NFL Schedule Release: Week 1 Best Bets and Biggest NFL Games of 2024

NFL Schedule Release: Week 1 Best Bets and Biggest NFL Games of 2024

This article is part of our NFL Picks series.

NFL Schedule Release Expert Roundtable: Best Games for the 2024 NFL Season

The 2024 NFL schedule is officially live and RotoWire's group of NFL experts have scoured the slate for their most anticipated games of the regular season. And for good measure, the guys have taken the liberty of lining up their best NFL picks for Week 1 according to the opening lines. 

Be sure to bookmark our NFL odds page to find the best prices on your favorite bets each week of the NFL season. NFL Week 1 odds were officially released on May 15 in conjunction with the NFL schedule release.

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Jim Coventry's Best NFL Games of 2024

Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans 

Week 5: Sunday, October 6

Stefon Diggs has a new home. After seeing his target share dip last season, the receiver was dealt to the Texans. It's unlikely that the veteran will be a gracious host to his former team. In addition, the race for AFC Playoff seeding is always tight. Buffalo is a team in slight transition that has Super Bowl aspirations with Josh Allen under center. Meanwhile, the Texans are a title contender as well with Diggs rounding out an incredible trio of pass catchers for C.J. Stroud. The winner of this game could get an edge in the AFC hierarchy. 

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants 

Week 7: Sunday, October 20

After six years in New York, Saquon Barkley left in free agency. If the running back landed on just about any other team than the Eagles, it would likely have been no big deal. Now, it's personal. As if this rivalry isn't great to watch twice a year, this game will have an added edge to it. Especially with this game being in New York, the fans are going to bring the tension to a fever pitch. Expect the Giants to make it a point to slow the star runner. Meanwhile, Barkley will want to show New York why he was worth a long-term contract. 

 Cleveland Browns vs   Pittsburgh Steelers 

Week 12: Thursday, November 21 (Thursday Night Football)

Both of these teams made the playoffs last year, and there's a good chance that happens again in 2024. As in many AFC North battles, we often see legendary games with incredible physicality. However, this matchup will have an added element. In Week 2 last year, Nick Chubb suffered a season-ending ACL injury against the Steelers. Had that injury not occurred, who knows how far the Browns' playoff run could have gone. 

Not only should we see a great game, but Chubb should be close to 100 percent. The star will have some frustration to take out on his division rival.

Green Bay Packers vs.   Philadelphia Eagles (Sao Paolo, Brazil)

Week 1: Friday, September 6 (Friday Night Football)

Best NFL Bets Week 1: Over 47.5 (FanDuel)

After the Eagles' defense fell apart last season, they doubled down on their offense in the offseason. Adding Saquon Barkley to a lethal passing attack will make Philadelphia nearly impossible to stop. 

Meanwhile, the Packers offense has weapons all over the field. In addition, Jordan Love proved to be the quarterback who can maximize this offense. It's unlikely that the Eagles defense will be able to slow down this versatile offense. This game could hit the over in the third quarter.

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Alan Seslowsky's Best NFL Games of 2024

New York Jets at San Francisco 49ers (Monday Night Football)

Week 1: Monday, September 9

Die-hard Jet fans will undoubtedly feel a sense of relief when Aaron Rodgers makes it past the first series in Week 1. Fantasy football managers were cheated of a Garret Wilson breakout last season due to the early season-ending injury of Rodgers. The 2024 Jets have appealing weapons like Garrett Wilson, Mike Williams, Breece Hall, and rookie WR Malachi Corley. They are currently +200 to win the AFC East, representing a fine value. 

New York Jets vs Minnesota Vikings (in London)

Week 5: Sunday, October 6

When we roll into Week 5, I fully expect the Vikings to be done with the Sam Darnold experiment. What better place to debut first-round draft pick, rookie QB, J.J. McCarthy, than on the international stage? McCarthy will be the youngest QB this season, at age 21. Jet's veteran QB, Aaron Rodgers will be the oldest, at age 40. It is a compelling narrative, and both teams will need this win to keep their season alive. 

