By Adam Thompson | | 54 mins
NFL Week 1 Odds, Betting Lines & Analysis For Every Game
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For the first time ever, the Los Angeles Rams enter an NFL season as its defending champions. The Cincinnati Bengals look to defend their first AFC Championship in nearly 35 years. Neither is favored on NFL betting sites to repeat.
Oddsmakers at the top online sportsbooks have the Buffalo Bills as favorites to win Super Bowl 57, set for Feb. 12, 2022 in Phoenix. Tampa Bay – which returns Tom Brady after a brief retirement period, is No. 2 on the board and the favorite to win the NFC.
The Rams, along with the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers, are next on the NFL futures odds list. Five additional teams are above the Bengals, too.
Week 1 kicks off in L.A. as the Rams begin their defense against the favored Bills. Don’t think Week 1 matters? The eventual Super Bowl champion is 45-10-1 all-time in its season opener.
Thursday, Sept. 8
Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams, 8:20 p.m. ET
All odds in this article courtesy of DraftKings and accurate as of publication.
Another year older and wiser, the still-young Bills hope this is the season they get over the hump and to the Super Bowl for the first time in decades. Josh Allen’s offense ranked No. 3 in scoring at 29.8 ppg last year.
The Rams begin the defense of their Super Bowl championship on Thursday night. The team wasn’t invincible last year, going 12-5 despite a defense that ranked a modest 15th in points allowed. The Bills were 6-1 vs. the NFC last year, the Rams were 4-1 vs. the AFC.
Sunday, Sept. 11
Carolina Panthers at Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET
Unless rookie Matt Corral turns heads in training camp, it looks like Sam Darnold gets another chance with the Panthers. Darnold managed just nine passing TDs and 13 INTs in 11 games one year after Carolina traded a slew of picks to the Jets for his services. Christian McCaffrey’s lack of durability hasn’t helped, but he’s back and the Panthers bolstered the O-line in the offseason.
Speaking of QBs, the Browns are betting big on Deshaun Watson, trading a king’s ransom and offering the potentially-suspended QB the biggest contract in NFL history. High-paid QB Baker Mayfield is pushed to the bench, but may get the call for Week 1 despite his claims the relationship between him and the team is broken. Cleveland ranked fourth in rushing and fifth in pass defense.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions, 1 p.m. ET
The Eagles returned to the NFC Playoffs after a one-year hiatus, and the first season with dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts under center. Hurts scored 26 total TDs (16 passing, 10 rushing) and this offseason the Eagles added weapons to help boost the offense another level, including Titans star A.J. Brown, who Philly traded for in a draft-day blockbuster.
Last offseason the Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Rams. L.A. won the Super Bowl and Detroit got Jared Goff, whose numbers weren’t as bad as some might believe. The Lions went 3-10-1 in his starts and 0-3 when he didn’t. He played on Oct. 31, when the Eagles dismantled the Lions 44-6 at Ford Field. A defense that ranked 29th last year gets to unveil its newest weapon, No. 2 overall pick and local-boy-done good Aidan Hutchinson.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
The Steelers begin the post-Ben Roethlisberger era here, with free agent addition Mitchell Trubisky likely to be under center. Trubisky, for all the perceived negative pub, is 29-21 as a starter with a decent 64-38 TD-INT ratio. Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year T.J. Watt will be back, but the rest of the defense – dead-last vs. the run, 20th in points allowed – has room to improve.
To say the first full season of Joe Burrow at QB went well would be an understatement. The Bengals advanced to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1988 before falling to the L.A. Rams. Now they’re back and look to improve upon a 10-7 record. There is room to grow: The offense ranked 13th last year, the defense 18th. Cincy pounded Pittsburgh in both meetings last year, including a 41-10 rout in Cincy. For Bengals and Browns fans, there is hope Ohio sports betting will launch in the state in time for the season.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons, 1 p.m. ET
A new era begins in New Orleans without longtime coach Sean Payton. QB Jameis Winston is back, however. The Saints went 5-2 with him at the helm last year before a season-ending injury. They went 4-6 the rest of the way and missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. The defense was top 10 in yards and points allowed.
