NFL Betting Lines, Odds, and Game Picks: Week One

NFL Betting Lines
CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) looks to throw the football in action during an NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears on December 16, 2018 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The NFL season is right around the corner, which means it’s time to make some money. Betting lines and odds are already in, so let’s go through each matchup, make some game picks, and figure out the best way to make some quick and easy cash. The season kicks off on Thursday with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Chicago Bears, so put in these bets now before the action kicks off.

NFL Week One Betting Lines, Odds, and Game Picks

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-3)

Vegas likes the Chicago Bears in this one, but the Green Bay Packers have the upper hand. Aaron Rodgers battled injury throughout 2018 and was never truly himself. A now-healthy Rodgers should play up to his old form, and new head coach Matt LaFleur should only rejuvenate the offense. Green Bay added several key defensive pieces in the offseason, which should finally give Rodgers a solid defense.

The 2019 Chicago Bears are going to be hit hard by regression. Mitchell Trubisky was one of the luckiest quarterbacks in 2018 based on expected vs actual turnovers, so he won’t be as productive this year. Additionally, Chicago’s elite defense lost the brilliant Vic Fangio and replaced him with the uninspiring Chuck Pagano. The Bears are going to take a step back on offense and defense, while the Packers should only get better in 2019.

Pick: Packers win, beat spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton is expected to play, which makes this something of a difficult decision. The Panthers were 6-2 last year before Newton injured his shoulder and added several key pieces in the offseason. That said, you should still pick the Rams. The offense is a lot better with Cooper Kupp on the field, and he’s reportedly looking great. C.J. Anderson proved that you don’t need a healthy Todd Gurley to run the ball in this offense, and the Rams should once again be one of the best teams in the league.

Pick: Rams win, cover spread

Confidence Interval: 5/10

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-5.5)

The Cleveland Browns are going to win, but they won’t cover the spread. Tennessee is a ball-control team, which naturally leads to low-scoring affairs and close games. Marcus Mariota is healthy, and Ryan Tannehill is a capable backup should Mariota get hurt again. The Browns have one of the best offenses in the league on paper, but they had a lot of turnover in the offseason. Asking all of these new parts to function like a complete machine in Week One is asking a lot.

Pick: Browns win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 6/10

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) at Jacksonville Jaguars

Nick Foles is an improvement from Blake Bortles and Jacksonville’s defense should be better in 2019. That said, this is easy money. Patrick Mahomes has another year of experience under his belt and has the best cast of weapons in the league. How any defense is supposed to cover Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman is beyond me, and having Andy Reid calling the plays is just unfair. Kansas City’s defense should be better with Frank Clark and Tyrann Mathieu, and it’s hard to imagine to Jaguars keeping up in this one.

Pick: Chiefs win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 8/10

Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are going to be bad. Like, really bad. Miami’s roster is probably the NFL’s weakest and they spent Saturday trading away what little good players they had. Ryan Fitzpatrick won’t have time to throw deep behind the NFL’s worst offensive line, and there’s nobody to throw to even if he had blocking. The front seven is a mess, and the only good players on defense are Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Unfortunately, those two play the pass and Baltimore wins by running the ball. The Ravens are going to win this one in a blowout.

Pick: Ravens win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 8/10

Atlanta Falcons at Minnesota Vikings (-3.5)

Don’t bet on this game. The Atlanta Falcons should be better from a season ago with their defense returning to health. The offense remains one of the best in the league and has the ability to go blow for blow with any team in the NFL. The Vikings, meanwhile, should also improve with a better defense and a reinforced offensive line. Kirk Cousins is capable of operating the offense and Dalvin Cook is finally healthy and ready for the start of the season.

Pick: Vikings win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 3/10

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-3)

The Bills are going to be better than people realize this year. The defense was one of the best in the league by DVOA and should only improve with the addition of Ed Oliver. The jury is still out on Josh Allen, but Buffalo gave him strong complementary weapons to bring out the best of his game. The offensive line should creep back towards average to create a well-rounded roster. The Jets are in a similar situation, but it’s hard to trust a team led by Adam Gase and Gregg Williams.

