The first week of the 2019 NFL season is just around the corner. It’s been a long wait since Super Bowl LIII in February and fans are getting excited. In addition to buying new team gear, getting game tickets, and participating in fantasy football drafts, fans are also very involved with the NFL betting experience, in anticipation for the kick off. With sports betting becoming legalized in many US states, the 2019 NFL season promises to be the most wagered-on sports season in United States history. Many casinos and online sports books now offer the ability to bet on NFL games.
Of course NFL betting is just one part of the drama that will play out during Week 1. There are several entertaining storylines and matchups to follow. Here are the five best ones to watch when Sunday rolls around.
Josh Allen vs Sam Darnold — These two quarterbacks will forever be linked, and it will be interesting to follow how many times they match up over the years. The Jets traded up to take Barkley with the second overall pick of last year’s draft, while the Bills did the same to take Allen at No. 7. Each quarterback utilizes a different style, with Darnold being more of a pocket guy, while Allen can take off running and make plays with his legs. Darnold has smoother mechanics, whereas Allen is more of a project, and has a lot of room for development. They’ll be squaring off at least two times per season over the next few years, assuming they stay healthy, so this Week 1 matchup has plenty of intrigue, as these two teams look to build for the future, and hopefully eventually dethrone the Patriots as division champs.
Steelers vs Patriots — These two powerhouses have had some epic matchups in the playoffs over the years, and it’s very rare that they meet so early, let alone in Week 1. The NFL season usually begins with a few quality divisional matchups, but it’s very rare to have a matchup of two top-tier squads like we have this go-around. Tom Brady squaring off against Ben Roethlisberger will not disappoint, so make sure to tune in.
Jacoby Brissett stepping in for Andrew Luck — Colts star quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the world when he elected to hang up his cleats and retire last weekend, and now the team with Super Bowl aspirations must put its faith in Brissett, placing a ton of pressure on him. The Colts are loaded with talent at every position group, but now Brissett presents what could be a major question mark on the depth chart, as he’s listed as the only signal-caller currently on the team’s 53-man roster.
Cam Newton’s throwing arm — The Panthers quarterback underwent major offseason shoulder surgery, which entailed some cartilage being removed, as his shoulder was beginning to show signs of arthritis. As such, he not only got it operated on, he’s also reportedly changed his throwing motion. Tinkering with a quarterback’s mechanics at this stage of his career may not be a good idea, and it’ll be interesting to see how comfortable and accurate Newton is as a passer.
Kyler Murray’s pro debut — Murray is the talk of the league, as this dual-threat quarterback figures to be the perfect fit in Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense. He has the arm strength to make all the throws, but also possesses lightning-quick speed to get out of the pocket and go quickly. There are question marks about that type of pass-heavy offense having success at the pro level, as well as Murray’s accuracy, so we’ll see how he fares.