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NFL Week 1 Opening Lines

They can't really be called NFL opening odds because many shops posed Week 1 lines months ago, but they are starting to move with preseason in the rear-view mirror and Thursday's kickoff straight ahead. The first thing that should jump out at bettors when they look at the Week 1 odds is how many road favorites there are. Out of the 16 games in Week 1, eight of them have the road team down as a favorite. Only four road teams were favored in Week 1 last season. So, who are these eight road warriors the oddsmakers expect to send hometown fans away angry in Week 1? A quick rundown shows them to be Miami, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Green Bay, San Francisco, Arizona, Dallas, and San Diego.

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Five of them made it to the postseason last year, and if you want to believe the preseason hype at least five of them should be in the playoffs this year. The reasoning behind the teams getting chalk status on the road has more to do with who they are playing than who they are. The Dolphins are a 3-point road favorite in Buffalo in Week 1 despite the fact they're 4-8 SU and 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Falcons travel to Pittsburgh in Week 1 where the Steelers have lost only twice in their last 14 games. Since the Steelers will have to start either Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch in place of the suspended Ben Roethlisberger, the Falcons are a 2.5-point road favorite.

The Falcons only won three games on the road last season, so dropping a couple bucks on the Steelers at home may not be a bad wager. Next up are the Colts, who are a 2.5-point favorite at Houston. The Colts have utterly dominated the Texans since they joined the league with a near-perfect 15-1 record against them. However, ATS the Colts have been a bettor's nightmare against the Texans with a 7-9 mark. Then there's Green Bay, down as a 3-point road favorite in their opener at Philadelphia. The Eagles were a solid team at home last season with a 6-2 record SU. The real difference-maker for the oddsmakers is that this is the beginning of the Kevin Kolb era in Philly. When Donovan McNabb was with the Eagles the Packers never won a game in Philadelphia, with an 0-4 record at Lincoln Financial Field. The next two games are an NFC West doubleshot with San Francisco (-3) at Seattle and Arizona (-4) at St. Louis. Before jumping all over the 49ers don't forget that they were a lame 2-6 on the road last season and they've only won twice in their last seven trips to noisy Seattle. The Cardinals likely won't be a road favorite much this season, but almost everyone who travels to St. Louis this season will be. Arizona has won five in a row at St. Louis, while the Rams, who are coming off a one-win season, have dropped 13 straight at home while posting a 5-8 record ATS.

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Finishing off the Week 1 road favorites are Dallas (-3.5) at Washington, and then San Diego (-5.5) at Kansas City in the late Monday Nighter. Dallas traveling to Washington has been a win for bettors the last two seasons, as the Cowboys have won and covered their last two road games against the Redskins. The last nine times the Cowboys were favored in Washington they were 5-4 ATS. The Chargers traveling to Kansas City has been a conundrum for bettors for years. San Diego has been favored in their last four games at Kansas City, but they're only 2-2 ATS. In fact, they're a lame 4-8-1 ATS in their last 13 games at Kansas City.