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November 26, 2020

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Best bet on the board: There’s a good wager to make for every NFL team

Sanders

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (17) goes through drills Monday during practice at the team’s training facility in Metairie, La. Sanders is 12-to-1 odds to score the first touchdown ever at Allegiant Stadium when the Saints travel to Las Vegas for the Raiders’ home-opener.

With the NFL season set to kick off September 10, action is picking up in local sportsbooks, with hundreds of betting options. We scoured the two largest NFL wagering menus in town—at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and Circa Sports—to find a play on every team heading into the season.

Arizona Cardinals: Win the NFC West at +930 (Circa)

Playing one of the league’s easiest schedules, adding receiver DeAndre Hopkins and expecting a second-year leap from quarterback Kyle Murray puts the Cardinals right in the thick of the divisional race.

Atlanta Falcons: Will make the playoffs +245 (Circa)

The Falcons have consistently fielded one of the NFL’s better offenses under quarterback Matt Ryan, and the defense, despite being injury-marred, got to the same level once Raheem Morris took over as coordinator late last season.

Baltimore Ravens: Win the AFC North at -180 (SuperBook)

Even if the Ravens take a step back from last season’s 14-2 breakthrough, they’re so far ahead of their divisional rivals schematically and talent-wise that this represents a discount price.

Buffalo Bills: Under 9 wins at +110 (SuperBook)

You can’t trust teams without efficient quarterback play to put together winning seasons, and Buffalo’s Josh Allen might be the least efficient quarterback in the NFL.

Carolina Panthers: Most regular-season losses at +890 (Circa)

Not only are the Panthers breaking in entirely new coaching staffs and personnel on both sides of the ball, they’re saddled with a schedule Football Outsiders rates as the toughest in the NFL.

Chicago Bears: Win the NFC North +485 (Circa)

The Packers and Vikings look destined for slight declines, and Lions coach Matt Patricia has consistently demonstrated questionable decision-making, leaving the Bears as the NFC North team most likely to improve.

Cincinnati Bengals: Over 5.5 wins -135 (Circa)

The Bengals were extremely unlucky to finish 2-14 last year, going 0-7 in games decided by one score or less. They should be better with No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow at quarterback.

Cleveland Browns: -2 vs. Eagles in Week 11 (SuperBook)

Cleveland looks properly priced in most markets, but this could be a beneficial scheduling spot with the Eagles playing back-to-back road games following two key NFC East showdowns.

Dallas Cowboys: Win the NFC +675 (Circa)

If new coach Mike McCarthy can be even a slight upgrade over Jason Garrett—which seems likely given his promised embrace of analytics—the Cowboys will be the most dangerous team in the NFC.

Denver Broncos: Under 7.5 wins +110 (SuperBook)

Too much is being made of the way the Broncos ended last season. Yes, they went 4-1 down in their final five but with a point differential of only plus-14 and two miracle wins.

Detroit Lions: +6 at Packers in Week 2 (SuperBook)

This is way too many points in an early-season divisional game, especially with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford now healthy and the team having bolstered its defense in the offseason.

Green Bay Packers: Under 9 wins -135 (Circa)

No team overperformed its statistical profile last season more than the Packers, who went 13-3 despite playing more like a 9-7 team. They also did nothing to address their shortcomings in the offseason.

Houston Texans: Will miss the playoffs -180 (Circa)

Continued mismanagement by coach/general manager Bill O’Brien has left the Texans with one of the game’s best quarterbacks, DeShaun Watson, and not much else.

Indianapolis Colts: Win the AFC South +130 (Circa)

The Colts are the rare team with no glaring weaknesses on the roster, and they have the added value of coach Frank Reich emerging as one of the NFL’s best in-game decision-makers.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Over 5.5 wins +190 (Circa)

The arrival of offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and the return of an experienced offensive live are just two reasons why the Jaguars aren’t quite the worst team in football like they’re being priced.

