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What NFL bets should you place before the new season?

Ahead of the start of the new NFL campaign next month, which bets should punters be placing in a bid to make an early-season profit?

While other sports have been forced to make schedule changes due to the widespread impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL have, so far, avoided any upheaval and appear good to go on the arranged start date of September 10 with restricted crowds in place. Given the unpredictability of the global situation, that may change as the season progresses but for now at least, supporters and punters can look forward to the 101st campaign. Fresh off the back of ending their five-decade wait for another Super Bowl crown, Kansas City Chiefs are the favourites to regain the trophy which they won in February, but what other bets should you be considering over the coming weeks?

Just like you will look for value when making your NFL picks, you have to contemplate whether it is worth backing the defending champions in the NFL Kickoff Game against Houston Texans. As it stands, the best betting odds you can get on the Chiefs is 2/9, a low price when both teams have been without competitive action for over six months. Given the timing of the fixture and transitions having to be made because of the inevitable change of atmosphere, our sights switch to the points margin, and the Chiefs to prevail by 12 points or less stands out. Betting odds of 4/1 are available for one to six points, while 7/2 may make sense if you have faith that Andy Reid's side will hit the ground running.

Having ended his long-term association with the New England Patriots, there will naturally be extra attention on Tom Brady when he makes his first appearance for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Individual bets relating to one of the sport's legendary figures will materialise over the coming weeks but for now, we feel that you should be looking to take advantage of the Buccaneers being regarded as outsiders to get the better of New Orleans Saints. Much of that is down to the Saints featuring in the Wild Card playoffs last season and only finishing in third place in the NFC courtesy of head-to-head records, but we still do not feel that there is value in the 8/15 which is on offer. Instead, take a punt on betting odds of at least 6/4 which is available for the underdogs, who can surely only improve on their disappointing effort last year.

Turning our attention to the outright Super Bowl bets, and we do not think that the signings of Brady and Rob Gronkowski are enough to justify backing Tampa Bay at 14/1. Instead, we like the look of Philadelphia Eagles in the region of 20/1. The 2017 winners have reached the playoffs in the last three seasons, and there will be added motivation to prove that they do not need to rely on their passionate fans to give them an edge.

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Rob Gronkowski pictured in 2019
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