NFL: Chicago and Denver picked for opening wins

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After watching the reigning champions Seattle open the season with a rout of the Green Bay Packers the rest of the NFL is given an opportunity to shine this weekend.

The American football season can get underway properly with a full fixture schedule and plenty of opportunities to boost the betting balance.

Season openers are notoriously difficult to pick but here James Curtis runs the rule over four likely winners which when placed as a four-fold offer odds of over 7/1.

Chicago Bears to beat Buffalo Bills @ 1/3

Chicago beat Buffalo 40-7 last time the sides met at Soldier Field and while there have been many changes to both outfits Marc Trestman’s side will be the more confident here.

The Bears are 6-1 from season openers in the Windy City since 2007, while the Bills are 1-6 when opening the season on the road and 2-10 overall when playing away from Orchard Park.

Throw in an injury to the Bills’ Sammy Watkins and a win for Chi-Town looks the obvious pick.

Denver Broncos to beat Indianapolis Colts @ 5/9

Super Bowl favourites Denver are 15-3 from 18 home games and look set to improve that record as they welcome Indianapolis.

The game pits Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning against his Colts replacement Andrew Luck and after leading Denver to back-to-back 13-win seasons it is the older man who should prevail here.

The Colts are no pushovers but a road record of 5-4 from their last nine, while dating back to last season, does not bode well for the visitors.

San Francisco 49ers to beat Dallas Cowboys @ 1/2

San Francisco are 5-1 straight up from their last six games on the road and the 49ers will be confident of picking up where they left off after watching the Cowboy’s defence struggle in pre-season.

Dallas allowed an NFL-high 633 yards during their prep games and are going to have to see a dramatic improvement to avoid defeat against Jim Harbaugh’s men at AT&T Stadium.

Detroit Lions to beat New York Giants @5/13

The Lions’ collapse at the end of last season makes them a side unlikely to make the play-offs this year but if New York start the new campaign in anything like the form of last term Detroit will get off to a winning start.

The Giants’ playoff hopes disappeared from the start after going 0-6 to start the season and with a road record of 3-9 from 12 a losing start can be expected here.

Giants linebacker Jon Beason, a summer acquisition from Carolina, will give New York some defensive leadership this season but a recent foot injury means any improvement may have to wait.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.