After what feels like an eternity, the NFL is back and Vegas just released their NFL Week 1 odds and spreads. Let’s take a dive into each matchup, break down the games, and decide which side to bet on.
NFL Week 1 Odds, Over/Under, Lines, Game Picks
Kansas City Chiefs (-9) vs Houston Texans
Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champions take the stage against Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans in what should be a fantastic matchup (for everyone except Bears fans, that is). Kansas City brings back most of the same core from their Super Bowl unit, while the Houston Texans had arguably the worst offseason of any team. Kansas City should win this one, but a nine-point spread just feels like too much. Watson is no Mahomes, but he’s good enough to keep this one close.
Pick: Chiefs win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 54.5 [Pick: Over]
Green Bay Packers vs Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
The Green Bay Packers were not as good as their 13-3 record would suggest last year, but they’re still the better team in this matchup. In many ways, these teams are perfect reflections of each other. Both teams feature one great receiver with basically nobody behind them, a secondary with a few questionable weak links, and a front seven that should get to the passer at a decent rate. The biggest difference is that Davante Adams is better than Adam Thielen, and Aaron Rodgers is better than Kirk Cousins.
Pick: Packers win
Over/Under: 45.5 [Pick: Under]
Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions (-3)
It’s official: for the third straight season, the Chicago Bears are rolling out Mitchell Trubisky under center. The former second-overall pick beat out Nick Foles, but is still no match for Matthew Stafford. The Lions have the better quarterback and offensive cast, but the Bears have the better defense. However, Detroit’s defense should improve with the offseason additions of Jamie Collins and Duron Harmon. The Lions were ridiculously unlucky last year from a win-loss perspective, and that luck should normalize this year.
Pick: Lions win, cover spread
Over/Under: 43.5 [Pick: Under]
Indianapolis Colts (-7.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars
The Indianapolis Colts were a quarterback away from the playoffs last year. Now, the Colts have their short-term answer under center in Philip Rivers. The longtime Charger took a step back last year, but he should be able to put together a solid season with one of the best offensive lines in the league. The Jaguars, meanwhile, look like the worst team in football. Gardner Minshew showed some promise last year, but he’s not good enough to carry a roster that lacks talent at every single position. I hope Trevor Lawrence likes Florida.
Pick: Colts win, cover spread
Over/Under: 45 [Pick: Under]
Las Vegas Raiders (-3) at Carolina Panthers
The Las Vegas Raiders loaded up on offense over the summer and go up against arguably the least-talented secondary in football. Derek Carr might not ever recapture his 2016 form, but Darren Waller, Henry Ruggs, and Bryan Edwards should be able to do the heavy lifting in this one. This game will probably be a shootout, and Teddy Bridgewater isn’t the type of guy that typically wins those type of contests.
Pick: Raiders win, cover spread
Over/Under: 47.5 [Pick: Over]
New York Jets vs Buffalo Bills (-6.5)
Poor Sam Darnold. The New York Jets start their season against one of the best rosters in the league. Defensively, the secondary should make life difficult for Darnold, especially since he only has Jamison Crowder and Chris Herndon as reliable targets. Josh Allen, meanwhile, gets to take on a talentless defense with Stefon Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley. This should be a pretty one-sided affair.
Pick: Bills win, cover spread
Over/Under: 39.5 [Pick: Under]
Seattle Seahawks (-2) vs Atlanta Falcons
If Pete Carroll would actually let Russ cook, this spread would be much larger. However, there’s no reason to think that Carroll will unleash his quarterback. Chances are, this game is going to go like every other Seahawks game of the past two seasons. The Atlanta Falcons will jump out to an early lead before Carroll asks Russell Wilson to eliminate the deficit and come home with a win. More often than not, Wilson is up for the task.
Pick: Seahawks win, cover spread
Over/Under: 49 [Pick: Over]
Philadelphia Eagles (-6) vs Washington Football Team
Carson Wentz should be healthy for this one, although the same cannot be said for his supporting cast. Jalen Reagor might not play and Alshon Jeffery is still a few weeks away from action. This leaves DeSean Jackson and Greg Ward starting outside with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert at tight end. It’s not the best supporting cast in the league, but it should be enough to beat Dwayne Haskins and company. That said, it probably won’t be a blowout victory. Haskins actually improved down the stretch last season, finishing as PFF’s QB9 from Weeks 11-16. Factor in some offseason growth from Terry McLaurin and a much-improved coaching staff and Washington should be able to keep this relatively close.
