NFL Week 1: The Four Biggest Favorites
The surest way to realize the NFL’s unpredictability is to play “NFL Survivor”. In this popular game, players pick one different team to win each week. One wrong pick (two in some formats) and it’s over. For years, fans have pulled their hair out after “locks” went out and pooped the proverbial bed. This year, NFL Survivor Pool Week 1 is off to a doozy as some big upsets could send a third of players packing. Who among these four large and popular favorites is going to cost their backers the season?
Titans and Ravens Used to Fade New York
Different season, same terrible New York teams. At least, that’s what both the NFL beting odds and NFL Survivor pool contests are banking on. The Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens are two of the larger favorites this week and consequently, two of the most popular NFL Survivor picks.
Tennessee is a -250 favorite and Baltimore is at -290. Converting this to implied probability, means both teams have a greater than a 70 percent chance of winning. The Titans host the Giants at the Nissan Stadium, where they went 7-2 last year. The Giants, on the other hand, went 2-6 on the road.
As for the Ravens, they visit the Jets. Baltimore was ravaged by injuries last season and went 3-5 on the road. The Jets will be starting Joe Flacco against his old team. New York went 3-6 at home and beat Baltimore the last time they hosted them. Ironically, Flacco was on the losing end.
Both New York teams are expected to still be bad this season. However, they are also two of the most-improved teams judging by how well their NFL Draft went. With a revenge factor to consider, would it be so shocking if the Flacco-led Jets upset the Ravens?
Russell Wilson Exacts Revenge Against His Old Team
Speaking of a “revenge game”, Russell Wilson lead his new team, the Denver Broncos into Seattle to take on Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. Wilson and Carroll had a highly-publicized split and there could be some bad blood here regardless of what they say to the media. The Broncos are -240 favorites and are one of the three most-picked teams per the NFL Survivor pool Week 1 stats.
Wilson spent his entire 10-year career with the Seahawks with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2013. But slowly, the team deteriorated and he had to do more. While Wilson pumped up his stats – he’s thrown for 30 or more touchdowns in four of his last five seasons – the Seahawks went nowhere.
Now, Wilson is with the Broncos, a team with Super Bowl aspirations as it has everything a star quarterback could want: promising receivers, a solid offensive line, and a potentially great defense. With Wilson, the Broncos are a top-eight team per the Super Bowl LVII odds board. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are in the bottom-five teams as they are expected to have their worst season since Carroll took over in 2010.
Colts, the Biggest Favorite Against Division Rival
We saved the best for last as the Indianapolis Colts are this week’s biggest favorite. The AFC South favorites are 9.5-point favorites as a visitor versus their division rival, the Texans. On the moneyline, the Colts are -360 to win for an implied probability of 78.3 percent. Indianapolis has swept Houston in each of the last two seasons. It is 8-2 against Houston in its last 10 games.
The Texans will once again have a new coach in Lovie Smith. He was an assistant head coach and the defensive coordinator for Houston last season. However, Smith is just 8-24 in his last two seasons as a head coach. The Colts, on the other hand, are expected to be better with Matt Ryan replacing Carson Wentz at quarterback. This is the third straight season Indianapolis will have a different signal caller.
Colts backers should also realize the team has lost eight straight Week 1 game. The last time the team opened the season with a win was in 2013 when it beat the Oakland Raiders 21-17 in Indianapolis. The team went 11-5, which is tied for their best record since Peyton Manning left town. As far as NFL Survivor pool Week 1 picks go, the Colts are the second-most picked team so folks better hope this team snaps this losing streak.Follow us on Twitter