Best NFL Bets Week 1

Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles (-1.5 at DraftKings) (in Brazil)

The Eagles were looking like serious Super Bowl contenders last season. They started the year with a whopping 10-1 record. Philly's season spiraled out of control, as they limped into the playoffs; which ended with an embarrassing loss to the underdog Tampa Bay Bucs; 32-9.

 Eagles Head Coach, Nick Sirianni, is on one of the hottest seats in the NFL should the team not make a serious playoff run. I expect the Eagles to come out on the international stage, in Week 1 and easily cover the point and a half. 

Nick Whalen's Best NFL Games of 2024

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs

Week 2: Sunday, September 15

I'm on record that the Bengals are my favorite Super Bowl value right now, as they're the team that, when healthy, has given Kansas City the most trouble over the last few years. 

Cincinnati gets the Patriots, Commanders, Panthers and Giants as four of its first six opponents, so if the Bengals are able to pull off a win in Arrowhead in Week 2, they should be positioned for a fast start. 

On the KC side, I'm anxious to see what Xavier Worthy and Hollywood Brown can do for an offense that consistently struggled to generate big plays in 2023.

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills

Week 5: Sunday, October 6

While this game would be more fun if it were in Buffalo, all eyes will be on Stefon Diggs going up against his former team. Beyond that, this is a game that could end up going a long way toward impacting AFC playoff seeding. It's also an opportunity for Houston, which has some very winnable games on its early schedule, to officially mark its transition from fun, young team to legitimate Super Bowl contender.  

Chicago Bears at Washington Commanders 

Week 8: Sunday, October 27

I'm really excited to see what this Bears team can be in Year 1 of the Caleb Williams era, and by this point in the season, we should have a better gauge of just how dangerous this loaded offense can be. 

On the other side is the No. 2 overall pick, Jayden Daniels, who could be just as electric of a player as Williams. History dictates that at least one of those two young QBs could struggle early on, but how can you not circle a showdown between the No. 1 and No. 2 picks?

Best NFL Bets Week 1: Seahawks (-4.5 at DraftKings) vs. Broncos

While Seattle didn't exactly close last season on a high note, I'm optimistic on what Mike Macdonald can bring to this team. Meanwhile, Denver essentially tore its roster down to the studs – especially on offense. The Broncos could very well be rolling out Bo Nix for his first NFL start on the road in Seattle, which is a difficult spot for any young quarterback.

Other early leans: CIN -8.5; MIA -3.5; GB +1.5; LAR +3.0

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Joe Bartel's Best NFL Games of 2024

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Week 7: Sunday, October 20

I'm truly stunned the Super Bowl rematch is somehow going to be an early-afternoon contest, but that's a win for the viewers. Sure, the Chiefs might still be tinkering with its pass-catching group and the Niners have been prone to midseason stinkers in past years, but something tells me this will live up to the advertisement.

Green Bay Packers vs. Miami Dolphins

Week 13 Thursday, November 28

Normally I'm not one to get into schedule hysteria, but when it was leaked earlier in the week the Packers would be hosting a Thanksgiving game I was genuinely ecstatic. That it'll be against a Dolphins team that seems to shrink in the cold weather is a bonus for me, a true green-and-gold lifer. Let's just hope it won't end up like the last time the Packers hosted a Thanksgiving contest, one that I unfortunately attended. I'm going to tell myself that version of the Packers was just doing its best to honor the current legacy of Brett Favre, who was enshrined in the Packers Hall of Fame that day.

Best NFL Bets Week 1

Seahawks, 49ers, Cowboys three-team moneyline parlay (+305 on DraftKings)

Who says we can't start crafting parlays for games in September? Week 1 is pretty notoriously a crapshoot so I recognize this probably isn't the smartest choice, but then again do you really think the Niners are going to lose to Aaron Rodgers, who probably will be worried about Leonard Floyd creating Achilles-related deja vu? I have the same sort of confidence for the front-running Cowboys, especially now that Deshaun Watson is back under center and not the ELITE Comeback Player of the Year. I'm not as sold on Seattle especially with a new coaching regime, but I do think the Broncos will be miserable this year, and that's not even factoring in the putrid W/L record of rookies making their first professional start Week 1.