Pick: Eagles win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 42.5 [Pick: Under]
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots (-6.5)
No team experienced more change in the offseason than the New England Patriots. The 20-year dynasty effectively came to an end with Tom Brady going to Tampa Bay, and they also lost several key players to free agency and opt-outs. Now, Cam Newton will take on a much-improved secondary with argauably the worst supporting cast in the league. The Dolphins should have a bad offense of their own, so the Patriots should come away with a narrow victory. However, this will be a much closer game than the spread suggests.
Pick: Patriots win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 42 [Pick: Under]
Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens (-8)
The Baltimore Ravens are one of the most talented teams in the league and have the reigning MVP at quarterback. However, an eight-point spread is too large for this matchup. Lamar Jackson can’t possibly be THAT dominant for a second straight season, and their defense is staring regression straight in the face. Baker Mayfield should improve with a better offensive line, coaching staff, and a healthy Odell Beckham. The Ravens are still the better team, but the Browns are talented enough to keep it close.
Pick: Ravens win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 48.5 [Pick: Under]
Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) vs Cincinnati Bengals
For the first time in a long time, Philip Rivers will not be under center for the Los Angeles Chargers. Journeyman quarterback Tyrod Taylor beat out Justin Herbert for the starting job, and he’ll take the field against first-overall pick Joe Burrow. The Chargers were hilariously unlucky from a win-loss perspective last year and played a lot better than their record suggested. The same can be said for the Bengals, and all camp reports indicate that Burrow is as advertised. This quietly has the potential to be one of the most fun games of the week and could go either way.
Pick: Chargers win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 42.5 [Pick: Over]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
The Buccaneers went all-in this offseason, signing Tom Brady and trading for Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is a complete unknown, while Brady should still be a top-10 quarterback. The rest of this roster is littered with talent, but it might take a week or two before everything comes together. The Saints, meanwhile, are one of the best teams in football and have all their major pieces coming back for one last ride.
Pick: Saints win, cover spread
Over/Under: 48.5 [Pick: Over]
Arizona Cardinals vs San Francisco 49ers (-7)
Kyler Murray is everyone’s favorite quarterback for a Year 2 leap. The former first-overall pick had a promising rookie season and should only improve during his second season in the league. However, he faces a massive challenge in the San Francisco 49ers. This defense is poised for regression, but should still be one of the best in the league. Murray fared surprisingly well against the unit last year but still probably isn’t ready to take down what is undoubtedly a superior roster.
Pick: 49ers win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 48 [Pick: Under]
Dallas Cowboys (-3) vs Los Angeles Rams
The Dallas Cowboys were an 8-8 team that played like an 11-5 team in 2019. Since then, they dumped Jason Garrett for Mike McCarthy, kept Kellen Moore at offensive coordinator, and added superstar wide receiver prospect CeeDee Lamb. They got better in every measurable sense, while the Rams mostly stayed the same. Los Angeles improved down the stretch last year, but they’re still facing long odds to come away with a Week 1 win.
Pick: Cowboys win, cover spread
Over/Under: 51.5 [Pick: Under]
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) vs New York Giants
The Steelers will have one of the best defenses in the league, and could have one of the best offenses in the league. However, the overall production of their offense is entirely reliant on a 38-year old Ben Roethlisberger coming back from a serious elbow injury and playing like his old self. Personally, I need to see it on the field before I believe it. However, even if Roethlisberger isn’t playing like his old self, this team should be able to beat a talent-poor New York Giants roster.
Pick: Steelers win, don’t cover spread
Over/Under: 46.5 [Pick: Under]
Tennessee Titans (-1.5) vs Denver Broncos
Ryan Tannehill came out of nowhere to be one of best quarterbacks in the league last year. However, we have a long sample proving that he’s not capable of sustaining his play. His situation is better in Tennessee than it ever was in Miami, but he will come back to Earth this year. That said, this should still be a good offense with stud receiver A.J. Brown and freight train running back Derrick Henry. With Von Miller and Bradley Chubb both sidelined for this matchup, it’s going to be hard for Denver’s front seven to pressure Tannehill or get to Henry. The Broncos offense, meanwhile, is going to rely on a bunch of relative unknowns. Courtland Sutton is a stud, but Jerry Jeudy, K.J. Hamler, and Drew Lock are basically complete unknowns. This offense will probably need some time before everything comes together.
Pick: Titans win, cover spread
Over/Under: 41 [Pick: Under]
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