This article is part of our NFL Picks series.
Week 1 is finally here!
Teams have finally been forced to reveal critical information about their injured players, while others -- looking at you Kansas City and Green Bay! -- will have their depth tested due to significant mid-week issues.
Below you'll find my picks against the spread and on the totals for each game on the Week 1 NFL slate. I'll also include some bonus action in the form of my best bets and parlay fillers at the bottom, complete with the best spots to place those bets. There's plenty of NFL betting content all over RotoWire, but make sure to check out our NFL picks series with several articles dropping each week.
NFL Week 1 Betting Picks For Each Game
|Date||Game Matchup||Week 1 Picks|
|Thursday, September 7||Chiefs vs. Lions||Chiefs -4.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Falcons vs. Panthers||Falcons -3.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Ravens vs. Texans||Ravens -10|
|Sunday, September 10||Browns vs. Bengals||Browns +2.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Colts vs. Jaguars||Jaguars -5|
|Sunday, September 10||Vikings vs. Buccaneers||Vikings -6|
|Sunday, September 10||Saints vs. Titans||Titans +3|
|Sunday, September 10||Steelers vs. 49ers||Steelers +2.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Commanders vs. Cardinals||Commanders -7|
|Sunday, September 10||Bears vs. Packers||Bears -1|
|Sunday, September 10||Broncos vs. Raiders||Broncos -3.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Chargers vs. Dolphins||Chargers -3|
|Sunday, September 10||Patriots vs. Eagles||Patriots +4|
|Sunday, September 10||Seahawks vs. Rams||Seahawks -5.5|
|Sunday, September 10||Giants vs. Cowboys||Giants +3.5|
|Monday, September 11||Jets vs. Bills||Bills -2.5|
Predictions for NFL Week 1
In this article, we also take a look at NFL Week 1 odds and our predictions for each NFL game.
Chiefs vs. Lions
|Chiefs vs. Lions||Chiefs -4.5||Kansas City -220; Detroit +180||53|
I fully anticipate Travis Kelce ("likely intact ACL") will not be available for this one. The Chiefs have major postseason aspirations, and the veteran's health will be paramount if Kansas City plans on achieving its goals. They shouldn't play him, but obviously that hasn't been officially announced. On the flip side, the hype is certainly loud regarding the Lions, and perhaps rightfully so in a porous NFC North division. Offseason acquisitions Cameron Sutton and C.J. Gardner-Johnson should make a significant difference for a secondary that was one of the worst in the NFL last season, but the loss of another offseason pickup in Emmanuel Moseley (knee) still makes me think Kansas City will have no issue moving the ball through the air. It's a gut feeling I suppose, but this just doesn't feel like the type of game Kansas City loses under Andy Reid, and I think equally important in this case, it's also one that the Lions have lost often over the past two decades.
The over/under line acknowledges Thursday's contest will feature what were two of the league's top-10 offenses last season, but recent history suggests the kickoff to a new season of NFL is typically lower scoring. Save for 2021, when the Buccaneers held on to beat the Cowboys 31-29, the under hit three times in the past five years, with the Texans/Chiefs in 2020 being a push. Obviously the expected loss of Kelce will damper the defending Super Bowl champs.
Spread Pick: Chiefs -4.5
Total Pick: Under 53
Falcons vs. Panthers
|Falcons vs. Panthers||Falcons -3.5||Atlanta -185; Carolina +165||39.5|
This is going to be a sneaky interesting contest. The Falcons finished a respectable 7-10 last season despite a bottom-third defense and an offense that threw for the second fewest yards in the NFL. A massive spending spree on the defensive side of the ball during the offseason coupled with the selection of Bijan Robinson at No. 8 overall could do wonders when it comes to revitalizing a talent-deficient team in 2023.
Meanwhile, the Panthers are attempting to complete a rebuild on the fly, trading up to grab top pick Bryce Young. No. 1 overall picks making their professional debuts to begin Week 1 are 0-6-1 dating back to Matthew Stafford in 2009, so history definitely isn't on the side of the Heisman Trophy winner. I'm not convinced Carolina has the talent to change that trend even in what figures to be a low-scoring game.
Spread Pick: Falcons -3.5
Total Pick: Under 39.5
Ravens vs. Texans
|Ravens vs. Texans||Ravens -10||Baltimore -500; Houston +375||43.5|
There's a real opportunity for weather to be a factor in this contest, which I think would benefit Houston slightly more. However, with Tytus Howard (hand) landing on injured reserve Wednesday, the Texans are already down three of their five projected starting offensive linemen.
