The season schedule for each of the 32 teams in the NFL was announced yesterday, with main focus being on each team’s Week One match up.
Well, it hasn’t taken the sportsbook sites long to come up with their early odds on those first games of the season and it makes for some intriguing reading, especially when you consider there is still a good chunk of the pre-season left to go.
With more trades likely to happen, more players being released or signed by teams and of course, the ongoing contract talks between draft picks and their teams, there’s still lots that could happen between now and the 9th September, when the first game of the season will take place.
We’ve taken a look at the odds on offer from BetRivers PA for each of the games taking place on the opening weekend of action and we will bring you those odds, and our impressions of what, at the moment, looks like a good betting option.
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NFL Schedule & Odds Week One
Thursday 9th September
- Dallas Cowboys (+225) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-286)
Not the start the Cowboys would have wanted, visiting the Super Bowl winners of last season. Tom Brady and co are back for a second tilt at the Lombardi Trophy this year and even with Dak Prescott back for the Cowboys, this should be a Bucs win.
Sunday 12th September
- Los Angeles Chargers (-114) @ Washington Football Team (-107)
For me, this is arguably the most even contest and it pits an exciting Chargers offense against the talented Washington defense. Whoever wins that battle, will likely win the game and I think the added protection that Justin Herbert now has in front of him, means that the Chargers may land the W here.
- Arizona Cardinals (+112) @ Tennessee Titans (-136)
The Cardinals have one of the most formidable pass rushes in the NFL nowadays after acquiring JJ Watt in the off season. However, they face a formidable Titans offense. If the Titans defense can improve (and it is a big ‘if’ at present) then they could be real contenders in the AFC. I can’t quite see that happening yet though and as such, I expect the Cards to win a shootout.
- Philadelphia Eagles (+165) @ Atlanta Falcons (-200)
I’m not quite sure what the Eagles will be like next season. For me they are one of the unknown quantities in the NFL. The Falcons are more settled and I think have a solid offense that should be enough to take them to an opening day victory here.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+165) @ Buffalo Bills (-275)
The Bills had another productive free agency period and NFL Draft and I think they have set themselves up to be the dominant team in the AFC East. I am not at all convinced by the Steelers this season, the cracks showed at the end of last season and they have not been addressed. The Bills should win this one easily.
- New York Jets (+170) @ Carolina Panthers (-210)
Two teams entering a new era and the bookies seem to favor the Panthers here. That’s fair enough as the Jets were the second-worst team in the NFL last season. I do like what both teams did in the draft this year and I think they will be better next season and that this will be closer than the odds suggest. Even so I’d still pick the Panthers, but only just.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (-134) @ Houston Texans (+110)
It’s an all-AFC South clash to start the season for the Jags and Texans and it is a story of quarterbacks here. Trevor Lawrence should make his bow for Jacksonville, while whether DeShaun Watson is under center for the Texans remains unknown. Even so, this does look like a rare first day win for the Jags is likely.
- San Francisco 49ers (-385) @ Detroit Lions (+300)
Having traded their most valuable asset, Matt Stafford, to the Rams the Lions look set for yet another rebuild. In contrast, the 46ers snagged their quarterback of the future in Trey Lance, although he may be holding a clipboard here if Jimmy Garoppolo remains at the franchise. Whoever is QB, the 49ers should land the win comfortably.
- Minnesota Vikings (-165) @ Cincinnati Bengals (+135)
I do like what the Bengals did in the draft this year, but I think the Vikings also made some solid moves too and given both teams starting points, that to me has the Vikings having the edge here and I would expect them to take the win in this opening day encounter.
- Seattle Seahawks (+112) @ Indianapolis Colts (-136)
This looks like one of the best match ups of the opening week. Two teams I would expect to be in playoff contention that look well matched. The Colts have home advantage, but I think the Seahawks match up well against them. This is a 50/50 call for me, but I am favouring the Hawks here.
- Green Bay Packers (+112) @ New Orleans Saints (-136)
Two teams that could be starting this game without their Hall of Fame quarterback at the helm. Brees has retired from the Saints, while Rodgers wants out at Green Bay. If Rodgers remains, the Packers will win this, if not then I think the Saints land the victory. So keep an eye on Aaron Rodgers future for the right pick here!
- Miami Dolphins (+110) @ New England Patriots (-134)
Has the focus finally moved from New England in the AFC East? I think the Dolphins had a stellar draft and although Foxborough is never an easy place to g
- Denver Broncos (-117) @ New York Giants (-105)
Denver are probably just a top quality quarterback away from being genuine contenders in the AFC, but they failed to address that in the post season so far. The Giants made solid rather than spectacular moves in the off season and as such, I think the Broncos will edge a close one here.
- Cleveland Browns (+210) @ Kansas City Chiefs (-265)
Everyone expects the Chiefs to be the team to beat in the AFC once again this season but I think they will find the Browns a tough nut to crack here. I love what Cleveland did this off season and in the draft and they will mae this a very, very close one even with Mahomes at quarterback. However, the Chiefs will still have too much on offense here.
- Chicago Bears (+260) @ Los Angeles Rams (-335)
Two teams that should very much be in the playoff picture come the end of the season. Matt Stafford’s now under centre in LA and he is a big upgrade on Jared Goff. The Bears made some smart moves in the draft and off season and this will be a lot closer than the odds suggest, but I would back the Rams here.
Monday 13th September
- Baltimore Ravens (-230) @ Las Vegas Raiders (+185)
The Raiders have had their somewhat standard draft, with a couple of left-field picks leaving experts puzzled. The Ravens though had a solid draft and with two late first round picks, they look like being a real contender again this season and I expect them to start with a win here in Vegas.
How do you see the first week of the NFL season going?