Our weekly look at every NFL game on the schedule for Sunday and Monday and some advice on which match ups to target and what match ups to avoid.
Week 1 of the NFL season is one of the harder weeks to bet on in the NFL as you're largely going off of past performance and projecting how each team's off season moves will impact them on the field before having a few games to draw more concrete conclusions. This year, with the preseason cancelled due to COVID-19, the first week's outcomes could differ wildly. I think this is why we are seeing quite a few games within 3 point spreads in week 1. Our lines are pulled right from FanDuel's Sports book. Let's take a look at Week 1's match ups.
We also have some prop bets we've talked about earlier in the summer, check those out and get some money in before the season starts.
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions (-2.5) O/U 42.5
I like the Lions this week at -2.5 and I would hit the under this week with points set at 42.5 The Bears won't have a healthy David Montgomery this week and with Mitchell Trubisky starting at QB, the Bears offense doesn't inspire much confidence. The Lions could be without Kenny Golladay this week, but Matthew Stafford and the rest of that offense should be enough to overcome any fight with the Bears defense.
Pick: Lions to cover and the under.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-7.5) O/U 47.5
Cleveland will be an improved and more disciplined club this year, but are down both starting corner backs and a starting safety going into the first week of the year. The Ravens added firepower on offense with JK Dobbins and Devin Duvernay along with the return of an elite defense, all adds up to a game that looks to get out of hand early.
Pick: Ravens and the under
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) O/U 44.5
Packers and Vikings are one of the better games on the schedule this week. The Vikings have an excellent defense, but Danielle Hunter looks to be out and that is a big blow in trying to slow down the Green Bay offense. The Vikings offense should be able to move the ball against the Packers defense. I think that leads to a higher scoring game this week with the Packers squeaking out a tough road win.
Pick: Packers to cover and the over
Indianapolis Colts (-8.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars O/U 45.5
Colts get the "tanking" Jaguars to start the year and should have no issue covering their 8.5 points this week. Indianapolis boasts an offense that should be able to take advantage of garbage time this week, which allows me to be comfortable taking the over.
Pick: Colts and the over
Teddy Bridgewater's Panthers have a good shot at upsetting the Raiders at home this week.panthers.com
Las Vegas Raiders (-3) @ Carolina Panthers O/U 47.5
Raiders head across the country for a 1:00 game at the Panthers and are still favored by 3. I think the books are sleeping a bit on the Panthers this year, and with very little tape on the Panthers new-look offense paired with a below average Raiders defense is the perfect recipe for a Week 1 "upset." I think it will be a lower scoring affair as well so the under is more appealing this week.
Pick: Panthers and the under
Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-7) O/U 41.5
Miami heads into New England to start the year in a very intriguing match up. Cam Newton is now the Patriots new starting QB but a lack of talent at WR could hold this offense back. I think this will be a low scoring affair based on a revamped Miami defense and a brand new Patriots offense. I like Miami to cover here and also will take the under.
Pick: Miami to cover and the under
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5) O/U 39.5
The Jets don't have Jamal Adams or CJ Mosley on defense and the Bills went out and got Stefon Diggs to pair with John Brown and Cole Beasley at WR. I think the Bills easily cover the 6.5 spread this week and I am hammering this over. I think the Bills offense will be better and the Jets will get a couple of garbage touchdowns to push this one past 40 total points.
Pick: Bills and the over
Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) @ Washington Football Team O/U 42.5
The Eagles head into this week down three of their five offensive lineman. They'll face off against one of the best defensive lines in the NFC in Washington. It will be tough to move the ball this week for both teams and with rain in the forecast for the game Sunday, this could be a low scoring match up. I like Washington to cover in this one.
Pick: Washington to cover and the under
Seattle Seahawks (-2.5) @ Atlanta Falcons O/U 48.5
The Seahawks get a slight edge here from the book even while making the cross country trip. Atlanta has a lot of firepower on offense which could put pressure on the Seattle defense, but I think this game will just finish under this week with Seattle's defense doing just enough to slow Atlanta down.
Pick: Seahawks and the under
Los Angeles Chargers (-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals O/U 41.5
Another west coast team playing on the east coast at 1:00 being favored. The Chargers have Tyrod Taylor as their new starting QB and have lost defensive star Derwin James for the year with a torn meniscus. Joe Burrow has looked very good, and with a less than 100% Chargers defense coming cross country for an early game, the Bengals are in a good position to steal a week 1 victory.
Pick: Bengals to cover and the over
Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-6.5) O/U 48.5
A potentially high scoring match up on paper, but the 49ers defense returns intact from an excellent 2019 campaign. Continuity is key here, and even though Arizona added improvements on both sides of the ball, the 49ers are just too good right now for this to be less than a one score game.
Pick: 49ers and the under.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5) 47.5
I think this will be one of the highest scoring match ups this week. Even with some injuries affecting the Buccaneers on offense this week, Tom Brady should be in for a duel with Drew Brees. The Chiefs-Texans game hit their over in a very nerve racking fashion on Thursday night, but the weather won't play a factor here like it did in that game. Saints win a close one but I think the Bucs will cover here.
Pick: Buccaneers to cover and the over
Dak Prescott looks to get the Cowboys in the win column in Week 1Getty Images
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) @ Los Angeles Rams O/U 51.5
The Cowboys return an offense almost completely intact from a year ago, and with the addition of CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott playing on a one year deal, the Cowboys offense will be scoring points in bundles. The Rams are a bit harder to read, cutting Todd Gurley in the off season and regressed in 2019. I think 51.5 total points is a bit generous, especially in Week 1.
Pick: Cowboys and the under
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) @ New York Giants O/U 45.5
This match up seems to be priced just right from a total points perspective, but I think the Steelers win this by at least 7 points this week. The Giants will stay in the game and I think will get a touchdown late at the end to just push this past the 45 points.
Pick: Steelers and the over
Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Denver Broncos O/U 40.5
Denver just lost Von Miller for the year and also will possibly be without Courtland Sutton this week against the visiting Titans. I am hesitant to put a lot of faith in the Titans until I can see Ryan Tannehill pick up where he left off in last year's post season. I think this is going to be a low scoring, defensive battle in the final game of the week.
Pick: Titans and the under.
Parlay me this, Batman!
Each week I'll stick my neck out there and give you a parlay to put together.
My parlay I'm playing this week is this: Bills (-6.5), Steelers (-5.5) and Bengals (+3)
Good luck out there this week and enjoy the NFL finally being back and bringing a sense of normalcy to our lives!
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