It's hard to imagine a regular-season NFL game getting more bets than Thursday night's excellent season opener.
The titanic Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams showdown is the most-bet game of Week 1, and that's no surprise. The side getting the most bets and money for any Week 1 game is the Bills -2.5 at BetMGM. That's why the line has moved from Rams -1, which was how it opened, to the Bills nearly giving a field goal. Given how many new states have access to legal sports betting since the end of last season, the handle on Bills-Rams could set some records.
While Bills fever has taken over the offseason — Buffalo is the Super Bowl favorite and Josh Allen is MVP favorite — the Rams have to feel a little miffed.
While the Bills fell out of last postseason in the divisional round, the Rams were the team that won the Super Bowl. They had some losses in the offseason, most notably pass rusher Von Miller (now with the Bills) and left tackle Andrew Whitworth, but they added impact players like receiver Allen Robinson II and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Even if the talent level on the roster isn't quite the same as last season, it's close.
The Rams have to be wondering, on a night that they'll raise a championship banner, why the other team is getting all the buzz.
The Bills are worthy of the attention. They have a tremendous roster. Allen has proven he's a franchise quarterback. Buffalo is good enough that it could end up with the best offense and best defense in the NFL this season. Nobody should be doubting the Bills.
However, it feels like a good spot to take the Rams and the points. It seems unlikely, even with all the Bills money coming in, that the line will get to a full field goal. The books don't want to push it to Rams +3. If it hasn't happened yet, it probably won't. Still, Rams +2.5 or the moneyline of +110 looks appealing. Let's not forget how good the Rams are.
It should be a great opening night game. Plenty of people will be betting on it.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
Any player props?
I'll go with Allen Robinson II to have a big first game with the Rams. Let's take him +1000 to score the first touchdown and over 64.5 yards. Teams will sell out to take Cooper Kupp out of the game. The Rams will want to get Robinson involved right away. For what it's worth, give me a little on Kupp over 90.5, too. He had fewer than 92 yards in one game last season. I will take unders on Cam Akers rushing yards (44.5) and Gabriel Davis receiving yards (56.5).
Also, the under of 52 for the game looks OK. Let's not forget that both defenses are pretty good too.
A WNBA Game 5
It's not the best scheduling move, but the WNBA has a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night. The Connecticut Sun faces the Chicago Sky, with the winner advancing to the WNBA Finals. The Sun blew out the Sky 104-80 in Game 4 to extend the series. Chicago is favored by 4.5 points for Game 5. The winner faces the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA Finals.
MLB has 7 games
It's a light night in MLB. Of the seven games, the highlight is the New York Yankees vs. the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees, coming off a doubleheader sweep on Thursday, are -145 favorites. There's not too many other compelling games as the NFL grabs everyone's attention.
What's the best bet?
It'll be Rams +2.5, though we'll be monitoring BetMGM until kickoff to see if +3 ever appears. Let's all enjoy the NFL's return on Thursday night.