The 2012 NFL regular season starts on September 5th 2012 (Wednesday). The defending Superbowl Champs (New York Giants) will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys at the Meadowlands to kick-off the season. On MNF there will be a doubleheader in week 1 that features the Bengals vs. Ravens and Chargers vs. Raiders.
Below is our NFL Week one betitng preview. You can read our week two preview here.
2012 NFL Week 1 Odds
The betting odds for week 1 of the NFL regular season have been out for a fair while now, and where there’s been significant line movement I’ve noted it in brackets, next to my original picks.
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|Away Team||Away Point Spread||Home Point Spread||Home Team||Over Odds||Under Odds|
|Dallas Cowboys||+3 (+111)||-3 (-120)||New York Giants||O46.5 (-111)||U46.5 (+101)|
|Indianapolis Colts||+9.5 (-110)||-9.5 (-110)||Chicago Bears||O40.5 (-107)||U40.5 (-103)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||-7 (-115)||+7 (-105)||Cleveland Browns||O41 (-102)||U41 (-108)|
|Buffalo Bills||+4 (-115)||-4 (-105)||New York Jets||O42.5 (-105)||U42.5 (-105)|
|Washington Redskins||+10 (-110)||-10 (+100)||New Orleans Saints||O50.5 (+102)||U50.5 (-113)|
|New England Patriots||-7.5 (+120)||+7.5 (-130)||Tennessee Titans||O47.5 (-110)||U47.5 (+100)|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||+4 (-110)||-4 (-110)||Minnesota Vikings||O38 (-105)||U38 (-105)|
|Miami Dolphins||+6 (-110)||-6 (-110)||Houston Texans||O43.5 (+106)||U43.5 (-117)|
|St. Louis Rams||+10 (-125)||-10 (+115)||Detroit Lions||O46.5 (-111)||U46.5 (+101)|
|Atlanta Falcons||-1 (-106)||+1 (-104)||Kansas City Chiefs||O40.5 (-105)||U40.5 (-105)|
|San Francisco 49'ers||+6.5 (-108)||-6.5 (+100)||Green Bay Packers||O45 (-105)||U45 (-105)|
|Carolina Panthers||-3 (+104)||+3 (-112)||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||O46.5 (-105)||U46.5 (-105)|
|Seattle Seahawks||+2.5 (-110)||-2.5 (-110)||Arizona Cardinals||O41 (+100)||U41 (-110)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||+2 (-115)||-2 (-105)||Denver Broncos||O44.5 (+101)||U44.5 (-111)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||+5.5 (+102)||-5.5 (-110)||Baltimore Ravens||O41 (-105)||U41 (-105)|
|San Diego Chargers||PK (-110)||PK (-110)||Oakland Raiders||O47.5 (-107)||U47.5 (-103)|
2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions
- Dallas Cowboys +3.5 (-110) vs. New York Giants -3.5 (-110) – Pick: Giants -3 (Line Moved)
The winner of the Superbowl has done great in their season opener the following year since 2000 (9-2-1 ATS). The Giants should be able to get out to a fast start against the Cowboys in week 1. Last season the Giants won both games and shredded Dallas’s secondary for 746 passing yards. Dallas also struggled on the road in division games last season (0-3 ATS).
- Indianapolis Colts +9.5 (-110) vs. Chicago Bears -9.5 (-110) – Pick: Bears -9.5
Logic here is that the Colts will struggle with rookie Andrew Luck initially. Don’t expect a drastic turnaround for the Colts, as the team still lacks talent at a lot of positions. Chicago had a huge off-season that included reuniting WR Brandon Marshall with QB Jay Cutler. The Bears should have a better running game as well with Michael Bush backing up Forte.
- Philadelphia Eagles -9 (+105) vs. Cleveland Browns +9 (-125) – Pick: Eagles -7 (Line Moved)
Philadelphia signed WR Jackson to a long term deal this off-season. The Eagles improved their defence through the draft this year and they already have a potent offence that can put up a lot of points when healthy. The spread is -9.5 at most shops, but you can still get -7 on the Eagles at the moment and at this line your best bet is to take the Eagles and maybe middle in Sept.
- Buffalo Bills +4 (-115) vs. New York Jets -4 (-105) – Pick: Bills +4
Buffalo had a great off-season. Their defence is going to be much better with Mario Williams and Mark Anderson at DE plus they re-signed star WR Steve Johnson. The Bills ended last season poorly (1-4), but the problem was defence. With the new additions I think the Bills will be better this year and they should cover the +4 point spread. This spread will be lower by September.
- Washington Redskins +7.5 (-115) vs. New Orleans Saints -7.5 (-105) – Pick: Redskins +10 (Line Moved)
I don’t believe the Saints will be terrible this season like many have predicted, but I do think the Redskins keep this week 1 game very close with new rookie QB RG3 leading the show. The Saints defence was poor last year and RG3 should be able to run the ball and find open receivers. The Redskins will be improved this year and at double digits I like Washington a lot in this spot.
