Week 1 of the NFL season is here and you know that means there will be some surprises. Meanwhile, it’s still early in the college football season, but we know who some of the contenders are right away.
Best Bets of the Weekend Sept. 8-10
UNLV at Michigan Best Bet:
Michigan -36 (-112) | DraftKings
Michigan made statements on and off the field in their season opening win over East Carolina, showing support for suspended coach Jim Harbaugh by wearing t-shirts with FREE Harbaugh written on them.
Wolverines quarterback and Heisman contender J.J. McCarthy went 26-30 for 280 yards and three scores in the 30-3 win.
Now Michigan has tune-up No. 2 against the Running Rebels coached by former Mizzou coach Barry Odom. UNLV beat Bryant last week 44-14, but they are at a different level than Michigan.
UNLV gave up 383.7 yards in the air per game last year.
The 36 points from DraftKings is a lot, just because coaches usually call off the dogs after going up by 35, but Michigan will show no mercy, they can cover all those points and then.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts Best Bet:
In the NFL, the best betting advice to remember when using a Michigan sportsbook is that more games are lost than won, and most games come down to quarterback play.
The line on this game at FanDuel seems wildly low. The Jaguars were a playoff team in 2022 and return quarterback Trevor Lawrence who has seemed to figure things out entering his third year.
Meanwhile, the Colts are hitting the reset button. They will start rookie QB Anthony Richardson. The front office has alienated players with their treatment of star running back Jonathan Taylor, basically saying they won’t pay him what he wants and they won’t trade him either.
It’s a weird hill for the Colts leadership to die on. Everything points to a convincing win for the Jaguars.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Commanders Best Bet:
Speaking of teams in disarray, we give you the Cardinals. During the preseason they appeared to be set to go with Colt McCoy at quarterback while Kyler Murray heals from a torn ACL, then they cut McCoy and new Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon has refused to name a starting QB for the opener (my hunch is it will be rookie Clayton Tune) citing a competitive advantage.
There isn’t much excitement or optimism in Arizona right now, but there is in Washington. Now that icky owner Daniel Snyder has sold the team, the fans are back, and they believe in new quarterback Sam Howell. The Redskins have a strong defensive line and a big emotional edge in this one. Arizona will have a lot of trouble scoring points, at FanDuel this looks like a big Commanders win.
Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.