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NFL Week 1 Odds and Early Best Bets

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One of the best parts of the offseason in the NFL is that it never truly feels like an offseason. The draft, free agency, schedule release and even fantasy league research still paces the average football fan till opening week of the NFL season. Well, Week 1 of the 2021 season will be here quicker than Ben Roethlisberger’s release time, and now is the time to jump on some early betting lines for the opening week.

Part of this betting strategy is to jump on some spreads for Week 1 odds in the NFL before the general public remembers football is coming. The goal is to get closing line value and get the best possible number for whichever side you choose. For NFL betting, this is imperative for long term success.

Before I identify three key games I’m monitoring for line movement, check out the full NFL Week 1 odds if you want to tail these bets.

Here are three games I’m betting before the lines start to move at places like BetMGM Sportsbook:

NFL Week 1 best bets

Patriots (-2.5) vs. Dolphins (BetMGM)

This feels like a short spread for a Patriots team that has flat-out dominated the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Last year for this exact matchup in Week 1, the Patriots were also home favorites and closed at -7. They proceeded to kick the crap out of Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins and won 21-11. 

Obviously, a lot has changed for the Fins coming into this matchup, but are we sure enough has changed that we seriously think Miami can come into Foxborough and cover a 2.5-point spread? Since Bill Belichick took over as coach, the Pats are 17-3 SU in 20 home games vs. the Fins (average win margin: 12.1 PPG) and only one of those wins was a Week 17 game where New England was resting their starters.

The public hasn’t seemed to hammer this spread enough to get it to a field goal, so if you’re like me and predict the Patriots will dominate, grab the -2.5 now before it moves to -3 or higher.

Eagles (+3.5) vs. Falcons (BetMGM)

Again, another spread that should be closer to a pick ’em as opposed to the Falcons laying 3.5 points. Look, this isn’t going to be a scenario where I just trash the Falcons, but the fact remains they have a lot of holes in their roster. For example, their offensive line wasn’t great last season, and you could see it in the run game when they had 15% of all run attempts stuffed at the line scrimmage (ranked 22nd) and nearly 20.7% of Matt Ryan’s dropbacks resulted in pressure from opposing defensive lines (ranked 19th). That just so happens to be the Eagles’ defensive strength.

I also want to give credit to the Eagles underrated offense. Yes, Jalen Hurts had some ups and downs in his rookie year, but scrambling quarterbacks gave the Falcons fits last season. Hurts also has so many weapons to dump the ball to if he gets in trouble that I could very well see Philadelphia winning this game outright. To be safe, take the +3.5.

Washington (+1) vs. Chargers (BetMGM)

Washington being a home dog in this scenario is a bit perplexing. They easily have a top-five defense in the NFL, a defensive line stocked with first-round draft picks, an emerging running back in Antonio Gibson, and they even added RB/WR Curtis Samuel as a satellite-style of weapon who can be out wide or in the backfield. So, why aren’t oddsmakers respecting Washington to be a home favorite? Well, the answer is simple, and it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.

“FitzMagic” has seemingly exploded onto the scene for every team he plays for but then fizzles out to become a shell of himself as the figure known as “FitzTragic.” You can almost set your watch to it. That said, I do think he’ll be a slight upgrade over Alex Smith, mainly because of mobility and airing out the football. Smith was notorious for low yards-per-attempt passing stats (6.2 yards per passing attempt last season) and that always capped out what his teams could do offensively. In Washington, I think head coach Ron Rivera will take the wrapping paper off this offense and finally start airing it out to the likes of Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas to neutralize this imposing Chargers defense.

Look for the spread in this game to move toward Washington’s favor as we get closer to Week 1 as I could see the Football Team being favorites by kickoff.

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