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Early 2017 NFL Preview: Top Week 1 Matchups

It’s never too early for some NFL betting. The Super Bowl futures market is always open, of course, but you can also bet on the first games of the 2017 NFL regular season right now at Bovada. The lines for Week 1 are already up on the NFL odds board; here are some of the key games and storylines heading into the new season, starting with one of the most intriguing matchups in the NFC.
 
Seattle Seahawks (+3) at Green Bay Packers
Is this the end of the Seahawks’ “dynasty”? From a statistical perspective, they were the best team in the NFL four years running – until the New England Patriots went nuclear in 2016. Seattle still has ample talent at both ends of the ball, but the offensive line struggled last season, and it may be only marginally better this season with the arrival of left guard/tackle Luke Joeckel from the Jacksonville Jaguars and center Ethan Pocic from the LSU Tigers.
The Packers are in much the same boat, except their offensive line is even more suspect after the defections of guard TJ Lang (now with Detroit) and center JC Tretter. Home-field advantage could be the difference in this matchup; the home team has won each of the last six games at 5-1 ATS.
 
New York Giants (+5) at Dallas Cowboys
As brilliantly as the Cowboys performed last season, many bettors are counting on QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott to go through some kind of sophomore slump – and losing both LG Ronald Leary and RT Doug Free from their stellar offensive line could expedite that process. The Giants quietly went 11-5 last season to finish second behind Dallas in the NFC East, and they’ve covered each of the last five chapters in this ongoing rivalry, four of those as underdogs.

Kansas City Chiefs (+7.5) at New England Patriots
The first game on the NFL Week 1 schedule also features the biggest spread on the Week 1 odds board. New England’s Super Bowl defense starts at home against a Chiefs team that went 12-4 last season, but Kansas City’s performance level was “only” good enough for 10.1 Pythagorean wins. Still, that extra half-point might be enough to make the Chiefs the right pick at +7.5. When KC last visited Foxborough in the 2016 playoffs, they lost 27-20 as 6-point underdogs.
 
 
*Odds as of June 2, 2017

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