After months of turmoil, Tom Brady will suit up and play in Thursday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers – the first game of the 2015 NFL Regular Season. There are some stars that will not see the field due to suspension, however, as New England’s LeGarrette Bount and Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant are all suspended for this contest.
New England was listed as a three-point home favorite for this game throughout the NFL Preseason when Brady’s playing status was in serious jeopardy. After that suspension was lifted, the Pats lined jumped to -7. NFL bettors quickly jumped on that line value, however, and New England is now down to a 6.5-point choice.
That is only one of a handful of intriguing games this weekend. Quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston were under the microscope this NFL Preseason as the two highly-drafted quarterbacks. We won’t have to wait long to see them share a football field as the Titans visit the Bucs this Sunday. Tampa Bay is a three-point favorite thanks to home field advantage, and this line implies these teams would be a pick ‘em if played on a neutral field.
The Green Bay Packers are the biggest favorite on the board as they visit the Chicago Bears. Apparently this online sportsbook doesn’t mind having the Packers lay a big number despite losing All-Pro wide receiver Jordy Nelson. Green Bay beat Chicago by 21 and 41 points last year, easily covering the number in both victories.
The game that we are most excited to watch is the first of two Monday Night Football games when Philadelphia visits Atlanta. This game promises to be a shootout, with the Eagles and Atlanta both employing powerful, up-tempo offenses and suspect defensive units. Philly is a three-point road favorite, and this game has the highest posted total of the NFL’s Week 1 action with a 55.5-point number.
There are eight home underdogs this week, including both of the Monday Night Football hosts. We mentioned the Eagles being a three-point choice at Atlanta, and the late game has San Francisco giving 2.5 points at home against Minnesota. It will be interesting to see how Adrian Peterson looks after the mess of last season, and San Francisco also has a new look in the backfield as Carlos Hyde replaces Frank Gore as the main focus of the offense.
We’ll be back next week to break down some of the key NFL games for Week 2.