NFL Spreads Week 1: Favorites That Will Crush the Odds
Good news: You don't have to bet on the preseason anymore.
For all of you football betting addicts out there, there is probably no worse time of the year than the previous four weeks.
There is real-life, live football being played on your television, and unless you're a special kind of crazy, you can't—or maybe more accurately, shouldn't—bet on it.
Preseason is just a big tease.
Nevertheless, that garbage is all over now and Week 1 is upon us. It's time to start blowing your money like you're Adam Jones on a weekend.
Let's take a look at some Week 1 favorites who should have very little trouble covering the odds.
Note: All odds are courtesy of Covers.com
New England Patriots (-9.5) vs. Buffalo Bills
It's Tuel Time, and that's all you should really know.
The Buffalo Bills are at home, new head coach Doug Marrone will rely heavily on electric running back C.J. Spiller, and the New England Patriots have a young group of pass-catchers, so there are certainly reasons to put a little faith in the underdogs here.
But when it really comes down it, you have to just sit back and say, "Come on!"
Tuel, who was largely uninspiring at Washington State, is an undrafted free agent likely making his NFL debut—although I would think twice about this pick if EJ Manuel, who looked dynamic in the preseason, starts—against Bill Belichick.
A stout New England front seven plus a stacked box should limit Spiller's effectiveness, meaning Tuel will have to throw the ball more. That should equal lots of mediocrity coming from the Bills' side of the ball.
With Tom Brady and a strong running game on the other side, a two-touchdown margin of victory should be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Seattle Seahawks (-3) at Carolina Panthers
The Seattle Seahawks may be closer to Legion of Gloom than Legion of Boom whenever they are away from CenturyLink, where they are basically unbeatable, but three points still feels far too small here.
After an impressive 11-5 season in which they improved immensely in the second half and came within 30 seconds of the NFC Championship Game, the 'Hawks went out and got even better, most notably bolstering their defensive line and offensive skill positions.
Of course, Percy Harvin, Bruce Irvin, Chris Clemons and possibly Cliff Avril will all miss this game, but Seattle is still extremely deep at almost every position and looked focused in preseason after a busy, incredibly hyped summer.
The Panthers should also be better with rookie Star Lotulelei anchoring the middle of the defense and quarterback Cam Newton likely taking a step forward in his third year, but this team is still undoubtedly a few notches below the Seahawks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) at New York Jets
Who will most easily cover their spread?
Darrelle Revis, Dashon Goldson and Johnthan Banks join Mark Barron and Leonard Johnson in what should easily be the most improved unit in the NFL this year, going from from sieve to brick wall.
I'm a fan of New York's improved running game this year, but a one-dimensional attack won't be enough to keep up with a Tampa Bay squad that boasts several dangerous weapons on the offensive side of the ball.
Bucs will win by at least a touchdown in this one.
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