Week one of the regular season is finally here. In keeping with recent tradition, the season kicks off Thursday night with a made for primetime matchup featuring the combatants of last year’s NFC Championship game. Opening weekend continues with 13 games on Sunday, including nine early starts (1:00 p.m. EDT), a trio of late afternoon tilts (4:15 p.m. EDT) and the usual Sunday night contest at 8:20 EDT. The weekend will conclude with a doubleheader on Monday night, with kickoffs set for 7:00 and 10:15 p.m. EDT. Vegas Odds
On Thursday night, the Saints and Vikings will square off in the Superdome, the site of last year’s gut-wrenching game in which the Saints prevailed in overtime 31-28. Opening weekend has been very kind to backers of defending Super Bowl champs of late. According to FoxSheets, defending Super Bowl champs have opened at home the following season the last six years. In those games, that host is 6-0 SU & 4-1-1 ATS, with Pittsburgh’s field goal win over Tennessee the only point-spread blemish. The last three games have gone UNDER the total. Football Odds
Another pair of NFC contenders will lock horns in week one when the Packers travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles. The City of Brotherly Love has not been to kind to the Packers over the last two decades. FoxSheets shows that in games played in Philadelphia in this series, Philadelphia is 5-1 against the spread versus Green Bay since 1992 and 6-0 straight up against the Packers since 1992. These games have also been low scoring, as five of six games in this series have gone UNDER the total since 1992. On the flip side, FoxSheets also point out that the Packers have been very good on the road under Mike McCarthy, going 22-10 ATS. Betting Lines
One of the more intriguing games of the opening Sunday pits the defending AFC champion Colts against the Texans in Houston. There should be no shortage of offense in this contest. In fact, FoxSheets show that 11 of 16 games in this series have gone OVER the total since the Texans joined the league in 2002. The Colts have dominated the Texans straight up, but the Texans hold a slight edge ATS. Indianapolis is 15-1 straight up against Houston, while the Texans are 9-7 against the spread against the Colts, including a 5-3 mark at Reliant Stadium.
The early game on Monday night should be a low-scoring affair between two of the toughest defenses in the league, the Ravens and the Jets. The Ravens allowed just 13 PPG in the preseason, which includes allowing 27 points to the Rams in their preseason finale. The host Jets, who now have CB Darrelle Revis signed, weren’t too far behind, giving up 16.8 PPG. The Ravens have fared well against the Jets of late. A close look into the FoxSheets shows that Baltimore is 5-1 both against the spread and straight up vs. the Jets since 1997. This will be the Jets’ first regular-season game in their new palace. The Giants are also home this week, hosting the Panthers on Sunday.