NFL betting tips: 4 picks against the spread for Week 1
Jack Green makes his NFL betting picks for Week 1 of the 2022 season, with four bets against the spread.
Visit Betway’s NFL picks page for picks and predictions throughout the season.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-5.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The Saints went 9-8 last year and narrowly missed the playoffs despite struggling with injuries at quarterback all year. They started 5-2 but then Jameis Winston to a torn ACL in Week 8, and were forced to start Trevor Siemian, Taysom Hill and Ian Book at various times across the remaining weeks.
Nevertheless, the Saints remained in the hunt right until the end and should be much improved this year as Winston returns, supported by a receiving corps that now includes rookie Chris Olave, veteran Jarvis Landry and a now-healthy Michael Thomas.
New Orleans won 30-20 in Atlanta in Week 18 last season, and they’ve gone 4-1 in their last five games against the Falcons. With Matt Ryan replaced by Marcus Mariota at quarterback, Atlanta will likely struggle offensively this season, and rookie receiver Drake London is currently limited in practice with a knee injury.
That doesn’t bode well for their chances against a Saints defence that ranked fourth in the NFL in points allowed per game this season. This looks like a mismatch on that side of the ball, so back the Saints to get the job done by at least a touchdown.
CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6.5) vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals surprised everyone by reaching the Super Bowl last season, and they should get this year off to a good start with a win over their AFC North rivals.
They have won their last three games against the Steelers, all by a margin of at least 10 points, including a 41-10 rout in Cincinnati last season.
The Steelers will be starting Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, who could turn out to be an upgrade over Ben Roethlisberger but spent last year backing up Josh Allen for the Buffalo Bills, Trubisky has been inconsistent throughout his five-year career and will be playing behind an offensive line expected to be among the worst in the NFL.
The Steelers have some good offensive weapons, but the Bengals possess perhaps the league’s best receiving corps in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, and a three-time 1000-yard rusher in Joe Mixon.
The Bengals will simply be too good for Pittsburgh on both sides of the ball and should ease to victory here.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (+2.5) at Washington Commanders
Every year, there seems to be an upset involving the Jaguars in Week 1. Last season, the Houston Texans were 3.5-point underdogs against Jacksonville but triumphed 37-21. In 2020, it was the Jags upsetting the Indianapolis Colts – who were 8-point favourites – 27-20, earning what would be their only win of the entire season.
The Jaguars look poised to play the spoiler again on Sunday against the Commanders and new quarterback Carson Wentz.
Wentz started for the Colts last season when they suffered an embarrassing 26-11 loss to the Jaguars in Week 18, missing the playoffs as a result. The Jaguars’ defence looked great in that game, and could be a surprisingly strong unit this year following the addition of No. 1 overall draft pick Trayvon Walker.
In Doug Pederson, the Jags now have a Super Bowl winning head coach in charge, and he should do wonders for Trevor Lawrence, an elite QB prospect who faced a difficult rookie season.
For Washington, plenty depends on Wentz, who is playing for his third team in as many years. He may be a success, but the Commanders have gone 2-8 in September games over the past three seasons, so a slow start would be no surprise. Take the points.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+1.5) vs Green Bay Packers
This could be the game of the week between two rivals who will likely be battling at the top of their division all season.
The Packers have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL for years thanks to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but he lost long-time top target Davante Adams over the summer and will now be reliant on a much less experienced group of receivers. Allen Lazard is injured, meaning rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs may need to make an instant impact for Green Bay in Week 1.
The Vikings, meanwhile, are stacked with weapons in the form of running back Dalvin Cook and receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. With first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell now in charge, expect this Minnesota unit to be one of the most explosive in the league this year.
Despite the Packers’ dominance in this rivalry over the years, the Vikings have gone 4-2 at home against their biggest rivals since 2016, including a 34-31 win last season.
With Rodgers still getting to grips with his new teammates, this game has come at a good time for Minnesota and they look the team to bet on here.
Visit Betway's NFL betting page.