After what seems the longest off season in sport, the NFL finally returns this week, and the opening game sees a re-match of the February showpiece, as the reigning champions, the Denver Broncos play host to the Carolina Panthers.
For the first time ever the Superbowl winners will start the season with a rookie under centre, after the retirement of Peyton Manning and the loss of Brock Osweiler in free agency, while this would have a massive effect on the majority of teams, the QB usually being the centrepiece of a teams chances, with the Broncos it won’t actually make a whole lot of difference. I can’t see a whole lot of passing going on, although they have two above average receivers, they’re likely to stick to their run game and try to control the clock, and that means CJ Anderson will get a lot of the ball.
They won last year due to their outstanding defence which ranked one in nearly all measurables, Von Miller and company proving that a good defence can beat a good offence when creating 4 turnovers against the panthers in the SB50, and limiting them to a meagre 315 yards, with Cam Newton getting sacked 7 times, and throwing 1 interception, also losing a fumble for a defensive TD for the Broncos. They have lost a few pieces, push rusher Malik Jackson, and Danny Trevathan being the most notable, they also had scumbag CB Aqib Talib get shot (or shoot himself) in the leg which led a missing most of the pre-season. Even with all that, they are still a great defence, and will prove dangerous for the Panthers.
The Panthers, as much as they like to say they’re not will be looking for revenge, Cam Newton will want to show everyone that February was a one off and that he can beat this defence. He has Kelvin Benjamin back, to go alongside an improving Devin Funchess and Ted Ginn Jnr. Jonathon Stewart and Mike Tolbert will do ok at Ruining back should they get the ball from Cam who may well want to do it all himself. On defence, their front 7 is one of the best (if not the best) in the league. Luke Kuechly is a personal favourite of mine to watch, there’s not many better at reading the game. However they do go into the game with rookie Cornerbacks after Josh Norman left in the summer, which against any other team could prove an issue
There’s a few bets that I think look good, on Bet365 they have Trevor Siemians passing yards set at a massive 220.5, while on Skybet they’re at 180.5. If you want i’d suggest going o180 at 10/11 and under 220 at 5/7 that gives you a nice 40 yard window to get a nice little win, outside that you’ll make a slight loss. If you want just one bet from that, under 220.
CJ Anderson should get a lot of the ball, so I think that o53.5 rushing yards at 5/6 is pretty good on PaddyPower
Devin Fuchess has been impressing in pre-season, while a lot of attention has been on Benjamin returning he’s been getting on with business and doing well. – o37.5 receiving yards looks good at 5/6 on PaddyPower (same market is at 45.5 on 365)
Over on Skybet, one of my favourite markets is Both players to score TDs – They’ve got the aforementioned CJ Anderson and TE Greg Olsen at 7-2 so i’m in on that
As it’s the first game, and difficult to predict what will happen, i’m going to go half stakes, I believe in my research and my picks, but don’t want to be in a hole before we’ve even got into stride.
Recommended – all 2.5pts
- Siemian passing yards – u220.5 – 5/7 (Bet365) (If you want you can cover o180.5 on Skybet at 10/11)
- CJ Anderson rushing yards – o53.5 – 5/6 (Paddypower)
- Devin Funchess recieving yards – o37.5 – 5/6 (PaddyPower)
- Both players TDs – Anderson and Olsen – 7/2 (Skybet)
12.5pt total. (I will be covering the yard bet)