NFL it’s back! Real and spectacular!

Football! It’s back, it’s real and it’s spectacular. While there’s still a pandemic in the background, it feels vastly different from a year ago, when football legitimately could have just disappeared. Now we have fans in the stands and it could present some interesting betting opportunities — at the very least it’s going to create wildly different game situations for these players.

After a year of being able to easily communicate in empty stadiums, quarterbacks now will have to adjust to mildly different environments.

There are at least three starting quarterbacks — Justin Herbert, Tua Tagovailoa and Joe Burrow — who have not played against NFL defenses on the road with full stadiums of fans losing their minds. I’m not suggesting they’ll crumble or anything this season, but road games are going to be more difficult (and probably some home games for Herbert). It felt like college football delivered a pretty big home-field advantage in some situations. So the trend warrants monitoring this week in the NFL as well.

Before we get to the picks, big shoutout to Ryan Satsky, Justin Page and the entire CBS Sports research team. That crew puts an insane amount of work into creating these massive packets of info for us and don’t get nearly enough credit for how hard they grind behind the scenes.