Yes, it’s cliché, and yes I’m going to say it anyways…ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?!? The 2011 NFL Football season officially kicks off tomorrow night with a fantastic match-up between the two most recent Super Bowl Champions as the Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints from the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. With two of the best quarterbacks in the game (as well as the last two Super Bowl MVPs) in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees dueling on a national stage in front of what should be every NFL fan around the globe, there is no doubt that this game will be an excellent way to break in the NFL sports betting season, and we can’t even begin to explain the level of excitement that is building ahead of kick off in just over 24 hours. As such, Wednesday is a perfect time for you football fans to gear up before the big game, by heading down to one of the best online sports betting websites reviewed here, and checking out the wagering options for the Packers vs. Saints.
For a new season, we welcome in another top reviewed sportsbook into the fold, and for the first NFL game of the year why not venture to the newest addition to the flock of the best online sportsbooks found on the web? Today we visit the TopBet Sportsbook (read the review of TopBet.com), as the allure of a 50 percent deposit bonus plus being American-friendly has us eager to sign up at this new sports betting destination. Noting that this sportsbook also features one of the quickest-loading and most navigable websites of any online sportsbook we’ve reviewed, if you’re looking for a first-time place to drop your hard-earned cash for betting on sports, TopBet.com is a great location to start. That being said, jumping immediately into the betting lines for the NFL match-up on Thursday between the Packers and Saints finds TopBet.com taking the home side Packers as the favored team, with -220 odds on the money line and 4.5 points given up on the points spread at -105. Expecting both high-powered offenses to come out swinging, the over/under for Thursday’s showdown stands at 47 points, with the over and under total prices at -105.
Things to watch for in Thursday night’s game will likely be the two teams’ defensive efforts, which will both have their hands full with two of the top rated offenses in the league taking the field. Coming off a painful 41-36 loss to the lowly Seattle Seahawks in last year’s NFC playoffs, the Saints main area of improvement right out of the gates will be getting back to their solid form in last year’s regular season, where they were 4th in the league in passing yards and total yards allowed. They will want to see improvement in the secondary this year however, dropping from a whopping 26 interceptions in 2009 to just 9 last year, and also dropping to 25 takeaways in 2010 from 39 in 2009. Getting cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer, as well as safety Malcolm Jenkins back into good health is key for the Saints’ D this year and in this match-up, and the additions of defensive tackles Shaun Rogers and Aubrayo Franklin will certainly help, but more importantly New Orleans just needs to play better as an entire unit in this match-up. Pressure will be added with the loss of defensive end Will Smith, their best pass rusher, who sits on a 2-game suspension, and if the rest of the Saints can’t press Aaron Rodgers, he and his cast of wide-out threats could give the Saints’ defensive coordinator Gregg Williams a lot of headaches come the end of tomorrow night.
The Green Bay Packers on the other hand sit stacked as one of the teams to beat this season, and for good reason. The Super Bowl Champions from last season hinge on a dynamic offense that will be almost completely healthy for the first time in a year, with running back Ryan Grant back in the mix, and massive tight end Jermichael Finley lining up against a yet-to-be-completed Saints linebacker corps, there are a lot of areas for Aaron Rodgers to exploit tomorrow night. The battle of the running game will be interesting to watch on both sides, as the revamped Saints backfield faces D-coordinator Dom Capers legendary D-line, albeit minus Cullen Jenkins who was lost to free agency. With so much up front pressure on a new Saints running corps, expect Brees to be throwing quickly and often to start the game, but without getting the run game going Sean Payton and the Saints will find difficulty moving the chains throughout the ball game. Going with my gut for this match-up, I like the Packers to prevail at home, based mainly on the advantage they have on the defensive side of the ball, which has looked just as strong and deep as the offense this preseason. No doubt this will be one of the best opening day games for the NFL in recent memory, so make sure to put down your wagers for the Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints, and try out one of the new additions to the best online sports betting websites found at TopBet.com today!