The Monday night game in Week 1 is a great matchup. That also makes it tough to bet on.
There’s a great case to be made for the Buffalo Bills as 1.5-point underdogs at BetMGM, or the New York Jets as small home favorites. As of Sunday more bettors preferred the Bills, who were getting 64% of the bets on the game.
Here’s why the Bills make sense: They’re probably the better team. Easy enough. Buffalo didn’t lose a game by more than three points last regular season. They got blown out by the Cincinnati Bengals in the playoffs but for most of the season they were dominant. Practically the same roster returns. There’s no reason to believe Buffalo won’t win the AFC East again. And the Bills know that all of their games in a tough division are hugely important if they want to take the AFC East title again.
Here’s why taking the Jets is reasonable: It will be a fired-up home crowd, and home team, for Aaron Rodgers’ debut. The Jets have the longest playoff drought in the NFL and they’re ready to snap that. It starts with making a big statement against the team that has won the division three times in a row. The Jets had a good team last season, just terrible quarterback play. Now they have a quarterback.
It should be a really good game to cap a fun Week 1. Whatever happens will help set the path for the AFC East race the rest of the season. Whatever side you’re on Monday night, it should be a sweat until the end.
Here’s the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:
Other Bills-Jets bets
One trend that was hot in the NFL for Week 1 was the under. Unders went 11-4 in the first 15 games of the season. I like that to continue Monday night. Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen get a lot of attention, they have great No. 1 receivers and should both be good offenses this season, but each team has a potential top-five defense too. I’ll go under 45.5.
I’d lean to the under in most player props as well. Rodgers’ passing yardage total is 232.5, and Allen is 251.5. I’d take the under in either. I’m a little more wary of taking the under for Garrett Wilson (68.5) or Stefon Diggs (70.5) because they’ll get targets, but both elite defenses will be focused on containing them. I wouldn’t be rushing to bet the over for either.
Betting on Bills-Jets to be a low-scoring game with many unders hitting for player props isn’t the most fun way to watch a game, but that’s how I see MNF playing out.
MLB has 15 games
It's a pretty big Monday schedule in baseball. It starts at 1 p.m. Eastern with the first game of an Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies doubleheader. The Braves clinched a playoff spot on Monday, so maybe they won't be completely locked in for two games on Monday. Atlanta is still a -145 favorite, and I'd ride with the Phillies.
The best game on Monday could be the Tampa Bay Rays at the division-leading Minnesota Twins. The Rays are still in the AL East race but time is running out. They're three games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Tampa Bay is a -125 favorite on Monday.
What's the best bet?
I pick all the NFL games and I'll stick with my Jets pick for that, but as stated it's a hard side to bet. I'll go with under 45.5 though. These defenses are both very good and I think it'll be a competitive, low-scoring game. I'm just not sure which team wins in the end.