The release of the NFL regular-season schedule means something else: The release of regular-season point spreads.
With the NFL deciding to give out the Week 1 schedule early on Wednesday, in advance of the full release Wednesday night, BetMGM posted the lines for every Week 1 game except one.
We don't know where Aaron Rodgers will be playing to start the 2021 season, or if he'll be hosting a game show. Rodgers wants out and the Green bay Packers don't want to trade him. The Packers-New Orleans Saints line is off the board at BetMGM, as is the Packers' season win total. It makes sense; there's a bit of a difference between Rodgers and Jordan Love under center.
Here are the lines for the other 15 Week 1 games at BetMGM:
Cowboys at Buccaneers (-6.5)
Eagles at Falcons (-3.5)
Steelers at Bills (-6.5)
Vikings (-2.5) at Bengals
49ers (-7) at Lions
Cardinals at Titans (-3)
Seahawks at Colts (-2.5)
Chargers at Washington (-1)
Jets at Panthers (-4.5)
Jaguars (-1.5) over Texans
Browns at Chiefs (-5.5)
Dolphins at Patriots (-2.5)
Broncos (-1.5) at Giants
Bears at Rams (-7)
Ravens (-5.5) over Raiders
Here are some quick observations on some lines we'll be picking apart for almost four months:
The Cowboys have a pretty aggressive win total (nine) and are the clear favorites to win the NFC East (+100), but they're not getting much respect for the opener, opening at nearly a full touchdown underdog at the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers bring practically everyone back, which helps, and it will be Dak Prescott's first game back from injury. Enough reason to inflate the line a bit.
The Packers' line might not be up, but the Broncos' line is. They're 1.5-point road underdogs at the New York Giants, which makes very little sense unless ... Aaron Rodgers is their quarterback on opening day. The Broncos' Super Bowl odds had a huge plunge with the news Rodgers wanted to be traded and Denver was on the short list, and the Week 1 line seems to follow that too.
The Patriots still get respect. Despite Miami being the better team last season and the Patriots still not looking great at quarterback, they open as 2.5-point favorites over the Dolphins. The Patriots did a lot to improve this offseason, and Dolphins-Patriots might be the most interesting Week 1 matchup.
Trevor Lawrence, Urban Meyer and a Jaguars team that hasn't won since Week 1 last season will be favored on the road to start the season. Of course, that's because they're playing the Texans, almost inarguably the worst team in the NFL on paper with serious questions about Deshaun Watson's availability to start the season.
The second-largest road favorite comes on Monday night (sorry folks, no more "MNF" doubleheader on ESPN). The Ravens visit the Raiders as 5.5-point favorites. The 49ers, getting a full touchdown at a rebuilding Lions team, are the only bigger road favorite in Week 1. That Ravens line could go down by kickoff.
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