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Falcons one of four road favorites in Week 1

By Matt Youmans
VSiN senior editor

April 20, 2017 08:00 PM
Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons, seven months after a stunning Super Bowl collapse, will open the season as road favorites over the Chicago Bears.
© USA Today Images

Seven months after their stunning Super Bowl debacle, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons will be road favorites in Week 1 of the NFL regular season.

The South Point and Westgate sports books posted lines within an hour of the league announcing its 256-game schedule on Thursday. The Falcons opened as 5½-point favorites at Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 10.

As expected, the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots raise the banner as favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, Sept. 7. The South Point posted the Patriots at 8, and the Westgate opened the line at 7.

“The public is going to be all over the Patriots, and that’s not going to change,” said Vinny Magliulo, VSiN oddsmaker and Gaughan Gaming sports book director. “That was put in the number.”

The Falcons are one of four road favorites in the opening week — Pittsburgh is a 9½-point favorite at Cleveland, Indianapolis is laying 3½ points to the Los Angeles Rams, and Carolina is a 4-point favorite at San Francisco. The Steelers are the biggest favorites on the board, with the South Point posting the highest line at 10.

South Point and Westgate oddsmakers made Oakland-Tennessee the only pick’em game in Week 1. The Golden Nugget opened the Raiders as 1-point road favorites.

Call this a lack of scheduling creativity or a case of deja vu, but for the third year in a row, the New York Giants open at Dallas on Sunday night. The Cowboys are 5½- to 6-point favorites.

In the Monday night doubleheader, according to South Point lines, Minnesota is a 3-point home favorite over New Orleans, and Denver is a 4½-point home favorite over the Los Angeles Chargers.

It’s subject to change, but for now the betting limit at the South Point is $2,000 on sides.

“These are going to be the highest-bet games of the regular season, and the reason is simple,” Magliulo said. “These games are going to be up on the board for four months.”

NFL Week 1 Opening Lines
(Posted at Westgate sports book)
Thursday, Sept. 7

PATRIOTS  7  50  Chiefs
Sunday, Sept. 10
BILLS  6.5  42  Jets
Falcons  5.5  50.5  BEARS
TEXANS  4.5  42  Jaguars
REDSKINS  2.5  48  Eagles
LIONS  2.5  49.5  Cardinals
TITANS  Pick  53.5  Raiders
DOLPHINS  2  48  Buccaneers
BENGALS  1  44  Ravens
Steelers  9.5  47.5  BROWNS
Colts  3.5  48  RAMS
PACKERS  2.5  50.5  Seahawks
Panthers  4  49  49ERS
COWBOYS  6  50.5  Giants
Monday, Sept. 11
VIKINGS  4  48  Saints
BRONCOS  3.5  44.5  Chargers

(Posted at South Point sports book)
Thursday, Sept. 7

PATRIOTS  8  Chiefs
Sunday, Sept. 10
BILLS  6  Jets
Falcons  6  BEARS
TEXANS  5.5  Jaguars
REDSKINS  2.5  Eagles
LIONS  2.5  Cardinals
TITANS  Pick  Raiders
DOLPHINS  1  Buccaneers
BENGALS  1.5  Ravens
Steelers  10  BROWNS
Colts  3.5  RAMS
PACKERS  2.5  Seahawks
Panthers  5  49ERS
COWBOYS  5.5  Giants
Monday, Sept. 11
VIKINGS  3  Saints
BRONCOS  4.5  Chargers

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