NFL betting picks: 4 best bets for Week 1
Jack Green makes his NFL picks for the first Sunday of the season, with four bets against the spread.
Visit Betway’s NFL picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans
The Jaguars won their opening game last season before losing their remaining 15, and the fact that they’re favoured in Week 1 here says a lot about the state of the Texans.
Houston is in tank mode this season and traded away starting cornerback Bradley Roby to the New Orleans Saints earlier this week in the latest of a series of cost-cutting moves. With Tyrod Taylor starting at quarterback and a roster stripped of talent, the Texans’ regular season over/under of 4.5 wins looks generous.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, will field a new-look roster this week, led by No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
The star quarterback out of Clemson should provide an immediate boost to an offence that features some good weapons in receivers Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault and DJ Chark, along with running back James Robinson.
Washington Football Team (+1) vs Los Angeles Chargers
Both these teams went 7-9 last season, but Washington squeaked into the playoffs after topping the laughably weak NFC East.
Although they only won seven games, the Football Team improved as 2020 went on, and won five of their last seven in the regular season before putting up a fight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the playoffs.
With one of the best defences in the league and an upgrade at quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington looks like a young team set to make a big jump this season and a home game against the Chargers is a good place to start.
Los Angeles went 3-5 on the road last season and could be without star running back Austin Ekeler after he turned up on the injury report with a hamstring problem.
Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) vs Cleveland Browns
These teams met in the Divisional Round of last year’s playoffs, with the Chiefs coming out on top 22-17. The game was never particularly close, though, as Kansas City was up 19-3 at the half and 22-10 at the end of the third quarter.
The Chiefs went on to reach the Super Bowl, where they were comfortably beaten by the Buccaneers, but this team is again a major title contender this year having rebuilt an offensive line that simply could not protect Patrick Mahomes.
The Browns could certainly make the playoffs again this season, but a full-capacity Arrowhead Stadium is an incredibly difficult place to open the schedule.
Cleveland has a solid defence, but did rank in the bottom half of the NFL against the pass last season and now faces one of the greatest passing teams of all time.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at New Orleans Saints
While this is technically a home game for the Saints, it will in fact take place in Jacksonville due to the disruption caused by Hurricane Ida.
Even if this season opener was being played in New Orleans, it would be tough to take the Saints against a Packers team that went 13-3 last year and narrowly missed out on a place in the Super Bowl.
Green Bay led the NFL in scoring last season and still has future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers under centre after he backed down from his trade demand in the offseason.
The Saints will start Jameis Winston at quarterback after Drew Brees’ retirement. How much of a downgrade that is remains to be seen, but Winston will have few weapons at his disposal for Week 1 with star receiver Michael Thomas and starting tight end Adam Trautman both out long-term through injury.