NFL week 1 betting: Patriots to unfurl pennant ahead of Chiefs’ showdown

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Updated: September 7, 2017

We’re delighted to welcome back James ‘Big Jim’ Potter as our NFL expert after he bagged a staggering profit of almost 100 units in 2016. The Pats unfurl their Super Bowl pennant at home tonight as they host the Chiefs in the 2017 NFL season opener. “I think the Patriots would have preferred a different opponent. If (and it’s a big if) the Pats are a little rusty then the Chiefs are the sort of team that can hang tough. Reduce the mistakes and do the simple things right. It’s a formula that wins you a lot of football games. It might not be enough for them to beat the Pats but with any luck it should at least stop any blow-outs,” Big Jim told us.

 

NFL week 1: Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
When: Friday, September 8, 10.30am
Lines: New England -9, O/U 49

Confirmed bets: Kansas City +9 (one unit @ $1.95), -48.5/total (two units @ $1.95)

 

TIW says: The 2017 NFL regular season kicks-off tonight with a rare match-up between the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. These teams have clashed just four times this decade and twice in the past four years, with the Pats covering as touchdown favourites in the divisional playoffs of 2016. Brady missed the first four games in 2016 while under suspension for the ‘Deflategate’ saga, but returned to throw for 28 touchdowns against only two interceptions before capping the season with a record 466-yard performance in the stunning comeback in Super Bowl LI.

Tonight, the Pats begin their quest for a sixth title in the Bill Belichick-Brady era but they will have to do so without Julian Edelman (pictured below). Brady’s super-talented slot receiver, who snared an amazing catch in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year, sustained a non-contact ACL tear of his right knee in an August 25 preseason game. He is out for the year, but Brady has tight end Rob Gronkowski back, and deals were made to bring in wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Phillip Dorsett.

New England was willing to allow LeGarrette Blount and his NFL-high 18 rushing TDs leave via free agency, bringing in Mike Gillislee from Buffalo and Rex Burkhead from Cincinnati to go with Super Bowl hero James White in the backfield. New England led the league with an average of 15.6 points allowed last season and bolstered the defense with the signing of free-agent cornerback Stephen Gilmore, who registered a career-best five interceptions for Buffalo in 2016.

 

The Chiefs were a 12-4 playoff team last season, dropping an 18-16 home playoff decision to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is no easy opener, the game to be played after the Patriots unveil their fifth banner (they had to refurbish the top of Gillette Stadium to make it fit). The Chiefs have never won at this venue, and they haven’t beaten the Patriots in Foxborough in five tries dating back to their last win in 1998. It was against the Chiefs in the 2008 opener that Brady was lost for the season with a knee injury.

Quarterback Alex Smith doesn’t put up big numbers (his 3502 passing yards in 2016 were a career high) and has been tagged with the label of game manager, but the former no. 1 overall pick has tossed only 28 interceptions versus 76 scoring passes in four seasons in Kansas City. With the departure of veteran Jeremy Maclin, Tyreek Hill becomes the top target following a flashy rookie season in which he amassed 12 touchdowns – six via scoring passes (three on the ground and three in the air).

Rookie RB Kareem Hunt, a third-round pick who piled up nearly 5000 yards over four seasons at Toledo, ascended the starting job when Spencer Ware underwent season ending knee surgery, while Travis Kelce is widely considered the league’s no. 2 tight end behind Gronkowski. There’s plenty of talent on the other side of the ball, with safety Eric Berry leading a secondary that tied for the league high in interceptions, and Dee Ford and linebacker Justin Houston providing a pass rush that needs to pressure Brady.

 

 

• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Time (AET); prices with thanks to Pinnacle (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.

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