NFL Betting Predictions: Week 1 Opening Line Report and Picks
Every Monday during the NFL season, I am going to provide a look at the opening lines with an emphasis on the games that stand out to me. The odds for Week 1 were originally posted back in May after the NFL released the 2021 schedules.
We have been able to follow them for a while now. And even though there have been some significant personnel moves, the lines have stayed surprisingly consistent.
Doc’s Sports offers NFL picks for every game on our NFL predictions page.
Noteworthy Week 1 Betting Lines
Opening night is this Thursday, and we will see the Cowboys visit the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The opening line was Tampa Bay -6, and they are now laying eight points.
The Packers were one-point favorites over the Saints on the road when the lines were first posted, but there was uncertainty about Aaron Rodgers, and New Orleans is a tough place to play.
We now know that Rodgers is good to go, and the Saints can’t play at home because of the damage that was done by Hurricane Ida. The Packers are currently -4 at the DraftKings sportsbook, but I have seen 4.5 elsewhere.
There is one game with a favorite flip. The Seahawks are visiting the Colts, and Indianapolis was initially a one-point favorite, but they are now 2.5 point dogs with question marks surrounding Carson Wentz.
The Broncos are going to visit the Giants on Sunday, and they were one-point favorites on the opening line. Now they are -3 after the New Yorkers went 0-3 in the preseason. Denver went 3-0, and they outscored their opponents by an 80-21 margin, so they attracted more action.
Buffalo is hosting the Steelers, and they opened at -5, but they are now laying 6.5 points.
On the totals side of the board, the Seahawks-Colts game moved from 51.5 down to 49.5, and there are no other moves that are more than a point.
Where Are the Weaknesses in the Week 1 Lines?
Football handicapping boils down to the recognition of weaknesses in the lines, and this is not an easy task, especially when you are talking about Week 1. There is nothing to go on except history, and there will probably be some surprises.
I always take a cautious approach until I get a feel for the new season, but at the same time, I want to have action. With this in mind, the Packers at -4 pique my interest.
Since the game is going to be played on a neutral field, I have to give Green Bay the nod. Rodgers is Rodgers, and he has superior weapons at his disposal. If Winston is as turnover prone as he was in Tampa, the Pack should get a couple of extra possessions.
The other game that is on my radar is the Giants-Denver matchup. A road favorite is always going to get my attention, and you can rest assured that Joe Judge will use it as motivation.
There is also a contrarian angle—betting against the public can be a good thing. I’ll take the three points with the home team against a mediocre Broncos squad that is 50-1 to win the Super Bowl.
Odds Courtesy of DraftKings
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