The NFL is wildly popular in America for many reasons, but the biggest reason of all may be gambling.
And the reason why America likes to gamble on the NFL is simple: The public only has to focus on a weekend of action as opposed to baseball, basketball, or hockey which are played almost daily. The public begins to think it understands each team and it’s easy to understand why.
Fans know the most intimate details of injuries thanks to guys like Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen, and Jay Glazer to name a few.
The Average Joe feels he understands each team’s game plan thanks to guys like Ron Jaworski breaking down film on TV.
And with the popularity of Fantasy Football, the public begins to see what players and teams are hot and who is not.
Despite the resources available to us, there is one that can occasionally be used to help determine a game before it happens: The lines in Vegas.
Every now and then, the line posted in Vegas is nothing more than a trap that eats up 70 percent of the public. The lines are easy to find. All you need to do is hear someone say, “They’re only favored by that much? That’s a lock.” It’s moments like these you wish you were taking his action because you know the only lock is him losing a nice chunk of change.
But then there are lines that divide the public as much as a certain ex-quarterback did to his fanbase.
I think we can all agree the home team gets three points right out of the gate.
And I don’t think I’m making an outlandish statement when I say the Packers are better, am I? The real question is, “How many points better are the Packers?”
The Packers have a Pro Bowl quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, who led the sixth-best offense in the NFL and helped them score the third-most points during the regular season.
The Packers also had the second-best defense in the NFL during the regular season, gave up the seventh-least amount of points in the league, and they gave up the fewest rushing yards.
Basically the Packers were well-balanced, and it's no surprise they finished 11-5 last year, including a respectable 5-3 road record. Two of their road losses came at the hands of Minnesota and Pittsburgh by a combined four points. The other road loss came against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pack held an 11-point lead with about 12 minutes remaining in the game before all hell broke loose and a couple thousand suicide pools went up in flames.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have a quarterback in Kevin Kolb who is unproven and will have the incredible luxury of falling back on the league's 22nd -ranked rushing attack. Yes, the 10th -worst rushing team from a year ago gets to see the league’s best run stopping defense.
The defense has more questions than answers, and most of the questions will be answered by rookies such as Brandon Graham and Nate Allen.
The Birds finished the season with an 11-5 record, which included a respectable 6-2 mark at home with their marquee win coming against the Giants. Nothing really stood out in terms of quality opponents, but they did get the job done against inferior opponents.
In this case, I tend to believe Green Bay is superior.
Digest everything and I get the sense that Green Bay is about six points better than the Eagles. Maybe I’m way off in that early assessment, but that’s just what my gut, some stats, and my memory tells me.
With the Packers being six points better than the Eagles and the home team getting three points out of pure principle, I am left with the Packers being a three-point favorite against the Eagles on Opening Day.
Does that seem way off? Is it incredibly difficult to see the Packers beating the Eagles by three or more on Opening Day at the Linc?
Well in the world of gambling, I’m not even close.
Sportsbetting.com recently released Prospective Week One lines on its website and the Eagles were installed as one-point favorites.
As soon as I saw the line I said, “The Packers are getting a point? That’s a lock.” Anyone who heard me say that was dying to take my action as this is the kiss of death.
The line can obviously change between now and September 12, but this site is not too far off with the Vegas lines.
Maybe this means I am the public and I would go down in a ball of flames if I bet against the Eagles in this spot, or maybe it means that I know more than Vegas or some offshore betting site. Anyone who knows anything about gambling knows the latter is certainly not true, which means your Birds may be in store for an Opening Day win.
Until then, consume as much information from as many sources as possible, but don’t forget to listen to the lines in Vegas.
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