The summer is going to fly by as normal, which means that football season is right around the corner. Game lines are up for Week 1 in both the NFL and NCAAF, so we certainly have plenty of time to do our homework.
Some books kick things up a notch and release what they refer to as ‘Games of the Year’ lines. For example, the Westgate release of GOTY lines is always a highly-anticipated event, and we can say the same for Golden Nugget when it does so for NCAAF.
We’re not soothsayers, so we can’t tell you what’s going to be a good line for a game in November, but we can tell you that there are some appealing opportunities out there for the first month of the season.
Here are five Games of the Year which have captured our attention.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers At Carolina Panthers – Thursday, September 12
There are a number of marquee games on Westgate’s GOTY list. This isn’t one of them, but we’re not about to turn our noses up when we smell value.
The line was released with the Panthers installed as 5.5-point home favorites. If we knew for a fact that Cam Newton was operating at full capacity – and that the club had worked out the kinks on defense – then we could see it. We don’t know that right now.
We do know that the Buccaneers have lured Bruce Arians out of retirement to patrol the sidelines. Tampa Bay will improve in 2019. They may not win more than seven games, but they can make the Panthers sweat here.
2. New Orleans Saints At Seattle Seahawks – Sunday, September 22
After opening up the year at home with a Monday night tilt with the Texans, the Saints face a really tough three-game stretch. They’ll be on the road at the Rams and Seahawks in back-to-back weeks, and wrap that up with a home game versus the Cowboys.
For the middle game of that set. Westgate has dubbed the Saints as 1.5-point road favorites over Seattle. The Seahawks showed a ton in 2018, in what was supposed to be a transition year for the franchise, and we’re expecting more of the same this year.
The Saints are certainly talented enough to win two games over this daunting stretch, but two losses also wouldn’t be surprising. Either way, the Seahawks as a home dog perks up our interest.
3. Dallas Cowboys At New Orleans Saints – Sunday, September 29
We’re not picking on the Saints, we promise. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them at least reach the NFC title game once again.
However, seeing Westgate install them as 6.5-point home favorites over one of the few teams that slowed them down in 2018 grinds our gears a bit.
Entering the season, the Saints are absolutely one of the best that the NFC has to offer. However, we don’t see the Cowboys as being too far behind.
The offense should click even better this year with more time for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper to perfect their timing, while the defense closed out 2018 looking pretty potent.
This may be a win for the Saints when all is said and done, but the Cowboys can keep it closer than 6.5 points.
4. Texas A&M Aggies At Clemson Tigers – Saturday, September 7
When Golden Nugget released the line for this game, Clemson was installed as a 17.5-point favorite. Since that time, two points have been shaved off. However, there still might be some value to be found.
These two squads faced off last year in a memorable game at Kyle Field. The end result was the Tigers escaping with a 2-point win in perhaps the toughest regular season game of their championship run in 2018.
A new season is upon us, and Clemson is once again expected to contend for a national crown. The Aggies are expected to improve over last year’s 8-4 mark as well.
We’re not going to call an upset or anything, but is Clemson really 15.5 points better than a program which gave them all they could handle last season?
5. Florida Gators At Kentucky Wildcats – Saturday, September 14
This is another rematch from one of last year’s more interesting regular season tilts. Kentucky surprised last year and closed out the regular season with a record of 9-3. Along the way, they went to Gainesville and walked off the field with a 27-16 victory.
The win snapped what had been a 31-game losing streak for the Wildcats to Florida. This year, the two rivals will be meeting in Kentucky. Golden Nugget has Florida currently installed as a 7.5-point favorite.
We fully expect the Gators to have revenge on their mind, and there’s also a chance that the Wildcats take a step backwards at home. However, getting more than a touchdown at home for a rivalry game that has become all the more interesting is pretty appealing.
These are just a few of the many GOTY lines which have been released. We’ve shared our five favorites. Which ones are jumping out at you?
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