Handicapping Season Opener

Posted: September 8, 2011 in NFL Gambling
Tags: , , , , ,

The NFL season begins tonight with a tricky matchup. My book has the Green Bay Packers a 4.5 point favorite (-110) with the over/under set at 48 (-115 over, -105 under). Tonight features a matchup of 2 of the top 5 quarterbacks in the league and both teams are loaded with offensive weapons. Both teams have good defenses, but to compare the New Orleans Saints defense to the Packers would be insane!

The Saints will be without defensive end Will Smith (suspended 2 games by the NFL for StarCaps Incident), which will greatly impact their ability to get to Aaron Rodgers in the pocket. The Saints will also be without the underrated Lance Moore at the receiver position. Over the last few seasons, Moore has been one of Brees’ favorite and most reliable targets. With the game being played at legendary Lambeau Field, the Saints don’t seem to have much going for them.

Last year, the Saints opened the NFL season by defending their Super Bowl title with a flat performance against a weak Minnesota Vikings team. Although they came away with a victory, it was pretty ugly and boring to say the least. I don’t see that happening this year, as the memory of the horrendous performance at Seattle in last year’s playoffs has surely burned a hole into the brains of each and every player on the Saints.

Everyone and their mother is expecting a Brees-Rodgers shootout. However, the last few NFL seasons have started off with low-scoring, defensive battles. As a matter of fact, the last 3 season openers had 23 total points scored each! I expect more than 23 total points, but I feel this game going under 48. I also feel the Saints keeping the game close enough to cover 4.5 points. I am leaning towards staying away from the full game lines and taking the first half under 24 (-115). I am also leaning towards a few player props. Check back later to see where my money goes.

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