NFL Tipsheet: Mini previews and recommended bets for Week 1 fixtures

Life's a Brees: Drew has signed a new contract and the points should flow in the Superdome
Life's a Brees: Drew has signed a new contract and the points should flow in the Superdome

Romilly Evans draws the curtain back on the regular season with a tip for all of Sunday's games

"With Nelson back and Lacy behaving, Rogers will beat the handicapper doing half-time handsprings."

Recommended Bet
Back the Green Bay Packers on Half-time Handicap (-2.5pts) @ 1.9110/11 or better

Buccaneers @ Falcons: Sunday, 18:00

Matt Ryan badly needs a career year to start repaying his whopping $100m price, and the Matty Ice can finally come in from the cold, especially against the lowly Bucs. Ryan has suprassed 4,000 yards for five successive seasons, so perhaps we should cut him a break. At least for this pipe-opener at home.

Recommended Bet
Back the Atlanta Falcons (-2.5pts) @ 1.855/6 or better

Vikings @ Titans: Sunday, 18:00

The Vikes' promising quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, has just gone under the knife this week for a torn ACL, so this presents Tennessee with an opportunity. Nevertheless, I'm not one who believes Titans' Marcus Mariota will make the transition from rookie this term, so leave it to Minny's defense and Adrian Peterson to control the clock and keep the scoreboard flashing.

Recommended Bet
Back Total Points Under 41.5 @ 1.9110/11 or better

Browns @ Eagles: Sunday, 18:00

Despite the Chip Kelly exodus, Philly still boast some useful sorts and an intimidating homefield where even their notoriously fickle fans will struggle to turn on their team in Week One. That said, with so many Eagles imponderables, I'll chance Robert Griffin III to prove our resurrection man. RG3 was the prime cause of heart-attacks in the Washington area for years, but his new Cleveland captain's armband may holster his erratic arm now.

Recommended Bet
Back Cleveland Browns Total Points Over 19.5 @ 1.84/5 or better

Bengals @ Jets: Sunday, 18:00

The Bungles need to bounce back from more play-off heartache, so perhaps it's best Les Marv Miserables hit the road away from the trauma of the Paul Brown Stadium. Well, 'tis a fresh season to toast health, happiness and new beginnings, and they can clear the scar tissue here. The Jets, on the other hand, can't even make the postseason these days, so have their own house of pain to remedy.

Recommended Bet
Back the Cincinnati Bengals on the Moneyline @ 1.728/11 or better

Raiders @ Saints: Sunday, 18:00

Oakland are many people's dark horses this year, but it's premature to load lofty expectations on Derek Carr's back. Running man Latavius Murray did us some good turns last year, but looks overrated. So with Drew Brees resigning for New Orleans, the feelgood factor in the Superdome could bring the Saints home despite their porous defensive line. Big points, though, seem a certainty.

Recommended Bet
Back Total Points Over 51.5 @ 1.9110/11 or better

Chargers @ Chiefs: Sunday, 18:00

The elements are set fair for this curtain-raiser at Arrowhead, and Kansas City can continue where they left off last season. Everyone knows what Andy Reid will do: run the ball and control the clock. San Diego have a similar strategy, but are outmatched man-for-man across the park. Expect the Chiefs to get up early and sit comfortably on their lead.

Recommended Bet
Back the Kansas City Chiefs (-3pts) on the First Half Handicap @ 1.9110/11 or better

Bills @ Ravens: Sunday, 18:00

While the returning Joe Flacco moved well in preseason, he's still sporting a supporting brace, so Baltimore's offensive play-calling should go easy on their QB's dodgy left knee. Couple that fact to Buffalo's run-first O, and the game clock could wind down in record time with safe series on both sides of the field. In short, they'll have little chance to cover 45 points.

Recommended Bet
Back the Total Points Under 44.5 @ 1.9110/11 or better

Bears @ Texans: Sunday, 18:00

Jay Cutler is back for his ninth life in Chicago, and it's high time one of the league's underachievers gave Bears fans something to cheer. His cannon arm remains, but must fire in this opener against Houston's doughty D. However, Alshon Jeffery and Kevin White shape like attractive target men, and Cutler is known for false-dawn performances. Where better than in Week One?

Recommended Bet
Back the Chicago Bears on the Moneyline @ 3.185/40 or better

Packers @ Jaguars: Sunday, 18:00

Aaron Rodgers bids to bounce back from a nadir year, and won't get many better opportunities against a Jacksonville team still rebuilding. Green Bay, on the other hand, stand on the threshold of a belated championship fruition. Key players are either back (Jordy Nelson) or behaving (Eddie Lacy) and their wider personnel has either matured or been sufficiently tweaked. Rogers beats the handicapper doing half-time handsprings.

Recommended Bet
Back the Green Bay Packers on Half-time Handicap (-4.5pts) @ 1.9110/11 or better

Dolphins @ Seahawks: Sunday, 21:25

Seattle have been slow-starters over the past few campaigns and must not extend the trend, hailing as they do from possibly the toughest division. It may be asking a lot for Miami to trouble Russell Wilson et al, but Ryan Tannehill is better than his vociferous detractors would have you believe. Adam Gase has now put his warm, avuncular arm around Tannehill's no-huddle shoulder. Worst case, Miami won't die wondering.

Recommended Bet
Back Miami Dolphins Total Points Over 15.5 @ 1.84/5 or better

Giants @ Cowboys: Sunday, 21:25

Whisper it not in Gath, but the erratic NY Giants are my live outsiders this year. And this initial divisional skirmish could crystallise the merits of my Magic Eight Ball. Dallas' Tony Romo is out for the foreseeable. Unknown rookie Dak Prescott gets an unwelcome call-up to the primetime show in his stead. So Eli Manning can take advantage. Particularly with Victor Cruz back and OBJ pounding at full pelt on the wideouts. But can Big Blue go deep into the Super Bowl? Magic Eight Ball replies: Cannot Tell At This Time.

Recommended Bet
Back the V.Cruz to be First / Anytime Touchdown Scorer @ 8.07/1 or better

Lions @ Colts: Sunday, 21:25

A must-watch to see which if these two talented but frustrating outfits will post an opening W. Andrew Luck is back for Indy, which could usher in a year of redemption for this stalling star. However, he missed midweek practice with a nasty flashback injury to his shoulder. While it's only precautionary, Matt Stafford has a chance to spring a surprise. However, Golden Tate is no Megatron, so a shored-up Colts O might just give a Luck to confidence he badly needs.

Recommended Bet
Back the Indianapolis Colts to win by 7-12 Points @ 5.04/1 or better

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