We’ve got a pair of “Monday Night Football” games this evening to finish off Week 1, but it’s already time to look ahead to Week 2. Covers checks in on the opening lines for four noteworthy games, with insights from Scott Cooley, odds consultant for offshore sportsbook Bookmaker.eu.
Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
Kansas City is arguably the biggest surprise team to emerge from Week 1, even though Andy Reid’s squad went 12-4 SU and was in the playoffs last year. The Chiefs traveled to New England for the Thursday nighter, hung tough with the Patriots through three quarters, then scored the last 21 points of the game in a 42-27 victory as a healthy 8-point underdog.
Philadelphia also started on the right foot on the road, dropping Washington 30-17 as a 2-point favorite Sunday. In the second half, the Eagles allowed only a field goal late in the third quarter.
“Bettors didn’t really like K.C. in the season opener, so we’ll see if they continue to pile on Philly like they did in Week 1,” Cooley said. “However, early sharp action has come in on the Chiefs. Both teams greatly exceeded expectations, so this opening number was dead for a reason.”
That early sharp action pushed the Chiefs to -5.
New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints (no line)
Perhaps New England is the biggest surprise team of Week 1, getting pantsed in the fourth quarter on its home field. The Patriots, coming off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history as they beat Atlanta, fell flat late in a 42-27 loss to Kansas City as an 8-point home favorite.
Meanwhile, New Orleans is among the four teams who have some Monday night work to do in Week 1 at Minnesota, before beginning prep for Week 2. The Saints, for years a perennial NFC contender, haven’t made the playoffs the last three years.
“We’ll wait to post a line for this game until the Saints complete their Monday nighter,” Cooley said. “If everything goes accordingly, the Pats will likely surface as 4- to 5-point road chalk. You know they’ll be chomping at the bit to erase that ugly opener, and the public won’t hesitate to lay an awkward digit.”
Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos (no line)
Dallas didn’t light it up on offense, but had more than enough thanks to a stout defensive performance in the Sunday night game. The Cowboys gave up only a field goal to the NFC East rival New York Giants en route to a 19-3 home win laying 6 points.
Like New Orleans, Denver gets underway tonight, at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos sent Peyton Manning into the sunset with a Super Bowl victory after the 2015 season, but last year went 9-7 SU and ATS, missing the playoffs.
With Dallas going late Sunday and Denver playing tonight, Bookmaker.eu is holding off on the opening line.
“We’ll likely open the road team as a 1-point favorite,” Cooley said. “There are certainly a lot of questions surrounding Denver, and hopefully some of those will be answered for everyone Monday night.”
Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)
It’s a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game, though not in the same venue, as Atlanta moves into its new digs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium under the Sunday night lights. The Falcons opened the season on the road, fending off Chicago 23-17 as a 6.5-point fave.
Green Bay, which lost that NFC title tilt 44-21 catching 6.5 points, got this season off to a solid start with a 17-9 victory over Seattle giving 2.5 points at home.
“A big early showdown in Hotlanta that should yield a huge ‘Sunday Night Football’ handle,” Cooley said. “Our power ratings have these two teams on a pretty even playing field, so we basically accounted for the home-field advantage. We’re expecting Packers money through and through.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.