The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys gave us about as exciting of an NFL season opener as we could have asked for from these teams on Thursday night.
The Buccaneers pulled out a close 31-29 win as a 9.5-point favourite, coming through as a Survivor Pool pick and a popular money line parlay option.
Meanwhile, Dallas covered the number easily, but it really felt like they had so many chances to really take control of that game and failed, letting a potential outright win get away.
Now, we move on to the first Sunday of the NFL season, with an absolutely loaded slate to look forward to.
Here are our best bets for the first Sunday of the NFL season.
Domenic Padula: Broncos -3 at Giants
John Elway doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to drafting quarterbacks.
The good thing is that he’s done an excellent job loading up at almost every other position on his roster.
Plus, he finally seems to have found a serviceable quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater.
With a deep and talented defence that will feature Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, Kyle Fuller, Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson and rookie Patrick Surtain II, the Broncos need a capable arm that can move the ball efficiently without turning over the football, which is exactly what Bridgewater will do.
That Denver defence will be looking forward to making a statement in its season opener against third-year quarterback Daniel Jones, who has thrown 22 interceptions with 29 fumbles in his first two seasons in the NFL.
The Broncos defence will keep Jones and company in check.
All Bridgewater needs to do is outperform his counterpart and win by more than a field goal.
I’ll take Denver to win and cover on the road.
Chris Amberley: Cardinals at Titans Over 52
The Cardinals versus Titans game has shootout written all over it. These two teams both ranked top-six in the NFL in yards per game in 2020, and were first and third respectively in situation neutral pace.
Tennessee allowed the fourth-most passing yards in 2020, and featured the league’s third-worst pass rush per Pro Football Focus. They didn’t address their secondary concerns, outside of bringing in 32-year-old Janoris Jenkins, and Kyler Murray shredded opposing defences when healthy last season. Murray threw for 26 TDs and ran for 11 more, eclipsing 60 rushing yards seven times.
On the other side of the ball, the Titans added Julio Jones, who along with AJ Brown form arguably the best 1-2 receiving duo in the league. Tennessee also features two-time reigning rushing champ Derrick Henry, who should have no problem carving up a Cardinals rush defence that ranked 29th by PFF’s metrics last season.
Like the Titans, Arizona’s secondary is in shambles. Injuries and Malcolm Brown’s early retirement has left a giant hole at the cornerback position, which Ryan Tannehill will no doubt exploit.
Tannehill is coming off a career-high 33 passing TDs, and 7 rushing TD, while Tennessee games have a strong tendency to go over the total under his guidance.
The over was 12-3-1 in his 16 regular season starts in 2020, and is 21-4-1 in his starts during the past two seasons.
Luke Bellus: Carolina Panthers -4
I got two words for you.
I’m going into Sunday afternoon backing Sam Darnold and the Carolina Panthers.
Darnold, 24, is set to make his first start with the Panthers, and he’s doing it against his former team.
After spending three seasons in New York with the Jets, the quarterback will get a chance on Sunday to show his old organization just what they’re missing out on.
With a healthy Christian Mccaffrey, and weapons like D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, I expect this offence to come out on fire to start the season.
Meanwhile, rookie QB Zach Wilson is set to make his NFL debut on the road. Something that could spell trouble.
We’re already 1-0 this season if you tailed my Tom Brady over 2.5 touchdowns pick on Thursday night.
Let’s start the year 2-0 with a revenge game in Week 1.
Panthers -4, enjoy the NFL being back.
Garnacho on target as United beats Crystal Palace in League Cup defence
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Seven months after lifting the trophy, Manchester United made a successful start to its defense of the English League Cup on Tuesday by beating Crystal Palace 3-0.
Alejandro Garnacho and Casemiro fired the holders into a 2-0 first-half lead at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial added a third after the break in the third-round match.
It is now back-to-back wins for Erik ten Hag’s team, which has endured a disappointing start to the season.
The dominant performance against an understrength Palace followed Saturday’s narrow victory at Burnley and will give United fans hope the team has turned its form around.
“The mood is always good, but of course when you are not winning at United there is disappointment, and there is frustration, but the togetherness is always there,” Ten Hag said. “We know we are not now in the position where we want to be. So we have to build up, we have to catch up and then you have to go from game to game, working on the process and working on the results. Don’t get too far ahead.”
The League Cup ranks fourth among English soccer’s most important trophies. But Ten Hag still savored last season’s success.
Victory against Newcastle in February’s final at Wembley Stadium ended the club’s six-year wait for a trophy and saw Ten Hag deliver silverware in his first season at the club. He went on to also reach the FA Cup final, only to lose to Manchester City, and also guided United back into the Champions League to mark an impressive campaign.
Things have not gone so well this term, with his team losing four out of five games before beating Burnley 1-0.
This latest victory was far more convincing, even if Palace benched regular starters Marc Guehi, Eberechi Eze and Joachim Anderson and was also without forward Odsonne Edouard.
Ten Hag also made changes with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund on the bench and Christian Eriksen absent.
