Tom Brady’s importance to the New England Patriots has been clearly evidenced by the adjustment of NFL Week 1 odds soon after the recent announcement of his four-game suspension due to his alleged involvement in the Deflategate scandal. Immediately after the announcement was made, the NFL odds of the Patriots-Steelers Week 1 matchup made a full 5-point jump, with Pats dropping from 6-point favorites to a 1-point favorite in the game.
THIS JUST IN: The NFLPA has filed an appeal of Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension. pic.twitter.com/qoQ2WJmeTq
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 14, 2015
2015 Week 1 NFL Betting Lines
On top of the suspension, Brady has been handed a $1-million fine, while the Pats will forfeit two draft picks (a first-rounder in the 2016 NFL draft and a fourth-rounder in the 2017 NFL draft). This could affect New England in a big way in the upcoming NFL season, as well as in the years to come. At the moment, Brady and the Patriots have already launched appeals, which could see some of the punitive measures dropped or lessened by the league. However, if the punishments stand, Brady won’t be available for the following games:
• Week 1 – vs. Pittsburgh
• Week 2 – at Buffalo
• Week 3 – vs. Jacksonville
• Week 4 – Bye
• Week 5 – at Dallas
With Jimmy Garoppolo likely to get the starting role, there is a good likelihood that the Pats will lose one or two of those games. For the Steelers, there’ll be a bit of some advantage with Brady out. Still, based on the fact that Pittsburgh’s ace running back Le’veon Bell will also be unavailable for the first three games due to a suspension, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the two miss-outs cancel each other and the Pats come out with a win in Game 1.
The teams that could benefit most from this suspension are New England’s divisional opponents (the Bills, Dolphins and Jets). This is mainly because the suspension could possibly affect the season totals for the defending Super Bowl champs. However, as far as the division title is concerned, it doesn’t look like there’ll be too much damage done, ‘coz once Brady is back, the Pats will be good to make amends. After all, the Pats started their 2014 on a 2-2 slate, but still won the division comfortably with a conference-best record.
Anyway, enough of the Brady talk and its effect. For all I know, his appeal could go through and the lines will jump back to New England’s favor. So while we wait on all that, let’s check out other early 2015 NFL Week 1 Odds listed below:
Thursday, September 10, 2015
• PATRIOTS -1 Steelers 53 (NBC)
Sunday, September 13, 2015
• Packers -4 BEARS 50
• TEXANS -1½ Chiefs 43
• JETS -1 Browns 41
• Colts -3 Even BILLS 48
• Dolphins -2½ REDSKINS 44½
• Panthers -4 JAGUARS 43½
• Seahawks -3½ RAMS 44
• CARDINALS -2½ Saints 48
• CHARGERS -2 Detroit Lions 46½
• BUCCANEERS -3 Titans 42½
• Bengals -3 RAIDERS 44½
• BRONCOS -4 Ravens 53
• COWBOYS -5½ Giants 50 (NBC)
Monday, September 14, 2015
• Eagles -1½ FALCONS 53½ (ESPN)
• 49ERS -3½ Vikings 42 (ESPN)
Note: HOME TEAM in CAPITAL LETTERS
Going by the shifty nature of the NFL odds due to injuries, suspensions and transfers, it would probably not serve any important purpose to give an in-depth analysis of the above-listed Week 1 games, since many things can happen between now and September. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean we can’t wet our betting appetite by indulging in some early Week 1 predictions, does it? Yeah, I thought so too… so let’s get to it.
Steelers at Patriots
Big Ben capitalizes on the absence of Brady, Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to eke out a win. Final: Pittsburgh 30, NE 27.
Packers at Bears
Aaron Rodgers continues with his stellar record at Soldier Field (no loss since 2010) by leading the Packers to victory. Final: Green Bay 25, Chicago 14.
Chiefs at Texans
Kansas City kick-starts its season with tight upset win over the Texans in a low-scoring clash. Final: Kansas 18, Houston 15
Browns at Jets
Leonard Williams makes his NFL debut with a solid performance, helping the Jets take down the Browns rather comfortably. Final: NY Jets 23, Cleveland 9.
Colts at Bills
The home advantage and Buffalo’s improved defense sticks it out to beat the Colts, in spite of a solid game by Andrew Luck. Final: Buffalo 28, Indianapolis 24
Dolphins at Redskins
Ndamukong Suh runs his mouth before the game and then makes his debut with a strong performance, helping the Dolphins ease past Washington. Final: Miami 30, Washington 15.
Panthers at Jaguars
Dante Fowler and T.J. Yeldon impress in their pro debuts, frustrate the Panthers, and eke out a surprise win over Panthers. Final: Jacksonville 25, Carolina 24.
Seahawks at Rams
This game will be closer than most people expect it to be, with Nick Foles and Todd Gurley featuring strongly for St. Louis, but once again, Seattle’s solid defense carries the team to a narrow road win. Final: Seattle 20, St. Louis 18.
Saints at Cardinals
Drew Brees and Carson Palmer trade blows in a thrilling encounter, with the Saints emerging as the victors in the end. Final: New Orleans 33, Arizona 30
Lions at Chargers
Melvin Gordon makes an immediate impact for the Chargers, helping them to better the stubborn Lions. Final: San Diego 28, Detroit 20.
Titans at Buccaneers
It doesn’t get better than this! After a hyped-up media frenzy about the clash between Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston, the two top-2 draft picks square it off and Winston gets the W. Final: Tampa Bay 23, Tennessee 19.
Bengals at Raiders
Oakland shows some sparks of brilliance, foretelling an improved season for them. Still, Cincinnati proves to be too hot and claims their first road win of the season. Final: Cincinnati 28, Oakland 20.
Ravens at Broncos
Baltimore’s greatly improved squad sounds a warning in the league with an upset victory over Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Final: Baltimore 28, Denver 24.
Giants at Cowboys
Even with the effects of Demarco Murray’s absence being felt by Dallas, the Cowboys manage to hold off the Giants in a back-and-forth affair. Final: Dallas 35, NY Giants 30.
Eagles at Falcons
Chip Kelly’s off-season investments start to pay off as the Eagles hand Dann Quinn his first loss as Atlanta’s coach. Final: Philadelphia 40, Atlanta 28.
Vikings at 49ers
Jim Harbaugh smiles from afar as the Viking s terrorize San Francisco at home, condemning new Coach Jim Tomsula to his first loss with the 49ers. Final: Minnesota 23, San Francisco 21