NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 1

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 1!

Dallas Cowboys (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ New York Giants (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New York -3.5, Total: 45

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Wednesday, September 5th, 8:30 ET

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This is going to be the first time that the NFL has played a game on a Wednesday in decades! The Giants are the Super Bowl champs, and they are going to be raising their banner at MetLife Stadium in what will amount to be a huge party on opening night. The defending Super Bowl champs are always the hosts of the first game of the year, and since that format has started in 2003, the team that won the Lombardi Trophy has yet to lose a game. Dallas badly needs to spoil the fun if it is going to have a chance of competing this year in the NFC East, as these are the types of games that QB Tony Romo just hasn’t been able to win in his career. QB Eli Manning though, has been a master of taking down his divisional foes, and the oddsmakers think that that won’t be an exception here on Wednesday night.

Atlanta Falcons (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Kansas City Chiefs (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta -3 (-120), Total: 44

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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Can you believe that the Falcons have never won a game here at Arrowhead Stadium in their franchise’s history? In fact, the last time that they came here, the Chiefs were able to run the ball for all sorts of record setting numbers. It could be a good omen for both RB Jamaal Charles, coming off of his ACL injury from last year, and RB Peyton Hillis, who hopes to get back on track with his new team in 2012. However, this version of the Falcons can fly and fly high, and this is going to be a tremendous test for the Kansas City secondary early on in the campaign. All of the action on the NFL betting lines has been on Atlanta from the get go, and the movement from a pick ‘em all the way up to -3 has been amazing to watch.

Philadelphia Eagles (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Philadelphia -8.5, Total: 43.5

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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QB Michael Vick is ironically entering the “Dawg Pound” for this one, and he is doing so with a bunch of ailments. Vick will be wearing a jacket to protect his banged up ribs, but one good shot to the chest could put him out of commission for quite some time, so he’ll have to be careful. The injury concern for Cleveland is about RB Trent Richardson, but all signs point to the fact that he should be out there for the first game of his rookie campaign for keeps. QB Brandon Weeden will be making his debut as well in this West Coast offense, and this is clearly going to be a learning process for him and his new team. Weeden might be one of the oldest rookies ever in the league, but he still has a lot of growing up to do to be able to make it as a starter, and this is going to be the first of what should be many tests in his budding career.

Washington Redskins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ New Orleans Saints (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New Orleans -7, Total: 50

Mercedes Benz Superdome, New Orleans, LA – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Saints know that they are going to have to be super careful about this game, or they could be in a lot of trouble on their home turf. Remember that this is the first regular season game that will be played without DE Will Smith, LB Jonathan Vilma, DC Joe Vitt, and HC Sean Payton, and that could make for an interesting learning experience when the bullets that are flying are for real. Speaking of live bullets, that’s what QB Robert Griffin III is going to be experiencing for the first time in what amounts to be the first game of his professional career. RGIII had some moments of pure brilliance in the preseason, and he might turn out to be a stud in the making. Washington has a lot of hope on both sides of the ball, and it has a lot of early talent in the NFL Draft that is stockpiling both the offense and the defense. Going into the Bayou and pulling off the upset certainly isn’t out of the question, especially knowing that Head Coach Mike Shanahan has one of the best records in the league in Week 1 games.

St. Louis Rams (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Detroit Lions (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Detroit -7 (+100), Total: 45.5

Ford Field, Detroit, MI – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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Last year was the first time in a decade and a half in which the Lions were able to get into the playoffs. This year is the first time that they are going to open the season in perhaps even longer with some legitimate expectations. The first game looks to be a relatively easy one on paper against the Rams, but we think that the visitors could be in for a great season under first year Head Coach Jeff Fisher. QB Sam Bradford still doesn’t quite look the part of a legit top flight starting quarterback in this league, but St. Louis passed up the chance to take RGIII to stick with Bradford at the helm, and that has to give him a great level of confidence. There could be a lot of points on the board for sure, though we have seen both the point spread and the ‘total’ drop by a point and a half in recent days, proving that perhaps there are others out there that are starting to believe in the Rams as well.

