NFL Odds: Games of the Year Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 5/15/2014
The NFL schedule was released, the 2014 draft came and went, and the lines for the year's biggest games have already been posted-outside of training camp beginning, the only thing left to do is actually sit down and watch some games. Unfortunately, that is still a few months away, but what we can do is begin obsessing over the must-see matchups on the schedule and go over the impact they will have one each team.
The 2014 NFL season will offer fans a multitude of huge, high-profile games that will feature a Super Bowl rematch, our yearly Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning masterpiece, and a rare treat when the New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers face off late in the season. Let's take a closer look at a few of the biggest games of the week with predictions and analysis. All lines come from Sportsbook.ag
Week 1: Green Bay at Seattle
Line : Seattle -6
The 2014 NFL season is set to open up with a bang as the Green Bay Packers visit the Seattle Seahawks during the very first game of the year on Thursday night. Seattle has already been installed as a six-point favorite heading into the matchup, but four of the last five Super Bowl Champions could not cover the first spread of the year after winning the big one. Seattle is in the much tougher division and may need a 13-3 record to win the NFC West, and starting off 2014 with a win will probably be a must for the team.
Prediction : Green Bay covers
Week 3: Denver at Seattle
Line: Seattle -3.5
Seattle is currently a 3.5-point favorite in its Super Bowl rematch against the Broncos. This is a matchup that Denver absolutely has to win-for its peace of mind and overall confidence. You could probably bet that this was the first game every player on the Broncos squad circled on the calendar, and Manning and the rest of the coaching staff are already preparing for it at this very moment. This game matters more to the Broncos, and sometimes that is enough to get a win.
Prediction : Denver covers
Week 4: Philadelphia at San Francisco
Line: San Francisco -6
Week 4 may provide one of the most fun and stylistic matchups of the entire season. Chip Kelly and his high-speed offense will visit the hard-nosed San Francisco defense that was a batted ball away from making a second straight Super Bowl appearance. This is a game where the Eagles can put themselves on the map as a legitimate contender in the NFC. Last season Philadelphia ended with a 5-3 road ATS record and will use this game as its coming out party.
Prediction : Eagles cover
Week 8: Green Bay at New Orleans
The 2014 schedule is so full of fantastic quarterback matchups that an Aaron Rodgers versus Drew Brees matchup may be third or fourth down the list. New Orleans will probably need to win this game much more than Green Bay does as the team is expected to be in a tight NFC South race against Carolina, and a home loss will not help matters. The Saints opened as a favorite, but the more intriguing number will be the total for this matchup, which should end up being in the 53- to 55-point range.
Prediction : New Orleans covers
Week 9: Denver at New England
Line: New England -3
These Manning versus Brady matchups are the NFL's version of Magic Johnson versus Larry Bird. This may be the biggest game of the year simply because we do not know how many more of those matchups we have left, and watching both players compete against each other was the biggest treat for NFL fans over the last decade. The Patriots need to win this game much more than the Broncos do and were able to get a 34-31 overtime win over the team last season. The key number in this matchup will be the total, however, as each team will probably score 30.
Prediction : New England covers
Week 15: San Francisco at Seattle
A Week 15 matchup between San Francisco and Seattle that could be for the NFC West division title-a regular-season game doesn't get any bigger than that. Last year they split the season series, but with Seattle entering this matchup as the defending Super Bowl Champions all the onus in on the 49ers to prove that they can beat the Seahawks on the road. Both squads have a tough schedule, but San Francisco will probably need to win this matchup much more than Seattle.
Predictions : San Francisco covers
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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