Good news for all of us degenerate gamblers ‒ the official release of the 2012 NFL schedule means we can start losing junior's diaper money on individual games right now. From betonline.com via covers.com, betting lines for Week 1 games already exist.
Among the most interesting is that the Broncos are favored by 1.5 at home against the Steelers on Sunday night. For comparison's sake, last year's playoff game between these two teams ‒ also in Denver ‒ had the Steelers favored by nine points. Evidently, the difference between Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow makes an 11.5-point difference to Vegas, which actually seems about right to me.
Elsewhere, the World Champion Giants are only giving 3.5 points at home against the Cowboys. The Saints, despite the cloud following them this offseason, Charlie Brown-style, are still six-point favorites against the Redskins. The Jets are six-point favorites against the Bills, for some reason. The Lions, with their enhanced reputation, are giving 7.5 to the Rams. The Bengals, with their enhanced reputation, are still six-point underdogs to the Ravens. The Panthers, heading to Tampa to take on the Bucs, find themselves in the unfamiliar position of road favorites.
We're still 140 days away from the start of the season, but having actual numbers to gamble on makes everything seem more real.