It's all kicking off again in the NFL
CURTAIN RAISER ALMOST TOO CLOSE TO CALL BUT GREEN BAY FAVOURITES
Last year's Super Bowl winners, Green Bay Packers, kick off the season against New Orleans Saints on Thursday and bookmakers, William Hill, make the Packers 5/11 favourites to get off to a winning start. The Saints are 9/5 to win. The match is expected to be close with the handicap only giving the Saints a 4 point lead at 10/11. The two quarterbacks taking part in the match are expected to have a massive impact on the NFL this year and Hills make Drew Brees the 5/1 favourite to end the regular season with the most passing yards while Aaron Rodgers is just behind him at 7/1. With more of a passing game utilised by both sides, chief running backs from both sides are 66/1 (James Starks, Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas) and 100/1 (Ryan Grant) to gain the most rushing yards over the course of the season.
"This Thursday Night Football is possibly the best curtain raiser we have seen in over a decade as the last two Super Bowl winners take each other on," said Hill's spokesman Joe Crilly. "We are fully expecting this to be a close match and there is every chance it could be decided on the last play of the game."
The New England Patriots are the current 5/1 favourites to win the Super Bowl and Tom Brady is the same price to win the regular season MVP. Aaron Rodgers is 11/2 with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees both priced at 6/1.
William Hill are expecting up to £6 million to be staked on the NFL this season which is up by £1 million on last year's overall turnover reinforcing its position as the fastest growing betting sport in the UK.
NFL Winning Conference: 10/11 AFC; 10/11 NFC
Any side to have a 16-0 record: 33/1
Any side to have a 0-16 record: 40/1
Most regular season rushing yards: 5/1 Arian Foster; 5/1 Adrian Peterson; 5/1 Chris Johnson; 6/1 Jamaal Charles; 8/1 Ray Rice; 12/1 Michael Turner; 16/1 Le Garrette Blount; 16/1 Rashard Mendenhall; 16/1 Maurice Jones-Drew; 20/1 BAR
Most regular season passing yards: 5/1 Drew Brees; 6/1 Philip Rivers; 7/1 Aaron Rodgers; 7/1 Matt Schaub; 7/1 Tom Brady; 10/1 Tony Romo; 10/1 Peyton Manning; 16/1 Michael Vick; 16/1 Ben Roethlisberger; 20/1 BAR
Regular Season MVP: 9/2 Tom Brady; 11/2 Aaron Rodgers; 6/1 Peyton Manning; 6/1 Drew Brees; 7/1 Michael Vick; 10/1 Philip Rivers; 16/1 Chris Johnson; 16/1 Matt Schaub; 20/1 BAR
Name The Finalists: 10/1 New England/Green Bay; 14/1 New England/Philadelphia; 20/1 Pittsburgh/Green Bay; 20/1 San Diego/Philadelphia; 20/1 San Diego/ Green Bay; 25/1 BAR