The NFL season kicks off Thursday night with Josh Allen and the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills taking on Matthew Stafford and the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams at Sofi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Moneyline: Rams (+110)
Unless I missed something, the Rams are the defending Super Bowl champs, yet the Bills walk into the season opener as the betting favorites. The public as a whole thinks that this is finally the Bill's year, and they are proving that with the bets rolling in on Buffalo. That faith in Buffalo has moved this line from -1 to the Rams to -2.5 in the Bills' favor. Currently, the Bills are getting 67% of the bets and 78% of the money.
The contrarian betting strategy would say that you should bet on the Rams at +2.5. Not only are they at home, where I LOVE a home underdog, but they are the defending Super Bowl champs. Not to mention, Sean McVay is 5-0 in openers as the Rams head coach. I'm gonna leave the points on the table and take the money on the Rams straight-up.
Pick: Rams ML (+110)
Over/Under: 52.5 Points
I'll start by saying I'll probably stay away from the O/U unless I talk myself into it here. With 73% of the bets moving the total from 51 to 53 on some sites, this matchup has the highest point total for any Week 1 game. There's a reason for that, of course. These two teams have such explosive offenses that many are forgetting they also have two of the best defenses in the league.
Combined, they only accounted for 38.9 ppg allowed last season. The Bills were first in the league in opponents' points per game with 18.3, while the Rams averaged 21.3 ppg which dropped to 18.8 ppg in the playoffs. I'll bet against the public's wishes of an opening night shootout and take the under here. I might even be inclined to buy a few points here on a parlay with a few player props.
Hey, look at that, talked myself into it.
Best Prop Bets
Allen Robinson II - Over 56.5 Receiving Yards
This is a bet I made a few times last year with OBJ, and I'm going to try it again with Allen Robinson II. The idea is simple: Cooper Kupp, now a Super Bowl MVP, will draw immense coverage, leading the No. 2 wideout to rack up targets of his own. That's not to say Kupp isn't going to have his fair share of looks, but Stafford likes to spread the field, so I'm going to roll the dice and say he gets his new wide receiver involved in the passing scheme early.
Cooper Kupp - Under 7.5 Receptions
Ok, I guess I am saying the Bills defense will limit Kupp some, but here's the rub: Cooper Kupp led the league in receptions per game with 8.48 last year, so I'm willing to bet that up against the league's best defense, he sees one less reception than his 2021 average.
Josh Allen - Over 37.5 Rushing Yards
Josh Allen is no stranger to running. The Bills QB averaged 44.9 rushing yards per game last season and six touchdowns on the ground. With the Bills offensive line being the weakest unit on their team, Aaron Donald should be able to pressure Allen into more running opportunities. Look for No. 17 to take off early and often.