Yes, it s only the first week of May, but Week 1 NFL Lines for the 2011 NFL season are already out, and you can find some good value by betting this early, as the lines will only get more airtight as game day approaches.
To that end, here are five plays we like right now for Week 1, which is now four months away and ticking.
New Orleans Saints (+5) over Green Bay Packers: This could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship Game, except the weather should be better in Week 1. Now the Packers will no doubt be sky high after the lifting of the Super Bowl Champion banner, but keep in mind that it was the Saints that led the NFC in total defense last season at 306.2 yards per game, and this looks like a lot of points to give a Drew Brees’ led offense. In fact, Brees is 30-19, 61.2 percent against the spread as an underdog.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) over Baltimore Ravens: Speaking of quarterbacks you should never give points too, Ben Roethlisberger is 14-7 against the spread as an underdog including 11-5, 68.8 percent ATS on the road. More importantly, Big Ben is undefeated all time vs. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco, going 6-0 straight up in all the head-to-head encounters. Now the Ravens beat the Steelers twice in the last three years with Roethlisberger out for Pittsburgh, but both of those wins were by exactly three points, which would only ‘push’ this spread.
Also see: Super Bowl Odds | 2011 MNF Schedule | 2011 NFL Schedule
Indianapolis Colts (-1) over Houston Texas: Do you remember when the Texans opened the season last year by running right through the Colts in a 34-24 win while rushing for 257 yards? The Colts certainly do, and they will ensure that it does not happen again. Peyton Manning should have a healthy receiving corps for this game, which is something he never had after the first few weeks of last season, and Indianapolis upgraded both the offensive and defensive lines in the draft. If the receivers can stay healthy throughout the 2011-12 season, the Colts would become serious Super Bowl contenders, as Manning did possibly his best job ever last year with nobody to throw to.
St. Louis Rams (+4.5) over Philadelphia Eagles: Now we think the Eagles will win the NFC East in 2011, but this is not the spot to be giving points on the road, as the young Rams played very well at home last year while winning five games and allowing 17 points or less in six of their eight home games. The offense should only get better this year with quarterback Sam Bradford, who had a very good rookie year; expect him to benefit immeasurably from that experience. Remember also that the Eagles allowed 123 rushing yards to James Sparks of the Packers in the playoffs, so Steven Jackson should have a big game.
New England Patriots (-4) over Miami Dolphins: These teams met on a Monday night last year, with the Patriots winning 41-14 here in Miami. That marked the third time in the last four meetings in the Sunshine State that New England scored over 40 points, and the Pats should open up in an ornery mood after their playoff disappointment of a year ago vs. the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!
All Week 1 NFL Odds 2011
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