Mason Mount, however, made his first appearance since Aug. 19 after returning from an injury.
Garnacho fired United ahead in the 21st minute after converting Diogo Dalot’s cutback in the box.
His low shot had too much power for Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who had only just come on as a substitute for the injured Dean Henderson.
Johnstone was tested again moments later when Dalot blasted an effort from an angle, which the keeper blocked.
He was beaten again, however, in the 27th, this time by Casemiro, who headed in Mount’s corner to double United’s lead.
Martial added a third 10 minutes into the second half when firing across goal after meeting Casemiro’s looping ball to the far post.
United plays Palace again in the Premier League on Saturday and the Londoners showed their threat when twice forcing saves from ‘keeper Andre Onana later in the match. But manager Roy Hodgson did not sound confident about securing a different outcome when the teams next meet.
“We are going to have to become a totally different team in the way we approach the game and the way we play the game,” he said.
Third-division Exeter produced a shock 1-0 win against Luton to knock the Premier League club out of the competition. Luton made 10 changes from the team that picked up its first topflight point of the season against Wolverhampton on Saturday, but the result will still go down as a big upset. Demetri Mitchell scored the winner in the 83rd, but Exeter had to see out the game with 10 men after he was sent off in the 88th.
Wolverhampton was also eliminated after throwing away a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 at second-division Ipswich. Hwang Hee-Chan and Toti Gomes had seemingly put the visitors on course for the next round after goals inside the first 15 minutes. But Omari Hutchinson, Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor sealed a comeback win for Ipswich.
Burnley is still waiting for its first win in the league this season, but it is powering on in the cup after a 4-0 win against Salford City, the fourth division club co-owned by Manchester United greats including David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.
Elsewhere, Middlesbrough beat Bradford 2-0 and Port Vale won 2-1 against Sutton United.
Fourth-division Mansfield beat third-division Peterborough 3-1 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 draw in regulation time. Lucas Akins’ penalty to even the score in the 93rd had sent the game to a shootout.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer
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How to Spot a Trustworthy Online Casino in Canada
Spotting a trustworthy online casino isn’t hard once you know what to look for, but until then, you better hold off on signing up or making a deposit. This quick guide on how to find a reputable online casino will cover five different factors you can evaluate to determine whether or not a casino is trustworthy. While you could just use a site like the trusted source WikiHow that lists the best online casinos Canada, it does help to be able to evaluate the trustworthiness of casinos on your own. Likewise, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Casino review sites are a great resource, but it doesn’t hurt to also do a little digging of your own. Without further delay, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to spot a trustworthy online casino.
Checking for Proper Licensing and Regulation
One of the first things you should do when assessing the trustworthiness of the best online casinos Canada is to check for proper licensing and regulation. Reputable online casinos are licensed by recognized regulatory bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the UK Gambling Commission, or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. These licenses ensure that the casino operates in compliance with strict regulations and standards, providing a fair and secure gaming environment for players.
Never play at a casino that does not have a license or whose license is unverifiable. The easiest way to verify a license is to head to the licensor’s website and cross-check their registry with the name of the casino you’re looking at. If a license does appear in the registry, always double-check the names and domain names associated with the license. Some scam sites use domains that look similar to real casinos and act as if they are operating under their license. When in doubt, head to the URL listed on the license you find in the registry to be sure that you’re at the right site.
Evaluating the Casino’s Security Measures
Examining the Casino’s Game Selection
Game selection is another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online casinos Canada. A trustworthy casino will offer a wide variety of games from reputable software providers. Look for popular titles from well-known developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech. Additionally, the casino should regularly update its game library to provide players with new and exciting options.
Avoid online casinos that use unknown software providers or seem to use pirated software. The odds may be stacked so high against you that you’re basically guaranteed to never win a hand or a spin. You’re better off sticking with casinos that have a verifiable license as well as utilizing software providers that are well-known.
Verifying the Casino’s Customer Support
Good customer support is essential for a positive online casino experience. A trustworthy casino will have a responsive and knowledgeable support team available to assist you with any queries or concerns. Look for casinos that offer multiple support channels, such as live chat, email, and telephone. Additionally, check for the casino’s operating hours to ensure that support is available when you need it. You should also try and give their customer support a test run. By simply asking their 24/7 Live Chat simple questions about the site, you can get a feel for their response time and overall knowledge. Sites with poor customer service will often take a long time to connect to an agent and be unable to answer even the simplest of queries.
Looking for Fair and Transparent Bonus Terms
Bonuses and promotions are a common feature of online casinos, but it’s important to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with these offers. A trustworthy casino will have fair and transparent bonus terms, clearly outlining the wagering requirements, maximum bet limits, and any other conditions that apply. Avoid casinos that have overly restrictive or confusing bonus terms, as this may indicate a lack of transparency.
In conclusion, when looking for a trustworthy online casino, it’s important to consider factors such as proper licensing and regulation, security measures, game selection, customer support, and bonus terms. By taking the time to evaluate these aspects, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable gaming experience. Remember to always gamble responsibly and set limits for yourself to avoid any potential issues.
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