Somehow the NFL is able to turn simple press releases into huge media events that draw National attention.
The release of the NFL schedule is a prime example of this phenomenon. Now that the debate shows have broken down every single game it is time to narrow our scope to the only games we should be paying attention to: The Week one matchups.
We will preview each game and where we see value we’ll recommend a wager. All games in this preview are presented with the point spread, but you can wager on any of these teams on the moneyline or place prop bets.
Week 1 NFL Matchups and Point Spreads (Courtesy of Bovada)
For the uninitiated in point spreads: If the number next to a team is negative (-), that team is the favorite and must win by more than the – number to win the bet.
If the number next to the team is a positive (+) that team is the underdog and will win the bet if they lose by less than the + number.
Below, the Chiefs are a 7 point favorite and the Browns are a 2.5 point underdog.
Thursday, Sept 7. NFL Odds
- Detroit Lions @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
Sunday, Sept 10 NFL Odds
- Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons (-3)
- Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (+2.5)
- Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts (+3.5)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings (-6.5)
- Tennessee Titans @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
- San Francisco 49rs @ Pittsburgh Steelers (+3)
- Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Commanders (-6)
- Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)
- Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)
- Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos (-3.5)
- Philadelphia Eagles @ New England Patriots (+5)
- Miami Dolphins @ Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5)
- Los Angeles Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (-6)
- Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants (+3)
Monday, Sept 11 NFL Odds
- Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets (+1.5)
NFL Week One Betting Guide
The World Champions kick off the season at home on Thursday night as the Detroit Lions visit the Kansas City Chiefs. Sunday is chock full of football with 14 games, including Eagles-Patriots, Dolphins-Chargers and finishing off with Cowboys-Giants on Sunday night.
Week one ends with Aaron Rogers leading the Jets for the first time, at home against Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
Week one can be hard to handicap, given that there is no regular season data to base predictions on. That said, there are always a few games on the week one board that can get your bankroll off to a good start with NFL betting. Here’s hoping that you find them!
Thursday, Sept 7. NFL Schedule & Odds
Detroit just missed the playoffs last season after posting a 9-8 record. The boosted their offense by using the #12 pick on Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs, though many thought he was a reach that high. The Lions secondary could have used some first round help and they might realize it right away in this game.
Kansas City traded Tyreke Hill last off season and didn’t skip a beat on their way to winning the Super Bowl last year. Andy Reid is famously successful after a bye week, so imagine how well he’ll be prepared for week one. We could see this line creeping up to 9 points as we get closer to the game, and it looks like good value right now at Chiefs (-7).
Sunday, Sept 10. NFL Schedule & Odds
This will be our first real look at #1 overall pick Bryce Young who is the centerpiece of the Panthers rebuild project under new head coach Frank Reich. Young is going to have to do some heavy lifting on an offense that has traded away Christian Mccafferty and DJ Moore in the past year and hasn’t done much to replace them.
Atlanta also used a high draft pick for a new offensive centerpiece. Unlike Carolina (and nearly every other team in the league) the Falcons still focus their offense on the running back and they might have gotten a great one with Bijon Robinson. Is he great enough to make up for Desmond Ridder at quarterback? Possibly, especially in this division.
Although Bryce Young has made plenty of memories in the Georgia dome, we’re avoiding this game until we have more of a read on these offenses.
The Bengals hope to make it back to the Super Bowl 2024 after a disappointing playoff exit last year. They bring back their talented trio of wide receivers, but may have questions at the running back position. They used their first three picks in the draft on defense and should be strong on both sides of the ball.
Cleveland would kill for a disappointing playoff exit at this point, and with the money they are paying Deshawn Watson they are likely expecting much more than that. Watson didn’t look like a quarterback, let alone a playoff version when he returned from his suspension last season. Because Cleveland traded most of their draft picks to Houston for Watson, they didn’t do much to improve the roster.
Usually a home underdog is a good bet in the NFL. Not this time. Bengals BIG.
The Jaguars shocked the world when they came back and defeated the Chargers in the playoffs last year. The second half of that game was a coming out party for Trevor Lawrence who looked like a #1 overall pick. This is a team on the rise.
