The official 2014 NFL schedule has been released, and it's never too early to start looking at gambling odds. With more than four months between now and the opening game between the Packers and Seahawks, LV SuperBook has already released its opening lines for Week 1.
The most intriguing game of the week is the aforementioned Packers at Seahawks on Thursday night. According to Covers.com, oddsmakers are giving the Seahawks a five-point edge. Betting against a healthy Aaron Rodgers -- who now has a reliable ground game to lean on in the form of Eddie Lacy -- is risky business, but the Seahawks are returning most of the key pieces of a defense that dominated Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks also lost just one game at home last season.
Manning will have to wait until Week 3 to get revenge on Russell Wilson and company, but he will get a shot at payback against Andrew Luck and the Colts in the opening week. Luck upended his predecessor in Indy last year, handing the Broncos their first loss of the season in Week 7. Vegas doesn't see that happening again, favoring the Broncos by seven points in Denver on Sunday night.
With so many variables bound to shift between now and September, oddsmakers seem to be relying largely on home-field advantage to pick winners. LV SuperBook is favoring 13 of the 16 home teams. The exceptions are the 49ers over the Cowboys, the Panthers over the Buccaneers and the Patriots over the Dolphins.
The biggest underdog is Jacksonville, which comes in 11 points behind Philadelphia on the road. The most notable upset pick is the Falcons over the Saints. Atlanta finished seven games behind New Orleans in the NFC South in 2013, but did give the Saints a tough game in Week 12.
Here are the complete odds for Week 1:
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (-5)
New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons (-2)
New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins (+3.5)
Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Dallas Cowboys (+3.5)
Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos (-7)