Hey, let’s start the 2019 NFL season by violating our primary betting rule – and then double down!

Thursday, 05 September 2019 18:44 EST

So you may have heard the 2019 NFL season kicks off tonight with an all-time classic rivalry matchup. Normally, NFLbets would be content to merely sit back and watch this one play out while staking no money; after all, our first rule of NFL betting is this: Do not bet on NFL week 1 games.

But how often have the schedule makers conspired with the football gods and bookmakers to bring us such an incredible opportunity for betting right off the kickoff? Just look at it:

Green Bay Packers +3 at Chicago Bears, over/under 46½ points

NFLbets doesn’t believe we need to belabor the point, but consider:

• In 2018, the Bears went 12-5 SU and ATS, the latter the league’s best. The widest margin of defeat was 7 points, to the eventual champion New England Patriots, and exhibited some of the worst placekicking ever seen over the course of a season. The Packers went 6-9-1 SU/ATS, including 0-7-1 SU against teams with a winning record (not to mention 0-2 against these Bears in Green Bay on opening Sunday).

• In the offseason, the Bears lost one key player – FS Adrian Amos – of a potential six from 2018’s world-beating, record-threatening, straight-up scary defense. And sure, the Bears lost Vic Fangio at defensive coordinator; Chuck Pagano, with extensive DC and head coach experience, will probably be a pretty decent replacement.

• The Packers churned their roster to the extent that fewer than half of last year’s starters are returning and brought in a new coaching staff, headed up by first-timer Matt LaFleur as coach. Why do the sportsbooks put the Packers’ over/under for wins in 2019 at 8½ when the Bears are at 9½? Interesting fact: The last coach to make his professional head coaching debut in the so-called “NFL Kickoff Game” was … no one. It’s never happened, and this game has been happening since 2002. As for debuting head coaches winning game one SU last year … well, they went 0-5.

• So you want to put everything on Aaron Rodgeers The Savior. Fair enough, but you’re probably saying the same thing and bearing the same expectations for Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers – and all those dudes are over 37. Are we supposed to believe (and to bet real money on, no less) that each of these five will be just as good, carrying a team to a Super Bowl win pretty much solo? Come on now…

• And before the snarkiness about Mitch Trubisky and a weak-ass Chicago offense starts, let’s admit that the 2018 Bears offense was top 10 in scoring and turnovers surrendered – perhaps that’s the reason they closed out the regular season on a 9-1 run…

In short, this line appears to be based on – and holding steadily because of – sheer tradition. And not only tradition of the scary Belichick/Brady sort but rather of the historical franchise sort, which is complete nonsense to the proper NFL bettor. Almost no one on the current Green Bay roster other than Rodgers has a title to his credit and, in case no one’s mentioned so, the Packers have a new head coach, too. So … the opposition is supposed to run in fear of the big G because … the autobiography of Vince Lombardi might fall on them?

Now, sure, in the long-term the Bears may appear a bit wonky for betting purposes. The wacky schedule certainly won’t make things easy for NFL bettors with five primetime games (including this one), Thanksgiving Day in Detroit and a London game. But that’s the future – in week 1, no norms exist from which to deviate and all the offseason preparation comes to fruition.

NFLbets usually avoids betting week 1 games like betting Finnish league volleyball, but we’re willing to exploit the foolishness of mystique. We’ll even calling this our first Sure Bet for 2019: Take the Chicago Bears -3 vs Green Bay, and get this season in NFL betting started right (by doing things the wrong way, admittedly…)!