The Colts could be a team on the rise, but only because they are so bad. New QB Anthony Richardson might be the most athletic player taken in the draft but he’s also widely acknowledged as the rawest of all the top quarterback prospects.
When you fold in the fact that Indianapolis is probably playing for draft position starting week one, this looks like another road favorite we like. Jags (-3.5)
Tampa Bay squeezed into the playoffs last year and they return most of the roster that won the NFC South (with an 8-9 record). There is one player who won’t be back in Tampa Bay though, and he was pretty important. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, please don’t make any wagers until you’ve done more research.
If you do, you also know that Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are not going to match the production of Tom Brady (even at 45 or 54 or whatever age he is.)
In Minnesota, they are also coming off of a playoff appearance and like everyone else in the NFC central, think they have a shot at the division title. But this is an aging team that was horrible on defense and didn’t take major steps to improve the talent on that side of the ball.
While we predict both these teams end up tanking eventually someone has to win this one. We think Kirk Cousins will be good enough to win, but in a game with two teams this confusing, we can’t tell you if Captain Kirk can cover the spread. Skip.
The Saints think that they solved their Quarterback issues by signing Derrick Carr. He’ll join a Saints team that would have made the playoffs with even mediocre QB play last year. Carr is an upgrade for sure and by playing in the NFC south he will mostly avoid playing in cold weather, where he’s not good.
The Titans are another team that seems caught between the past and the future. If Ryan Tannehill is still the Titans QB when you read this, take the Saints and the points.
If Ryan Tannehill is NOT the Titans QB when you read this…take the Saints and the points.
This could be one of the better matchups of the week and a great coaching contest between offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan and the more Defensively focused Mike Tomlin.
Our biggest question going into this one is “Who is playing QB for San Francisco?” While sometimes Shanahan makes it look like it doesn’t matter, we think otherwise. This feels like a prime example of a home underdog that can bite. Unless Tom Brady is starting for the Niners (we aren’t completely discounting that at this point) we like the Steelers at home plus the points. Especially if Sam Darnold is lining up behind center for the niners (sorry Sam.) You might even want to look at the Steelers moneyline in this one.
We assume the Commanders are favored by six points because they are just so happy to not be affiliated with Dan Snyder anymore. Honestly, Washington wasn’t that bad last season and they almost snuck into the playoffs despite poor Quarterback play. After not doing anything to fix that, it will take a lot to compete in the stout NFC East. The new owners could be looking to reset next season and a mid season tank isn’t out of the question for the Commanders.
The Cardinals also had Quarterback issues last year and they dealt with it by getting rid of everyone except for QB Kyler Murray. It remains to be seen how that works out but the Cardinal are clearly in the midst of a rebuild. That rebuild and their journey to a high draft pick begins with an opening day loss to the Commanders, however it could be a game of all field goals, so that six point spread looks a little dicey to us.
This is the biggest line of the week and with good reason. Houston will be breaking in new Quarterback CJ Stroud and Linebacker Will Anderson Jr, the number 2 and 3 overall picks in the draft. They will join LaremyTunsil and Derek Stingley Jr. as the only players guaranteed to be on the roster at the start of the season. This is probably a slight exaggeration but not by much.
In contrast, the Ravens might be fielding their most talented offensive roster ever. Lamar Jackson finally got paid and the team had enough left over to bring in Odell Beckham Jr. who likely becomes the Ravens number one wide receiver. He’ll be joined by first round pick, speedy WR Zay Flowers.
All this fawning over the Ravens might have you thinking we like them to cover the 9 ½ point spread. Any other week of the season you would be right, but as we said before, week one can be tricky. Stay away.
Here are two more teams that think they are better off without Aaron Rogers in the division. The Packers could have had Rogers if they wanted him, but they’ve been down this road before and the last time they let a generational quarterback leave for the Jets it worked out fine (for them). They are turning the keys over to Jordan Love and perhaps a more conservative offense that fits the frozen tundra they usually play on.
In Chicago, they have to be thinking that this is their time. Justin Fields showed progress as last season went on and he’ll have better weapons to throw to (DJ Moore) as well as an improved line that might give him more than two seconds to throw the ball. The defense is a question mark with no apparent threats to rush the opposing quarterback.
