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Early Week 1 NFL value bets

It's never too early to talk about the upcoming NFL season in Las Vegas. istockphoto.com

LAS VEGAS -- The NFL schedule was released last Thursday and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook was ready with its Week 1 lines.

A lot of people think it's way too early to be betting games in the fall, fearing the unknown of injuries and suspensions (and we haven't even had the draft yet), but that hasn't stopped early speculators from betting into these lines and the Westgate has been joined by CG Technology, the South Point and the William Hill books here in Nevada (and most major offshore books) in offering Week 1 lines.

While the obvious goal is to pick the winner of the games you're looking to bet, the main consideration is whether the line is expected to move by opening weekend and to be on the right side of that move (otherwise, it doesn't make sense to tie up your money for nearly five months). It's a great feeling to have a ticket in your possession when a line has moved several points (or across the key numbers of 3 or 7) and you can decide if you're going to let it ride because you have the best of it, or shoot for a middle.

So, let's look at the Week 1 lines and see where we can find value with best bets marked with an asterisk(*):


Carolina Panthers at Denver Broncos (-1)

We get a Super Bowl rematch in the NFL opener on Thursday, Sept. 8. The Westgate opened this Denver -3 (EVEN) but with Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler gone, Mark Sanchez is the starting QB right now and offshore books opened this between -1 and -2.5. The early money has come in