More than ever, we have so many questions heading into Week 1 of the NFL season. Without any preseason games to gauge the status of teams, we’re essentially flying blind here with this NFL Week 1 preview. The conservative betting approach would be to tread lightly and proceed with caution in the first few weeks of the season. But if you can aggressively exploit any flaws in any teams, especially the bottom feeders of the NFL, then go for it in Week 1.
Pretty much everyone expects the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens will meet each other in the AFC Championship to determine the eventual Super Bowl champion. Meanwhile, the top teams in the NFC will be a scramble for the right to get chewed up by the AFC Alpha Dogs.
But which NFC teams will rise to the top? Jimmy G and the San Francisco 49ers? Again? One last hurrah for Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints? Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers ran out of gas in the NFC title game last year. Can they win the NFC and challenge the big dogs in the AFC for the Super Bowl trophy?
Heading into Week 1 of the NFL season, we really have more questions than answers.
Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs kick off the first game of the season with a title defense on Thursday Night Football, while the Baltimore Ravens get down and dirty with their divisional rivals in Cleveland.
TNF: Houston Texans +9 at Kansas City Chiefs … DeShaun Watson no longer has DeAndre Hopkins to catch touchdowns for him after a trade for RB David Johnson, which still seems baffling months later. Andy Reid finally won the big game and got that monkey off his back. He has a clear path to another title, but back-to-back Super Bowl wins aren’t as common as you think.
Cleveland Browns +7.5 at Baltimore Ravens … Smashmouth football returns with AFC North action. Lamar Jackson has super-huge expectations on his shoulder this season with the Ravens one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Will L-Jax fade the Madden Curse? Baker Mayfield had an ugly sophomore season. It can only get better in Cleveland, right?
Arizona Cardinals +7 at San Francisco 49ers … Things are looking great in Arizona with Kyler Murray getting a chance to zip passes to future Hall of Famer DeAndre Hopkins. Will they be one of the non-playoff teams from last season to secure a berth in 2020? Are the Niners legit contenders? Or will they follow the 2019 LA Rams and become the next Super Bowl runner up that fails to make the playoffs in the next season?
Seattle Seahawks -2 at Atlanta Falcons … The Seahawks landed Jamal Adams after he finally got his wish and bounced the hell out of the New York Jets. When you have Russell Wilson at QB, you always have a title shot. The Falcons added Todd Gurley to their squad that already has superstar Julio Jones. If they can stay healthy, the Falcons could be one of the surprise teams in the AFC South.
NFL Week 1 – Early Divisional Throw Downs
New York Jets +6.5 at Buffalo Bills … It’s year two for the Adam Gase experiment. The Jets actually went 6-2 in the second half of the season, but yeah, it’s meaningless. They’re still the same LOL Jets. The Bills Mafia won’t be able to attend games, but they’ll still be up to their old hijinks in the parking lot like jumping off school bus roofs onto flaming tables.
Philadelphia Eagles -5.5 at Washington … It’s been a sh-t show for the Washington Football team in the offseason between sexual harassment scandals with Dan Snyder, and the team still not deciding upon a name after finally ditching their previous racist nickname.
Chicago Bears +3 at Detroit Lions … The Bears start the season with a little QB controversy now that Mitch Trubisky got named the starter over Nick Foles.
Green Bay Packers +2.5 at Minnesota Vikings … The Aaron Cheese Show continues with Aaron Jones and Aaron Rodgers in a fierce divisional battle to start the season with the Packers at the Vikes. Now that Stefon Diggs is no longer a distraction for the team, will Kirk Cousins and Adam Thielen light up the NFC North?
New QBs, New Teams
Several quarterbacks hired movers in the offseason to relocate to new cities. Veterans like Tom Brady and Philip Rivers parted ways with teams they spent their entire careers with. Sadly, Cam Newton got run out of town, but he landed right at Bill Belichick’s doorstep.
Indianapolis Colts -7.5 at Jacksonville Jaguars … Philip Rivers signed a one-year deal to be the Colts’ rent-a-QB for the season as they challenge the Titans for the AFC South crown. Rookie running back Jonathan Taylor will make his debut with the Colts, who have one of the top offensive lines in the NFL. Without disgruntled Leonard Fournette being all emo in the Jags’ locker room, it’s truly the Gardner Minshew Show now in J-Vegas.
Las Vegas Raiders -3 at Carolina Panthers … The Raiders finally have a new home, but they start the season on the road. Matt Rhule takes over as head coach for Riverboat Ron in the CLT, while Teddy Bridgewater takes over at QB for Cam Newton.
Miami Dolphins +6.5 at New England Patriots … Bill Belichick would love to stick it to Tom Brady and win a title without him. Cam Newton has a rare second chance to revitalize his career in New England. FitzMagic gets the start for the Dolphins, but how much longer before it’s Tua Time?
Los Angeles Chargers -3 at Cincinnati Bengals … Tyrod Taylor becomes only the third QB for the Chargers this century. Since 2000, either Drew Brees or Phil Rivers were the starters. The Bengals selected Joe Burrow with the #1 draft pick. It’s time for his baptism by fire.
Tampa Bay Bucs +3.5 at New Orleans Saints. .. Tom Brady makes his debut with his new team, which includes an unretired Gronk and a newly-signed Leonard Fournette. Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger. This season will be his last chance to win a Super Bowl.