We have expert betting predictions for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, which starts on Friday with the Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
There are 16 games every week for punters to enjoy, so the betting opportunities are endless. We preview every game for all 18 weeks of the regular season and the playoffs.
NFL Week 1 Predictions
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Raymond James Stadium
Tom Brady is back with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are the defending champions. Another top season is expected, and it should start with a win against Dallas.
Expectations are always high for the Cowboys, but they rarely live up to them. We have reservations about Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, so until they show us something, we’re going to back against them.
Take the home side to cover the spread on Friday.
Betting tip: Tampa Bay Buccaneers –7.5
Buccaneers by 10
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta typically starts the season well before hitting the wall mid-season, so now is the best time to back the home side.
Philadelphia could struggle with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm, so we expect Matty Ice and the Falcons to put up a big number.
The line is only 3.5 points, which we think the Falcons will cover with ease in Week 1.
Betting tip: Atlanta Falcons –3.5
Falcons by 10
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Buffalo Bills @ Highmark Stadium
It’s always a tough battle between the Steelers and Bills, but we’re giving the edge to the Bills on this occasion.
Josh Allen comes off an incredible year at the quarterback position and that experience will only do his team a world of good in 2021.
Pittsburgh should always be respected, but we think punters should jump on the Bills –6.5 before it moves to –7.
Betting tip: Bills –6.5
Bills by 7
Minnesota Vikings vs Cincinnati Bengals @ Paul Brown Stadium
It’s a tough game for punters as the Vikings and Bengals aren’t the most consistent teams in the NFL.
Cincinnati has looked better with Joe Burrow at the quarterback position, but he needs to avoid getting injured again this season.
Minnesota has Kirk Cousins, who is an elite QB, but shaky at times. We don’t know what to expect in Week 1, but we’re happy to go with the Vikings in a close one.
Betting tip: Vikings to win
Vikings by 7
San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions @ Ford Field
We don’t have much hope for the Detroit Lions this season, as the Super Bowl markets suggest. They are likely to struggle from the outset, and the 49ers should take advantage.
Playing on the road in Week 1 is never easy, but we’re confident with the 49ers this season. They have a good player base, and they should have no problems covering the spread.
It’s currently 7.5, and we’re expecting a 10-point win.
Betting tip: San Francisco 49ers
49ers by 10
Arizona Cardinals vs Tennessee Titans @ Nissan Stadium
The Titans and Cardinals are evenly matched, which is reflected in betting markets. Tennessee is the slight favourite to win at home, and we give them the edge.
It’s a tough team to beat at home and when the offence is firing, so we expect a good season debut for the Titans.
Arizona is always tough to beat if Kyler Murray gets going, but he typically needs a few games to get going.
Betting tip: Tennessee Titans to win
Titans by 7
Seattle Seahawks vs Indianapolis Colts @ Lucas Oil Stadium
Bookmakers have Seattle as favourites to win, but we think there is value with the Indianapolis Colts.
Carson Wentz has been given a new opportunity after leaving Philadelphia, and he should take it with both hands.
Seattle is always tough to beat, but there has been some disharmony in the offseason, so the Colts could capitalise and win at value odds.
Betting tip: Indianapolis Colts to win
Colts by 7
Los Angeles Chargers vs Washington Football Team
We don’t have high hopes for either team, but we’re giving the slight edge to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Justin Herbert has a bright future, and he could lead this Chargers team to a winning record. We don’t rate the Washington Football Team, who could struggle to post a better than .500 record.
It should be a close contest but take the Chargers in head-to-head betting markets.
Betting tip: Chargers to win
Chargers by 3
New York Jets vs Carolina Panthers @ Bank of America Stadium
It should be another long and losing season for the Jets, so even though the Panthers aren’t much chop, they should win.
The points spread is only five points, which is easily coverable for the Panthers. We’re expecting a 24-10 score line, which is enough for Carolina backers to be happy.
It could pay to watch for late line movement for this game.
Betting tip: Carolina Panthers -5
Panthers by 12
Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans @ NRG Stadium
The Jaguars have the benefit of getting top draft pick Trevor Lawrence, but we’re picking an upset in the opening week.
Houston is expected to struggle, especially with the offseason drama surrounding Deshaun Watson and the loss of J.J. Watt. However, that could help this team gel on the field.
Jacksonville will need time to mature, and rookie quarterbacks rarely hit the ground running, so take the home side for the upset result.
Betting tip: Houston Texans to win
Texas by 3
Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs @ GEHA Field
Expectations are high for the Browns and Chiefs, but the Chiefs should have too many offensive weapons in the opening week.
Patrick Mahomes doesn’t need time to find his groove, and although the Browns are also a top offensive team, Kansas City’s defence is better.
Bookmakers have the line at 6.5, which is a crucial number. Take the Chiefs to cover the spread in what should be a high scoring contest.
Betting tip: Kansas City Chiefs –6.5
Chiefs by 9
Miami Dolphins vs New England Patriots @ Gillette Stadium
Punters get value odds for the New England Patriots, especially is rookie quarterback Mac Jones gets the start.
He has looked good in preseason, and he should give the Patriots a much needed shot in the arm after a disappointing 2020 season.
Miami could struggle this season with Tua at the helm. He was too inconsistent to back with any confidence, so we expect the home team to come out ahead.
Betting tip: New England Patriots -3
Patriots by 10
Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints @ TIAA Bank Field
Life without Drew Brees could be tough for the Saints, but if Jameis Winston brings his preseason form to the table, they’re a chance.
We are always cautious when backing the Packers inside a dome, but because this game is being played in Florida, it helps the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers resigned with the team, which was a confidence boost. He’s out for another Super Bowl win, so the Packers should be too good.
Betting tip: Green Bay Packers to win
Packers by 7
Denver Broncos vs New York Giants @ MetLife Stadium
We’re prepared to give the Giants a chance in the opening week. They are tough to follow, but the potential for a positive season is there.
We don’t have much faith in the Broncos to post a winning record this season. It would require Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock to play very well, but we don’t see it happening.
Punters will need to muster the courage but take the Giants at the value price.
Betting tip: New York Giants to win
Giants by 6
Chicago Bears vs Los Angeles Rams @ SoFi Stadium
We’re not sold on the Rams this season and we think the Bears could come into LA and score an upset victory.
The Bears typically start the season well, and we are more than happy to take the +7.5 points on offer. The Rams struggle to cover the spread when they’re a touchdown favourite, so the numbers favour the visitors.
It should be a low scoring contest where the Bears will get their chance to win.
Betting tip: Chicago Bears +7.5
Bears by 3
Baltimore Ravens vs Oakland Raiders @ Allegiant Stadium
Baltimore could be in for another good season with Lamar Jackson at the helm. He is a dynamic quarterback, and the Ravens look well-placed to win.
Oakland is too fragile and untrustworthy, so we’re predicting them to struggle for yet another season under John Gruden.
Bookmakers have the margin at –4.5, which is easily coverable for the Ravens.
Betting tip: Baltimore Ravens –4.5
Ravens by 10
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.