The release of the 2013 NFL schedule means we get all sorts of opportunities to analyze games. One way that flies under the radar a bit is the gambling perspective. The release of the NFL schedule means gambling odds are made available for Week 1 matchups. It can be a bit of a fool's errand to try and wager at this early point, but it is still an interesting starting point.
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook will have their odds in a bit, but BetOnline.com was one of the first on the scene with odds for Week 1 2013. They opened the 49ers and Packers with San Francisco sitting as a 4 1/2 point favorite. Anything under three points would be more or less a toss-up, while anything at six points or more is fairly solid for the favored team. Between those two leaves us with odds-makers unsure of how to view this matchup.
This is not exactly surprising. The 49ers beat the Packers twice last year, owning them in the playoffs. The 49ers are favored accordingly, but there are still enough question marks about how the Packers respond following a full offseason of preparation. I think the 49ers are in better shape heading into the game, but we all know the NFL Draft can flip so many things on their ears. A couple impact players can turn a playoff contender into a Super Bowl contender.
In looking through the various lines, one of the more surprising is Patriots as five point favorites at Buffalo. Given the numerous questions the Bills face, I could see the Patriots rolling them in Week 1. I suppose a divisional game could make this more interesting than I might otherwise think, but I'm just not seeing it.
Another interesting line is the Raiders as seven point underdogs at the Indianapolis Colts. I'm not sure how many of you have followed the Raiders moves this offseason, but the front office is blowing things up to get past the mistakes of the recent past. They have a ton of dead money, leaving them basically playing shorthanded against the salary cap. They will be in a great position, cap-wise, heading into 2014, but for 2013, they are taking it on the chin. I could see them getting thrashed in Indy.
In divisional news, the Seahawks are 3 1/2 point favorites at Carolina, and the Rams are four point favorites at home against the Cardinals.