The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles play host to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday in the first game of the 2018 regular season. The game was scheduled to kick off at 5:20 p.m. PT on NBC, with Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the booth, and Michele Tafoya on the sideline. Unfortunately, weather has gotten in the way, with lightning and gusty winds leading to a delay in the start time. The word is a 5:55 p.m. PT start, but that could change.
Fooch’s update: Kickoff is now set for 6:05 p.m.
The Super Bowl champion plays host in the annual Thursday opener, and we get a good one this year. Both teams are potential playoff teams, but both face tough battles in their division. The NFC East could be a dogfight this year, while the NFC South will see the New Orleans Saints in the thick of things with Atlanta.
The Falcons opened as a field goal underdog, but the line has swung considerably. You can get anywhere from Eagles -1 to Falcons -1, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. I liked the Falcons when it was +3, and this morning I said I was taking Atlanta even as a pick ‘em. I’m sticking with that, but I’m not overly enamored the more I think on it. One interesting trend from OddsShark: Over the past 17 years, the Super Bowl winner in the next season’s opener is 14-3 straight up and 10-5-2 against the spread. I’m staying away from this for purposes of SuperContest picks, but we’ll see how it plays out.