The 2017 NFL regular season kicks off this Thursday (8:30 PM ET, NBC) in Foxborough with a game between the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots are 9-point favourites at press time, up from –7.5 at the open; the over/under is 49 points after dipping as low as 47.5.
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The Patriots (14-2 SU, 13-3 ATS last year) are coming off one of the better seasons in NFL history, and they’re expected to do big things this year as +325 favourites for Super Bowl LII. New England’s defensive line is a bit suspect, and DT Vincent Valentine (knee) expects to miss Thursday’s opener, but the Pats did add DE Cassius Marsh over the weekend in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
While Kansas City (12-4 SU, 9-7 ATS) has one of the best pass rushes in football, the focus Thursday will be on rookie RB Kareem Hunt, who is being thrust into the spotlight after Spencer Ware was lost for the season to a torn right knee. Hunt was first-team All-MAC for the Toledo Rockets in 2014 and 2016 before the Chiefs drafted him in the third round.
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