It’s never too early to talk about NFL futures. On a day when the Los Angeles Rams made a bold move to pick up the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft to presumably select their franchise quarterback, the league also made up its schedule.
Of course, if there are games to be played, there are lines to be wagered upon, and bookmakers debuted their NFL predictions and odds for Week 1 of the 2016 NFL season.
NFL Week 1 Odds
Panthers at Broncos (-3, 43.5)
Buccaneers at Falcons (-3.5, 48)
Vikings at Titans (+3, 42.5)
Browns at Eagles (-7.5, 46)
Bengals at Jets (PK, 43.5)
Raiders at Saints (-1.5, 51)
Chargers at Chiefs (-7.5, 43.5)
Bills at Ravens (-3, 43.5)
Bears at Texans (-4.5, 45.5)
Packers at Jaguars (+3.5, 48)
Dolphins at Seahawks (-7.5, 45.5)
Giants at Cowboys (-5.5, 49.5)
Lions at Colts (-5.5, 49.5)
Patriots at Cardinals (PK, 51)
Steelers at Redskins (+2.5, 51)
Rams at 49ers (+2.5, 47)
(Odds provided by Bookmaker.eu)
Broncos Favored Over Panthers
The first thing that really stands out when looking at this schedule is that the Broncos are favored over the Panthers in a rematch of the Super Bowl.
Sure, Denver dominated when the two teams met on a neutral field in February, but Peyton Manning isn’t walking through those doors at Mile High, nor is Brock Osweiler. Who will be quarterbacking the Broncos on opening night? It’s anyone’s guess right now.
The Panthers are more of a constant, and it feels like they’re presenting good value as underdogs on the road in a game that they will certainly be fired up for.
Browns Are Biggest NFL Underdogs
The oddsmakers have also made it clear that they think the Browns are going to be the biggest disaster in the NFL in the early going. Hue Jackson’s team is sure to improve over time, but Cleveland just doesn’t have a ton of talent on its roster at the moment, and that’s why it’s the biggest underdog on the board in Week 1 at +7.5 against a Philly team which didn’t get in the playoffs last season and seems to be reinventing itself under the direction of new coach Doug Pederson.
Rough Outlook for Dolphins and Chargers
There are two other teams that are 7.5-point dogs in Miami and San Diego, but at least they’re playing on the road against two fantastic teams that were in the playoffs last year. The Dolphins will travel across the country in Week 1 to Seattle in the longest possible road trip in the NFL, while the Chargers take on Kansas City at Arrowhead.
Patriots vs Cardinals in 2017 Super Bowl?
Many keeping track of NFL futures betting believe the Sunday Night Football game pitting the Patriots against the Cardinals could be a Super Bowl preview.
There’s a chance Tom Brady could ultimately be suspended for this game as the legal battle in the Deflategate saga rages on, but even if he’s out there, there’s no guarantee the Pats are going to be favorites in Week 1. In fact, the game between New England and Arizona opened up at a pick ’em.
As is always the case in Week 1, there are two Monday Night Football affairs. In the first, the Steelers will open on the road against the Redskins, while the Rams, in their first game representing Los Angeles, will visit the 49ers. Both road teams are favored by 2.5 points.
The totals in Week 1 range from 42.5 to 51.
The 2016 NFL regular season kicks off Thursday, September 8, with a Super Bowl rematch against the Broncos and Panthers.
What’s next in the NFL draft? Check out 2016 NFL Draft Odds: Los Angeles Rams #1 Overall Pick