It’s that time again – the start of another season in the National Football League

In all honesty, I feel that this is a golden age for sports fans. The UK’s flagship enterprise, the Premier League, is off to the kind of flyer that fair takes the breath away. Fabulous action, blanket media coverage, controversy, headline signings, thrills, spills and goals galore.

You’ll all have your particular favourites – whether it’s Lionesses, Super League heroes, Turf titans, tungsten terriers – your choice. Whatever floats your dinghy, it’s all rather brilliant.

The last couple of NFL seasons for me have been as good as any I’ve seen, and my devotion stretches back to the 80’s, and that truly golden spell (for ‘Niners fans in particular) – Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Dwight Clark et al. Elsewhere there was Lawrence Taylor, Walter Payton, Dan Marino and others.

The current NFL crop of Mahomes, an evergreen Brady (above), same remark re Rodgers, Allen, Donald, Kelce, Kittle and company are utterly beguiling, for me, in their own right. There’s every reason then to believe the 2022 NFL renewal will be nothing short of sensational – and it begins in the early hours of Friday, UK-time.

The venue – SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, California. Home to reigning Super Bowl champions LA Rams, who entertain current SB favourites the Buffalo Bills. Linebacker Von Miller has swapped his SB-winning Rams for the Bills, and with Buffalo under the massive influence of star QB Josh Allen they really do look the dog’s whatsits.

Early games are notoriously tricky though, and preseason is no kind of hard and fast guide. The real stuff begins right now, and we’ll know much more after 4 or 5 games. Patterns will emerge. Contenders will stick up their hands. Hopes will grow, or be ruthlessly dashed.

Old Father Tom tried retirement for about a month, but decided it wasn’t for him just yet. Mrs Brady is reportedly less than enthused. Allegedly. SB ring number eight is therefore being earnestly sought in Tampa.

Little Chief Flying Machine Tyreek Hill surprisingly finds himself in Florida not Kansas, and how that all pans out is a soap opera in itself. Dolphins’ QB Tua Tagovailova can’t wait.

California native Devante Adams has left Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers (above), to return to the sunshine of Las Vegas (Raiders). That immediately puts them into some lofty conversations, as he’ll link up with old college teammate Derek Carr. Cue receptions-r-us. There are stories absolutely everywhere.

So – week 1 starts with arguably the tie of the weekend, but there are crackerjacks elsewhere – notably Chiefs @ Cardinals, and Bucs @ Cowboys. We’re looking to publish a suggested NFL acca at the weekend – hopefully a regular new feature for the season – and I’ll be bobbing around with Fred Zone too, especially as the season settles down.

For now, I’ll leave you with hopefully heightened expectations of the magic to come, plus a nap to try and get us off to a flyer. All prices can fluctuate between now and game time – you can always access the very latest information at betfred.com.

Dallas Cowboys, money line, @ 23/20, versus Tampa Bay Bucs.

Have a fabulous weekend of NFL action, and I’ll see you soon. As always, take care.

Alan Firkins

NFL betting, week 1