NFL Week 1 betting is here! Check out my previews for every game.
Thursday, Sep. 8
Carolina Panthers -3 at Denver Broncos (8:30 pm ET)
Carolina’s defense finally showed up in the Panthers’ final preseason game of the year. The Panthers held the Steelers’ offense to only 6 points. But before we start talking about how the Carolina defense is going to be a top unit this season, we have to realize that Carolina played against Pittsburgh’s second string offense.
Denver’s defense is going to be amazing again. This game sets up as an upset against the spread even though more than 70% of the public is looking to back the Carolina Panthers.
Sunday, Sep. 11
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons -3 (1:00 pm ET)
Tampa Bay battles Atlanta in what’s already a key game in the NFC South. The Buccaneers’ offense should be plenty difficult to contain this season. QB Jameis Winston and the wide receivers could post big numbers. The key for Atlanta will be their rushing attack. If Atlanta can set the tone by rushing Devonta Freeman early and often in this matchup, they should cover the spread.
Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens -3 (1:00 pm ET)
Buffalo is a mess. I have no clue what Rex is doing. No, seriously. Cutting Manny Lawson after Reggie Ragland gets hurt makes no sense. QB Tyrod Taylor could be one of the better dual-threat signal-callers in the NFL this season. The problem Buffalo is going to have in this game is that John Harbaugh and the Ravens are already in mid-season form. Baltimore should cover the 3 points.
Chicago Bears at Houston Texans -6 (1:00 pm ET)
Word is out that DE J.J. Watt should suit up for the Texans in this game. I think he very well might. But, I’m not sold on Houston’s offense being as effective early on in the season as they will be later on in the season.
The Chicago Bears played well in their first season with John Fox as coach. They should be improved. 6 points is an awful lot to give up for a team still figuring out how to play together on offense. I like the Bears to cover the spread.
Green Bay Packers -4 at Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 pm ET)
The Packers battle the Jaguars on the road as a -4-point favorite on NFL Week 1 betting odds. In past seasons, Green Bay would be a -6 to -7-point favorite at least. This season, most NFL fans, including me, believe that the Jaguars are the team to beat in the AFC South.
I love how Jacksonville goes into this season. They have a shot of beating Green Bay straight up as well as covering the 4-point spread. The defense has improved greatly while Blake Bortles and Allen Robinson are set to become the top QB/WR combo in the NFL.
San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs -7 (1:00 pm ET)
This is a rivalry game in the AFC. Sure, it’s not as nasty as Oakland Raiders versus Kansas City Chiefs, but it gets testy enough where the 7 points should be a huge factor. Last season, the Chargers lost 3 to 33 in Game 1 versus the Chiefs. They lost 3 to 10 in Game 2. They played Game 2 in Kansas City. I think the Bolts come out and play similar to their second game, meaning that they have a shot to cover the spread in this matchup.
Oakland Raiders at New Orleans Saints -1 (1:00 pm ET)
This is a no-brainer, lock it up and throw away the key, pick. There is no way that New Orleans should be favored by only 1 point over Oakland in Week 1. The Raiders are talented. But New Orleans takes on the Raiders at home in the Superdome. Not only that, New Orleans defense should be improved while the offense has a bevy of running backs that will exploit the Raiders’ lackadaisical run defense.
Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 at New York Jets (1:00 pm ET)
It’s hard to imagine the Bengals losing to the Jets, right? Not so fast. Cincinnati should be one of the better teams in the AFC. I also think the Jets will be one of the better teams in the AFC. Coach Todd Bowles had NYJ knocking on the door to the playoffs last season. He should get them into the playoffs this season. The Jets play hard for Bowles. He’s a great game day manager. I like NYJ to win this one straight up.
Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles -5.5 (1:00 pm ET)
With the Eagles trading QB Sam Bradford, the door is open for Carson Wentz to be the man under center for the Eagles. My guess is that Chase Daniel gets the start in this game. Daniel could make the Browns’ defense look silly. However, I do feel that Cleveland has some fire this season. I think the Browns keep it closer than 5.5 points.
Minnesota Vikings -2.5 at Tennessee Titans (1:00 pm ET)
The betting line rose to Minny -2.5 after they traded for QB Sam Bradford. The Titans have one of the top rushing attacks in all of football. Both Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray could rush for over 1,000 yards this season. Marcus Mariota is only going to excel with such a strong rushing game. I think the Vikings might be a better team overall, but this is a bad matchup. Tennessee all the way.
Miami Dolphins at Seattle Seahawks -10.5 (4:05 pm ET)
I can’t do it. I can’t give up 10.5 points in NFL Week 1 betting odds. I just can’t do it. Yes, Seattle has looked great. Yes, Miami hasn’t looked nearly as great as Seattle has looked. But the Fins are good enough, and Adam Gase is a good enough coach, to keep Miami within 10 points of the Seahawks. If the half-a-point was going the other way, I might feel differently. But it’s not.
New York Giants pk at Dallas Cowboys pk (4:25 pm ET)
Wow. This is the faith that odds makers have in the Giants. The public is all over the G-Men. 68% are backing them to beat the Cowboys in Week 1. Not me. I’m all over Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and that Cowboys offense. The Giants still doesn’t seem capable of stopping the run. They also can’t rush the football when on offense. Dallas should win this game straight up.
Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts -3.5 (4:25 pm ET)
The Lions battle the Colts in a game that could go a number of different ways. The problem that I see for both of these teams is the lack of a sound rushing attack. The main difference between these two teams is that Detroit’s defense is slightly better than Indianapolis’s. I’m backing the Lions at +3.5.
New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals -5.5 (8:30 pm ET)
Wow. The spread sure looks strange in this matchup. I mean, I know that Tom Brady has to sit out the first 4 games of the season. But Mr. Brady does not make the New England offense. The system does. Would the Patriots be tougher against Arizona with Brady? Absolutely, they would. But giving up 5.5 points to New England is never a good idea.
Arizona has a great offense. Check out the defense, though. Unless it can pressure Jimmy Garoppolo, he could have a huge day getting the ball to tight-ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. Patriots over Cardinals is the best moneyline value play in Week 1.
Monday, Sep. 12
Pittsburgh Steelers -3 at Washington Redskins (7:10 pm ET)
The Redskins are getting no respect in Week 1. Washington won the NFC East last season. They’ve done nothing but improved this season. Is Pittsburgh really 3 points better on the road than Washington? I don’t think so.
From my perspective, the Redskins should be slight -2 point favorites in this game. Pittsburgh’s defense is young while Washington QB Kirk Cousins really came into his own last season. I think that the Redskins win this battle straight up.
Los Angeles Rams -2.5 at San Francisco 49’ers (10:20 pm ET)
Here’s another no-brainer. While San Francisco’s starter, or back-up, QB refuses to rise for the National Anthem, the Rams have decided to become a force for a wildcard berth in the NFC. Los Angeles has the rushing attack. With Case Keenum starting, they might have the passing attack. The defense is solid. L.A. has no business losing to SF in this one.