If you are a huge football fan, chances are you’ve already taken a look at the Week 1 odds. The NFL’s opening set of games provides many great matchups, from division rivalries to potential playoff teams duking it out. But from the betting side, there are a few games that seem like they’re worth getting some action on with your bookie.
Let’s take a look at some of the top Week 1 games to bet on, as well as where we’re leaning for each of those matchups.
*All odds via BetUS
Texans at Chiefs (-10)
The NFL gave us a great game to open up the season on Thursday night. The Chiefs will host the Texans in a playoff-rematch from the AFC Divisional round that saw Kansas City win 51-31. The over/under for this game is 55, by far the highest in Week 1, after these combined for 55 or more in both games against each other last season.
So even though it’s the first game of the season, why am I confident that Patrick Mahomes and company will be able to cover the highest point margin of the week? For starters, the Chiefs return 20 of their 22 starters from last year’s championship squad, a rarity in today’s NFL. In addition to having continuity, five of the last six Super Bowl champs ended up covering the spread in their Week 1 game, with the lone exception being the Patriots in 2015 losing to…the Chiefs. Not to mention, Houston sports a fairly different look after trading away Deshaun Watson’s favorite target in DeAndre Hopkins.
While just one defending champ (Ravens, 2001) was a double-digit favorite on opening night, I feel comfortable with the Chiefs winning this game and covering the -10 spread. I’m a little inclined to take the under on the point total, however, due to potential rust and the unknown of Houston’s new offense.
Jets at Bills (-6)
For the first time in about 20 years, it feels like the AFC East is up for grabs. However, the favorite is now Buffalo, who is coming off of their first 10-win season since 1999. These two teams dogged it out last year in a pair of low-scoring affairs, with both teams earning a win. But now, it seems like the Bills are primed for a big win on Week 1.
If continuity is your thing, there is no team who has more of their impact players and coaches from 2019 back for another go-around than Buffalo does. In addition, they swung a trade for Stefon Diggs who immediately becomes the best wide receiver in the division. On paper, the Bills easily have an advantage of both sides of the ball against the Jets, who despite seven wins themselves last season seemed to have overachieved to a degree.
Under coach Sean McDermott, the Bills have been one of the better teams in the league against the spread, especially at home. Even with last year’s series split, look for Buffalo to cover the -6, beating their division rivals by a touchdown or more to open their season.
Packers at Vikings (-3.5)
Last season, it was Green Bay who came out on top in both matchups against Minnesota, en route to 13 wins and a division title. But the Vikings were 4-0-1 in the previous five games against the Packers, and are nonetheless favored by nearly four points against their foes on Week 1.
There’s no denying that Minnesota has had their fair share of personnel changes, especially on defense. But it’s still a playoff-caliber group that has plenty of returning star power, namely Dalvin Cook. Cook, who missed Minnesota’s Week 16 loss versus Green Bay, should find some success against a team that struggled against the run all year, most notably against the 49ers in the NFC Championship. Expect the Vikings to have very run-focused attack all game long.
With coach Mike Zimmer at the helm, there has been no team better at home against the spread than the Vikings. As home favorites in Weeks 1-7, they have covered at a strong 80% clip, and in 2020 lost their only two homes overall against the Packers without Cook and the Bears with their starters sitting out. With the Packers not making any notable improvements this offseason, I like the Vikings to cover the -3.5 and get revenge against their rival.
Cowboys (-2.5) at Rams
The first Sunday Night Football matchup of the 2020 season will also be the first game at L.A.’s brand new SoFi Stadium. These are two teams who both see themselves as playoff contenders, but at least on paper, one team should have a definite advantage.
The Cowboys made their efficient offense even better with the first round selection of CeeDee Lamb joining a dynamic group of Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot and Amari Cooper. Their defense is also largely the same as last year, and faces an offensive line that struggled and a running back situation that is fluid following the release of Todd Gurley. The Rams also parted ways with Brandin Cooks, so there may be an adjustment in the early stages of the season to figure out how they’re going to put up points.
Dallas has a new coach in Mike McCarthy, so there’s a chance that they may need time to fully click. But the Cowboys seem to have a steady advantage for their overall roster, and should be able to get the win and cover the -2.5 points on the road.
When you go to bet on the National Football League for Week 1; do so at our premium per head site Realbookies