Seahawks, Packers among Week 1 favorites

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( — The NFL season gets underway this weekend with three key divisional matchups on the schedule, including a visit by the Seattle Seahawks to St. Louis where they will open their campaign as 4-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by

The Seahawks are coming off another strong performance in 2014, capturing the NFC West crown for a second straight year, but have struggled in recent trips to St. Louis, where they are 1-2 SU in their last three while going 0-3 ATS, each as road favorites.

The Rams will be looking to build on some promising performances last year, including a late-season four-game SU win streak that included back-to-back shutout victories over the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins.

However, St. Louis enters Sunday afternoon’s Seahawks vs. Rams betting matchup at Edward Jones Dome riding a three-game SU and ATS losing streak, and failed to post a SU win in four preseason contests while averaging a league-worst 12 points per game.

Since opening favored by 3.5 points, the Green Bay Packers have moved to 6.5-point road favorites over the Chicago Bears in Sunday’s meeting of first and worst in the NFC North last season.

The Packers claimed their fourth straight division crown on the strength of a 12-4 record, but open the season sporting -130 odds to finish with under 11 regular season victories in NFL props betting at the sportsbooks.

The Bears lost five straight SU down the stretch, limping to a 5-11 record, and are a brutal 1-9 SU in their past 10 games against the Packers according to the OddsShark NFL Database. However, the Packers have proven to be a shaky September bet of late, going just 1-5 ATS in their last six September road dates.

The Dallas Cowboys renew their NFC East rivalry with the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, listed as strong 6-point home chalk. The Cowboys have picked up SU victories in five of their past six games against New York, with the two teams combining to average 52.8 points per game in those contests, rewarding bettors taking the OVER on five occasions.

In other Week 1 betting action, the New England Patriots have rocketed to 7-point favorites ahead of their meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.

As well, the Atlanta Falcons host the Philadelphia Eagles as 3-point underdogs in the first game of a Monday Night Football doubleheader, and the Minnesota Vikings visit the San Francisco 49ers as 2.5-point favorites in Monday night’s late game.

Bennett doesn’t fear backlash for skipping White House trip


HOUSTON (AP) Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett says he is not worried about upsetting team owner Robert Kraft by not attending New England’s trip to the White House as Super Bowl champions.

Bennett said after the Patriots’ 34-28 win over the Falcons on Sunday night that he’s “not going to go” to the traditional meet-and-greet with the president. It will be the first visit of a Super Bowl champion to Washington since Donald Trump was sworn into office.

Trump’s positions have alienated some athletes, which has raised questions about whether some might choose to skip the trip while the new president is in office.

But Bennett said he isn’t concerned about it and thinks the team believes “in whatever I want to do.”

Kraft is a supporter of Trump and attended a celebration dinner in Washington for him the night before his inauguration.

Patriots’ Tom Brady earns 4th Super Bowl MVP trophy with epic comeback


HOUSTON (AP) The greatest quarterback in NFL history led the biggest Super Bowl comeback to be the MVP on Sunday night.

Tom Brady rallied New England from a 25-point third-quarter deficit for a 34-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons in the first overtime game in Super Bowl history to earn his fifth Super Bowl title and fourth MVP trophy.

“They’re all sweet,” he said. “They’re all different and this was just an incredible team and I’m just happy to be a part of it,” he said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 5 and 6 yards in the second half and tied things at 28-28 when he connected withDanny Amendola on a 2-point conversion with 57 seconds left.

He then directed the drive in overtime which ended with a 2-yard run by James White to make the Patriots the first team to win a Super Bowl after trailing by more than 10 points.

“We all brought each other back,” he said. “We never felt out of it. It was a tough battle.”

His performance certainly wasn’t without its struggles. His incredible second half and overtime came after a first half where the Patriots managed just three points and he threw an interception which Robert Alford returned 82 yards for a touchdown. He was hurried and harassed for much of the games. The Falcons sacked him five times and hit him on another eight occasions.

He noted the beating he took when he was trying to recount the details of the comeback and couldn’t remember what the score was at one point in the rally.

“There was a lot of (stuff) that happened tonight,” he said. “I got hit pretty hard.”

His 466 yards passing are a Super Bowl record, surpassing the 414 yards Kurt Warner had 17 years ago. He also set a record for most passes completed in a Super Bowl with 43 and most attempts with 62.

He is the first to play in seven Super Bowls and the victory ties him with Charles Haley for most Super Bowl rings.

After all Brady has done in his career, was this his finest moment?

“Tom’s had a lot of great ones,” coach Bill Belichick said. “But, yeah tonight was one of them.”

It’s a triumphant end to a difficult season for Brady, who missed the first four games because of his “Deflategate” suspension and dealt with his mother Galynn Brady suffering through an undisclosed illness. The Super Bowl was the first game she’s attended all season.

“They’re all happy,” he said fighting back tears. “It’s nice to have everybody here and it’s going to be a great celebration tonight.”

He shared a quick moment with her right after the game, but was looking forward to more time with her in the upcoming days.

“It’s kind of madness after the game so I didn’t get much quality time with her but we’ll get it this week,” he said.

But he certainly wasn’t asking for sympathy for his rough road to this title though, chuckling when someone asked about the adversity the Patriots have gone through in the past couple of years.

“We’ve done pretty good over the last few years … so I don’t think anyone’s feeling bad for the Patriots,” he said. “I don’t think anyone feels bad for the Patriots.”

Brady also collected the MVP trophy in 2001, 2003 and 2014.

“It was just a lot of mental toughness by our team and we’re going to remember this one for the rest of our lives,” Brady said.

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