We’ve finally reached Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season. Before the games kick off this week, here’s your week 1 betting preview. (Odds via BarstoolSportsbook)
Record YTD: 0-0
Biggest Favorite: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-8) vs Dallas Cowboys
Highest Over: Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs OVER 54
Lowest Under: Denver Broncos at New York Giants UNDER 42
Five Picks Of The Week
1) Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans
Yes, it’s Trevor Lawrence’s first start in the NFL, but the number one overall pick looked more than ready for the spotlight in the preseason. Lawrence posted a very solid 78.3 Pro Football Focus offensive grade during his live-action and capped off his preseason by going 11 of 12 for 139 yards and two touchdowns against Dallas. The former Clemson star will be going against arguably the worst team in the NFL and has a great chance to light it up. Take Jacksonville and the points.
Trevor Lawrence DIME— PFF (@PFF) August 29, 2021
2) Los Angeles Chargers ML (-114) at Washington Football Team
Los Angeles versus Washington is going to be one of the more intriguing matchups of Week 1. Even though Washington does have arguably the best defense in football, Justin Herbert and the Chargers have a great chance to steal a win this Sunday. Herbert is set to break out this year, and he’s good enough to put up some points against the stifling Washington defense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers are better than some may think. Los Angeles allowed 21 points or less in three of their final four games last season, and that trend will continue this weekend. Ryan Fitzpatrick turns the ball over twice, and the Chargers walk out with a big win.
3) New York Jets at Carolina Panthers (-5.5)
While Sam Darnold may not be a franchise quarterback, it’s hard to deny that he will be better in the Panthers offense than he was in New York. Darnold finally has a competent coaching staff around him, and some real weapons to work with. On the Jets side of things, Zach Wilson does not appear ready to start in the NFL. The rookie signal-caller is in for a rude awakening, and Darnold is ready to deliver his team some ice-cold revenge. Take Carolina and the points in this one.
4) Cleveland Browns (+6) at Kansas City Chiefs
While this is not a game the Browns likely will win, they’re going to give Kansas City a run for their money. You could make a solid argument that Cleveland has a top-three roster in football talent this season. Their offense, ranked as the fourth-best offense in football by PFF last season, has a healthy Odel Beckham Jr. back in the fold along with a solid running game featuring Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Baker Mayfield played fantastic down the stretch last season, seven touchdowns to one interception in his final five games, and he’ll carry this over into the season opener. He’s not going to outduel Patrick Mahomes, who will put up his fair share of points against the Cleveland defense, but he’ll do enough to keep it close till the end.
5) Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) at Atlanta Falcons
As much as this pains me to say, the Eagles really have a great shot to pull off the upset this week. No, the Eagles are not going to be anything close to a good team, but the Falcons might be even worse. Besides drafting Richie Grant, Atlanta did hardly anything to upgrade their defense that allowed 30 or more points six times last season. Sure, Kyle Pitts and Calvin Ridley are going to be studs on offense, but they also lost Julio Jones. Atlanta is going to make Jalen Hurts look a lot better than he is in this game, leading the Eagles to cover the spread and potentially get an upset win.
Dallas Cowboys (+8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Cowboys +8
Take the Cowboys to cover the eight-point spread. Even without Zack Martin, the Cowboys have enough offensive firepower to keep this game closer. The Dallas defense is also going to come out and surprise some people, getting pressure on Tom Brady and forcing a turnover or two. Dallas covers the extremely high eight-point spread.
Player Prop Of The Week
CeeDee Lamb OVER 60.5 receiving yards (-112)