Here is a look at some of the early starting NFL betting action for Sunday, highlighted by the matchup between the Patriots and Jets.
All the odds are currently posted at BetOnline. And all games begin at 1 PM Eastern time.
New England Patriots at New York Jets
NFL Odds: Patriots -2.5 / Total 35
We don't know if we are overrating 71-year old Bill Belichick by saying it's unlikely he would open the season 0-3. But you have to look at the quarterback on the other side.
Here's what happens when you have Zack Wilson behind center - you possess the ball for less than 18 minutes with twelve first downs, and because of this, your defense gets overworked.
No one should make the assumption that Wilson has learned enough to make him a formidable starting quarterback, no matter what may have come by way of osmosis from Aaron Rodgers. And let's reiterate something we've said time and again - the scouts all got hot on Wilson during a season in which BYU didn't play one Power 5 team.
We can't make any promises about Ezekiel Elliott, but maybe this is an opportunity for Rhamondre Stevenson to get untracked, against a Jets defense that might get tired in the second half. The Pats have, in a sense, played well enough to beat Philadelphia and Miami.
THE PLAY: New England
Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
BetOnline NFL Betting Odds: Chargers -1 (-108) / Total 54.5
Both of these teams are missing running backs; the Chargers are without Austin Ekeler (ankle injury), and they don't know exactly when he'll return. Joshua Kelley takes his place, with not much behind him. As for the Vikings, they don't have a running game at all, as they have not sufficiently plugged the hole left by Dalvin Cook departure. As a result, no team has run for fewer yards then they have.
So we'll likely see Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins throwing the ball almost exclusively. Well, we feel a few edges for the Bolts here. Sure, Justin Jefferson is elite and Jordan Addison is a rookie with an awful lot of promise.
But Herbert gets the ball downfield better. He should get more out of Kelley than Minnesota will get out of Alexander Mattison. The Vikes got eaten alive by the Philadelphia ground game, giving up 259 yards. And the Chargers should be able to get more of a pass rush going with Joey Bosa playing.
THE PLAY: L.A. Chargers
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
NFL Lines: Browns -3 (-126) / Total 38.5 (Over -105, Under -115)
Things were a little bit weird for the Browns in Monday night's game. They should have done enough to beat the Steelers, which would have been a big accomplishment at their place, which used to be called Heinz Field. But there were two giveaways by DeShaun Watson that led to Pittsburgh touchdowns. And then of course there was the injury to Nick Chubb.
Cleveland has to proceed without Chubb, and they got a nice effort out of Jerome Ford. He'll move behind an offensive line that has proven capable of carving out holes, if not protecting Watson. Oh, and Kareem Hunt was brought back for, well, backup.
The Titans showed that they aren't the team that is going to roll over and play dead when they beat the Chargers last week. They faced a better New Orleans team in Week 1 and barely missed out.
Honestly, while Ford made a heroic play after Chubb went down, will that sustain itself? Without Chubb's home run threat, Watson has difficulty making plays. We don't trust him. And Tennessee is the team with the star running back in this one (Derrick Henry, although admittedly he has to start playing like one).
THE PLAY: Tennessee
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