Even if Ravens standout cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot) is unable to play, I don't anticipate C.J. Stroud putting together an electric performance in his rookie debut. As a result, the Todd Monken offense, which is supposedly expected to be much more up-tempo and creative from a passing perspective, could get shelved another week against an undermanned Texans team.
Spread Pick: Ravens -10
Total Pick: Under 43.5
Browns vs. Bengals
|Browns vs. Bengals||Bengals -2.5||Cleveland +120; Cincinnati -140||47.5|
Joe Burrow (calf) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, but any sort of preseason injury makes me a bit squeamish in this sort of situation. The Bengals lost each of their first two games and three of the first five contests last season before turning around the offense in Week 9. Head coach Zac Taylor might have made a significant schematic adjustment in 2022 to propel Cincinnati, but all of those wrinkles are now on tape for the world to digest.
On the flip side, you could absolutely make that argument that we never really saw the Deshaun Watson-led offense last year, at least not at its peak. While preseason reports suggest those issues haven't exactly gone away, it's essentially a plus-money bet on at minimum a top-15 quarterback in the NFL taking care of business at home. And if that doesn't sway you, a healthy and reworked defensive front seven should give the Bengals plenty of fits throughout.
Spread Pick: Browns +2.5
Total Pick: Under 47.5
Colts vs. Jaguars
|Colts vs. Jaguars||Jaguars -5||Indianapolis +185; Jacksonville -225||45.5|
No Jonathan Taylor (ankle/contract). Possibly no Shaquille Leonard, who has been in concussion protocol since Aug. 19. An offense that up until Monday had just three wide receivers listed on its active roster. I don't need Scott Steiner to tell me that all spells trouble for the Colts on Sunday.
It's worth noting the Jaguars lost each of the last five matchups in Indianapolis, but these two teams are on completely different trajectories than past seasons. Perhaps Anthony Richardson can single-handily carry the offense to cover the spread, but I'm not betting on it.
Spread Pick: Jaguars -5
Total Pick: Over 45.5
Vikings vs. Buccaneers
|Vikings vs. Buccaneers||Vikings -6||Minnesota -260, Tampa Bay +215||45.5|
Metrodome U.S. Bank Stadium is easily one of the hardest places to play in the NFL and probably adds a bit to this spread, but a Minnesota defense that was fifth worst in 2022 lost a lot this offseason and didn't do much to replace the departed talent. New defensive coordinator Brian Flores almost physically can't make the defense much worse, but it's hard to envision the unit improving dramatically. Mayfield is absolutely not a good quarterback, but the Chris Godwin/Mike Evans duo is easily top-5 in the NFL and we've seen in recent years bad QB play kept afloat by talented targets.
And yet, it's really hard for me to envision how the Buccaneers can score more than their 20-point implied total. To me, the Buccaneers seem like an obvious pick to have one of the five worst records in the NFL in 2023, just due to poor quarterback play and similarly bad coaching. A late cover is always in the realm of possibility, but this environment coupled with an offensive line already missing Ryan Jensen (knee) just seems too difficult to overcome.
Spread Pick: Vikings -6
Total Pick: Over 45.5
Saints vs. Titans
|Saints vs. Titans||Saints -3||New Orleans -170; Tennessee +150||41|
Look, I've went on record on numerous platforms saying that I believe the Saints will win the NFC South. They are the best team in that division, and it's not all that close in my estimation. But I just don't think they are a great schematic fit for such a run-heavy team like the Titans. Say what you want about Ryan Tannehill -- and to be clear, I have on plenty of occasions -- when everyone's healthy, he's typically been good at reading defenses and making on-schedule throws. I think that's all it's going to take against this version of the Saints, which don't have much in terms of explosive players outside of Chris Olave.
Spread Pick: Titans +3
Total Pick: Over 41
Steelers vs. 49ers
|Steelers vs. 49ers||49ers -2.5||Pittsburgh +115; San Francisco -135||41|
I want to be clear that I am not a believer in Kenny Pickett. All the talk about Pickett's success in fourth-quarter comebacks last season almost always ignores the comically bad decision-making and/or miserable throws were the direct result in the rookie needing to come back in the first place.
Rather, this is a belief in A) head coach Mike Tomlin and his eternal blood pact to never have the Steelers finish with a sub .500 record and B) the health of T.J. Watt and an overall fearsome Steelers pass rush. 49ers tackle Trent Williams will surely wind up in Canton one day, but his greatness alone isn't going to do enough to help Brock Purdy, who I think is going to get shielded a bit early on. The 49ers have Super Bowl expectations, and they have to somehow navigate those waters while simultaneously trying to erase the type of fear that's invoked when someone in the sports world utters the phrase "Tommy John surgery."
