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Handicapping Tips: Five NFL Week 1 upsets worth considering

Betting NFL Futures

The NFL regular season is still a ways away, but with lines beginning to trickle in at various sportsbooks there is no better time to begin trying to identify value.

Here’s a look at five underdogs in prime position to pull off a Week 1 upset.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tennessee (+6.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

Mike Munchak was Tennessee’s offensive line coach before becoming the team’s head coach. Munchak had one mandate when he was promoted, and that was to get Chris Johnson’s career back on track.

Johnson showed some signs of life over the latter half of the 2012 season, and should be extra-motivated this year with the Titans bringing in Shonn Greene to compete with Johnson for touches in the Titan backfield.

As for the Steelers, they haven’t left Ben Roethlisberger much talent to work with this year, and they let some key defensive players leave via free agency.

The Titans also beat the Steelers in the lone meeting between these teams a year ago.

Cleveland (+1) v. Miami Dolphins

Maybe I’m not going out on much of a limb by picking a 1-point underdog to pull off an upset, but I believe this is the start of a trend that can be very profitable for bettors over the early part of the NFL season.

The Dolphins were very active in free agency this offseason, bringing in an impressive assortment of veteran players, but this is a cautionary tale we’ve heard many times before. Winning teams aren’t assembled through free agency.

However, early action in Vegas has shown that bettors are eager to get behind the Dolphins. This should lead to some very favorable lines for those doubters who don’t believe Miami is poised for the major step forward that many expect.

The first favorable line comes right out of the gate in Cleveland on a Browns team that should be effective this season with Norv Turner calling the shots on offense.

New York Jets (+2) v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Seemingly endless Darrelle Revis trade rumors linked these teams to one another throughout the offseason, and they’ll get to face one another to start the regular year.

Revis will help improve Tampa Bay’s 32nd-ranked pass defense, but that may not be where they need help on this day. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The Jets have a solid offensive line, and they run the ball well. Chris Ivory is very familiar with the Bucs having spent the first three years of his career with the Saints, and he’s averaged 7.0 yards per carry against them.

Arizona Cardinals (+6) at St. Louis Rams

The Rams took a big step forward in Jeff Fisher’s first year as head coach last season. This isn’t a condemnation of the team’s progress, but they’ll have some issues to work through in Week 1.

Key veterans on offense Steven Jackson and Danny Amendola are both gone, leaving Sam Bradford with a stable of young, largely unproven players to work with. Also, the man tagged to take over as the team’s starting running back, Isaiah Pead, has been suspended for this game.

Outside of changes at the safety position the Cardinal defense that has been solid over the last two-plus seasons is largely intact. New quarterback Carson Palmer should at least be able to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals are a different team when that happens.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Philadelphia Eagles (+5) at Washington Redskins

I’m not nearly as confident that Robert Griffin III is ready for this game as others seem to be. Kirk Cousins filled in nicely when RGIII went down last season, but the Redskin offense is far less dynamic when he’s under center.

Chip Kelly’s offense may not be successful in the NFL over the long term, but he may be able to pull out a few surprises in Week 1. Steve Spurrier’s Fun ‘n’ Gun offense didn’t last in the NFL, but he was able to catch the Cardinals off guard in Week 1 of the 2002 season to the tune of 31 points and 442 yards of offense.

In the three meetings between these teams started and completed by Michael Vick the Eagles are 3-0, outscoring the Redskins by an average of 20.7 points.

The 2013/14 NFL futures betting season is here in full force! If you like to bet on the NFL, you are in the best possible place for online betting. CappersPicks.com has NFL odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NFL lines up for early games as well.

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About Gino Bottero

Gino is new to CappersPicks.com but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!


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