DraftKings Pick ‘Em Contest Picks for Week 1


You can’t spell “Freedman” without “Free” — and that means I’m definitely playing in the 100% FREE Week 1 DraftKings Sports Betting Contest that we at FTN have organized with our friends at Collectable.

Also, use the promo code FREEDMAN to get 20% off an FTN subscription until Monday Night Football kicks off.

What an intro so far, right? 

Within the first two sentences, I pitched the free contest, pimped the promo code and embedded a tweet with a dope graphic.

Slaying this intro.

It’s almost unfair how good my written introductions are. My in-person introductions … those are much more awkward.

Maybe it’s because when I first meet people I hand them quickly scribbled notes saying, “Hi, I’m Matt Freedman, nice to meet you, sorry I have the handwriting of a sociopath, I swear my doctors tell me I’m normal, why are you walking away?”

Clearly my efforts to turn in-person intros into written ones have not paid off — unlike this $20,000 contest I just entered. (Nailed that segue.)

That’s definitely gonna pay off … because of these five plays I’ve made.

(Thank you, applause appreciated but unnecessary.)



Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills Week 1 odds

  • Bet: Steelers +6.5

Quarterback Josh Allen was fantastic last year, but the Bills enter 2021 with a world of hype around them, and this number feels inflated. And, historically, bettors have not had success going against the Steelers, who are a fantastic 40-21-3 against the spread as underdogs under head coach Mike Tomlin.

This is one of my best bets for Week 1.

To see all my Week 1 bets, check out our FTN Bet Tracker.

Pick: Steelers +6.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Carolina Panthers vs. New York Jets Week 1 odds

  • Bet: Panthers -4.5

Sam Darnold is one of my highlighted quarterbacks in the Week 1 fantasy breakdown. I’m very much invested in him this week. 

Darnold has one of the league’s best wide receiver units with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall, and the Jets are No. 32 in Jeff Ratcliffe’s cornerback unit rankings. To me, that’s the deciding factor in this game.

Pick: Panthers -4.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans Week 1 odds

  • Bet: Over 51.5

The thesis for this play is pretty simple: The Cardinals play fast, and the Titans put up points. 

The Cardinals play at a blistering pace, and last year they had a league-high no-huddle rate of 38.4% (per our No-Huddle Offense Stats Tool). Against a Titans defense that had bottom-four marks with 19 sacks and 66 quarterback hits in 2020, the Cardinals should be able to move the ball.

Check out all the premium stats and tools we offer in our industry-leading FantasyHQ product.

And all the Titans do at home is score. With quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the over is 11-3-1 at Nissan Stadium. With wide receiver Julio Jones, the Titans offense should be even more dynamic this year.

Pick: Over 51.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

(Join this FREE contest at DraftKings Sportsbook to earn your share of $20,000.)

Denver Broncos at New York Giants Week 1 odds

  • Bet: Under 42.5

Despite the inflated scoring we saw last year, the Giants had an impressive under record of 12-3-1 in 2020. I guess that’s what you get when you mix the hard-nosed defense-driven pragmatism of head coach Joe Judge with the slow-paced incompetence of offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and quarterback Daniel Jones.

As for the Broncos, they should be better on defense with the return of edge rusher Von Miller, and on the other side of the ball they could underwhelm with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater game-managing the offense.

Pick: Under 42.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears Week 1 odds

  • Bet: Rams -6.5

Head coach Sean McVay is 4-0 ATS with the Rams in Week 1 and 7-1 ATS in Weeks 1-2. Maybe that’s just randomness, but McVay is a meticulous planner, and I’m willing to bet that’s the reason his Rams have started fast.

Meanwhile, the Bears are starting nearly washed-up veteran Andy Dalton, who has a tough matchup against the Rams defense, which was No. 1 last year with 6.2 yards allowed per pass attempt (per our Advanced Passing Defense Stats Tool).

While head coach Matt Nagy got off to a hot start in Chicago in his first year, the post-hype era of the past two seasons has not been kind to him: Since 2019, opponents are 21-11-1 ATS against Nagy’s Bears.

Pick: Rams -6.5 (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

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