By WAYNE PARRY
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys kick off the NFL season Thursday night, people in more than half the states in America will be able to bet on football legally. By game time, there are expected to be 26 states plus the District of Columbia that have legal sports betting, up from 18 at this point last year. The American Gaming Association projects over 45 million people will bet on NFL games this season. Sportsbooks uniformly predict a record-breaking betting season, even as more and more competitors crowd into the market. A national help group says problem gambling is increasing as legal sports betting spreads.