Our Staff's Top NFL Bets for Week 1
We’re here, folks! The 2021 NFL season is upon us.
Much like that frog in your high school science class, dissecting and probing every aspect of Week 1 is a tradition unlike any other. However, unlike that poor frog, our betting opportunities are very much still alive.
In addition to an ever-growing abundance of top-notch content, our staff will be providing us with their favorite overall plays each week of the season.
For this piece, our staff will be covering whatever bets they feel strongest about -- no limitations. Let’s get to it!
New England Patriots -3.5 (+100)
Rookie quarterback be damned, it's hard not to trust Bill Belichick with a season-opener against a division opponent. The Patriots defense should be much, much better this season and the offense added enough to be competent. I am also a bit iffy on Tua Tagovailoa's future until he really proves himself this season, so I'm willing to bet on Belichick at home over him pretty comfortably right now. Would not be shocked if the Patriots control this one from the jump and we all start reevaluating who may win this division.
-- Derrik Klassen (@QBKlass)
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Minnesota Vikings Over 47.5 (+105)
Last year, the Minnesota Vikings defense was giving up points like it was going out of style. They were fourth in the NFL in points allowed while Cincinnati was 11th. Both of these offenses have the potential to put up points this year and neither the Vikings nor the Bengals have a particularly strong defense. Plus, in 2020, Minnesota hit the over in 11 of their games.
-- Matt O’Leary (@MattOLearyNY)
Green Bay Packers -3.5 (+100)
What in the world is this line? Jacksonville is going to be 90% Packers fans when Sunday rolls around. Jameis Winston, at his best, is below average, and the Packers are going to contend for an NFC championship once again this year. There is a bit of unknown going on here as we don’t exactly know what the New Orleans offense is going to look like. I’m sure we’ll get a decent dose of Taysom Hill, but give me the Pack by at least a TD.
-- Brian Good (@BeGood1219)
Las Vegas Raiders +5.5 (-109)
Baltimore's running back situation is a mess, with Gus Edwards' possible torn ACL adding to their other two season-ending injuries at the position. They also have two receivers on IR, so Lamar Jackson is going to have to shoulder a heavy load early on. The Raiders should be fired up to play in front of a raucous Las Vegas crowd for the first time and should keep this game within a field goal.
-- Mike Spector (@MikeSpector01)
New York Jets Over Carolina Panthers (+175)
I'm going to cheat and go with the same play as my upset pick. For the first time in a long time, I actually don't feel ill betting on the Jets. Gone is the stench of Adam Gase. In comes Robert Saleh. who is fresh off a highly successful stint as defensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers. New York's offensive will be helmed by Mike LaFleur, who comes from Kyle Shanahan coaching tree. You might have heard of Mike's brother, Matt, who's had plenty of success as head coach of the Packers. Meanwhile, Zach Wilson, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, will take over at quarterback for Sam Darnold. Darnold, who was traded to Carolina in the offseason, didn't do all that much winning with the Jets. The Panthers are just 4-12 at home over the last two seasons...which isn't great. At +175, this is a bet I'm excited about.
-- Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)
James Robinson To Score Anytime (+100) - DraftKings
The main issue for Houston is the abundance of new players on the roster paired with an atrocious defense. In addition, the Texans allowed the most rushing touchdowns (21) and rushing yards in the NFL last season by nearly 300 yards (2,332). Robinson scored 10 touchdowns across 14 games in 2020 (7 rushing, 3 receiving). I think the Jags lean on the run in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure off of rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence in his first NFL start. With little competition in the backfield because of rookie Travis Etienne tearing his Achilles, I will go with the Jaguars running back James Robinson to score a touchdown anytime priced at (+100) for those reasons.
-- Tom Viera (@Tom_Viera)