Pick: Bills win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 6/10

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5)

Typically it’s a good idea to bet against a spread this large. No matter how bad a team may look, it’s hard to blow NFL competition completely out of the water. Weird things happen in football, and bad teams can score garbage time points to make the score appear close than the game actually is. All that being said, the Redskins are going to be terrible while the Eagles are one of the Super Bowl favorites. Normally spreads this large are a trap, but this one feels right.

Pick: Eagles win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers (-7)

This is easy money. Losing Andrew Luck hurts, but the Indianapolis Colts still have one of the best all-around rosters in the league. Jacoby Brissett has what it takes to be a top-20 quarterback and should keep the team competitive and respectable. This isn’t going to be 2011 for the Indianapolis Colts by any means. The Chargers, meanwhile, already lost Derwin James and won’t have Melvin Gordon for the start of the season.

Pick: Chargers win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 9/10

Cincinnati Bengals at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)

This is another game where the Seahawks are going to win, but the spread is just too large. Seattle wants to establish the crap out of the run, which naturally leads to low-scoring affairs. Every wide receiver except for Tyler Lockett is hurt, so the Seahawks might struggle to move the ball through the air. Additionally, the Seahawks defense doesn’t have that many great pieces aside from Bobby Wagner and Jadeveon Clowney. The Bengals will be able to throw the ball, even if A.J. Green isn’t on the field. Seattle’s going to win, but it won’t be by a ridiculous margin.

Pick: Seahawks win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

Detroit Lions (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals

Why anyone would want to bet on this game is beyond me, so we’ll keep this quick. The Arizona Cardinals are one of the least talented teams in the league, and Detroit should be able to move the ball at will.

Pick: Lions win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

The Giants are going to be bad, but not as bad as everyone thinks. The offensive line is better and the offense has managed to function without Odell Beckham in the past. Both of these teams love to run the ball, which means the score won’t get too crazy. Seven of the Cowboys’ wins came by a touchdown or less last season, so bet on this being a relatively close game.

Pick: Cowboys win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

San Francisco 49ers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (EVEN)

This is another game that nobody in the world is betting on. Jimmy Garoppolo looked bad in the preseason and probably needs a few weeks to find his old form. Bruce Arians is one of the better coaches in football and always improves the teams around him.

Pick: Buccaneers win

Confidence Interval: 7/10

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots (-6)

The 2019 Patriots are, on paper, better than their 2018 counterparts. New England has one of the deepest rosters in the league, Tom Brady running the offense, and Bill Belichick is calling the shots. Even though the Steelers won this matchup last year, New England historically has the upper hand in this matchup. When factoring in the Steelers will be playing their first game without Antonio Brown, it’s easy to see the Patriots winning by more than a touchdown.

Pick: Patriots win, cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 8/10

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (-7)

Nobody knows what the Houston Texans are doing, and it shows in the point spread. While the Texans may have destroyed their future, they made themselves better in the very short term with the addition of Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills. This offense should be good, and the defense will be fine as long as J.J. Watt is on the field. It won’t be enough to beat a stacked New Orleans Saints roster, but it will be enough to keep it close.

Pick: Saints win, don’t cover the spread

Confidence Interval: 7/10

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (EVEN)

Vegas is giving Jon Gruden way too much credit in this one. While nobody likes to bet on Joe Flacco, the Broncos are the clearly superior team. The defense is littered with talent and head coach Vic Fangio knows how to get the best out of every player. Flacco is an upgrade on 2018 starter Case Keenum and the offense should see growth from Coutland Sutton and the return of Emmanuel Sanders. Oakland’s defense is still a mess while Derek Carr and Antonio Brown are going to need time to develop chemistry. Pick the Broncos to win.

Pick: Broncos win

Confidence Interval: 9/10

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