Thursday September 4th, 2014

Four divisional showdowns highlight early action on the first Sunday of the NFL season, which will certainly generate plenty of handicapping rigor and betting fervor.

New England (-4.5) visits Miami for an AFC East clash. The Patriots have won 10 straight Week 1 matches, but have barely eked out a profit (5-4-1 ATS) at the payout window.

The Cincinnati Bengals visit the Baltimore Ravens in a heavyweight AFC North matchup. The home team is favored by a point, and they are 28-2 SU when favored at home. That contrasts with Cincy’s excellent 11-1-2 ATS mark in its past 14 games since 2006 when dog of three or less. Something’s gotta give there.

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The NFC South starts with Atlanta hosting New Orleans. Some experts are surprised that the spread has remained so small, as the Saints have the firepower to turn this into a rout. At -3, the Saints are one of Odds Shark’s Supercontest picks for the week.

And the Cleveland Browns visit Pittsburgh, trying to dent the awful 3-25 SU records both against the Steelers and as aroad underdog. They also wat to address their history of failing to cover in season openers (2-12-1 ATS past 15 seasons).

There are just two afternoon games in Week 1 and the San Francisco vs. Dallas clash is full of unique betting trends and possible drama.

NFL
NFL Power Rankings Week 1: Seattle Seahawks claim top spot

The 49ers (-5) did not look sharp in the preseason, but they are 8-2-1 ATS in their past 11 season openers. 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh will need to keep his team focused and not underestimate the Cowboys in this spot as road favorites. However, San Francisco has been very profitable in this situation, rolling up a 10-1 SU, 9-1-1 ATS record the past 11 times they have laid points on the road.

Dallas was one of the most highly scrutinized teams in the offseason after letting star linebacker DeMarcus Ware go, and they will need QB Tony Romo to stay healthy in order to have any shot at making the playoffs from the NFC East.

Romo is coming off back surgery, and he has helped lead the Cowboys to a 6-1 ATS mark in their last seven openers. However, Dallas is just 1-7 SU in its past eight games as a home underdog.

Check out all the Week 1 lines here at SI.

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