It’s insanely early to seriously look at week one of the NFL. We don’t even know the outcome of some key position battles, we don’t know if Tom Brady’s suspension will stick and numerous injuries could re-shape the landscape of how we see pro football at the moment. Of course, it’s really never too early to look ahead, though, and if you have a pretty good feeling about a game, the earlier you can place a bet, sometimes it’s for the better.
Regardless of when you plan on conducting your NFL betting, we have a few upsets for week one we’ll be monitoring as we get closer and closer to the first slate of games. There’s only so many pro football games in a year, after all, so time’s a wasting. There are some good lines to start with that we think can be taken advantage of. Let’s break them down and see what upsets are worth attacking for the first week of 2015:
New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (Favorite: Dallas, -5.5)
Dallas has to be on upset alert for several reasons in this week one battle. They lost stud rusher DeMarco Murray in free agency and don’t have a clear answer, for one, their defense is still a question mark and they could come out slow after fizzling in the playoffs last year. On top of that, the G-Men closed 2014 strong and look much better on paper heading into 2015. These divisional contests tend to be toss-ups, too, while the road team seems to often find a way to pull out the win. Even if the Giants can’t get the upset win, they could be a good bet ATS.
Baltimore Ravens @ Denver Broncos (Denver, -4)
Peyton Manning seemed to regress last year, the Broncos lost numerous players to free agency and injury and the Ravens are one of the more balanced teams in the entire league. Baltimore absolutely is a strong bet to pull off a week one upset and we should get a pretty good indication of who the Broncos are out of this game. The interesting under-lying storyline will be Gary Kubiak taking on the team he just helped a year ago. That could mean Denver shuts down Baltimore’s offense, but I still like the Ravens to keep this one close and possibly earn the upset.
Minnesota Vikings @ San Francisco 49ers (San Francisco, -4)
The 49ers took a big step back last year, have a new coach in town and still don’t really know what they have in Colin Kaepernick. The Niners also lost Frank Gore, the Vikes might have Adrian Peterson back and it’s very possible these are just two NFC teams going in very opposite directions. Winning in San Francisco is quite a big step for Teddy Bridgewater and co., but with a rising defense and weapons to work with on offense, Minnesota is shaping up as a real threat. They could show why right away with a big road win over the Niners.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (New England, -2.5)
This is a tricky game to get in on the ground floor, as it remains a possibility that Tom Brady gets his suspension wiped out. If that happened, few are going to feel great about the Steelers marching into Foxboro and getting a huge road win to start the year. However, as it stands, the Steelers would be facing second-year passer Jimmy Garappolo and that could play hugely into their favor.
Pittsburgh will be short-handed themselves with running back Le’Veon Bell serving his own suspension, but they’d be facing a young quarterback and a Patriots defense that lost several huge names to free agency. It’s not a huge line to attack and it’s always tough to go against the defending champs, but if Brady remains out, the Steelers are going to be one of the most active underdogs for the opening week.