NFL Week 1 Picks | NFL Week 1 Predictions | Best NFL Bets Week 1

NFL Picks Week 1

NFL Picks Week 1: Why You Should Trust the Experts

Using NFL expert picks is a very solid technique to use when betting. NFL picking can be a tough task for even the most experienced bettors out there. There are a lot of experts out there supplying both free week 1 NFL picks and picks behind a pay-wall. Here are some reasons why you should trust an expert for the best NFL bets in week 1.

  • It will save you mounds of precious time
  • The experts have access to much more advanced statistics and data than you at home
  • They work with algorithms and models that have been tried and tested for NFL picks for years
  • The experts will have links to better sources and will follow the news stream from both the league and the teams in a very detailed manner
  • You may look at games from a more biased point of view, whereas an expert will always look at a given game objectively

Be sure to research your tout before paying for any picks. As there are fans who will pose as experts and sell their picks to make a quick buck.

NFL Picks Week 1: Predictions in Detail

Ravens @ Raiders – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

Week 1 concludes with the Ravens visiting Las Vegas for the first time ever. Raiders are 3-8 all-time against the two-time Super Bowl champions, losing the last two games against them.

Raiders continued their long-standing trend to sign former defensive stars who are well over the hill. This year they added DE Gerald McCoy, LB K. J. Wright, and CB Casey Hayward to a unit that allowed 389.1 YPG last season. So why should Raiders have a chance?

Simply because Ravens fell victim to a series of catastrophic injuries and are extremely thin at RB. First J. K. Dobbins tore an ACL, then Justice Hill tore an Achilles tendon and on Thursday Gus Edwards suffered what is believed to be a season-ending knee injury. That leaves them with Ty`Son Williams who never had a carry in a regular-season game, veteran Le`Veon Bell who just signed with the team, and Davonte Freeman who was basically brought off the street. On top of that CB Marcus Peters also tore an ACL during Thursday’s practice and is out for the season as well.

Most NFL expert picks in Week 1 featured Ravens covering up the four-point spread. However, Thursday’s practice turned everything on its head. Add in the fact that the Raiders have won their last three Monday night home games and you should not feel comfortable betting against them.

NFL Week 1 Prediction: Under 50.5 (-110)

49ers @ Lions – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

49ers were the most injury-struck team in 2020 with 161.1 adjusted games lost which is 22% more than the second team in the list. Now SF is healthy. On offense TE George Kittle is back, they have a new center (Alex Mack) and a promising young RB Trey Sermon to complement Raheem Mostert. Niners also traded up in the draft to select QB Trey Lance. However, the dual QB system head coach Kyle Shanahan wants to implement will have to wait a bit as Lance suffered a finger fracture in a preseason game against the Raiders.

On defense, Niners welcome back DE Nick Bosa and LB Dee Ford although the latter will be eased back and will have a limited number of snaps. The team is so stoked on defensive life that they chose to re-sign DE Jordan Willis even after his six-game suspension.

Lions start the season with a new HC (Dan Campbell), a new GM (Brad Holmes) but most importantly – a new starting QB. Detroit traded veteran Matthew Stafford to the Rams in exchange for Jared Goff who will have to prove that he’s more than a puppet of coach Sean McVay and can lead an NFL offense.

Even with the new additions, the Lions are still the same talent-depraved team that won 14 games in the last three seasons combined, hasn’t made it to the postseason since 2016, and hasn’t won a playoff game in 30 years. The line opened at 49ers -6.5 and climbed by a point during the last two weeks. Still, even playing in a different time zone SF should be able to win easily. BTW, the Niners have won 10 of the last 11 meetings with the Lions. This is one of the best NFL bets in Week 1.

NFL Week 1 Prediction: 49ers -7.5 (-105)

Cardinals @ Titans – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

Most NFL expert picks for Week 1 shy away from this game. But the Titans will be a very interesting team in 2021. They were loaded on offense even before trading for WR Julio Jones who gives them another deep threat alongside A. J. Brown. RT situation looks a little murky and HC Mike Vrabel refuses to name a starter. It will be either former second-round draft pick Ty Sambrailo and Kendall Lamm who interestingly caught a TD pass as a member of the Cleveland Browns against the Titans last season. But whoever is chosen should make no difference to the dominant running game.

On defense, the Titans made a surprising choice to promote Shane Bowen to defensive coordinator. He was the de facto coordinator in 2020 and his unit ranked 30th in sacks and 29th in yards allowed. Don’t be surprised if Titans’ games this year turn into a shootout.

Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury is the odds-on favorite to be the first fired head coach and his seat couldn’t be hotter. Arizona lost key veterans (WR Larry Fitzgerald, CB Patrick Peterson, RB Kenyan Drake) while doing little to replace them. Moreover, free agent signing CB Malcolm Butler announced his surprise retirement on August 31st which led to some speculations about the team culture.

QB Kyle Murray is always a dual-threat and WR DeAndre Hopkins is still in his prime. However, veteran A. J. Green had his worst season in 2020 and looks like a bad fit at WR2. On defense DE J.J. Watt and LB Chandler Jones look well past their best years and the Cardinals may need to score 30 to win. And it still shouldn’t be enough on Sunday.