New England Patriots (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Tennessee Titans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New England -5.5, Total: 47

LP Field, Nashville, TN – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Patriots know that they are going to score a lot of points this year, and they probably know that they aren’t going to be the worst defense in the AFC for the second year in a row. That being said, they definitely have their problems, and they aren’t unbeatable. Tennessee is going to be giving it everything that it has to take down the Brady Bunch, especially here at home. This might look like a massive mismatch, but the Titans nearly got into the playoffs last year, and had they done it, they would have had the ball in QB Jake Locker’s hands. RB Chris Johnson won’t be as bad as he was last year in all likelihood, and he could be in for a great game against a rush defense that has had the tendency of looking weak over the course of the last few years. There will be no WR Kenny Britt in this one, partially because of injury, but certainly due to his one-game suspension for his off the field problems.

Miami Dolphins (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Houston Texans (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Houston -11.5, Total: 42.5

Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Texans were in the playoffs last year, and they should be back this season once again as the winners of the AFC South. No one really thinks that they are going to lose this game, especially not since all of their injured pieces to the puzzle from a year ago are back, healthy, and ready to go. QB Ryan Tannehill could be a real disaster for the Dolphins if he doesn’t pan out. He was their first round draft pick this year and was basically immediately tabbed the future of the franchise even though he is a converted wide receiver that played just over a dozen games under center at Texas A&M. Remember that Houston has already been beaten by one rookie quarterback in his first ever game here at Reliant, as the Jets with QB Mark Sanchez pulled it off a few years ago. There’s a reason that this point spread has jumped from six all the way up as high as 13.5 before some middlers brought the action back down to a more reasonable 11.5, where it sits as of Wednesday morning.

Buffalo Bills (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ New York Jets (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: New York -3 (+110), Total: 39

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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When the 2012 NFL schedule first came out, the Jets had to think that this was a game that would have resulted in a win. They’re still favored, but they really have a lot of skeptics after going the whole preseason with just one touchdown being scored offensively. QB Mark Sanchez is going to be in for a heck of a season now that he has QB Tim Tebow looking over his shoulder, and the New York faithful will probably want Tebow to play just as the Denver faithful wanted him to be under center last year. What’s lost in all of this is how much of an improved team Buffalo really is after signing DE Mario Williams in the offseason. This is a big time swing game for two teams in the AFC East that don’t figure to be able to challenge for the divisional crown, but do hope to be challenging for a Wild Card slot this year.

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Minnesota Vikings (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Minnesota -3.5, Total: 38.5

HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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Needless to say, this isn’t going to be the sexiest game in the world, as neither of these teams figures to really be doing much this year in terms of the playoff chase. However, it could be a crucial game for NFL Draft positioning next year (though who likes to talk about that in September?). RB Maurice Jones-Drew held out for over a month in search of a new contract that he never did get, and now he might be in the midst of a cluster of a battle with RB Rashad Jennings for the top rushing spot. Minnesota might be babying along RB Adrian Peterson as well, as this is slated to be his first game off of ACL surgery that he had to have at the end of last season. Needless to say, with both star running backs somewhat limited at best, this could be a tremendous dud of a game.

Indianapolis Colts (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Chicago Bears (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Chicago -9.5, Total: 43

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL – Sunday, September 9th, 1:00 ET

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QB Andrew Luck is going to be making his highly anticipated debut, though this is going to be a heck of a battle against the Bears. Indianapolis really doesn’t have all that much of a chance of making the playoffs this year, but winning this game might not be all that farfetched. Chicago has a heck of a lot of talent, and the expectations are as high as could be. WR Brandon Marshall should be in for a great season, and this would be a great opportunity against a perennially weak secondary. If QB Jay Cutler doesn’t end up doing well in a game like this, he is going to be in a lot of trouble in the Windy City, as the media just isn’t going to leave him alone.

Carolina Panthers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Carolina -2.5, Total: 47

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Sunday, September 9th, 4:25 ET

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The Bucs and the Panthers are going to be battling it out in the NFC South, and though these teams finished third and fourth in the division a campaign ago, they could both be playoff teams if they can turn their problems around. Tampa Bay’s defense is going to be the unit really under the gun after an atrocious end to the season. S Mark Barron should be part of the difference maker, knowing that he was picked early in the NFL Draft to become a proven winner and a leader. QB Cam Newton really ripped the Bucs to shreds twice last year, and he might be ready to do it a third time. Carolina needs some help with its defense as well too, though, as this was really the only unit that kept this team down. This is going to be an important game between two up and coming teams.