- New England Patriots -7.5 (+120) vs. Tennessee Titans +7.5 (-130) – Pick: Titans +7.5
If you want to bet the Titans at +7.5 there is some juice involved. I think if you wait until closer to kick-off you may be able to get a better line once public money comes in on the Patriots. Chris Johnson has stated he wants to break records this season and I think he’ll make up for a poor season last year by his standards. Titans also have a tough secondary that can limit Brady.
- Jacksonville Jaguars +4 (-110) vs. Minnesota Vikings -4 (-110) – Pick: Vikings -4
This is a tough game to predict and I won’t be betting it week 1. I think the Vikings can cover this game though. They’ve gone 3-1 ATS against the Jags in the L4 meetings plus the Vikings will be at home. Peterson may not play, which would really hurt, so you should wait if you want to bet on this game until you know if he’s playing. Jags should struggle this year with Gabbert at QB.
- Miami Dolphins +11.5 (-110) vs. Houston Texans -11.5 (-110) – Pick: Texans -6 (Line Moved)
Miami Dolphins seems like a nice underdog pick in week 1, but not if you look at what happened during the off-season. Miami is going to struggle on both sides of the ball this year. They lost WR Brandon Marshall and they also lost a couple key players on defence that they haven’t replaced. Houston lost Mario Williams, but the offence looks healthy and they should smoke Miami.
- St. Louis Rams +10 (-125) vs. Detroit Lions -10 (+115) – Pick: Rams +10
If you wait until September the Rams should be around +10 still with lower juice, but you might not want to risk it, as the Rams have been getting a lot of early action. Detroit closed out last season horribly and I think the team just doesn’t have enough of a winning attitude. The Rams new coach Fisher will have this team ready for week 1 and +10 is too many points to give the Rams.
- Atlanta Falcons -1 (-106) vs. Kansas City Chiefs +1 (-104) – Pick: Falcons -1
Kansas City will be a competitive team this year, but they still lack an elite talent at the QB position. Cassel isn’t a great QB and that will hold the Chiefs back from winning the games against tough opponents. Heading into Arrowhead in week 1 is tough for any team, but the Falcons are a good team and at -1 I like them to open up the season with a win.
- San Francisco 49’ers +5 (-110) vs. Green Bay Packers -5 (-110) – Pick: 49’ers +6.5 (Line Moved)
The 49’ers added some WR depth to the roster this off-season and signed QB Alex Smith. The Packers didn’t do much during the off-season, but they didn’t need to. The 49’ers expect to be Superbowl contenders and they should be pumped up for their big week 1 test against the Packers. Wait for public money to bring this point spread up to at least +7 before betting this game.
- Carolina Panthers -3 (+104) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 (-112) – Pick: Buccaneers +3
Carolina is being hyped a lot this year because of Newton’s rookie campaign. Newton was great, but I think he’s going to regress along with some of the other offensive players on the Panthers. The Bucs have the entire off-season to game plan for Newton on defence. Tampa Bay should be much improved on offence as well with Vincent Jackson in the mix at WR.
- Seattle Seahawks -2.5 (-113) vs. Arizona Cardinals +2.5 (+104) – Pick: Seahawks +2.5 (Line Moved)
I’d wait for the +3 point spread on the Seahawks before betting this game if you like Seattle. This game is tough because the big question is whether Matt Flynn is the answer in Seattle at QB. I think Flynn will emerge as a solid QB and Rice should be able to have a big season with a solid QB. Seattle on the road is a scary proposition, but the Cardinals are still a weak team in my mind.
- Pittsburgh Steelers +2 (-115) vs. Denver Broncos -2 (-105) – Pick: Steelers +2
Pittsburgh should make a note of crushing Manning and the Broncos. Peyton may be with Denver, but I don’t think that turns them into a contender. Pittsburgh shouldn’t be underdogs here in my opinion and I’d bet them now. The Steelers still have a great defence and this is a revenge game, as the Steelers lost to the Broncos in week 17 last year in OT.
- Cincinnati Bengals +6 (-110) vs. Baltimore Ravens -6 (-110) – Pick: Ravens -5.5 (Line Moved)
The Ravens are -5.5 at Pinny still, but they’re up to -6 or higher at other shops. I’d bet them now because this spread will be -7 by September when this game kicks-off. Baltimore and Cincy played twice last season and the Ravens won both games by over a TD. Cincinnati played well last season, but they lost every game against playoff teams. Baltimore at -5.5 should cover in week 1.
- San Diego Chargers PK (-110) vs. Oakland Raiders PK (-110) – Pick: Chargers PK
I won’t be betting this MNF game either in week 1. Oakland is tough at home and something strange happens whenever these two teams play each other. Raiders cleaned house this off-season, but didn’t improve any. The Chargers are the better team, but they seem to lack the killer instinct that the top teams have. At a PK I like the Chargers, but I like the O47.5 more so in this game.
That wraps up my early predictions for week 1 of the 2012 NFL regular season. I’ll be providing more in-depth analysis later this summer on my best bets, but for now this should help get your mind working again.