It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
In the end, the first Sunday of the NFL season ended up being a lot of fun.
This year, I decided to share my favourite sides, along with a couple of additional teaser options.
The good news is that any combination of those seven teaser options was a winner, including if you bet all seven at +700.
On the flip side, only two of the five sides cashed, with the New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Football Team all falling short.
All three of those teams had a chance to take a lead or extend a lead on drives late in either the fourth quarter or overtime, only to turn the ball over with costly fumbles in close losses.
That’s the breaks when it comes to betting the NFL.
At the end of the day, all that matters is making a profit.
I couldn’t be happier that the NFL is back.
Plus, with the additional game on the 2021 schedule, we still get 17 more weeks of loaded NFL Sundays.
Here is the Morning Coffee for Monday Sept. 13, 2021.
NFL Performance(s) Of The Week
Kyler Murray finished with 289 passing yards and four touchdowns, along with 20 rushing yards and a rushing score as the Arizona Cardinals (+120 ML) beat the Tennessee Titans 38-13.
Murray, who opened the season at +2300 to win NFL regular-season MVP, became the first Cardinals player with four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in a game since 1962.
Meanwhile, his teammate Chandler Jones tied a franchise record with five sacks, humbling Titans’ tackle Taylor Lewan in the process.
Jones opened the season at 70-to-1 to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Arizona has the talent on both sides of the football to be a contender if they can stay healthy this season.
Next up, the Cardinals return home for a date with the Minnesota Vikings.
Arizona is currently a 3.5-point favourite.
NFL Upset Of The Week
The Pittsburgh Steelers rallied to beat the Buffalo Bills 23-16 as a +235 money line underdog.
The Steelers trailed the Bills 10-0 but outscored them 23-6 in the second half to pull off the upset at Highmark Stadium.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it’s the first time that Pittsburgh has ever overcome a double-digit deficit to win a season opener.
The Steelers held Josh Allen to 270 yards and a touchdown on 51 pass attempts.
Only one of those 51 attempts came from outside of the pocket. Pittsburgh’s ability to contain Allen in the pocket and pressure him without sending the blitz was the biggest key to their success.
Next up for the Steelers – a home date against the Las Vegas Raiders. Pittsburgh is currently -6.5 for that Week 2 showdown.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills travel to face the Miami Dolphins. Buffalo is currently a three-point favourite for that AFC East clash.
NFL Bad Beat Of The Week
For as impressive as Murray and the Cardinals’ offence looked, it wasn’t enough to push the number over the total.
After combining for 51 points through the first three quarters, Arizona and Tennessee didn’t score a single point in the fourth.
That’s a brutal beat for anybody that was on the over 53.5.
NFL Disappointment Of The Week
Anybody that bet the Green Bay Packers as a four-point favourite must have been furious watching them lay an absolute egg in a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Aaron Rodgers was held to 133 passing yards and two interceptions.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Rodgers is just the fifth reigning MVP ever to throw zero touchdowns and multiple interceptions in a season opener.
Meanwhile, Jameis Winston torched the Packers for a career-high five touchdown passes on just 20 attempts.
It was the Saints largest win in a season opener in franchise history.
The good news for Green Bay is that, regardless of how ugly the final score was, it only counts as one loss in the standings.
Plus, they’ll be in an excellent spot to bounce back in Week 2 as an 11.5-point favourite at home against the Detroit Lions in Week 2.
Medvedev Stuns Djokovic in US Open Final
While I was locked into a full slate of NFL football, I couldn’t help but change the channel for a few updates as Daniil Medvedev stopped Novak Djokovic’s pursuit of a Calendar Grand Slam on the last lap.
Medvedev (+230 ML) upset Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to win the US Open men’s singles title.
Per ESPN Stats & Info, Medvedev became just the fifth player to defeat an ATP No. 1 in a major final to earn his first major title since the rankings were first introduced in 1973.
While Medvedev was the second choice to win the title entering the tournament at +430, the fact that he snapped Djokovic’s 27-match winning streak in majors without dropping a set in that match is that much more impressive.
Blue Jays continue offensive tear
The Toronto Blue Jays (-220) picked up their third straight victory with another monster offensive performance in a 22-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
This is one of the best tweets I saw all day.
Toronto averaged 14.7 runs per game in its three wins over Baltimore.
The Blue Jays improved to 14-2 since Aug. 28.
They’re now tied with the Boston Red Sox for the top American League wild-card spot – one game up on the New York Yankees.
They’ll face a much tougher test this week with the Tampa Bay Rays in town for a three-game set.