The NFL has announced that teams can begin to open up their facilities, which is the first step for the league to ensure that the season starts on time. With the NFL kickoff just a couple of months away, now is the ripe time to try and identify a few ‘best bets,’ based on the opening NFL spreads for Week 1. Here are a few selections, gathered from our expert staff.
Baltimore -8.5 Cleveland
The Ravens have been a staple of consistency under head coach John Harbaugh, who have made the playoffs eight out of the past 12 seasons, including their 2012 Super Bowl victory under his guidance. During that same period of time, the Browns have had nine different head coaches and six different general managers. One organization exemplifies class and consistency, while the other continues to search for an identity. One could argue that Baltimore, coming off a 14-2 season, improved themselves more than any other franchise in the league. Meanwhile, Browns first-year headman Kevin Stefanski will struggle to stamp his identity on this team due to the shutdown of offseason OTAs. This game could get ugly early and Baltimore should cover by halftime and cruise to victory during the second half. It’s all in on the Ravens, ride them right into the Super Bowl!
Philadelphia -5.5 Washington
Coming off a 3-13 season, the Redskins have quite a ways to go until they catch up to the division champion Eagles. While the selection of defensive end Chase Young, the second overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, along with last year’s first round pick, quarterback Dwayne Haskins brings plenty of optimism, this unit will need to work on its chemistry under new head coach Ron Rivera. Philadelphia has finished with a winning record the past three consecutive seasons, including a 6-0 record versus the Redskins, with an average margin of victory of 13 points. Expect much of the same in Week 1, look for Eagles to soar easily in this matchup.
Arizona +7.5 San Francisco
While the 49ers made a remarkable run into the Super Bowl last season, the runner-up of the big game has failed to make the playoffs the following season, for each of the past three consecutive years. San Francisco will look to end that slump but they run into a young, upstart Cardinals team that showed much promise a year ago. Arizona won just five games in 2019 but five of their defeats came by six points or less and they tied in another. The duo of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray is one of the most exciting head coach/quarterback duos in the NFL and 2020 could be the year that they take a significant jump from pretender to contender. In fact, it would not be a total surprise if the Cardinals were to win this game outright. This could be a very appealing money line play but make sure you back it up and take the insurance of the points as well.
*Be sure to check back for more plays from our football wagering experts!