If Fields can develop a quick connection with Moore they should be able to beat the Packers at home by a field goal, but we don’t feel overwhelming love for this pick.
In Denver, Sean Payton needs to fix whatever was broken with Russell Wilson last year, when he suffered through his worst season as a professional after being traded from Seattle. It was clear that Denver’s head coach last season was in over his head, so we’re willing to give Wilson the benefit of the doubt, especially with Payton calling the plays.
Las Vegas is hoping that reuniting Jimmy Garropolo with Josh McDaniels will….what exactly are they hoping it does? Garoppolo has always played an underwhelming style of football and most observers feel that his success in San Francisco was due to the scheme.
We agree, and we think Payton can fix Wilson by week one. Broncos and give the points.
The bookmakers must really respect Bill Belechick for New England to only be a five point underdog to the defending NFC champs. The Eagles have the talent advantage at virtually every position on the field.
Add that to Philadelphia’s impressive draft, where they continue to import the Georgia Defense and this looks like a Philly blowout. Don’t forget that the Eagles defeated the Patriots in a Super Bowl with Nick Foles at QB. Jalen Hurts is better than Nick Foles.
Five points is a weird number for a spread but we still think the Eagles will cover.
A marquis matchup featuring two exciting young quarterbacks and two dynamic receiving corps. Although both teams made the playoffs last season, it was bittersweet. The Chargers blew a huge lead in their playoff loss to the Jaguars and Miami had to go into the playoffs with their third string quarterback, which proved too much to overcome as they narrowly missed out on upsetting the Bills.
The game is being played in Los Angeles which is theoretically the home field of the Chargers. My suspicion is that like all Chargers games most of the crowd will be rooting for the opposing team. While we never root for one team over another we think the Dolphins are solid value to upset the Chargers straight up, so Miami getting the 2 ½ points is even better. Take the Fins.
It’s hard to believe that the Rams won the Super Bowl less than two years ago. It will be even harder to believe after this game. These two teams are headed in opposite directions.
The Rams went all out to get that championship and now the bill has come due. Jalen Ramsey and Von Miller were unloaded last season, will Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp be next? Probably not by this game, but it won’t make much difference.
The Seahawks are our pick to win the NFC West and it starts with a week one beat down of the Rams. Six points is a lot, but we see this spread getting higher, not lower.
No team was more surprising last season than the New York Giants. First year head coach Brian Dabol unlocked something in Daniel Jones, who enjoyed his best statistical season ever and led the G-men to a playoff victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Jones was rewarded with a huge contract that is going to be nearly impossible to live up to. The problem with a season of huge overachievement is that it often is followed by a season of huge regression. That’s what we see in the Giants future.
Dallas has been in a state of perpetual regression since their last Super Bowl victory a million years ago. We aren’t thrilled by Mike McCarthy taking over the offense, but we like the additions Dallas made and think they are better than the Giants by more than that three point spread.
Monday, Sept 11. NFL Schedule & Odds
Josh Allen has to be pretty annoyed. He starts his career in the same division as Tom Brady and just a couple years after Brady leaves the Patriots, when it looks like Allen will be ruling the division the Jets Bring in another all timer? Not fair.
The quarterbacks get the publicity but these are two of the best overall rosters in the league. The Bills have been trying to break through to the SuperBowl for the past couple of years, coming close. The Jets think they’ve just been a quarterback away from contending and now they’ve got him.
While we don’t have a good read on who is going to win this game, sometimes it’s ok to just sit back and watch.
NFL Week 1 Betting Tips and Strategies
We’ve put together a few words of wisdom for the curious sports bettor to help you traverse the football season. Feel free to steal all of this information and pass it off as your own NFL betting systems. We won’t tell anybody!
Set your Bankroll– Your Bankroll is the total amount of money you can afford to wager for the season. Divide your Bankroll by 100 and this number will be 1 betting “unit” for you. If you have $500 total in your bankroll, each unit would be $5. Professional bettors use this system, so why shouldn’t you? Also, the pros very rarely put more than 2 or 3 “units” on any one wager.
Shopping for Value – Sports betting has become legal in more than 30 states, most of these states also offer Online sports betting. If you live in one of these states you can sign up on a number of different sites. Oftentimes, these sites will offer different lines from one another on various games. If you are registered at a number of sites, within a couple of minutes you can search the lines on all of these sites and find the best one for your wager.
