The long awaited start to this year’s NFL regular season is finally here as the Saints and the Packers kick things off this Thursday night. The great thing about the start of a new season is the tremendous amount of value that is out there in some of the current point spreads for the games.
Bang the Book has poured over all the relevant statistics and crunched the numbers to bring you the ‘best bets’ for Week 1 in the NFL.
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Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5)
The season kicks-off with a bang with one of the best divisional rivalries over the past several seasons on the slate. What makes this matchup even better is the true, deep-down hatred that these two teams have for one another. Add in two smash-mouth defenses and you have the makings of a Week 1 war.
The games between these two have remained close in recent seasons with four of the last five being decided by three points, but the Steelers have the edge overall. They have won seven of the last 10 games straight-up and are 3-1 SU in the last four. Pittsburgh is 5-1-1 against the spread in the last seven meetings overall and 9-4-1 ATS in its last 14 trips to Baltimore. Stick with the past trends in this one as the Steelers pull-out another close one.
New York (-3) at Washington
This is another great division rivalry game as the Giants look to get off to a fast start in the NFC East. All the pieces remain in-place for New York to get back to the playoffs with Eli Manning leading the passing game and the duo of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs anchoring the running attack.
Head coach Mike Shanahan’s current roster reads more like a rebuilding project than one that can compete in the East, but do not tell that to quarterback Rex Grossman, who beat out John Beck to get the start in the opener and honestly believes the Redskins will the division.
The Giants 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall and 4-1 ATS in the last five games played in Washington. Stick with the G-Men to make it five-out-of –six on the road with a convincing win on Sunday.
New England (-7) at Miami
Tom Brady has to be chomping at the bit to get this season started after a bitter 28-21 loss to the Jets in the Divisional Round of the playoffs as a 9.5-point favorite ended New England’s season last year. The loss was also a tremendous waste of an NFL-best 14-2 record in the regular season.
Miami’s embattled starting quarterback Chad Henne has to try and keep the home crowd on his side for as long as possible on Monday night, or things will turn ugly in a hurry. This may be a tall task considering that the Patriots outscored the Dolphins 79-21 in their two games last season.
The Patriots are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last five against the AFC East. The road team in this series is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings. Stick with New England to make an early statement that it is still the team to beat in the AFC no matter what Rex Ryan may think.
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.