Spread Pick: Steelers +2.5
Total Pick: Over 41
Commanders vs. Cardinals
|Commanders vs. Cardinals||Commanders -7||Washington -315; Arizona +255||38|
At the moment, it appears as if Joshua Dobbs is set to get the start Week 1 for the Cardinals. The last time someone was acquired via trade or signed off free agency and immediately slated into the starting lineup the following week was....well, last year when Dobbs played the final two games for the Titans and held his own.
The phrase "held his own" is doing a lot of heavy lifting considering he posted 411 yards, two touchdowns, two picks and a 59 percent completion percentage in those two games, but the veteran is uniquely familiar with this kind of unusual situation. Arizona's offense is likely better than the one he played with in Tennessee, especially if Marquise Brown (hamstring) is able to play.
I say all that, and yet the Dobbs emergency relief pitcher experience feels like the definition of catching lightning in a bottle. A Washington franchise owned by Daniel Snyder absolutely had the kind of bad juju necessary to lose a game like this, but there's a new breath of life in the nation's capital. I also happen to think Sam Howell is a good enough quarterback to reach the over, although Arizona's defense might be bad enough that the statement would apply to most able-bodied Americans who know how to throw a football.
Spread Pick: Commanders -7
Total Pick: Over 38
Bears vs. Packers
|Bears vs. Packers||Bears -1||Chicago -115; Green Bay -105||42|
The audience should know that I'm a pretty pessimistic Packers fan. At this point, it's absolutely a protection mechanism so that the yearly letdown doesn't destroy my psyche completely. But this year, there's not enough high-level expectations for the Packers to really "let down," so I'm entering with sober eyes.
Justin Fields has yet to win a game against the Packers, but he's ran for 208 yards in his four contests and enters 2023 with easily the best assortment of weapons he's had in his career. On the flip side, Jordan Love could be without either or both of his top targets in Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs, who are both dealing with hamstring injuries. Doubs got in some work Thursday but Watson did not. I don't foresee Joe Barry getting the Packers defense ready to stop a running quarterback, and I don't know how the Packers generate more than 300 yards of offense if both of the wideouts sit out. Factor in this being an important home game for the new-look Bears and the Packers seemingly always starting slow under head coach Matt LaFleur, and I don't think this is up for much debate.
Spread Pick: Bears -1
Total Pick: Over 42
Broncos vs. Raiders
|Broncos vs. Raiders||Broncos -3.5||Denver -192; Las Vegas +167||44|
The Broncos will be a better team than last year by default. That's important to establish because I'm not convinced Sean Payton is going to be the savior Denver's brass hope he becomes.
Even if Jerry Jeudy, who was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice with a hamstring injury, is unable to play, Marvin Mims is a good enough replacement that I anticipate Denver's offense looking functional Week 1. Of course, if the Broncos are to make the playoffs they're going to need to be a whole lot better than functional, but that's not a concern for now, especially against a Vegas defense that has evidently angered its best player.
I mentioned it on the Tuesday RotoWire NFL podcast recently, but for the odds (+1400) I really like the Raiders finishing 2023 with the No. 1 overall pick. They don't have an especially good defense, the weapons consist almost entirely of a running back who was in a contract dispute as of a week ago and a wide receiver that surely is interested in a reunion in green with his beloved QB if the season starts off on the wrong. Not to mention the quarterback, even when healthy, is suspect. It would be surprising if the Raiders made it a contest in this one.
Spread Pick: Broncos -3.5
Total Pick: Under 44
Chargers vs. Dolphins
|Chargers vs. Dolphins||Chargers -3||Los Angeles -165; Miami +145||51|
This could, and probably should, be an electric game. The battle of 2020 first-round quarterbacks went in favor of Justin Herbert last season, but Tua Tagovailoa was also in a likely injury-related slump at that point.
The Chargers routinely deal with debilitating injuries to their star-laden lineup, but at least for the moment everyone appears to be healthy. Everyone assumes I'm referring to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but in reality the availability of Joey Bosa and Derwin James loom far more critical, especially with Dolphins left tackle Terron Armstead (leg) still not practicing. This is an awfully high over/under for two teams that have been plenty inconsistent offensively over the years, but I do think the Chargers simply have more talent on both sides of the ball for now.
Spread Pick: Chargers -3
Total Pick: Under 51
Patriots vs. Eagles
|Patriots vs. Eagles||Eagles -4||New England +160; Philadelphia -180||45|
There was no greater offseason addition this year than Bill O'Brien taking over at offensive coordinator for New England, replacing the Three Stooges impersonation duo of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.