NFL Week 1 Prediction: Titans -3 (-105)

Dolphins @ Patriots – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

After finishing with a losing record for the first time in two decades, the Patriots will try to change fortunes with a rookie QB. Last year starter Cam Newton was released after an uninspiring preseason and a lack of COVID vaccination. Enter Mac Jones, the #15 pick in this year’s draft. Judging by the 53-man roster, the Patriots will try to turn into a run-first team. They reacquired OT Trent Brown from the Raiders and traded for OT Yassir Durant from the Chiefs.

On defense, CB Stephon Gilmore will miss at least the first six weeks of the season and CB Jason McCourty signed with the Dolphins but apart from that the unit is largely intact.

Dolphins were a win away from going to the postseason in 2020 and have won 15 of their last 25 games. Yet they actively tried to acquire Texans QB Deshaun Watson before he ran into legal troubles and it’s not exactly a vote of confidence on incumbent starter Tua Tagovailoa. The team revamped defensively putting an emphasis on pass defense. Whether 

The game will be a rare instance with two teams starting a former Alabama QB. The perennial NCAA champions are anything but a QB factory with most of their products having short and unremarkable NFL careers. Running game consumes time and teams won’t have that many drives. Plus Dolphins LT Austin Jackson is doubtful for Sunday.

NFL Week 1 Prediction: Under 43.5 (-105)

Bears @ Rams – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

The first Sunday Night Football game features Super Bowl hopefuls LA Rams against the highly dysfunctional Chicago bears. It will be the first regular-season game with fans at SoFi Stadium – home of Super Bowl LVI next February, and it will be the first test whether the home crowd will be a factor or not. But still, this game is a must among NFL picks for Week 1.

During the offseason Rams once again mortgaged their future by sending a couple of the first-round drafts picks to Detroit in exchange for QB Matthew Stafford. While the former #1 pick is undoubtedly an upgrade over Jared Goff he’s already 33 years old and with just seasons left of his current contract. On offense Rams also had to trade for New England RB Sony Michel as Cam Akers will be on the IR for at least six more weeks. They also signed WR DeSean Jackson as a deep threat but with just 23 passes caught during the last two seasons combined it’s unknown what his impact will be.

Bears are in a strange QB situation. They drafted Ohio State’s Justin Fields at #11 but he will have to wait a bit as a veteran free agent signing Andy Dalton (6-19-1 in primetime games) has a clause in his contract that mandates he’s a Week 1 starter. On top of that Bears’ O-Line is very suspect as they signed off the street 39-year old Jason Peters as LT and brought disappointing Germain Ifedi from the Seahawks to start at RT. And their first assignment is stopping the reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. Good luck with that!

NFL Week 1 Prediction: Rams -7.5 (-104)

Picks in brief – NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

  • Eagles @ Falcons (-3.5): Two teams with rookie head coaches and not a lot of talent on the roster. Well at least the Falcons still have QB Matt Ryan
  • Steelers @ Bills under 48.5: Steelers DE T.J. Watt ended his holdout and is expected to play. Unless red zone offenses are in midseason form this will not turn into a slugfest.
  • Jets (+4) @ Panthers: New Panthers QB Sam Darnold has his first chance for a shot at his former team. Or maybe it will prove the Jets were right trading him away?
  • Vikings (-3) @ Bengals: Vikings have improved their defense but what about the anti-vaxxer Kirk Cousins? And will Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase be able to identify the color of the ball?
  • Jaguars (-3) @ Texans: Tyrod Taylor is the likely starting QB for the Texans who have won six straight against Jacksonville. This is an excellent opportunity for the Jaguars to stop the streak.
  • Seahawks @ Colts (+3): Seahawks tried to trade QB Russell Wilson away in the offseason. And they still expect him to be the leader of the team…
  • Chargers @ WFT over 44.5: WFT signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to be their QB. Usually he’s Fitzmagic during the first month before turning into a pumpkin. And Chargers QB Justin Herbert is simply good.
  • Browns @ Chiefs over 54.5: In a 90 degree heat both defenses may be gassed even before halftime.
  • Packers (-4) @ Saints: It’s hard to bet against the Packers even without LT David Bakhtiari. Especially when the game is on a neutral field in Jacksonville.
  • Broncos (-3) @ Giants: Giants have RB Saquon Barkley and WR Kenny Golladay back and healthy. But their O-Line is still bad.

Thursday Night Football: Cowboys @ Buccaneers - Top NFL Week 1 Picks and Predictions

It’s time to return to normality in the NFL at least regarding fans in the stadiums. Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get the chance to parade the Lombardi Trophy in front of their supporters and then slaughter the hapless Dallas Cowboys. This is what conventional wisdom is saying.

And while the Cowboys are one of only two teams to beat the defending Super Bowl champions in the NFL Kickoff Game away from home (24:17 against NY Giants in 2008) a loss to the Buccaneers looks like the most obvious NFL picks for Week 1.

