Tue, Sep 11, 3:56pm by Staff Writer
The 2018 NFL season kicked off on Friday morning with a stunning goal-line stand by the 2017 Super Bowl champions.
The Philadelphia Eagles defence came to the fore again in scenes that mirrored last year’s playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons could not find the end zone and suffered an 18-12 loss to the Eagles in Philadelphia.
The Eagles have shortened to $8 to win Super Bowl 53, with the Falcons now priced at $17.
The Minnesota Vikings are joint Super Bowl favourites with New England at $7. The Vikings had a win against San Francisco at home by a 24-16 scoreline. They travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers in week two, with Green Bay’s quarterback Aaron Rodgers in doubt with an leg injury.
The Packers ($15) escaped with an unlikely 24-23 win against Chicago ($51) on Sunday Night Football. The Bears led 17-0 and looked certain to win the game, but three touchdowns by Rodgers in the final quarter and poor play calling by the Bears gave their most bitter rivals bragging rights once more.
The Patriots defeated a disappointing Houston Texans team in Foxboro, with the visitors unable to generate much pressure on quarterback Tom Brady, who was sacked only twice.
It was a horrible afternoon for Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who threw for only 176 yards, one interception, one touchdown and a quarterback rating of only 17.8. The Texans are $21 to win the Super Bowl.
The Pittsburgh Steelers played out a 21-all stalemate with the Cleveland Browns in rainy conditions in Cleveland.
Both teams had a chance to win the game in overtime, with the Steelers and then the Browns missing late field goals. The result ensures Cleveland will not finish this season 0-16 as they did in 2017.
The Steelers are $12 to win the Super Bowl, with the Browns priced at $67.
Cincinnati came away from Indianapolis with a gritty road win after a late strip fumble that was taken all the way to the end zone for an 83 yard score by Clayton Fejedelem in the final minute of the game sealed the 34-23 win.
The Bengals are $51 to win the Super Bowl, while the Colts are $67.
Baltimore ($26) crushed a hapless Buffalo ($501) team in Maryland 47-3 in driving rain. It was a shocking day for the Bills who were defensive porous and will struggle to win a game this season.
Tampa Bay ($81) produced one of the shock results of the opening weekend, defeating New Orleans ($17) 48-40. The Bucs quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was electric as he threw four touchdowns and had 417 yards. It is the first time a 48-40 scoreline has occurred in the NFL.
Jacksonville’s ($17) defence was the key to its 20-15 against the New York Giants ($67), who played its first game under new coach Pat Shurmur.
Miami ($81) defeated Tennessee ($67) as a home underdog at Hard Rock Stadium. Marcus Mariota was poor in limited game time, managing only 103 yards and two interceptions before being replaced by Blaine Gabbert.
Kansas City ($21) beat the Los Angeles Chargers ($26) at the StubHub Center to start the new season with a win against an AFC West rival.
New Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdowns, but it was the work of Tyreke Hill that was a standout, as he caught two touchdowns.
The Carolina Panthers ($21) got the better of the Dallas Cowboys 16-8 ($51), with Cam Newton’s rushing touchdown the only six-pointer for the hosts.
Washington’s ($51) new quarterback Alex Smith dazzled in the second quarter against Arizona ($101) as the Redskins scored 21 points in the period to defeat the Cardinals 24-6.
Denver ($41) held on for a narrow 27-24 win against Seattle ($51), with quarterback Case Keenum throwing for 329 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Monday Night Football saw wins for the New York Jets ($101) by a 48-17 scoreline against Detroit ($81) at Ford Field.
In the final game of week one, the Los Angeles Rams ($11) used a strong second half to defeat the Oakland Raiders ($67).
Super Bowl 53 Winner – Sportsbet Odds
New England Patriots $7
Minnesota Vikings $7
Philadelphia Eagles $8
LA Rams $10
Pittsburgh Steelers $12
Green Bay Packers $15
New Orleans Saints $17
Jacksonville Jaguars $17
Atlanta Falcons $17
Houston Texans $21
Kansas City Chiefs $21
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