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The NFL kicked into gear with a reasonably entertaining Thursday night tilt in which the Philadelphia Eagles won and covered against the Falcons. The week concluded with a Monday night doubleheader featuring the seven-point underdog Jets, who thrashed the Lions in Detroit, as well as the LA Rams, who ran away with it in the second half of their game in Oakland.
There were some unexpected results in Week 1 which will likely change the way some of these teams are looked at by bettors and fans alike. Philadelphia and Atlanta fell way short of going over the posted total of 44.5. Tampa Bay fell just two points shy of putting their game against the Saints over the total by themselves. Even though Green Bay made a nice 4th-quarter comeback to get the win in Chicago, it didn’t mean a thing to those who took Rodgers and company at -7.
It doesn’t matter if you won money or if you lost money in Week 1 as long as you can say that you learned something. Here are ten things we learned in Week 1.
Adrian Peterson’s Back
After languishing in New Orleans for the first month of the 2017 season, Adrian Peterson was given an opportunity in Arizona. In his first performance with the Cards, Peterson put up 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he followed that game up with another good one. Then he got hurt, and that was it for his season. Now, the guy is 33-years-old, and the Skins brought him into the fold out of desperation, but they should be pleased as punch with his Week 1 performance. 96 yards and a touchdown? He could have even more success against the Colts who the Skins host on Sunday as 5.5-point faves. He’s back...if he can stay healthy.
Rams Still Great On The Road
The Rams finished 11-5 last year, and they did most of their winning on the road. On the road, the Rams were 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS, but they were only 4-4 SU and ATS at home. The over also happened to be 7-1 in LA’s road games last year. They didn’t get off to the fastest of starts in their season opener in Oakland, but they pummeled the Raiders in the second half. They will now play three straight at home starting as 13.5-point favorites against Arizona before going into Seattle on October 7th. This team will be road warriors again this year.
Steelers Continue To Let Spread Bettors Down
In 2017, the Steelers played 8 games against teams that finished the season with losing records. Do you know how many of those games they covered? Just 2. They just can’t seem to put bad teams away, and that trend continued in their 21-21 Week 1 tie in Cleveland. Pittsburgh has covered only once in their last eight games including their 2017 playoff loss. This week they are 4.5-point home favorites against the Chiefs. Can you smell a game-winning last-second Chris Boswell field goal?
Texans Defense Looks Better
Yes, the Texans gave up 27 points to the Patriots in their Week 1 loss, but even with JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney combining for just three tackles, their defense somehow looked like it was better than last year. They allowed 21 points in the first half but they at least held New England to just 3 points in the second half which helped them claw their way back within striking distance. They were credited with a pair of fumble recoveries, two sacks, and an interception. They are visiting the Titans on Sunday as two-point favorites. Tennessee has a few key injuries including Marcus Mariota’s elbow which could be a factor.
Vikings Defense Looks Solid As Ever
Much has been made about San Francisco’s offense, but they couldn’t get much going against Minnesota’s stifling defense. They made Garoppolo look like a clipboard holder, limiting him to just 15 completions on 33 throws. He did manage to throw a single touchdown pass, but the Vikings also picked him off three times, including a pick-six. They held the Niners to 1-4 in red zone efficiency and 0-2 in goal-to-go efficiency. Minny’s D looked more than ready for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers who they will visit on Sunday as 1-point dogs.
Seattle In Trouble
It was a rough day for the Seahawks on Sunday against Denver. Russell Wilson tossed a pair of picks, he got sacked six times, fumbled the ball, and his throws were off. They also lost their number one receiver for the rest of the year. The one bright spot might be the fact that their defense recorded three interceptions despite giving up a ton of yardage on the ground. Their running game seems mostly ineffective and they are about to head into Chicago as 3.5-point dogs for a Monday night game. Russell Wilson will have to scramble like a madman.
Dolphins Better At Home
The Dolphin proved that they are still tough to play against in Miami. Over the past two full seasons, Miami has won 11 and lost 5. They are 8-4-4 ATS in that time. However, it is a different story for them when they are on the road where they are 6-10 SU and 7-9 ATS. They have failed to cover in their last five straight road games. Now they head into New York to face the Jets who are coming off a huge win and are 7-2 ATS in their previous eight at home.
Browns Passing Game Is Sloppy
Tyrod Taylor might have connected with Jarvis Landry 7 times for 106 yards, but Landry was targeted 15 times. In fact, Taylor was just 15 of 40 for 197 yards, a TD pass, and a pick. He was under pressure all game long and was sacked a whopping seven times. He also led his team with 77 rushing yards and a score. It’s unlikely that Taylor will feel the same amount of pressure against the Saints, but Cleveland better hope they aren’t forced to resort to the passing game. The Browns have gone from being 7-point underdogs to 9-point dogs. The Saints defense will be out for blood after their performance last week.
Buffalo Needs A Quarterback
Yeah, this probably isn’t news to a lot of people, but Buffalo is hurting at the quarterback position. Josh Allen connected on just 6 of his 15 passes for a total of 74 yards while Peterman managed to complete just 5 of his 18 passes for a laughable 24 yards with two picks. Buffalo’s running game was held in check although it was understandably abandoned rather early. Buffalo will be a 7.5-point underdog when they host the Chargers on Sunday. Buffalo is 1-5 SU and ATS in their last five home games in which they were dogs.
Brady’s Still Got It
It didn’t take long for Tom Brady to connect with Rob Gronkowski for a 21-yard touchdown to open the scoring in the Patriots’ game against Houston. Brady went on to toss another couple of touchdown passes en route to a 277-yard performance. He was the beneficiary of good protection and was sacked just twice. Most of his throws were as good as ever although a couple of his receivers had greased hands. He was especially deadly in the red zone, and they will need to be again this Sunday in Jacksonville. The game is currently listed as a pick-em. We know Brady’s still got it but New England needs their offensive line to have it, as well. Jacksonville can bring the heat although they registered just a pair of sacks on Sunday against a usually-porous Giants offensive line.