A half point difference in a spread can be the difference between winning and losing, so why wouldn’t you get the best odds for all of your wagers?
Be Choosey- Only a fool bets on every game of the week. You aren’t a fool are you? I didn’t think so. Concentrate on just a few games to research and wager on each week.
A Better way to Parlay- Don’t do Parlays. Did you know if you made every bet in a parlay individually and they all hit, you would win more that way then if you put them in the parlay? Now you know! Plus you don’t lose the whole thing when you lose one leg of the parlay.
Secret Winning Stats-. Two statistics directly related to chances of winning are turnover margin and passing yards per attempt. Look for the team with the advantage in these statistics, if you want to win more than you lose.
Home Underdogs and Unders– Home underdogs cover more often than they don’t (historically speaking.) The Under hits more often than the over. If you only made these 2 types of bets, history says you would cash more often than not.
Where to Bet on NFL Week 1
You can bet on Week one NFL games at a number of online sportsbooks or even at your local brick-and-mortar establishment, depending on where you live.
We’d recommend spending your money at a big, established online bookie like Bovada or MyBookie though, where you’ll also be able to place individual game and prop bets as well.
Top 5 Online Betting Sites for NFL Week 1 Odds:
- Bovada: Best overall
- MyBookie: Best sign up bonus
- BetOnline: Best mobile app
- BUSR: Top choice for beginners
- Sportsbetting.ag: Best crypto bonus
These sites have been around for years, building up a reputation for treating players fairly. That’s far from the only reason to bet with them, though:
- They’re Convenient: You can get the most up-to-date lines anytime you want, simply by refreshing the page.
- They Reward Players: These sites are always competing for your business and are constantly offering bonuses and special promotions. They’re always looking for ways to get you into the action — other sportsbooks simply can’t compete with that.
- They Offer Round-The-Clock Action: You can bet on most sports matchups right up to the start time, and then you can get the best NFL bets during the game.
Why Bet on Week One in the NFL?
The NFL is the most popular sport in America to watch and to wager on. Other than the Superbowl, the first week of the NFL season is the most anticipated week of football all year. All the attention you paid to the off season can give you a betting edge over casual fans when the season starts.
Here are some reasons why betting on the NFL Week One Matchups represents unique value:
- Early odds = Great odds: As we get closer to the games, the line makers get wise and the value on some of these point spreads goes away.
- More than just the Spread: With the explosion of legal online gambling there are more wagers available to bettors than ever before. Futures, Props and Over/Under bets are great ways to get involved without having to pick a winner!
- You’re already ahead of the public: If you’ve made it to this point in the preview, you’ve put more research into your wagering than the vast majority of casual bettors. Knowledge is power and now that you’ve got it, go out and use it!
NFL Week One Odds: FAQs
When does the NFL season start?
The 2023 NFL Regular season begins Thursday September 7, when the Detroit Lions play the defending NFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs.
How Long is the NFL Season?
The NFL season runs for 18 weeks from Sept 7 until January 7, 2024. Each team plays 17 games over the course of the season. The NFL playoffs begin the following week, culminating in the Superbowl on Sunday February 11.
Where can I watch the NFL Week One Games?
The NFL is broadcast on a number of networks and streaming services.
- Thursday Night Football- Week 1 NBC. Weeks 2-17 Amazon Prime Video
- Sunday 1pm and 4pm games- CBS and Fox
- Sunday Night Football- NBC
- Monday Night Football- ESPN (Doubleheaders are shown on ABC)
Related: Super Bowl betting apps
Got Your Pick for NFL Week One?
Every year as Autumn approaches there are a number of things we can look forward to: School starting (if you are a parent), Holiday meals and the NFL Season.
From September until February our Sundays (and Mondays and even Thursdays) are filled with football.
Why not turn your love of the game into a few bucks? The Competition for your wagering dollar (or bitcoin) has all of the best online betting sites offering unbelievable bonuses for signing up or referring a friend.
Take advantage of these offers and make watching the NFL even more exciting!
Just remember to always bet responsibly, and good luck!
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