Week 1 of the NFL season might be the happiest time in all of sports betting. The summer can be a long grind with only baseball to wager on, and once football returns bettors are ready to go nuts on America's favorite sport. However, just because the season is new and fresh doesn't mean that bettors should start wagering on every line in sight. Let's take a closer look at a few of the opening week lines and play a little game called good bet, bad bet. All lines come from Bovada.
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Good Bet : Green Bay -6.5 @ Chicago
Green Bay has dominated the NFC North over the last four season by posting an 18-7 ATS division record (playoffs included), yet the squad has been particularly impressive against Chicago, where it has covered seven of eight games during that span. Last season the Packers torched Chicago by an average of 31 points per game, and there is little reason to assume anything will be different heading into 2015. Taking a 6.5-point line being anchored by the key number of seven feels like great bet.
Bad Bet: New England -3 versus Pittsburgh
Tom Brady is still embroiled in the "Deflategate" controversy, which has moved into the courtroom, and there's a good chance that the suspension will not be removed before the season begins. On top of those distractions, New England has gotten off to a slow start of in two of the last three seasons by starting off 2-2 in 2014 and 1-2 in 2012. The Patriots could very well win this game and it wouldn't be too surprising. We all know Bill Belichick will have his team ready to play, but wagering on it feels like the wrong play. Take Pittsburgh or skip it altogether.
Good Bet : New Orleans Saints +3 @ Arizona
New Orleans wasn't a great ATS team in 2014, where it produced a 6-10 mark, but the team did manage to go 4-4 on the road and produce a perfect mark as an underdog. The biggest factor in taking the Saints plus the points is the fact that Arizona still has an uncertain quarterback situation with Carson Palmer still rehabbing from an ACL injury and backup Drew Stanton being an interception-heavy and injury-prone commodity. Arizona was almost useless on the offensive end after the Palmer injury in 2014. Expect the team to struggle scoring points in 2015.
Bad Bet : Philadelphia @ Atlanta "Over" 53.5
Philadelphia was the best "over" team in 2014, posting an 11-5 totals record, while Atlanta was one of the worst in the league. The Falcons averaged 23 points per game in 2014 and managed to produce a total over 51 points only three times during the season. Philadelphia, on the other hand, produced a total over 50 points 11 times in 2014 and averaged nearly 30 points per game. The matchup feels like a situation where Atlanta will not be able to match the Eagles offensive output and probably keep the total below 53.5. Stay away or take the under.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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