NFL Lines Week 1: Safest Bets for NFL Opening Weekend
There are no guarantees in the NFL, but the oddsmakers have served up some softball lines in Week 1.
While you should definitely stay away from a few games (Green Bay at San Francisco, Arizona at St. Louis), several teams are near locks to win their season opener. And although upsets happen all the time in the NFL, you can rest easy banking on the following teams in Week 1.
All point spreads courtesy of www.footballlocks.com
New England Patriots (-10) over Buffalo Bills
The Patriots are on the road, Buffalo has a great running back in C.J. Spiller, Tom Brady will likely be without his top five receivers from last season, and I couldn't care less.
The Patriots have reloaded year after year in the Brady-Belichick era, and I'm confident they will do the same in 2013. Brady could throw 35 touchdown passes per season with a high school receiving corps, and with a full season from Aqib Talib, New England's porous pass defense should be much improved.
Even if Amendola isn't 100 percent, the Patriots will be able to rely on the steady production of running back Stevan Ridley. Ridley dominated Buffalo in 2012, rushing for 204 yards and three touchdowns in New England's two victories over the Bills.
Buffalo has a promising young core and the Patriots had one of the worst offseasons in NFL history, but look for New England to deliver one of its classic kick-them-while-they're-down blowouts on Sunday.
Prediction: Patriots 34, Bills 17
Seattle Seahawks (-3) over Carolina Panthers
After the Seattle Seahawks ripped off one of the most impressive stretches in regular-season history last year, it seems ridiculous that they're only favored by three against a Carolina team that's decent at best.
The Panthers have one of the league's most dynamic quarterbacks in Cam Newton, but the stingy Seattle defense gave him fits last season. Newton had one of the worst games of his career against the Seahawks, completing just 12 of 29 passes for 141 yards and no touchdowns.
I'm expecting a better performance from Newton today, but Seattle is winning this game by at least 10 points. Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch are an overwhelming combination on the ground, and the Seahawks ranked first in the NFL in points allowed per game last season (15.3).
This should be a relatively easy win for Seattle.
Prediction: Seahawks 30, Panthers 17
New York Giants (+3) over Dallas Cowboys
The Giants had a nightmarish end to their 2012 season, but look for them to start off 2013 strong.
New York has owned Dallas the last few years, winning six of its last eight games and all four of its contests in the Cowboys' extravagant new stadium. The Giants defense was particularly impressive in its last trip to Dallas, sacking Tony Romo four times and forcing him into four interceptions.
Offensively, the Giants have one of the best receiving groups in the league. Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks are both capable of dominating on the outside, and tight end Brandon Myers is coming off a breakout season in which he caught 79 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns.
Romo and the Cowboys will keep this one close, but the Giants will eventually prevail.
Prediction: Giants 27, Cowboys 24
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