The NFL season is fast approaching. The Buccaneers and Cowboys will kick off Week 1 on September 9, and NFL punters can’t wait to get in on the action. After spending the 2021 offseason delving into the Week 1 clashes in detail and trying to identify quality underdogs and undervalued teams to trust against the spread, they’ll finally be able to see if their bets materialize.
This year, the results of the start of the season should not be as unpredictable as in 2020. Teams were in fact able to play preseason games in 2021. While many teams rested their starters, punters could at least learn from matches and get to see a handful of old faces in new places. The biggest one fans have yet to see is Matthew Stafford with the Rams.
Bettors also got a glimpse of rookie quarterbacks this year. As such, they won’t fly blind if they want to trust Trevor Lawrence or Zach Wilson in Week One. They know what they are getting into.
At the start of the season, there aren’t many hard-hitting injuries that could affect Week 1’s spreads. Saquon Barkley (knee) is among the bigger ones, as he recovers from a tear of the ACL he suffered in the second week of last season. Among the quarterbacks, the status of Joe Burrow and Carson Wentz will be one to watch. Burrow recorded three snaps in the preseason returning from an ACL tear. The Bengals believe he can play in Week 1, but if he’s limited to training that could change.
Meanwhile, Wentz is battling a foot injury that will prevent him from coming out for 5 to 12 weeks. If he can get back to the lower end of that timeline, he could play in Week 1. If he needs extra time, Jacob Eason might be forced to start.
For more expert predictions on the NFL, check out Sporting News’ direct and ATS picks for Week 1.
MORE: Here Are The Bets To Win Super Bowl 56
NFL odds for week 1
Below are the latest Week 1 NFL odds, including point spreads, cash margins and passing totals for each game, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Last update: Tuesday, August 31
NFL point spreads Week 1
|Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||To -7.5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills||BUF -6.5|
|New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers||CAR -4.5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans||JAX -3|
|Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans||TEN -3|
|Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons||ATL -3.5|
|Los Angeles Chargers to Washington Football Team||BAC -1|
|San Francisco 49ers to Detroit Lions||FS -7.5|
|Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts||WED -1.5|
|Minnesota Vikings to Cincinnati Bengals||MIN -4|
|Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots||NE -3|
|Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs||KC -6|
|Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants||DEN -1.5|
|Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints||GB -3|
|Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams||LAR -7|
|Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders||BAL -4.5|
NFL Money Lines Week 1
|Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||To -360|
|Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills||BUF -295|
|New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers||CAR -205|
|Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans||JAX -146|
|Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans||RTE -156|
|Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons||ATL -186|
|Los Angeles Chargers to Washington Football Team||BAC -120|
|San Francisco 49ers to Detroit Lions||SF -390|
|Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts||WED -130|
|Minnesota Vikings to Cincinnati Bengals||MIN -186|
|Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots||NE -162|
|Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs||KC -260|
|Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants||DEN -126|
|Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints||GB -156|
|Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams||LAR -335|
|Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders||BAL -225|
NFL over-unders Week 1
|Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||50.5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills||50|
|New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers||43.5|
|Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans||45.5|
|Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans||51.5|
|Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons||47.5|
|Los Angeles Chargers to Washington Football Team||44.5|
|San Francisco 49ers to Detroit Lions||45.5|
|Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts||49.5|
|Minnesota Vikings to Cincinnati Bengals||48|
|Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots||45|
|Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs||52.5|
|Denver Broncos vs. New York Giants||42.5|
|Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints||50.5|
|Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams||45|
|Baltimore Ravens vs. Las Vegas Raiders||51|
Best NFL bets for week 1
49ers (-7.5) among the Lions
As of this writing, the 49ers are tied for Week 1’s biggest favorite with the Buccaneers. That said, San Francisco is the more appealing of the two and possibly the more appealing team to take on in Week 1.
The 49ers were one of the best teams in the NFL in the 2019 season but fell sharply in 2020 due to countless injuries. They are now healthy and should have a chance to get rid of a lackluster Lions tusk.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk and Raheem Mostert are all in good health, so they should put on a solid offensive performance. Defensively, the 49ers should be able to contain Jared Goff. They have experience against the former Rams passer, and while he has 14 touchdowns against the 49ers – the most he has against a team – he also has six interceptions, five fumbles and just a record breaking record. 3-5 against the Niners.
It will be more difficult for Goff to keep Detroit in the game given the lack of talent surrounding him, especially as D’Andre Swift is under assault. The 49ers are set to win this game in double digits, even on the road.
Washington (+1) vs. Chargers
Washington being an underdog at home doesn’t seem quite fair, even against a well-built team like the Chargers. It is true that Washington did not perform well in the preseason and averaged just 11 points per game. However, their starting defense – and Chase Young, in particular – looked pretty good. And if William Jackson III can regain his health, he will have a big impact on high school.
If Washington’s defense comes up, it could make life difficult for Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Los Angeles have chosen to sit most of their starters in the preseason, so Herbert hasn’t seen any action in the game since Week 17. As a result, he could be slow against good defense, especially. though his new offensive look the line takes a while to freeze. Add to that this will be Brandon Staley’s first regular season game as an NFL head coach and Washington looks very attractive as an underdog.
Cardinals (+3) at Titans
The Titans might have a strong offense, but their defense is still a work in progress. Their first seven should be better after adding Bud Dupree in the offseason, but their secondary is still a problem. Their best corners are Janoris Jenkins, rookie Caleb Farley and sophomore Kristian Fulton, who has had his fair share of problems in 2020.
The Cardinals have the firepower to make this a problem for the Titans’ defense, as their receivers can take advantage of the cornerback’s weakness while Kyler Murray will be able to tone down the Tennessee pass rush with his mobility. Their defense should be better after adding JJ Watt, Zaven Collins and Malcolm Butler to the fold, so they can win this one.
Taking Arizona as a three-point underdog seems obvious. After all, they almost made it to the playoffs last year and probably would have if Murray hadn’t been wronged.