Sport

NFL fever returns!

BY TONY SCOTT

Friday, September 05, 2014    

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THE long wait is FINALLY over!

After a seven-month break, the great game is back. American Football has returned and the world is a better place for it.

The popularity of the NFL in Jamaica continues to grow by leaps and bounds with more games being televised, the explosion of social media coverage of the league, the increase in popularity of fantasy football, and of course, the growth of sports betting.

Our friends from Supreme Ventures/JustBet continue to offer the BEST betting action on the NFL, and this season, I'm sure many American football fans in Jamaica will be smiling all the way to the bank, courtesy of JustBet sports betting. I know I will.

It seems like only yesterday that the young Seattle Seahawks, led by their rising star quarterback Russell Wilson, marched into MetLife Stadium in New Jersey and dismantled the much more experienced Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8, in Super Bowl XLVIII. This kid Wilson has a really bright future and along with the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck, will be the face of the NFL for years to come.

Incidentally, I think the Seahawks can repeat this season, although history has shown that the Super Bowl champs have a VERY tough time trying to do so.

Talk about off-season storylines! We had Ray Rice, star running back for the Baltimore Ravens being charged with domestic abuse and suspended for the first two games of the season; Cleveland Browns' wide receiver Josh Gordon suspended for the entire season for repeated drug infractions; Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay suspended for six games and fined US$500,000 after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated; Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Houston Texans' defensive end JJ Watt both signing multi-million dollar deals, and former college superstar quarterback Johnny Manziel, nicknamed "Johnny Football", who has made as many headlines off the field with his celebrity lifestyle, as he has on the field, being drafted into the league by the Cleveland Browns.

This season, l think we can again look for LOTS of offence. The NFL has continued to tighten the rules to limit how aggressive defences can be on the field, and so this should again result in big passing numbers and lots of scoring -- something the fans love. With that being said, the 2013 Broncos, one of the highest-scoring teams in NFL history, got shut out in the Super Bowl. So good defence can still trump good offence.

Now on to serious business -- our Week 1 predictions against the JustBet point spread. For the fourth straight season, my colleagues and I will be picking the winners of each game based on whether or not we think the teams will win by more, or less than the point spread. Last year's champion tipster Andre Hutchinson returns to defend his crown against yours truly T-Scott, my colleague Peter Lindo, and a newcomer to the group this season, Mark Archer. Welcome, Mark! Good luck to you and to the rest of the guys. But be warned, I'm coming back to reclaim my crown, which I won in 2011 and 2012.

Now by the time this article appears, the regular season would have already kicked off with the defending champs the Seahawks having faced the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night football. I went with the Seahawks to win and to cover the point spread. For the rest of our picks, you can check below.

For Week 1, I'm really looking forward to seeing Tony Romo and the Cowboys going up against the San Francisco 49ers, and Peyton Manning and the Broncos going up against Andrew Luck and Manning's former team the Colts on Sunday night. Those two games should be pretty intense.

Well, that's it for now, folks. Enjoy all the Week 1 games as we begin the long journey to Super Bowl XLIX next February. Have a great football-filled weekend, and remember to place your bets on the games with JustBet!

To find a JustBet location near you, visit www.justbetja.com/locations and to find out more about JustBet, and how to bet on the NFL and other sports, visit www.facebook.com/justbet, www.twitter.com/justbet_ja, or call 1-888-429-57851-888-429-5785 (toll-free).

NFL WEEK 1 SCHEDULE & JUSTBET POINT SPREADS

* Point Spread (or handicap) — number of points that one team is favoured over another.

* Under/Over — A bet on whether the combined points in a game will be greater or lesser than a particular number

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4

SEA SEAHAWKS v GB PACKERS + 6.5, U/O 47.5

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

ATL FALCONS +3.5 v NO SAINTS, U/O 51.5

BAL RAVENS v CIN BENGALS + 2.5, U/O 43.5

CHI BEARS v BUF BILLS + 7.5, U/O 49.5

HOU TEXANS v WAS REDSKINS + 3.5, U/O 45.5

KC CHIEFS v TEN TITANS + 2.5, U/O 43.5

MIA DOLPHINS +5.5 v NE PATRIOTS , U/O 47.5

NY JETS v OAK RAIDERS + 5.5, U/O 40.5

PHI EAGLES v JAC JAGUARS + 11.5, U/O 53.5

PIT STEELERS v CLE BROWNS + 6.5, U/O 41.5

STL RAMS v MIN VIKINGS + 3.5, U/O 44.5

DAL COWBOYS +5.5 v SF 49ERS, U/O 50.5

TB BUCCANEERS v CAR PANTHERS + 2.5, U/O 38.5

DEN BRONCOS v IND COLTS + 7.5, U/O 55.5

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

DET LIONS v NY GIANTS + 5.5, U/O 47.5

ARI CARDINALS v SD CHARGERS + 2.5 U/O 45.5

EXPERTS’ PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD

Andre Hutchinson’s  Week 1 Picks (in bold)

SEAHAWKS v PACKERS

FALCONS  v SAINTS

RAVENS v BENGALS

BEARS v BILLS

TEXANS v  REDSKINS

CHIEFS v  TITANS

DOLPHINS v PATRIOTS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v JAGUARS

STEELERS v BROWNS

RAMS v VIKINGS

COWBOYS v 49ERS

BUCCANEERS v PANTHERS

BRONCOS v COLTS

LIONS v GIANTS

CARDINALS v CHARGERS

Tony Scott’s  Week 1 Picks (in bold)

SEAHAWKS v PACKERS

FALCONS  v SAINTS

RAVENS v BENGALS

BEARS v BILLS

TEXANS v  REDSKINS

CHIEFS v  TITANS

DOLPHINS v PATRIOTS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v JAGUARS

STEELERS v BROWNS

RAMS v VIKINGS

COWBOYS v 49ERS

BUCCANEERS v PANTHERS

BRONCOS v COLTS

LIONS v GIANTS

CARDINALS v CHARGERS

Peter Lindo’s Week 1 Picks (in bold)

SEAHAWKS v PACKERS

FALCONS  v SAINTS

RAVENS v BENGALS

BEARS v BILLS

TEXANS v  REDSKINS

CHIEFS v  TITANS

DOLPHINS v PATRIOTS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v JAGUARS

STEELERS v BROWNS

RAMS v  VIKINGS

COWBOYS v 49ERS

BUCCANEERS v PANTHERS

BRONCOS v COLTS

LIONS v GIANTS

CARDINALS v CHARGERS

Mark Archer’s Week 1 Picks (in bold)

SEAHAWKS v PACKERS

FALCONS  v SAINTS

RAVENS v BENGALS

BEARS v BILLS

TEXANS v  REDSKINS

CHIEFS v  TITANS

DOLPHINS v PATRIOTS

JETS v RAIDERS

EAGLES v JAGUARS

STEELERS v BROWNS

RAMS v  VIKINGS

COWBOYS v 49ERS

BUCCANEERS v PANTHERS

BRONCOS v COLTS

LIONS v GIANTS

CARDINALS v CHARGERS

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