Seahawks, Packers among Week 1 favorites

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(OddsShark.com) — 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 OddsShark.com.

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.

Don Ohlmeyer, longtime network TV executive, dies at 72

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Don Ohlmeyer, the “Monday Night Football” producer who came up with the phrase “Must See TV” in leading NBC to the No. 1 prime-time spot, died Sunday. He was 72.

“It is with heavy hearts we share that Don Ohlmeyer, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, has passed away at age of 72 due to cancer,” Ohlmeyer’s family said in a statement. “Surrounded by loved ones, he died peacefully at his home in Indian Wells.”

Longtime friend Al Michaels announced Ohlmeyer’s death while broadcasting NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” game between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants.

Ohlmeyer won 16 Emmys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, and two Peabody Awards.

Ohlmeyer became producer of “MNF” in 1972, teaming with director Chet Forte and the on-air crew of Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. In 2000 in his second “MNF” stint, Ohlmeyer put comedian Dennis Miller in the booth.

Ohlmeyer first worked for ABC Sports as a gofer while studying at Notre Dame and became a full-time production assistant in 1967 under Roone Arledge, working on “Wide World of Sports.” Along with his “Monday Night Football” work, he directed the network’s Olympic coverage and created “The Superstars.” Later at NBC Sports, he produced World Series and Super Bowl broadcasts.

After running his own Ohlmeyer Communications Company, he returned to NBC in 1993 as president of its entertainment division. He came up with “Must See TV” in the 1990s, when NBC’s rating soared with such hits as “Seinfeld,” ”Friends,” ”ER” and “Frasier.”

Watch Live: New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys on NBC

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The Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in a battle of NFC East rivals on Sunday Night Football.

Despite going 13-3 and earning the No. 1 seed in the playoffs last year, the Cowboys lost twice to the Giants in 2016, including a loss in Week 1. Dallas hopes to not have a repeat of last year and will rely on sophomores Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott to carry the load. Don’t be surprised if Elliott gets even more carries in this game because there is a possibility his six-game suspension is upheld and he will have plenty of time to rest up before he sees game action again.

The Giants will rely on their strong defense led by DB Landon Collins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul to try and get after Prescott and bottle up Elliott. On offense, New York is all about Eli Manning and the passing attack. Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to suit up, but it remains to be seen how big of a role he will have after injuring his ankle in the preseason. As a result, look for new additions WR Brandon Marshall and rookie TE Evan Engram, to go along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard to step up for Manning.

Football Night in America

Start time: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Giants vs. Cowboys

Start time: 8:30 p.m. ET

TV channel: NBC

Live stream: NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app