Just when you think you have all the answers, the NFL changes the questions. Week 1 of the 2017 season kicks off this Thursday, and there have been some major plot changes the past couple of days. We’ll get to those in a moment; first, let’s take a look at Thursday’s opener (8:30 PM ET, NBC) between the Kansas City Chiefs and the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots.
The first lines for this game went on the NFL odds board way back in early May, after the regular-season schedule was announced, and New England opened as a 7.5-point home favorite with a total of 48.5. Then the action started coming in; at press time, the Patriots are all the way up to –9.5 (–105), and the total is at 49 points. Bettors clearly like the Pats and the Over in this matchup.
It’s hard to argue. The Patriots went 14-2 SU and 13-3 ATS last year before sweeping the playoffs, and this year’s team might be even better with the arrival of cornerback Stephon Gilmore, wide receiver Brandin Cooks and running back Mike Gillislee, among others. The Chiefs (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS last year) are no slouches, but they’ll have rookie RB Kareem Hunt handling the rock after Spencer Ware (torn knee) went down during the preseason.
The biggest news from Week 1 is the postponement of Sunday’s scheduled game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins. Hurricane Irma is cutting a deadly path through the Caribbean, and could strike Florida this weekend. As a result, this game has been moved to Week 11.
The other big story for Week 1 involves Sunday night’s NFC East matchup (8:30 PM ET, NBC) between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas RB Ezekiel Elliott had his six-game suspension upheld on Tuesday, but because of the timing, Elliott has been declared eligible to play Sunday. The Cowboys opened as 5-point home favorites before dropping to –3.5 in the wake of Elliott’s suspension. Between Tuesday’s news and the questionable status of Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), betting on this game has been locked until more details come in. Keep an eye on the NFL odds board for further updates, and enjoy Week 1 as we start a brand-new season of NFL betting here at Bovada.
*Odds as of September 7, 2017