The time is drawing near for the kickoff of the 2018 National Football League season, and by all accounts, it is wide open with any number of teams from each conference having a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Let’s not jump ahead too far though, and take a look at how the first week is shaping up with a quick NFL Week 1 preview of games to watch.
Falcons @ Eagles | Sept. 6th, 2018, 8:20PM ET | Eagles -3.5 | Total 46
The 2018 season will start how it ended for the Atlanta Falcons, a road trip to the City of Brotherly Love to face the Philadelphia Eagles. Remember that Eagle 15-10 win on Divisional Weekend Saturday this past January. Jake Elliott kicked two second half field goals, the only scoring of that half, to help the Eagles get one step closer to the Super Bowl.
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These two teams come into 2018 with pretty much the same core, with both teams drafting some help and adding in free agency. As of late August, QB Carson Wentz still hasn’t been cleared for contact, and with backup Nick Foles looking less than adequate in preseason, is there cause for concern in this opening game for the Eagles?
Looking at these two teams, I expect this to be a defensive battle. The Eagles front 7 really knows how to get after the quarterback, with a great rotation of d-linemen. On the other side of the field, watch for both linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal to have an impact in this one. The total has been dropping, so hopefully you got on the UNDER train before the public did.
Steelers @ Browns | Sept. 9th, 2018, 1PM ET | Browns +5.5 | Total 46.5
Is it the hype from Hard Knocks or have the Cleveland Browns finally turned a corner towards winning football? Sportsbooks currently have the Browns win total at 5.5, after winning a total of one game over the past two seasons.
They start the season hosting division top dog and rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1, and despite the fanfare surrounding the team, are a five and a half point home dog. This should come as any surprise though, with the Steelers winning 9 of their last 10 meetings against the Browns. Since December 2012, the Browns gave only managed one win against the Steelers, on October 12th, 2014 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
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The good news for the Browns is that in the last three meetings, they are 2-0-1 against the spread, with the UNDER a convincing 7-3 in the last 10. I’m not buying the Browns just yet, so I’ll let the public bet them up and then fade.
Jaguars @ Giants | Sept. 9th, 1PM ET | Giants +3 | Total 43.5
This is an interesting game to me. On one side you have a team that was up 20-10 on the Patriots in the AFC Championship game with less than 15 minutes to play. We all know how that ended, but this Jags team is clearly a team on the rise. The other side of the spectrum saw the New York Football Giants implode last season, going 3-13, getting the second overall pick in the draft.
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That pick, running back Saquon Barkley, might be the fuel to ignite the fire under a team that clearly underachieved last season. The Giants defense is better than the 31st they finished in overall team defense, so look for them to make a quick progression.
Both of these teams are quite possibly better than last, and if QB Blake Bortles continues his noticed improvement, this Jaguar squad will be tough to beat. They finished opposite of the Giants in overall team defense at #2, and used their 1st and 3rd round draft picks to improve it even more.
These two have only met six times, with the Jaguars 5-1 ATS, with a 3-3 split straight up and the OVER 4-1-1. Another storyline in this one is the fact that the coach that led the Giants and Eli Manning to their last two Super Bowls in 2008 and 2012, is now the Jaguars executive vice president of football operations.
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You know Tom Coughlin wants to destroy the Giants in their home, not only for old time sake, but to prove to the football world that the Jaguars are for real. And I think they are. The Giants have made some significant improvements, but they will be a 6 or 7 win team this season, and one of them won’t be against the Jaguars in Week 1.
There’s a quick look at three games that will start the 2018 NFL season. There is a ton of value to be had betting NFL Week 1, so make sure you load your online sportsbook betting account, do some research and find the games that suit you. Don’t forget to make a betting plan and stick to it. Happy betting and check back for more tips and information on the 2018 NFL season.