Top NFL Prime-Time Betting Games of the Season
Nothing beats Thursday night, Sunday night or Monday night football in the NFL. The Sunday night games, especially, are usually the top matchups of the week and NBC can flex desired matchups into that slot later in the year. Prime-time game also draw the most NFL betting action of all the games each week. Here is one man’s opinion of the top five prime-time games on the 2016 schedule.
A Quick Look at the Top NFL Prime-Time Betting Games of the Season
Carolina at Denver, Sept. 8 (NBC): How can you argue against this? It’s of course the rematch of last season’s Super Bowl, won 24-10 by underdog Denver. Alas, the only thing that takes this down a small peg is that the Broncos have major quarterback questions with the retirement of Peyton Manning. Reigning Super Bowl champions almost always win these NFL Kickoff Games at home. The Panthers, who went 15-1 in the regular season, return most of the team that has won the NFC South the past three years. The 2016 opener will be the first Super Bowl rematch on opening weekend since 1970, when Minnesota beat champion Kansas City 27-10. Carolina is currently a 1-point favorite on NFL odds.
New England at Arizona, Sept. 11 (NBC): A lot of people believe this could be a preview of this year’s Super Bowl. The Patriots, as things stand, will be without future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady as he serves the first of his four-game “Deflategate” suspension. These teams also made a big trade this offseason. New England sent defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round pick. Jones recorded a career-high 12½ sacks last season and should bolster the Cardinals’ pass rush; Arizona reached the NFC Championship Game despite ranking 20th in the NFL with 36 sacks. The Cards are 5.5-point favorites.
Seattle at New England, Nov. 13 (NBC): This is of course a rematch of the Patriots’ last-second Super Bowl win two seasons ago. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski vs. Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” should be terrific theater.
Houston vs. Oakland, Nov. 21 (ESPN): This game will take place in Mexico City on “Monday Night Football.” The game will mark the NFL’s first International Series game outside London and the first game in Mexico City since 2005, when a crowd of 103,467 attended a Cardinals-49ers regular-season game at Estadio Azteca. It makes sense that it’s these two teams in that Houston is close to Mexico and the Raiders are one of the most popular NFL teams in the country. On the field, these appear to be two rising powerhouses in the AFC who could overtake annual powers Denver and New England as early as this season.
Carolina at Seattle, Dec. 4 (NBC): This might be the NFC’s best rivalry right now. Carolina went to Seattle in Week 6 last year and pulled off a 27-23 upset. Down 23-14, Carolina went 80 yards on each of its final two possessions for touchdowns. The teams then met in the divisional round of the playoffs in Charlotte and Carolina won 31-24, nearly blowing a 31-0 lead. Jonathan Stewart scored two touchdowns after jump-starting the Panthers with a 59-yard sprint on the team’s first play. The winner of this game could easily be the top seed in the NFC playoffs this season, although Arizona and Green Bay might have something to say about that.