The opening week of the 2022 NFL season is rapidly approaching, and for a lot of the league it will be the high point of their year, a time where optimism hits reality and either shatters or is retained for the coming weeks.
A quick scan of Super Bowl odds shows the Bills installed as Super Bowl favorites, and they open the season in LA against the holders of the title, the Rams, on Thursday night in what should be a close contest. Plus, there’s divisional battles all over for opening weekend. Who will get their season started in style? We scoured the NFL odds for you – here are our NFL Week 1 picks for every game, including five best bets.
NFL Week 1 Picks & Predictions: 5 Best Bets
Vikings +1.5 vs. Packers
The Packers have won 13 games each of the last three seasons, but their opener last year was an abject failure as they only put up 3 points against the Saints. This time around they’re coming in without Davante Adams, who moved to Vegas over the summer - a big hole which they haven’t filled.
Meanwhile, it’s been all change in Minnesota, with Kevin O’Connell coming in at head coach. That should be a boost for Kirk Cousins and the offense, and we like them to potentially pull off the home upset here. I’m playing it safe, taking the points, and locked it in at -110 with BetMGM, where new bettors can use the BetMGM bonus code REALGM to make their first best risk-free, up to $1,000.
49ers -7 @ Bears
The 49ers enter the season with Trey Lance trying to live up to hype. His mobility should prove effective against most teams in the league, something I’ll be looking for when I place my NFL prop bets, and with Deebo Samuel there’s always a TD in the cards for the 49ers.
The Bears have done nothing to help their sophomore QB who comes in with one of the worst offenses in the league, behind one of the worst offensive lines. I don’t see them keeping it close. This line won’t get shorter, and for that reason I’m taking the 49ers to cover on the road at -110 with BetMGM.
Saints -5.5 @ Falcons
The NFC South opens with the Saints visiting the Falcons, who could prove to be the worst team in the league this year. Jameis Winston won 5 of his 7 starts before an injury last year. Michael Thomas is also coming back, joining rookie Chris Olave and veteran Jarvis Landry in a nice looking passing attack to support a top-5 defense.
The Falcons are without much talent on either side of the ball, with Marcus Mariota coming in as the starting QB. It’s Cordelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts and not much else for them. I like the Saints to cover on the road at -110 with DraftKings.
Raiders @ Chargers o52 points
The AFC West is shaping up to be a barnburner this year, and it opens with a divisional clash here before the Chargers take on the Chiefs in the first TNF of the season a few days later. They’ll be looking to get on the board hosting the Raiders, but SoFi will be largely black and silver, so I’m not confident in them covering the spread. I do like this to be high scoring.
The Raiders have strengthened on offense while Justin Herbert is one of the top candidates for MVP this year. I like this to follow four of their last six contests and go over 52 at -110 with BetMGM.
Browns +1.5 @ Panthers
The spread on this game was volatile all summer, but after the news that Deshaun Watson will be suspended for 11 games the spread turned from the Browns being 4 point favorites to the Panthers now favored by 1.5, but one of the strongest rosters in the NFL should still have enough to overcome a Panthers team with former Browns QB Baker Mayfield under center.
Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will dominate on the ground, and I think that will be enough for the Browns to open the season with a win. That’s why I’m locking in the Browns +1.5 at -110 with Caesars Sportsbook, where you can make this a risk-free first bet up to $1,250 with Caesars Sportsbook promo code REALGM15.
NFL Week 1 Picks & Predictions: Around The League
Bills @ Rams: OVER 52 – In the season opener on Thursday night, the Rams replaced Odell Beckham Jr. with Allen Robinson and look good again, while the Bills will be looking to start their season on a high note. It should be a close game with a lot of scoring. Go OVER.
Ravens @ Jets: Ravens -7 – The Jets were one of the winners of the early off-season, then it all went downhill and now Joe Flacco starts for the Jets. The spread has only moved a point so I’ll still happily take the Ravens to cover a 7-point spread, even on the road.
Colts @ Texans: Texans +7 – I love the Colts to win the division this year, but I can’t trust them to easily win games that they should win. I’d have to take the Texans to cover the 7 points.
Jaguars @ Commanders: Jags Moneyline – The Jags are gaining momentum now they’ve got an actual coach in charge, and with Travis Etienne back, they should put up points. I like them to pull off the upset here.
Patriots @ Dolphins: Dolphins -3.5 – The Patriots tend to struggle in Miami, but it’s usually later in the season. