The NFL schedule returns to a full 16-game slate for the final five weeks of the season in the absence anymore byes. This adds even more betting opportunities to the NFL board at BetAnySports. One of the more interesting prop bets for each of Sunday’s 14 games are the betting odds for which team in each matchup scores first.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are just 4-7 on the year mainly because of a defense that is ranked 31st in the league in points allowed (30.7). The ironic part of the equation is that they are ranked first in offense for total yards and averaging 26.7 points per game. This Sunday, Tampa Bay plays host the NFC South rival Carolina Panthers, who are in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The betting odds that the Panthers score first in this matchup as 3.5-point road favorites are set at -130. However, I still like the value in the Buccaneers’ +100 even-money odds that they put the first points on the board given Carolina’s recent issues on defense.
One of the hottest teams in the AFC is the Houston Texans. After losing their first three games, they come into Sunday’s matchup at home against Cleveland riding an eight-game winning streak. The Texans are listed by BetAnySports as six-point favorites and their odds to score first in this matchup are set at -150. On the other side of this pairing are the 4-6-1 Browns, who have just won their last two games by scoring 28 points against Atlanta at home and 35 points against Cincinnati on the road. Cleveland’s odds to draw first blood on Sunday are set at +120 and I am willing to roll the dice it does given the value in the number.
The top matchup in Sunday’s late afternoon games pits Minnesota on the road against New England with the Patriots favored by five points at home. The betting odds the home team scores first are -145 with the betting odds set at +115 the Vikings put the first points on the board. The Patriots survived a slow start out of the gate to beat the New York Jets 27-13 last Sunday. Minnesota got past Green Bay 24-17 in Week 12 after trailing in that game 7-0. In a 25-20 loss to Chicago the week before, the Bears took the early lead in that game. My pick for this prop is a risk/reward play on New England scoring first this Sunday.