Cowboys, Struggling as Big Home Favorites, Host Bears on Sunday night

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While Jay Cutler’s thumb injury might boost the Dallas Cowboys’ chances of defeating the Chicago Bears, Dallas brings a negative against-the-spread trend into the Sunday Night Football betting matchup.

The Cowboys are listed as seven-point favorites with a total of 44.5 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Cowboys are 9-1 straight-up but 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 home games where they were favored by 6.5 or more points, according to the OddsShark NFL Database. The visiting team is 4-1 SU and ATS in its last five games in this matchup.

The Bears are 6-2 ATS in their last eight road games. Cutler (sprained thumb) is not practicing, and if he’s down, the Bears will turn to backup QB Brian Hoyer.

Chicago’s offense is ranked 31st of 32 NFL teams after two weeks. Chicago’s primary WR Alshon Jeffery (knee) could be affected by injury, but WR Kevin White is an emerging talent. Running back Jeremy Langford and his blockers might be able to have some positive results against a Dallas defense which is allowing 4.8 yards per attempt.

Dallas, which is coming off a Week 2 victory against the Washington Redskins, is 5-2 SU in its last seven games after winning as an underdog. Rookie QB Dak Prescott has been serviceable while throwing mostly to slot WR Cole Beasley and TE Jason Witten, who has a favorable matchup. Outside WR Dez Bryant could also feast against journeyman CB Tracy Porter.

The Bears have two big-name defenders in ILB Jerrell Freeman and ILB Danny Trevathan, but have struggled to contain the running game so far this season. Dallas rookie RB Ezekiel Elliott will have the opportunity to shine in the Sunday Night Football matchup.

Chicago lost their first road game against the Houston Texans in Week 1. The total has gone under in four of the Bears’ last five games on the road after a loss on the road.

Defending champion Patriots among early NFL Week 1 betting favorites

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With the completion of the NFL draft, it’s a bit easier to get a handle on how teams will come out of the gate when the regular season begins in early September.

The Week 1 slate of games begins with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots listed as 7.5-point favorites against the Kansas City Chiefs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Tom Brady and the Patriots are 8-2 straight-up and 6-2-2 against the spread in their last 10 home games where they were favored by at least 6.5 points.

New England is 9-1 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 home games played in September. The Chiefs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a road underdog.

The Dallas Cowboys are favored by 5.5 points against the New York Giants in the first Sunday Night Football matchup of the season. Dallas is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games against the Giants when it was favored. The total has gone under in eight of the teams’ last 10 matchups in Dallas, according to the OddsShark NFL Database.

The Atlanta Falcons, the defending NFC champion, are favored by 6.5 points on the road against the Chicago Bears in Week 1. Atlanta is 7-3 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 games as a road favorite. Since 2009, the Bears are 2-6 SU as a home underdog of 4.0 or more points.

The Detroit Lions are 2.5-point favorites against the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games in September. Detroit is 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS in its last 10 home games as a favorite of 4.0 or fewer points.

The Tennessee Titans host the Oakland Raiders in a pick’em. Oakland is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 regular-season road games. Tennessee is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 conference home games.

The Washington Redskins are 2.5-point favorites on the NFL point spreads for Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Philadelphia is 0-3 ATS in its last three games as an underdog of 3.0 or fewer points. Washington is 4-6 SU in its last 10 divisional home games.

The Green Bay Packers are listed as three-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle is 2-8 both SU and ATS in its last 10 road games in September. Green Bay is 7-0 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven home games against Seattle.

The Minnesota Vikings, who could potentially be facing their former star running back Adrian Peterson, are 3.5-point favorites against the New Orleans Saints in a Week 1 Monday Night Football matchup. Minnesota is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 home games. New Orleans is 6-3-1 ATS in its last 10 conference road games.

And the Denver Broncos are four-point favorites against the Los Angeles Chargers in the second Monday Night Football matchup of opening week. Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) is 1-9 SU in its last 10 divisional road games. Denver is 3-6-1 ATS in its last 10 home games against the Chargers at sports betting sites.

NFL must play its cards right when it comes to Las Vegas

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It’s official.

The NFL has approved the relocation of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, and with the move comes the pressure the league must now face in a city that embraces its gambling and vibrant nightlife.

Not only could this cause problems for the league, which has been outspoken against gambling on sports, but it could impact its players, who now have to deal with being in and around gambling year round.

With so many questions, the NFL must embrace these realities of being a part of Sin City in the future.

PFT’s Mike Florio breaks down the NFL’s future in Sin City in the video above from the owners’ meetings in Arizona.