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It's officially here. After 214 long days, the NFL is finally back. Week 1 starts tonight. The long, hot summer is over. Winter is coming and so is your chance to bet NFL games.
While taking Week 1 games is considered a scary proposition by some, it's usually also a good spot to pick some underdogs to cover the spreads or even get the upset win.
Here are three games to keep an eye on, with spreads from FanDuel, if you like betting the dogs to start the NFL season.
3. Cleveland Browns (+4) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
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This is the game everyone is talking about. The Browns have been one of the most heavily bet teams leading up to the NFL season. This new-look squad in Cleveland has high hopes and no plans of going 0-16 again. The Browns usually play the Steelers tough. Even last season when the Browns were the worst team in the NFL, not winning a single game, they gave the Steelers a run for their money in both divisional matchups.
Ben Roethlisberger has shown some weakness on the road and the Steelers' superstar running back Le'Veon Bell isn't set to play. This could be a perfect spot for the Browns to come out and surprise the Steelers and start the year off right in front of the Dawg Pound.
While the Browns might not win outright, covering the four-point spread at home could be in the cards.
2. New York Giants (+3) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
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The New York Giants are in a similar spot to the Browns. Everyone is undervaluing them after an atrocious 3-13 season in 2017. The Giants have a ton of talent in nearly every area of their team and open the season with a shiny new running back in Saquon Barkley, a fully healthy offense (welcome back OBJ) and an improved offensive line. If the Giants can keep Eli Manning upright, he should be able to spread the ball around to his arsenal of weapons.
Even if the Sacksonville defense limits the Giants on offense, the Giants defense could do the same to Blake Bortles. Bortles lost his three top receivers from last year in Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and now Marquise Lee, leaving the Jags thin at wideout. Outside of running back Leonard Fournette, the Jags offense is pretty limited.
This could be a good spot for the motivated Giants getting three points at home, not only to cover, but to win outright.
1. Chicago Bears (+7.5) vs. Green Bay Packers
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This is another divisional matchup which should bring out major competitiveness from both sides, especially in Week 1. The Bears improvements are well publicized. The addition of Khalil Mack and Roquon Smith on defense makes their front seven all the more scary.
On offense, they added Jags former No. 1 wideout, Allen Robinson and former Falcons standout Taylor Gabriel. While Trubisky wasn't all too impressive in his rookie campaign, these additions, along with offensive guru Matt Nagy taking over as the Bears' head coach, can only mean good things.
Although Aaron Rodgers and the Packers seem virtually unbeatable at Lambeau Field, this isn't the same Packers offense we have come to know. Rodgers himself openly voiced frustration with his receivers during the preseason.
While the Packers most likely still win this game, they could experience enough early growing pains on offense for the Bears to sneak in a late back-door cover.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.