LA Rams (+2.5) Vs Buffalo Bills, 8:20 EST
The LA Rams kick off their Super Bowl defence after beating the upstart Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 In Super Bowl LVII.
Bills Super Bowl LVIII Favourites?
The Buffalo Bills open the season as the favourites to win Super Bowl LVIII at +600.
Buffalo lost last season in the divisional round to Kansas City in a tragic style that only a Bills fan can fully appreciate. They blew two leads with less than two minutes left in the fourth including a three-point lead with just 13 seconds left. They ultimately would lose that game in OT to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. If you listen to all the pundits on sports talk shows, they all expect Buffalo to be even better than they were last season.
Rams Disrespected Champs?
The Rams are currently listed at +1100 to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. Those are the fifth longest odds to win behind the Bills, Bucs, Packers and Chiefs.
Critics of the Ram’s Super Bowl win would say that if they had faced either the Chiefs or Bills in last year’s game, they would not have won. Furthermore, playing the Super Bowl at home was seen as an advantage to could have swayed the result of the game.
Is Josh Allen ready for an MVP season?
Josh Allen appears primed for a breakout season into the top tier of NFL quarterbacks. He is the opening day favourite to win the MVP award at +600. Two-time defending MVP Aaron Rodgers is fifth on that list at +900. Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Justin Herbert round out the list in spots 2-4.
Josh Allen finished last season with 4,407 passing yards, 36 TDs and only 15 INTs. Allen’s favourite target last season was Stephan Diggs who lead the team with 103 receptions and 1,225 yards.
But Allen’s most valuable skill may not be his passing attack but rather his rushing yards. He rushed 122 times in the regular season last season for 763 yards and an average of 6.3 yards per attempt. This total was a close third in the NFL behind Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson. Perhaps most impressively, Allen managed all of those rushing attempts without suffering injuries and playing all 19 of Buffalo’s games.
The combination of his accuracy and elusiveness makes Josh Allen a dangerous threat and the favourite to win the MVP award this season.
Stafford to Kupp
Cooper Kupp had a tremendous season last year leading the NFL with 145 receptions and 1,947 yards. He came within just 4 receptions of the NFL record of 149 by Michael Thomas and a mere 17 yards behind Calvin Johnson for most receiving yards in a season.
With the NFL adding a game to the normal 16-game season last year, Cooper did have one extra game to get close to those records. Regardless, his breakout season last year will go down as one of the best in NFL history.
Matthew Stafford was accused at times of having tunnel vision last season focusing too heavily on his favourite target. We may see him attempting to share the ball a little more evenly this season. But this combination of Stafford to Kupp is sure to be a devastating combo once again this season.
Opening Night NFL Trends
The defending Super Bowl Champions traditionally open the season by defending at home on Thursday night in week 1. The NFL obviously does this to build hype for the upcoming season so that the champs can raise the Super Bowl banner in front of their home crowd.
Since this tradition began, the Super Bowl Champions are 19-3 SU (straight up) on opening night. That resulted in an impressive 13-6-2 record ATS (against the spread). This becomes even more impressive knowing the champs typically face the loser of the conference championship game from the previous season.
My Pick: Rams (+2.5)
I am not usually a bettor that follows trends too often, but these trends for an opening night look too big to ignore.
The Bills very well may turn out to be the best team in the regular season this season, but it is unrealistic to think they will finish the season 17-0. They will inevitably finish with multiple losses on the season. This week 1 matchup in LA may be the toughest on their entire 2022 schedule with the possible exception of their visit to Kansas City in week 6.
Home underdogs in primetime night games are also some of the most profitable games you can find all season in the NFL. There is something about these primetime games that increases home-field advantage, particularly in close games.
This matchup appears to be a coin flip game to me, so I’ll take a couple of extra points to start. But be cautious in week 1 and not get overly enthusiastic by placing too many bets early on and putting your bankroll at risk. It’s going to be a long rollercoaster ride of a season. Be sure to be buckled in and enjoy the ride.
Get all my Daily Best Bets texted directly to you by subscribing to my DubClub. You can also follow more of my NBA writings at Last Word on Sports or find me on Twitter to stay updated on my latest blogs.
CloudBet provides MLB Odds as of writing time.