Seattle Seahawks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Arizona Cardinals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -2.5 (-105), Total: 40.5

University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ – Sunday, September 9th, 4:25 ET

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The season ended last year with the Seahawks and the Cardinals playing in the final game of the year for the right to finish at .500. Arizona got the job done, and it might have ultimately saved the job of Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt for one more year. Now, the two clubs are going to meet again, and there is a lot on the line here as well, as both teams want to get off to a great start to the campaign, especially with this being a divisional battle. Seattle and Arizona both had some massive quarterback controversy at the start of training camp, and neither situation has likely totally been settled as of yet. QB Russell Wilson is going to get the nod in his first ever game for the Hawks, while QB John Skelton beat out QB Kevin Kolb for the position for Arizona. Still, the situation is fluid for sure, and there is going to be a lot of pressure on Wilson to perform in a hurry, especially knowing that the team just went out and picked up QB Matt Flynn for a hefty price tag last offseason, theoretically to be its starting quarterback.

San Francisco 49ers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Green Bay Packers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Green Bay -5, Total: 46.5

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI – Sunday, September 9th, 4:25 ET

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The Green Bay/San Francisco game is clearly the best game on the docket in Week 1, and it is going to be a clash that could go a long, long way in determining which team is going to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Not only is the winner of this game going to already be a game up on the other, but that team will also hold the tiebreaker on the other as well for the rest of the campaign. That might truly be an invaluable asset, knowing that neither of these teams figure to lose all that many games this year. The two real mismatches occur on defense and at quarterback, but the two really cancel each other out. The Niners have a defense that just doesn’t quit and forces a ton of turnovers, while Green Bay’s ‘D’ ranked dead last in football a year ago. QB Aaron Rodgers though, is a whole heck of a lot better than what QB Alex Smith is bringing to the table. This should be a great game.

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Denver Broncos (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Denver -1.5, Total: 44.5

Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver, CO – Sunday, September 9th, 8:20 ET

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The Steelers have officially returned to the scene of the crime. They were knocked out of the playoffs last year in what amounted to be a shocking upset at the hands of these Broncos when they were led by QB Tim Tebow. However, at this point, it isn’t Tebow, but QB Peyton Manning that is leading Denver onto the field. What was once a brutal rushing team is now one that plans on throwing the football 35-40 times per game out of the spread attack and the shotgun. This will be quite the test for the Pittsburgh defense, which has taken a lot of shots over the course of the last year and change in the media for how old it is getting. The unit will be without both S Ryan Clark and LB James Harrison for this game, and that might go a long way in determining which side is going to come out on top.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Baltimore -6, Total: 41

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD – Monday, September 10th, 7:00 ET

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The Ravens and the Bengals were both playoff teams last year, but they were really separated by seemingly a heck of a lot more than just the three games in the standings. Baltimore was able to beat a number of playoff teams over the course of the year, including the Steelers twice. Cincinnati went 9-0 against teams that didn’t get into the postseason but just 0-8 including a playoff loss to Houston in games against squads that did make the second year. QB Andy Dalton and WR AJ Green are going to hope to lead the Bengals in the right direction in this one, though it is going to be tough against the Ravens ‘D’, even without DE/LB Terrell Suggs out on the field. Obviously the stakes are high for both of these teams, and if all holds up on Sunday, the winner might be the only team in the AFC North to start off the year at 1-0.

San Diego Chargers (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) @ Oakland Raiders (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS)
Spread: Oakland -1, Total: 47

O.co Coliseum, Oakland, CA – Monday, September 10th, 10:15 ET

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The Chargers and the Raiders are probably both destined for seasons with between seven and nine wins just as the rest of the teams in the AFC West are. Again, it goes without saying that these divisional battles are intense for a reason, and this should be no exception. It looks as though RB Ryan Mathews is going to be held out for the Bolts, and if that’s the case, four of the crucial starters from last year’s offense (and backup RB Michael Tolbert) will all be gone. QB Carson Palmer has had the whole offseason to hone his skills and get back in game shape, and if he can successfully do that, Oakland might be the surprise team of the year. Winning this first game would surely help a ton, though.

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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