From the way the commentators had to pick their jaws up off the desk in order to say something, you’d think football fans just witnessed a game ripe for Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
The Washington Redskins’ 40-32 win over the New Orleans Saints Sunday was a stunner – the 8-point spread tells us so. But, it wasn’t so much the final score that caught people off guard. It was the performance of rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who passed for 320 yards, two touchdowns and tacked on 42 yards rushing in the win.
Griffin was the biggest star of Week 1, flooding Twitter with #RG3 and sending fantasy footballers scrambling for the waiver wire. The Redskins’ effort also forced oddsmakers to rethink Washington’s Week 2 odds. The Redskins opened as 3-point road favorites against the St. Louis Rams with a total of 45.5 next Sunday.
“Washington is another ‘hip’ go-to team for players, especially after the Skins' big win,” Peter Korner of The Sports Club, a Las Vegas-based oddsmaking service, told Covers.com. “We're a good field goal higher with the total (48) and respect the Rams’ defense. But this looks like another freewheeling game and we don't expect a defensive tilt.”
Here’s a look at the opening odds for some of Week 2’s biggest matchups:Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-5.5, 49)
The NFC pecking order was given a good shake as the San Francisco 49ers put the Packers in their place, squeezing the cheese 30-22 in Week 1. The Sports Club sent out Green Bay -7, confident that the Packers would bounce back in a mid-week game at home. Some online books opened as low as -4 but quickly were forced to -5.5 with money on the fave.
“We're pretty sure Packers backers will just wait until game day and see how low this line will go before getting on board,” says Korner. “If you set this low to open, expect to be rooting for the Bears on Thursday.”
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5, 41.5)
Did we underestimate the Jets or overestimate the Bills? New York put a poor preseason behind it and hung 48 points against a Buffalo defense that was supposed to be good. Pittsburgh appeared to be pulling out another Ben Roethlisberger last-minute comeback Sunday night, but instead tossed a pick-6 to the delight of over bettors.
“We expect a bounce-back game by the Steelers with their home opener but the Jets infused some self confidence with their big Week 1 win,” says Korner, who sent out Pittsburgh -5. “We're lower than the current line and expect J-E-T-S money come the weekend. “Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers (-6.5, 46.5)
Ah, the “Handshake Bowl”. The media is already hyping up the bad blood between Lions head coach Jim Schwartz and Niners coach Jim Harbaugh, who got a little excited after a 25-19 win over Detroit last season and shook his counterpart's hand the same way the Hulk smashes a car.
This Sunday Night Football showdown opened as high as San Francisco -7, which has been bet off the key number, and the total opened at 46.5. The Sports Club sent out 47 points and expects a shootout between Detroit’s QB-WR combo and the 49ers' new-look pass attack.