Best and Worst Games to Bet On This 2017 NFL Season
The 2017 NFL schedule was released last Thursday. We already knew the opponents for each team, but it’s still almost like a national holiday when we found out exactly when teams play one another. Here’s a look a few of the best and worst games on the schedule. No early NFL odds out yet other than for Week 1.
Best and Worst Games to Bet on this 2017 NFL Season
Team with most prime time games?
How many teams have 3 straight road games?
— NFL (@NFL) April 23, 2017
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots, Oct. 22
How can a rematch of Super Bowl LI not top any list of most anticipated games of the season. Of course the Patriots staged the greatest rally in Super Bowl history back on the first Sunday of February in Houston to beat Atlanta 34-28 in overtime, the first OT game in the Super Bowl. Falcons QB Matt Ryan, the reigning NFL MVP, needs to take a lot of blame for blowing that 25-point lead. His fumble allowed the Patriots to get back into the game. Then, when the Falcons had a chance to ice the contest, he took a sack that pushed Atlanta out of field-goal range. There was some talk that the NFL might schedule these two for the Kickoff Game but instead the Patriots will host the Kansas City Chiefs for that one. Pretty much all the key players for both the Patriots and Falcons are back this year – the Falcons did lose their offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan — so maybe they also play again in Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. New England is the heavy NFL betting favorite to repeat.
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, Sept. 10
I could probably list a few other Patriots games among the best, but as I believe the Packers will win the NFC North again this year and the Seahawks will do the same in the NFC West, this season opener at Lambeau Field gets the nod. The Seahawks, like the Packers, are a perennial playoff team. They also signed former Packers running back Eddie Lacy in free agency this offseason. Lacy has even more incentive to make his mandatory 245-pound weight requirement for the season opener. Lacy moved on from Green Bay after two injury-ravaged seasons in which he dealt with weight issues. The Packers still haven’t really replaced him. Green Bay hosted Seattle last Dec. 11 and won 38-10. Aaron Rodgers finished with 246 yards and three scores before leaving early in the fourth quarter with his team up by 25. The Packers’ defense flustered Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw a career-high five interceptions. The Packers opened as 3-point NFL betting favorites for this one.
Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets, Oct. 8
This one could be extremely ugly as the clubs won a combined six games in 2016; neither team has a good starting quarterback – at least not on the current roster. Both are likely to select a QB fairly early in this week’s NFL Draft. The Jets have signed former Browns QB Josh McCown to be their bridge starter. The 37-year- old McCown started three games for the Browns last year and appeared as a backup in two others. He threw six touchdown passes and six interceptions and had a passer rating of 72.3. McCown is 2-20 as a starter since 2014. The Browns lost at home to the Jets in Week 8 last year. McCown passed for 341 yards with two touchdowns to Andrew Hawkins and two interceptions in his return to the lineup from a fractured collarbone. Cleveland blew a 13-point lead.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, Dec. 24
I can think of many things I’d rather be doing on Christmas Eve than watching these two terrible franchises. The Jags were 3-13 last year with a minus-82 point differential and the 49ers were 2-14 with a minus-171 point differential. Both clubs have new coaches. The 49ers hired former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. The Jags gave the full-time job to Doug Marrone, who coached the team’s final few games last year after Gus Bradley was fired. We are likely looking at a QB matchup of Brian Hoyer (49ers) vs. Blake Bortles (Jags). Yikes. This might be the only chance the 49ers have of being favored this coming season.