NFL Week 1 – Preview of Week One

The road to the Superbowl begins again this week, with the NFL season kicking off on Friday and the odds suggest it could be another wide-open campaign.

Five-times champions the New England Patriots start the season as 6.50 favourites to win Superbowl LIII, but we’ll get a better idea of the teams to watch following the opening round of games.

Home advantage to help the Eagles

As ever, the defending champions get the new season underway, with the Philadelphia Eagles playing host to the Atlanta Falcons.

Both have endured poor pre-season form – the Eagles have won just one of their four build-up games (a narrow 10-9 win over the New York Jets) while the Falcons lost all four of their pre-season fixtures.

Despite the Champions’ poor offensive form prior to the first game, home advantage is likely to be a big plus in what could be a low-scoring affair.

The Eagles (1.76 Winner FT) lost just one of their eight regular-season games at Lincoln Financial Field last season and look a good price, at 4.85, to win by 7-12 points in the Winning Margin FT market.

Belichick and Brady eye winning start

Tom Brady’s Patriots will start their campaign on Sunday, when they entertain the Houston Texans at the Gillette Stadium.

The Pats, who have made three of the last four Superbowls, have a strong squad once again – highlighted by the fact that they released five players, who have all been snapped up by other teams.

Bill Belichick has added two new wide receivers, Amara Darboh and Chad Hansen, and expect a statement of intent from the Patriots – who are 1.39 to win the game – on the opening weekend.

The Texans (3.35 to win the game) will hope that key Defensive End JJ Watt stays clear of injury this term and has a big game in New England.

Mack may not make the difference in Green Bay

Game of the opening weekend takes place on Monday night, when two NFC North rivals go head-to-head at Lambeau Field.

It’s always a fierce battle when these meet and with the Packers beating the Bears both home and away last season, Chicago will be out for revenge.

The Bears made the news this week with the capture of Outside Linebacker Khalil Mack, who has become the highest-paid defender in NFL history, signing a six-year deal worth $141 million.

Mack’s arrival will surely give the Bears (10.00 to win the NFC North) a big lift, but they still look short offensively and that might become apparent against the powerful Packers.

Having missed out on the Play-Offs last term, Green Bay will be intent on improvement and look a good price in the Spread FT market (-7.5) at 1.95.

Garoppolo could help 49ers call a shock

If you are looking for an opening weekend shock, then the all-NFC encounter between Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers could deliver it.

The 49ers won just one of their opening 11 games last season, but their form transformed with the arrival of Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots.

Kyle Shanahan’s men (3.40 to claim victory in Minnesota) went on to win their last five matches, scoring over 25 points in three of those games.