In what many people felt should have been last year’s Super Bowl, the Buffalo Bills will face the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL Kickoff Game on Thursday, Sept. 8. FanDuel New York lists the defending champion Rams as underdogs, at +2.5 points.
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According to CBS Sports, this is the second time in the Super Bowl era that the defending Super Bowl champion is an underdog at home to start the NFL season. Betting should be heavy on this game, which will be played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:21 p.m. EDT. The game will be seen on NBC.
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Here’s what we would do with the FanDuel Sportsbook promo for the NFL:
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A few games to consider for Week 1 wagers:
- Philadelphia Eagles at Lions: Take the 3.5 points and wager on the Lions to cover at home.
- New York Giants at Tennessee Titans: The Giants get 5.5 points on the road. We like this game to be closer than expected, so grab the points for this Sunday game.
- Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks: Well, well, well, look who’s coming to dinner? Russell Wilson returns to Seattle to face his former team. The Hawks are getting a whopping 6.5 points at home, which seems like a great betting opportunity.
Odds for Bills, Rams to Win Super Bowl, Conference Titles
The last time a team repeated as Super Bowl champions was in 2005 when a 27-year-old Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to a victory in Super Bowl 39. Yes, Brady was once young. Yes, he was once single and not with a supermodel. And yes, the Patriots were once a playoff team.
The Rams have a good chance to return to the Super Bowl, but to do so they will need to navigate a competitive NFC. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are actually listed as the favorite among NFC teams, according to FanDuel, to win the next Super Bowl (+750). The Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles are seen as the other favorites in the conference.
FanDuel lists the Rams at +1100 to get back and win the Super Bowl. The Rams are +500 to win the NFC, same as the Packers but behind Brady and the Bucs (+340).
Remember who represented the AFC in the Super Bowl in February? It was the Cincinnati Bengals, who slipped past the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime in the AFC Championship Game. The Chiefs were there after defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime thanks to the flip of a coin (thanks, Roger Goodell). The Bengals are not expected (+1200) to be the conference champion again.
FanDuel Sportsbook has the odds for a Bills AFC conference championship at +350, the best of any team.
Defense is the Difference for Bills
Why are the Bills 2.5-point favorites in LA against the Rams? It comes down to defense.
The Bills allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season. Buffalo’s defense was historically good. It allowed 647 fewer yards than the next-best defense in the NFL. The defensive unit should be at least as good in 2022, which makes this a dangerous team.
The Rams had an offense built largely on their passing game. How healthy will the receiving unit be in 2022? What about QB Matt Stafford’s hand injury? What about the post-Super Bowl hangover?
Last season the Rams did have stretches in which they struggled to move the football. When they did, they suffered a three-game losing streak mid-season.
How long can the Rams just outscore opponents into submission? In 2021, they scored 20 PPG in their five losses. In their wins, they scored 29 per game. Every team on the Rams’ schedule will be aiming for LA this season. Heavy can hang the crown, and heavy can be the target on your back.
AP Photo/Rusty Jones