Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season is finally here. While a Thursday Night Football matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles features a tough betting line, there are fortunately plenty of other ways to get action on the opener.
This game is a rematch of the divisional playoff game which the Eagles won 15-10. Of course, Philly went on to win the Super Bowl from there, and the Falcons are now looking for a bit of revenge.
While the spread of the game has jumped a fair amount, moving from the Eagles as -5.5 point favorites to one-point underdogs, we’re going to look at a few other betting options. With this being the first NFL game, there are a plethora of prop bets available, which is a great spot to potentially find an edge if you don’t love the spread or total options.
Let’s dive in and check out a few of the best prop bets, all of which come from Intertops.
Matt Ryan -16.5 Passing Yards vs. Nick Foles
Pick: Matt Ryan -16.5 yards
Simply put, I think the matchup here benefits Ryan on this prop bet. While the Eagles have a superb run defense which allowed just 79.2 yards per game last season, their pass defense wasn’t nearly as impressive. Philly allowed 227.3 yards through the air per game last season, and I think we see the Falcons go to their passing attack early and often.
Zach Ertz Receiving Yards Over/Under 58.5
Pick: Over 58.5
With Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins both sidelined for this game, it’s going to result in Nick Foles relying heavily on tight end Zach Ertz. Fortunately, Ertz is coming off a superb season in which he tallied 824 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games. The game flow should send plenty of targets in his direction.
Julio Jones -35.5 Receiving Yards vs. Nelson Agholor
Pick: Nelson Agholor +35.5 yards
While I believe the Falcons passing attack will have a solid night and that Jones will likely top the 100-yard mark, the same comments above about Ertz stand true for Agholor. The Eagles are down multiple pass-catchers, and although I can’t envision Agholor totaling more yards than Jones, I do think he’ll stay within around 20.
Julio Jones Over 6.5 Receptions (+125)
The Eagles defense is strong, but they allowed wide receivers to catch plenty of passes last year. The 199 receptions they gave up to opposing wideouts ranked as the sixth-most in the league. Even in the playoff game when Philly held the Falcons offense in check, for the most part, Jones still finished with nine catches.
I’m anticipating anywhere from 9-11 catches for Atlanta’s top wideout, and if my above prop bet on Ryan’s passing yards comes true, there’s a good chance both of these bets hit.