Mac Jones is not a good quarterback, or at least one that's going to win relevant playoff games, but he's also not as bad as what we saw last year either. I fully anticipate the Patriots defense will be one of the best in the league despite an absolute gauntlet of a first-half schedule and I do think the environment in New England could play a factor, especially for a young, brazen Philadelphia team that has to be playing with just a little bit of Super Bowl hangover. The Eagles should probably win, but I think it could be close.
Spread Pick: Patriots +4
Total Pick: Under 45
Seahawks vs. Rams
|Seahawks vs. Rams||Seahawks -5.5||Seattle -250; Los Angeles +210||46|
This one is simple to me. No Cooper Kupp (hamstring), no offense for the Rams. Sure Van Jefferson, Tyler Higbee and Tutu Atwell might get production, but this isn't a sustainable offensive attack even with a mastermind calling plays.
Until I see otherwise, I'm operating as if this Rams defense will be one of the worst in the league, and especially in a divisional matchup I expect the Seahawks to absolutely run wild in a statement Week 1 win.
Spread Pick: Seahawks -5.5
Total Pick: Over 46
Giants vs. Cowboys
|Giants vs. Cowboys||Cowboys -3.5||New York +145; Dallas -160||46.5|
I don't like Daniel Jones and I think the Giants might even miss the playoffs this year, but it feels like a bit of a disrespectful line given New York was within one score in both matchups between these teams last year. The additional half point has me leaning towards fantasy supernova Darren Waller and the Giants, but you know what they say about getting too close to the sun...
Spread Pick: Giants +3.5
Total Pick: Under 46.5
Jets vs. Bills
|Jets vs. Bills||Bills -2.5||New York +125; Buffalo -145||46|
If the Jets are to win this game, it's going to be on the back of the defense, not the orbit-controlling Hard Knocks star Aaron Rodgers. I've seen enough of the veteran quarterback over the years to know it's going to be a bit before the offense truly gels, and I would assume they'll be reliant on the running game until that occurs. The Bills have struggled against the run in recent years, but there's a lot of expectations resting on the shoulders of Gang Green, and somehow not on the team that won 37 games over the past three seasons.
Spread Pick: Bills -2.5
Total Pick: Under 46
NFL Week 1 Best Bets
Next, we take a look at our favorite Week 1 NFL best bets at the best NFL betting sites.
BetMGM Best Bets for NFL Week 1
BetMGM offers some of the best odds available for Week 1. If you're not signed up at BetMGM yet, new players at BetMGM can use the BetMGM bonus code ROTOBONUS for a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000. Here are our NFL best bets for Week 1 at BetMGM.
- Over 38 Cardinals/Commanders (-110)
- Commanders moneyline (-300)
Caesars Sportsbook Best Bets for NFL Week 1
Caesars Sportsbook also has great betting odds for NFL Week 1. If you are not registered yet, use the Caesars Sportsbook promo code ROTOFULL for a first bet on Caesars.
- Seahawks moneyline (-250)
- Under 44 Broncos/Raiders (-110)
WynnBET Best Bets for NFL Week 1
WynnBet has a strong menu of NFL Week 1 wagers to choose from, along with competitive odds. Sign up with the WynnBET promo code XROTO for up to $100 in free bets if you have yet to register at WynnBet.
- Jaguars moneyline (-215)
- Falcons moneyline (-180)
DraftKings Best Bets for NFL Week 1
DraftKings Sportsbook has special offers for new users just in time for Week 1 of the NFL season. Here are our best picks available at DraftKings Sportsbook this week.
- Broncos moneyline (-180)
- Seahawks moneyline (-245)
FanDuel Best Bets for NFL Week 1
One of the most popular sportsbooks available is FanDuel Sportsbook. Let's take a look at our favorite betting picks with FanDuel odds.
- Patriots +4 (-105)
- Over 45.5 Seahawks/Rams (-110)
BetRivers Best Bets for NFL Week 1
BetRivers is an up-and-coming and underrated sportsbook, and they are offering up to $500 in second-chance bets with the BetRivers bonus code. Bettors can use those for these picks on NFL Week 1.
- Chargers moneyline (-159)
PointsBet Best Bets for NFL Week 1
For bettors looking for a unique way to wager, try the PointsBet promo code for our Week 1 NFL picks. You can try "PointsBetting" for Week 1 to maximize your return.
- Falcons moneyline (-180)
- Steelers moneyline (+120)
Look ahead at the NFL Week 2 odds as well, if you're interested in getting ahead of the line movement.