It’s not like Dallas has no options on offense. After two straight 1000 receiving yards seasons Amari Cooper is still among the top echelon of wide receivers. CeeDee Lamb was close to joining Cooper in “1000 yards club” in 2020 and Ezekiel Elliott is due for a rebound season after nearly missing rushing for 1000 yards last season. However, QB Dak Prescott is coming off major foot surgery and was shut down from throwing during the training camp with a lat strain. This type of injury usually takes a couple of months to fully heal so despite the declarations from OC Kellen Moore whether Prescott is fully healthy is yet to be seen.

The biggest concern for the Cowboys is the trenches. On OL Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are the only respectable players and the Cowboys can’t afford to lose any of them. The DL is suspect at best and with DT Neville Gallimore out for September, the Cowboys will have to start two rookies on Thursday. On top of that their secondary is projected to be one of the worst in the NFL with Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis expected to start at CB. Couple this with the arrival of the new DC Dan Quinn who will need time to install the new Cover-3 scheme and the Cowboys should have a long and forgetful Thursday night in Tampa Bay.

After all, the Buccaneers are the first Super Bowl champion to return all 22 starters. That includes Tom Brady who led the team to an eight-game winning streak to finish the 2020 season averaging 33 points per game and hitting the 30-point mark in all four playoff contests. And the Buccaneers added Giovani Bernard to complement Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette at RB.

The line opened at -6 but with some heavy betting on Buccaneers climbed to -7.5. Still, with the questions over Cowboys’ defense, even this may not be a challenge for Brady & Co and looks like one of the easiest NFL predictions for Week 1.

  • NFL Week 1 Prediction: Tampa Bay -7.5 (-111)

NFL Week 1 Predictions & Picks: The Main Betting Types

There are many different betting types available for NFL week 1. The most popular three are:

  • Picks against the spread
  • Over/Under
  • Moneyline

These are the three most simple and the three that you will see the most picks and predictions for. As they are very popular with bettors and sportsbooks.

NFL Week 1 Picks Against The Spread

NFL spread picks are very popular during the NFL season. It is also a bet often used in NBA too, but primarily in football. There will be a lot of NFL picks against the spread in the new season. To help get your head around betting against the spread, we’ll take you through an example.

Chicago Bears+7.5-110
Green-Bay Packers-7.5+110
NFL Spread Betting - Week 1 Example

As you can see in the example, the Packers are favorites to win by 7.5 points, hence the minus number. This means that they are ‘laying’ 7.5 points. For your bet to come in, you must subtract 7.5 from the Packers score at the end of the game and if they still have more than the Chicago Bears then you will win.

If you bet on the Bears on this particular spread example, you will need the Bears to not lose by more than 7.5 points. Because they are gaining 7.5 points. So, if the Packers won the game by three points, your bet would come in. Because the Bears are gaining 7.5 points.

The picker will simply just tell you which side of the spread to bet on. They will do this for every game expect you to follow along for every game. If you’re paying for picks, it always makes sense to place a lot of bets. But of course, when using NFL picks week 1, only bet what you can afford to lose.

NFL Week 1 Predictions for Moneyline Bets

NFL picks straight up or NFL moneyline picks are the most basic pick/bet that you’ll ever come across. It is as simple as choosing the winner of the game at hand. Each week, you will see expert NFL moneyline picks for each game. If you place a bet on the moneyline, that means if the team you bet on wins; you win. No matter the score. For example:

Chicago Bears-180
Green-Bay Packers+250
NFL Moneylines Picks Week 1 Example

In this example, the Bears are the favorite to win as reflected by their -180 odds. This means that you will make $100 from a $180 wager. The Packers are deemed less likely to win and therefore, in the event that they do come out on top you would make $250 from a $100 wager.

NFL Week 1 Predictions for Over/Under

NFL Over/Under betting disregards the result of the game and instead focuses on the total number of points. Hence why some sportsbooks refer to it as a ‘totals bet’. 

The sportsbook will give a points line and you as the bettor will simply choose over or under the points total. The odds for over and under are not always the same and can vary. Here is an example for a hypothetical matchup between the Chicago Bears and the Green-Bay Packers:

Totals line49.5
Odds-O- -110/ U- -110
Over/Under Betting Example

NFL Week 1 Picks FAQ

Where can I find expert Week 1 NFL Picks?

You can find expert NFL picks for week 1 and beyond here at HowToBet! 

What is a Week 1 expert NFL Pick?

A week 1 expert NFL pick, is an expert’s betting choices for the first week of NFL action. You can choose to follow expert picks or trust your own judgement.

How to make winning NFL Picks in week 1?

In order to make successful bets in NFL week 1, you need to do lots of research: check stats, injury lists, coach changes and anything that could affect the game. 

You can also follow expert NFL picks for week 1 all the way to the Super Bowl. Completely free of charge here at HowToBet!

Which NFL expert has the best record for NFL Picks?

ESPN and CNN are regarded as the top of the pops for NFL picks. 

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