NFL Week 1 best bets: One wager to make for every team

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars: Christian Kirk over 50.5 receiving yards (-120)

So much of the talk surrounding the Jaguars offense has centered on the addition of Calvin Ridley, who looks primed to be the legitimate No. 1 wide receiver that Jacksonville didn’t have a year ago. The hype appears justified based on the way Ridley looked in camp and preseason, but it has also caused Kirk to fly under the radar quite a bit. Sure, the targets may get spread a little thin in 2023, but the Jaguars’ 2022 free agency prize finished his first season in Duval with 1,108 yards (65.2 per game).

Even if Ridley is the most-targeted Jaguars receiver this year, he’ll draw coverage outside and could free up Kirk to thrive in the slot and eat up open grass in a way he didn’t get to last season. In two games against the Colts in 2022, Kirk caught three touchdown passes. Expect him to be a significant part of the Jaguars’ game plan Sunday and finish with a receiving total closer to 100 yards than 50. – Adam Stites, Jaguars Wire

Colts: Anthony Richardson anytime touchdown (+130)

Let’s get this bread. The rookie quarterback is making the first regular-season start of his career, and it will be his 16th start since high school (including two preseason starts). As much promise and upside Richardson has shown thus far, there is still going to be a massive learning curve when it comes to the passing game. The windows in the red zone will be much tighter than he’s used to, which means we shouldn’t expect the Colts to score much through the air. That’s not as much of an issue when your quarterback is carved out of marble, runs a 4.43 and is built like a modern-day edge rusher. Considering the heavy read-option concepts the Colts will use early on, Richardson’s rushing ability will eventually take over. Combine that with the fact that Jonathan Taylor is out for at least the first four games, and it’s easy to see why Richardson should be considered the team’s true goal-line back.

Need numbers to back it up? Under Shane Steichen, Jalen Hurts recorded 26 carries and 11 touchdowns inside the 10-yard line in 2022—good for third and second-most among ALL players, respectively. Inside the five? Hurts ranked second in carries (20) and third in touchdowns (9). Simplifying the game and sticking to what Richardson does best is key early on, and Steichen knows they have an advantage with the rookie’s rushing ability. – Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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