Rumors are flying about the NFL releasing its 256-game regular-season schedule on Thursday. It’s a relatively big event for football bettors, because these will be the games we live and die with for 17 weeks.
The Westgate sports book will open Week 1 lines within an hour of the schedule release, oddsmaker Jeff Sherman said.
Here’s a preview of what to expect:
* As Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots get the honor of hosting the season opener. The date will be Thursday, Sept. 7. The opponent, according to a few reports, will be the Kansas City Chiefs.
* Tom Brady will be taking his talents to Mexico City. This is no secret. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced in early February that the Oakland Raiders will “host” the Patriots at Estadio Azteca. Expect the game to be played in late November.
* We already know the opponents for all 32 teams. New England will host the Atlanta Falcons in a Super Bowl rematch. The Patriots will play high-profile road games at Denver and Pittsburgh.
* As usual, Dallas will be featured in several prime-time games. The Cowboys will host the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks and play at Atlanta, Denver and Oakland.
* Aaron Rodgers is set to duel with Ben Roethlisberger. The Packers will play at Pittsburgh, and how could that game not be on a Sunday night or Monday?
* Week 16 falls on Sunday, Dec. 24, which means there will be “Monday Night Football” on Christmas. There is speculation the league will schedule a Monday doubleheader.
* The final Sunday of the season falls on New Year’s Eve. The guess here is either the Cowboys or Packers will be involved in game No. 256.