Let's take a quick look at some of the early games in the Pro Football betting schedule, along with the NFL odds as they are posted at BetAnySports.
All these games start at 1 PM ET:
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
NFL Odds: Packers - 6, Total 44
Obviously you have to respect the Chicago defense here, along with some improved play on the part of Justin Fields, who has been moving around outside the pocket and not standing back there like a sitting duck. It would be great if he could be aided by a serviceable ground attack, but Chicago's injuries in the backfield will leave them with second and third stringers, as David Montgomery won't be available.
Why we do recognize that this number has increased, making Green Bay less of a value, we must point out that since the disastrous opener against New Orleans, Aaron Rodgers has thrown 10 touchdowns with only one interception. And you absolutely have to consider his history against this particular team. Rodgers has beaten Chicago 20 out of 25 times, and the Packers overall have covered 19 of those games. Let's assume that Mason Crosby won't get the yips again kicking field goals. As such, it could be pretty difficult for Fields to trade points here. GREEN BAY
Kansas City Chiefs at Washington Football Team
BetAnySports pro football betting odds: Chiefs -7 (+ 100), Total 54
Perhaps it's not a huge surprise the Kansas City has not been able to stop anybody. Using the drive stats from our friends at Football Outsiders as a reference, they are dead last in the NFL in both yards and points allowed per drive. At the same time, on offense they are first in both categories.
Are there any answers? We're not really sure, although the strategy seems to be simply hoping to outscore the opponent.
Can they do that here? Well, the Washington defense has been a surprising disappointment, way down the list as far as efficiency is concerned. If you remember last season, defense is what drove this team to a division title. At the moment, they are allowing 56% success on third down, while Kansas City has converted almost 59% of its own third-down opportunities. That is certainly a difference-maker, but for us, it's more about the total. We know what Patrick Mahomes can do. And Taylor Heinicke has done at least well enough to puncture a stop unit with many weaknesses. OVER 54
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions
NFL Odds: Bengals - 3.5 (-105), Total 47
Well, the Lions suffered more heartbreak last week, losing in the final seconds to Minnesota. They were, of course, victimized by Baltimore and a 66-yard field goal as well. And Dan Campbell has been beside himself. You don't want to disparage Detroit too much, as they have been putting forth big efforts for their first-year coach. But they may suffer from some fundamental disadvantages in this one.
First of all, Joe Burrow has been having a pretty damn good year, and he's working Zac Taylor's offense expertly, completing almost 72% of his passes. He already had a lot of confidence in rookie wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, his teammate from LSU, who is on target for about 1,400 yards.
But maybe the surprising part of this is that the Bengals' defense has held up its end of the bargain, ranking fifth in the league in yards allowed per drive. Yes, like a lot of defenses they've allowed a high completion percentage (in this case, 68.7%), but they have been keeping a lot in front of them, allowing only 6.4 yards per attempt. So Jared Goff will be able to do some things, but Detroit will have to work its way down the field.
All told, the Lions look like a team that could break out with a big effort, but at the same time may find itself a little vulnerable in of the secondary, unless somehow they can get themselves into some favorable third-down situations. We are going to swallow hard, but lay the points with CINCINNATI.
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