For the first time in 15 years, Matt Ryan won’t be at QB for the Falcons. He’s been traded to the Colts, while Atlanta traded for former Titans starter Marcus Mariota. This is a rebuilding year for Atlanta, who used its first-round pick on potential star WR Drake London (potentially out for Week 1). The Falcons won seven games last year despite ranking bottom six in yards and points – offensively and defensively.
Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets, 1 p.m. ET
The wheels came off for the Ravens at the end of 2021, losing their last six games to miss the playoffs in the final week. Lamar Jackson missed the last four games, all defeats, but three of them by 1 point or in OT. It was the defense that took the biggest step back. After ranking top 10 in fewest points allowed five straight years, Baltimore went from second to 19th in 2021. At this point in time, it seems a long shot that online sports betting in Maryland will go live in time for this opening-week matchup.
Rookie QB Zach Wilson managed only nine TDs and 11 INTs in 13 games, 10 of them losses. But for the Jets, that was the least of their worries. No defense allowed more points or more yards. The Jets have lost nine of 11 all-time meetings with the Ravens.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders, 1 p.m. ET
The Jaguars had the No. 1 overall pick for the second year in a row, but it could be worse. With Trevor Lawrence at QB, the team went from one win to three wins. Only once since 2007 has Jacksonville lost fewer than 10 games.
Carson Wentz was acquired by Washington to lead an offense that has ranked bottom 10 in scoring each of the last four years. He’ll have a top target in Terry McLaurin and a 1,000-yard RB in Antonio Gibson, plus first-round pick Jahan Dotson, who should start at the other WR spot. The defense was the bigger issue last year. After ranking No. 4 in points allowed and No. 2 in yards in 2020, those rankings skyrocketed to 25th and 22nd in 2021.
New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET
After hemming and hawing, the Dolphins have decided to go all-in with Tua Tagovailoa under center. He had only 16 TDs with 10 INTs in 12 starts last year, but Miami upped his supporting cast in a huge way this offseason, including electric WR Tyreek Hill.
Decades of dominance over Miami with Tom Brady as QB has gone for the Pats, who have now lost three straight vs. their AFC East counterpart. That said, Mac Jones exceeded many expert projections in 2021 by having a Pro Bowl season as a rookie and leading the Patriots to the Playoffs. The offense gained a big 6.2 ppg more than the year before.
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears, 1 p.m. ET
All offseason, rumors swirled that QB Trey Lance would be getting the offense and Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s 33-14 as a starter, would be traded. It didn’t happen and now it appears Jimmy G gets another year by the Bay. The defense has been top five in yards allowed the last three years.
Chicago handed the offense last year to rookie QB Justin Fields, and it was on pace to be one of the worst units in the history of football before a strong finish offered optimism for 2022 and beyond. Fields’ most-productive game last year was vs. the Niners – two total TDs – in a 33-22 home loss.
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans, 1 p.m. ET
Carson Wentz is out after one up-and-down season in Indy. In comes veteran Matt Ryan from the Falcons. Ryan, 37, led the NFL in completions in 2019 and 2020 but hasn’t led a winning team since 2017. He’ll partner with Jonathan Taylor, last year’s NFL rushing leader. The even-steven Colts went 9-8 last season, finishing 16th out of 32 teams in both total offense and total defense, but had no issues with Houston, winning the matchups 31-3 and 31-0.
The Texans have moved on from Deshaun Watson. That’s not going to help in the short term for a team that somehow won four games last year despite ranking last in the NFL in yards gained and second-last in yards allowed. Davis Mills returns at QB but much of the O-line is new and WR second-round pick John Metchie should see lots of playing time.
