Buffalo Bills @ NY Jets
Indianapolis Colts @ LA Chargers
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals
Buffalo Bills (+2.5) @ New York Jets
Pick: Bills +2.5 | Bet with Resorts Now
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
The season gets kicked off for the Bills and Jets with a good old fashioned AFC East rivalry game. While the Jets have massive expectations after some key offseason acquisitions, a lot of experts around the NFL expect the Bills to be one of the surprise teams to make the playoffs. One thing is for certain with this matchup, though, we’re going to get one helluva physical game.
Odds Analysis: Bills at Jets
We’ve seen some interesting movement on the spread since the open, where the Jets were at -3. However, too many public bettors liked the Jets and that pushed it up to -3.5. At that point, sharps started hammering the Bills – that brought it back down to -3, and eventually -2.5 where it currently sits.
Also, lots of bets were taken for the total going over. That pushed the opening total of 38 all the way up to 40.5 or 41 at most sportsbooks.
Bills Betting Form
The Bills might not be the most exciting team in football, but they’ll certainly make opposing teams feel their presence. Buffalo’s already impressive defensive line added Ed Oliver in the draft, and this is just one scary unit in general. New York’s offensive line isn’t highly-graded, and Jets quarterback Sam Darnold was one of the worst quarterbacks under pressure last season.
Look for the Bills to bring tons of pressure at Darnold, and not feel any sort of guilt in doing so. Two of the best Jets’ deep threats, wide receiver Robbie Anderson isn’t at full strength and tight end Chris Herndon is suspended, making it that much harder for them to move the ball.
Jets Betting Form
The Jets might end up being the better team at the end of the season, but they’ll have to go through some bumps at the onset. For one, newly-signed running back Le’Veon Bell hasn’t played a tackle football game since Jan. 14, 2018, when the Steelers lost to the Jaguars in the Divisional Round of the AFC Playoffs two seasons ago.
Also, this will be the first time that head coach Adam Gase is running the Jets in a regular-season game. For what it’s worth, the Bills absolutely throttled his Dolphins in last year’s regular-season finale by the score of 42-17.
New York’s defense is a solid unit, but they do have a couple minor injuries to deal with. They did sign C.J. Mosely and draft Quinnen Williams, so it’s not like we’re expecting the Jets to roll over and die in this one. However, the Bills’ offensive line holds an advantage over the Jets in that regard, and we take that into consideration.
Pick: Bills +2.5
At the end of the day, Buffalo has a lot more cohesiveness and returning players coming back to their team. The mismatch of their defensive-front against the Jets offensive line could create plenty of problems for Darnold and Bell, thus leading them into a state of frustration. Look for the Bills to win this one close.
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Indianapolis Colts (+6.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Colts +6.5 | Bet with PointsBet Now
Time: 4:05 p.m. EST
The Colts begin the post-Andrew Luck era on Sunday with a road trip to Los Angeles to face the Chargers. While many recreational bettors and football fans don’t expect the Colts to be a threat in this game, that’s certainly not the route they should be taking. Indianapolis has one of the best rosters in football, even without Luck here. This is going to be a competitive football game, and we’ll break down all the reasons why.
Odds Analysis: Colts at Chargers
The Chargers opened as three-point favorites and moved to -6.5 after Luck announced his retirement – the public went crazy on LA after this. It’s worth noting, the line actually moved all the way up to -7.5 at one point, but sharps hammered the Colts and that point and brought the line back down to -6.5 where it currently sits.
Colts Betting Form
Jacoby Brissett has the respect of just about everyone in the NFL, but apparently not the public. Almost every public bettor has their money on the Chargers, and that’s a huge mistake. Brissett is one of the better backups in football, and a lot of people tend to remember his first go-round as a starter, when Indy didn’t have a good offensive line and decent skill players. The Colts have one of, if not, the best offensive lines in football, so this transition should be made a lot easier for Brissett.
As we mentioned, the Colts have one of the better rosters in the league now. The key to their success on Sunday could be the Indy defensive line going up against the LA offensive line. Even though the Colts will be missing Jabaal Sheard with a knee injury, there’s still enough bodies to make life difficult on Phillip Rivers trying to unload the ball quickly.
There are plenty of injuries on the LA side of things which could make life easier for Indy.
Chargers Betting Form
Those major injuries for the Chargers are on each side of the ball, not to mention, they’ll be missing star running back Melvin Gordon. On offense, they’ll be without left tackle Russell Okung; any time you’re missing the guy protecting your quarterback’s blindside, it’s just another thing to worry about.
On defense, the Chargers will be without star safety Derwin James, who had numerous responsibilities for the complex defensive system ran by defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. We’ll see the Colts take advantage of this by using a lot of their dynamic-duo tight-end combo (Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron) over the middle of the field.
Pick: Colts +6.5
The Colts have an actual chance to win this game outright, but we’ll just settle for covering the spread in Week 1. There are worrisome injuries for the Chargers that they may not be able to overcome, and what’s even more worrisome are all of these casual bettors sleeping on Brissett. He’s going to surprise some people this season – and more importantly, this week.
Side note: To be safe, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for bettors buy an extra half-point or even the full-point. There’s a major difference between having your numbers at 6.5 or 7.5.
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Detroit Lions -2.5 @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Lions -2.5 | Bet with BetMGM Now
Time: 4:25 p.m. EST
This should be one of the more interesting games this week, as we’ll see the No. 1 pick in action along with his new head coach and the wild scheme that people are anxious to see. Not to mention, the Lions have caught the attention of most bettors – which we’ll get to in a little bit.
Odds Analysis: Lions at Cardinals
Only one other team (the Dolphins) has gotten fewer bets this week than the Cardinals. And it makes plenty of sense, considering they had the worst record in football last season. Another interesting number to note – 75 percent of the bets have come on the under (46), causing it to drop three points.
Lions Betting Form
We’ll discuss the injuries more in depth below, but the Cardinals will be missing key players in their secondary. This should allow Lions quarterback Matt Stafford to hit receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones quite a few times throughout the day. Look for this offense to be sharp early and keep things rolling enough until the end.
In reality, there’s a lot of guessing when trying to analyze the Lions’ defense against the Cardinals’ new Air Raid offense. This could cause some problems, but it’s not like Arizona’s offense was exactly humming along during the preseason.
Cardinals Betting Form
This new offense that Kliff Kingsbury brings to the NFL comes with a great deal of skepticism. It didn’t work well during the preseason, and there’s plenty of questions that are still to be answered. Cardinals quarterback and No. 1 pick Kyler Murray has plenty of flash in his game, but it typically takes rookies a few series, quarters or even games to get their feet under them.
The Cardinals will be missing two starting cornerbacks Patrick Peterson (suspension) and Robert Alford (IR), so look for the Lions to be aggressive in their aerial attack against two fill-ins that have never played an NFL snap.
Pick: Lions -2.5
As we mentioned, there’s a lot of guessing that goes into analyzing this game. Nonetheless, this is one of the few times when agreeing with the vast majority of the public should pay off in our favor. We’ve never seen this Air Raid system be successful in the NFL – hell, we’ve never even seen Kingsbury be successful in college! Roarrrrrrrrr!
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