NFL Line Watch Week 1
Game to bet now
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos (-3.5)
This one opened at Denver -4.5, but quickly melted down as quarterback issues arose during Bronco training camp. At some point in the process new coach Vance Joseph will have to decide between Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian as the search for the next John Elway or Peyton Manning continues to play out at Mile High. The early returns on both Siemian and Lynch were not all that encouraging, and only served to mask the fact that the Broncos have other problems to deal with – namely on the offensive line. The Chargers are hoping against hope that the move to Los Angeles will invigorate the roster after winning just nine of 32 games in their last two seasons in San Diego. QB Philip Rivers turns 36 before the end of this season, so if the Chargers get off slow there may be rumbling about seeing what they have in former Buffalo Bill Cardale Jones. Unless there’s a major injury, this line probably will stick.
Game to wait on
New Orleans at Minnesota (-3.5)
It’s not hard to figure out where the Vikings went south and lost control of the NFC North last season. After recovering from Teddy Bridgewater’s late-camp, season-ending knee injury, Minny rallied behind new QB Sam Bradford and started the season with five straight wins. Any playoff hopes went down the drain, though, when the Vikes lost six of seven, averaging just over 12 points a game in those losses. It all added up to a disappointing 8-8 record, and this season Minnesota will try to buck the league-wide trend and do it with defense. Last season the Vikes had the third-ranked defense in the NFL, and this time around feel that they just may have the best D. We’ll get back to you on that, but it might be wise to see how things stand health-wise as we get closer to kickoff.
Total to watch
Kansas City at New England (48.5)
This has actually been bet down since opening at 50, and the question is why? New England has loaded up the offense in moves reminiscent of 2007 (Randy Moss, Wes Welker), and Tom Brady finally has a burner (Brandin Cooks). It should be 1980s Lakers Showtime in Foxboro this year with Cooks outside the numbers, a health Rob Gronkowski down the seam and Julian Edelman working the underneath stuff as only he can. The over deserves a good, hard look in this one.
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