The 2014 NFL season kicks off on Tursday night with defending Superbowl champions the Seattle Seahawks hosting the Green Bay Packers, followed by a full schedule of games on Sunday and Monday

Recommendations

Jacksonville Jaguars +10 points at Philadelphia Eagles 20/21 BetVictor

Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 points at Baltimore Ravens 20/21 BetVictor

Minnesota Vikings +4 points at St Louis Rams 10/11 Coral

The aim of this column, as successfully through last season, will be to identify the top few betting opportunities in any given week. Often these will be handicap spread bets, often on the underdog receiving points. Occasionally we will look at platyer sub-market bets, such as first touchdown scorer, occasionally game sub-market bets such as total point under/overs.

So, starting off with Week One:

The biggest points underdog in the first week is my first seelction. It is fair to say this is contrarian!

Jacksonville Jaguars +10 points at Philadelphia Eagles 20/21 BetVictor

Philadelphia, ony of my superbowl picks, have a powerful offense. The Jaguars are unfashionable and low profile and are at home. This accounts for the double digit spread in week one. The Jaguars though are well coached and the roster has been built to be very stout up front on both the offensive and defensive lines. I think it would be a stretch to claim they will win this game but the characteristics the team has – to control the ball on offense and stop the run on defense – are such that this could be closer than the spread suggests

Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 points at Baltimore Ravens 20/21 BetVictor

As priced, this should be a very close NFC North divisional battle in Baltimore. Cincinnati won the division last year and figure to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this time round whilst the Ravens offense didn’t fire last year and has a lot to prove this. Meanwhile the Bengals offense figures to run the ball more but still has receiving options a-plenty led by AJ Green. I want to take the marginal underdog here, for value

Minnesota Vikings +4 points at St Louis Rams 10/11 Coral

The Vikings should be much improved this year, with new offensive co-ordinator Norv Turner helping transform what was an offense entirely dependent on Adrian Peterson into something more vertical with big play threats like Cordarrelle Patterson featured. With a workable defense things are looking up. The Rams should primarily feature the running game on offense and have a lot of depth in the defensive front seven.  I would question whether they will live with the Vikings points scoring potential if they are as advertised in pre-season. Getting a four point start, the Vkings are the final bet of the week.

Recommendations

Jacksonville Jaguars +10 points at Philadelphia Eagles 20/21 BetVictor

Cincinnati Bengals +1.5 points at Baltimore Ravens 20/21 BetVictor

Minnesota Vikings +4 points at St Louis Rams 10/11 Coral