Kansas City Chiefs: Minus-6.5 at Raiders in Week 11 (SuperBook)

The defending Super Bowl champions’ first trip to Allegiant Stadium conveniently comes out of a bye week, and they’ve beaten the Raiders by a combined

143-55 score in four games with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback.

Las Vegas Raiders: Maxx Crosby under 45.5 tackles (SuperBook)

Tackle-count propositions are almost always inflated, especially for defensive linemen in a pass-happy league, so this is more a bet against the second-year pass rusher’s opportunities than his value to the Raiders.

Los Angeles Chargers: Joey Bosa to win defensive player of the year at 25-to-1 (SuperBook)

If the Chargers surprise in their first year in SoFi Stadium, it’ll be because of a tremendous defense behind the fourth-year edge rusher who just signed a five-year, $135 million contract.

Los Angeles Rams: Win the Super Bowl 50-to-1 (SuperBook)

The Rams have been among the top Super Bowl contenders in two of the past three seasons, making this number a drastic overreaction to them barely missing the playoffs last year.

Miami Dolphins: Under 6.5 wins -135 (Circa)

The Dolphins are headed in the right direction, but last year’s league-worst

minus-188 point differential helps show they need one more rebuilding season.

Minnesota Vikings: -3 vs. Packers in Week 1 (Circa)

Don’t doubt the Vikings under coach Mike Zimmer; he’s surpassed Patriots coach Bill Belichick for the best against-the-spread winning percentage in the NFL with a career record of 58-33-5.

New England Patriots: Over 8.5 wins -135 (Circa)

New England hasn’t gone under its win total in a decade, and this number is low enough to count on the trend continuing.

New Orleans Saints: Emmanuel Sanders 12-to-1 to score first touchdown at Allegiant Stadium (SuperBook)

The Raiders’ biggest defensive struggles last season came in defending No. 2 receivers, and there have been no signs yet that they’ve shored up that weakness.

New York Giants: Bears -5.5 vs. Giants in Week 2 (SuperBook)

The Giants are talent-deficient and breaking in new systems under coach Joe Judge, leaving value to fade them early in the season.

New York Jets: Win the AFC East 10-to-1 (SuperBook)

The Jets went 7-9 last season despite being the most injured team in the NFL and aren’t nearly as far behind the Patriots and Bills as perception indicates.

Philadelphia Eagles: Jalen Hurts 100-to-1 to win offensive rookie of the year (SuperBook)

Quarterback Carson Wentz has dealt with injuries every season, and if it happens again, coach Doug Pederson is flexible enough to create a dangerous scheme around former Alabama and Oklahoma star Hurts.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Under 48 points at Giants Week 1 (Circa)

The Steelers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and one of the most unknown offenses, with 38-year-old Ben Roethlisberger returning from elbow surgery. That leaves value on unders early in the year.

San Francisco 49ers: Under 10.5 wins -135 (Circa)

Beware of teams that make dramatic one-year leaps, as the 49ers did going from 4-12 in 2018 to 13-3 and within minutes of a Super Bowl victory last year.

Seattle Seahawks: Under 9.5 wins -105 (Circa)

The Seahawks’ 10-1 regular-season record in one-score games last season is wholly unsustainable, as quarterback Russell Wilson can only help them overcome so many tactical errors.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady over 8.5 interceptions (Circa)

Brady has thrown a total of 19 interceptions the past two seasons with the Patriots—including eight last year—and Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians’ system will demand him to be far more aggressive.

Tennessee Titans: Under 8.5 wins +110 (SuperBook)

Regression should be coming for the Titans, who rode a career year from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and a well-timed breakout from running back Derrick Henry to a fluky AFC Championship Game appearance.

Washington Football Team: Under 44.5 points Week 1 vs. Eagles (SuperBook)

Washington is stacked on defense and helpless on offense, a combination that should result in plenty of low-scoring games.

This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.