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, 4:25 p.m. ET
After an offseason of will-he or won’t-he, Aaron Rodgers returned to the Packers, and the team earned the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the second year in a row. But they also failed to get to the Super Bowl, and the sense of urgency rises to get there before No. 12 skips town or retires. Rodgers has tossed 56 TDs to just seven INTs in his career vs. this NFC North rival.
Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook return for an offense that surprisingly took a step backward in 2021. The offseason was spent looking for help on the O-line. The defense was the big issue, however, ranking 24th in points allowed and 30th in yards. Minnesota edged Green Bay 34-31 at home last season.
New York Giants at Tennessee Titans, 4:25 p.m. ET
Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley weren’t enough to keep the Giants offense from ranking second-worst in the NFL in both yards gained and points scored, and a 4-13 record. With a new coaching staff in place, there is perhaps cause for more optimism from New York sports betting fans going into the upcoming season.
Derrick Henry missed much of the season but the Titans still went 12-5 and advanced to the AFC Playoffs. QB Ryan Tannehill is back but top WR A.J. Brown was traded to the Eagles, replaced by first-round pick Treylon Burks from Arkansas and pass-catching TE Austin Hooper. The question is if last year’s defense, which ranked bottom 10 in yards and points allowed, has improved enough to keep up.
Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET
It’s the first meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Kyler Murray. No Tyreek Hill, but no problem for a Chiefs team that ranked fourth in scoring in 2021. Mahomes is 50-13 as a starter and is still surrounded by weapons. The bend-but-don’t break defense of KC must improve. While it ranked a strong eighth in points allowed, it was 27th in yards. A key question for Chiefs fans on both sides of the Missouri: Will Kansas sports betting go live in time for the NFL season?
Arizona was hoping last year would offer another big leap in the career of QB Kyler Murray. Statistically it didn’t work out that way; the offense averaged 25.6 ppg – exactly the same as 2020. But experience paid off in clutch-when-it-counts plays, and Arizona improved from 8-8 to 11-6 with its first playoff berth in six years. It all came just in time for Arizona sports betting, which launched in September 2021.
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 p.m. ET
Vegas beat L.A. 35-32 in OT in Week 18 last year in what was a postseason play-in game. The teams pick up where they left off in a rematch to open 2022. The Raiders went 10-7 and got to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Now Derek Carr and the offense has a new weapon in WR Davante Adams. Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Bryan Edwards, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake give the Raiders a plethora of skill-position options.
The first two years of the Justin Herbert era have gone well. The offense improved across the board in Year 2 and the team ranked fifth in the NFL in scoring (27.9 ppg), and the team’s record jumped from 6-9 to 9-8. This marks the first time the teams have faced off in September since 2012.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys, 8:20 p.m. ET
The Buccaneers beat the Cowboys in dramatic fashion in last year’s NFL Kickoff Game, but it wasn’t without its officiating controversy. Now it's the rematch in Big D, between two teams expected to be in contention at the end. No offense was more prolific in 2021 than the Cowboys’ unit, which led the NFL at 30.4 ppg, nearly a full TD improved from the previous year. That number vaulted to a league-best 34.4 ppg at home.
Meanwhile, Tom Brady is back, which means the Bucs are Super Bowl contenders on betting apps once again. Brady un-retired nearly as quickly as he retired, and he talked most of his running mates into returning for another season in Tampa. It worked the last two years, ranking in the top 2 in scoring both instances.
Monday, Sept. 12
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks, 8:15 p.m. ET
What a way to end the opening week of the 2022 NFL season. The league rips off the Band Aid and sends Russell Wilson right back to Seattle.
The Broncos were considered a long-shot Super Bowl contender with Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater at QB. Then they traded for Wilson. Expectations in the Rockies haven’t been this high since Peyton Manning was under center.
Few teams will be entering 2022 with more questions than the Seahawks, who traded away their best QB ever to the Broncos. Now the offense is likely charged by Drew Lock, who is 8-13 as a starter and in his lone full season at the helm led the NFL in interceptions. The team is also seeking an heir to the RB spot of Chris Carson, who may not be able to regain his old form after a neck injury.