams are field-goal favorites on the road in their first game since a disappointing showing in the Super Bowl last February. The eyes of the betting community are locked on a skill player from each team, and how those talents perform – or don’t perform – in the preseason will shake down into the odds for the season opener.
On the L.A. sideline, folks are wondering about running back Todd Gurley after his sudden disappearance during the Rams’ playoff run. It later came to light that Gurley was playing on an injured knee for most of the year and it only got worse with arthritis flaring up toward the end of the campaign.
In Carolina, Cam Newton’s shoulder is the elephant in the room after he underwent corrective surgery this offseason. Newton couldn’t manage the deep throws towards the end of 2018 and while he’s been cleared to throw during mini camp, his workload during the preseason will have an impact on both the Week 1 spread and total.
Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5, 51.5)
The Jaguars no longer have Blake Bortles to blame for all their troubles, after parting ways with the veteran passer and bringing in former Super Bowl MVP and Philadelphia folk legend Nick Foles. The move to land Foles convinced early money to land on the Jags, along with Kansas City more than likely being without speedy WR Tyreek Hill due to suspension.
Jacksonville will be asking a lot from an offense that didn’t really do much to improve this offseason besides add Foles. The defense needs to step it up if they want to slow down the Chiefs, especially when it comes to creating turnovers. Jacksonville went from one of the most chaotic stop units in the league in 2017 to a toothless powder puff in 2018.
Hill’s suspension could trim this line to a field goal but the preseason performances of the Jaguars offense – namely Foles – will put the final touches on the line movement before September 8. If he looks like Super Foles, the spread and total will change before kickoff.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6, 51.5)
The Steelers have a lot to prove this preseason after playing without LeVeon Bell for all of 2018 and trading away WR Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders this winter. Pittsburgh still has some weapons but another year has gone by with the aging Ben Roethlisberger, who will absolutely see a digression in his numbers without Brown downfield.
A poor showing in exhibition play could push this spread to the key number of a touchdown, with money coming in on the Super Bowl champion Patriots – always a popular pick with the betting public, who will flock to the sportsbook in the days before this Week 1 opener.
Super Bowl champs are generally a good wager in Week 1 of the following season and New England has stuck it to Steelers Nation in recent meetings, covering the spread in 13 of their past 18 matchups. However, Pittsburgh did knock off the Pats 17-10 in a surprisingly bad game by both teams in Week 15 last season.