The month of May marks the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs with the MLB regular season in full swing. Professional golf’s second Major is on the betting board with the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, South Carolina and the end of the month is highlighted by the Indianapolis 500.
Even with all this live action on the betting board at legal US sportsbooks, the betting public’s attention is still drawn to the start of the 2021 NFL regular season in early September. DraftKings recently made sports betting news headlines for releasing the opening betting lines for all the Week 1 games.
The NFL released its regular season schedule on May 12. In a matter of minutes after the release, DraftKings posted point spreads and total lines for all 16 games. It helps that the second biggest legal sportsbook in the country is also an official betting partner of the league.
The Week 1 highlights start with the Dallas Cowboys on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday, Sept. 9.
The Sunday night game on Sept. 12 sends the Chicago Bears to Los Angeles to face the Rams. Monday Night’s matchup pits the Baltimore Ravens on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders.
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All the major US books will start taking bets on the games in the coming weeks. Right now, there are 22 states plus the District of Columbia offering legal betting on sports and sporting events in some form.
By the time the new NFL season rolls around, states such as Arizona and Maryland should join this list. It is estimated that more than half the population in the US will have access to legal sports betting by the end of 2021.
Four months out from opening day in the NFL, the Cowboys are set as 6 ½-point road underdogs in their season opener. With one of the highest profile teams in the league playing the defending champs, that game should attract quite a bit of early action. The total for this early season showdown is set at 52 ½ points.
The largest spread on the board in Week 1 has the Detroit Lions listed as 7 ½-point road underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are coming off a 5-11 record in 2020 and San Francisco’s offense should be led by first-round pick Trey Lance at quarterback.
Matthew Stafford will make his debut as the Rams’ new quarterback with his team favored by seven points at home against the Bears. Chicago will have the option to go with veteran Andy Dalton or rookie Justin Fields as its starting QB.
One of the tightest spreads in Week 1 has the Los Angeles Chargers set as 1 ½-point road favorites against the Washington Football Team. The Jacksonville Jaguars with Trevor Lawrence as their new starting quarterback are also favored by 1 ½ points in a road game against the AFC South rival Houston Texans.
DraftKings has also posted a long list of NFL futures odds covering any number of betting options for the upcoming 2021 season.