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Mike Doria's Top NFL Games of 2024

Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs

Week 1: Thursday, September 5

The NFL set up a great one for its first regular-season contest, so this is an easy call. We're talking about a rematch of the most recent AFC Championship Game featuring two of the league's top (real-life and fantasy) quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. I can't wait to see what Derrick Henry does as the lead back for the run-friendly Ravens and how the Chiefs offense deploys 2024 first-rounder Xavier Worthy and his 4.21 "go long, No. 1…" speed.

  Chicago Bears at Houston Texans

Week 2:  Sunday, September 15

A quick look at this year's Prime Time slate reveals a fascinating Week 2 Sunday night tilt. We'll be seeing a pair of franchises led by talented young quarterbacks early on in their rookie contract windows. On one side, 2023 Offensive Rookie of the Year C.J. Stroud helms a team that added star WR Stefon Diggs and could make a title run.

On the other, the focus will be on top overall pick Caleb Williams, whose prospects in Year 1 are greatly aided by an intriguing supporting cast that includes veteran newcomer Keenan Allen and fellow first-rounder Rome Odunze.

Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers

Week 17: Monday, December 30th

For pick No. 3, I perused the Week 17 and Week 18 schedules to see if there were any potential late-season epics, and the last Monday night game of the year stood out. Plenty can happen to alter the NFC landscape before then, but a reprise of January's hard-fought title game between two squads built to win now looks amazing, on May 15 at least. If for some reason this scenario fizzles out or we've entered "starters resting" territory, I'll select the Dolphins versus Jets in Week 18 (could the AFC East title possibly be on the line?) as Option B.

Best NFL Bets Week 1

Texans (-1.5 at DraftKings) over Colts

Week 1 feels like it's 1,000,000 days away and roster moves, injuries and changes to spreads can and will happen prior to the beginning of the 2024 season. For now, I'll go with Houston over Indianapolis in a game highlighted by a pair of signal callers who were among the top four picks (#2 C.J. Stroud and #4 Anthony Richardson) in the 2023 NFL Draft. I'm digging the Texans' approach to team building and in this opening game context the edge goes to their ascending franchise cornerstone.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Joe Bartel
Joe Bartel is RotoWire's Operations Specialist and football contributor among many other things. When not at the office, he's probably playing a variety of Gen 4 console games or rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers.
Jim Coventry
Coventry was a finalist for the FSWA football writer of the year in 2022. He started playing fantasy football in 1994 and won a national contest in 1996. He also nabbed five top-50 finishes in national contests from 2008 to 2012 before turning his attention to DFS. He's been an industry analyst since 2007, though he joined RotoWire in 2016. A published author, Coventry wrote a book about relationships, "The Secret of Life", in 2013.
Mike Doria
NFL Editor for RotoWire. Roots for the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Celtics and the underdog. Plus the McGill Redbirds.
Alan Seslowsky
Alan's passion for fantasy sports, depth of player analysis, and curiosity about the details are the pillars of his broadcasting style. He is a three time champion of the NFFC's "Beat Chris Liss" high stakes contest. In addition to RotoWire, Alan has contributed analysis and commentary for DFS Army, Dynasty Depot and RosterWatch.
Nick Whalen
Now in his 10th year with the company, Nick is RotoWire's Senior Media Analyst, a position he took on after several years as the Head of Basketball Content. A multi-time FSGA and FSWA award winner, Nick co-hosts RotoWire's flagship show on Sirius XM Fantasy alongside Jeff Erickson, as well as The RotoWire NBA Show on Sirius XM NBA with Alex Barutha. He also co-hosts RotoWire's Football and Basketball podcasts. You can catch Nick's NBA and NFL analysis on VSiN and DraftKings, as well as RotoWire's various social and video channels. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @wha1en.
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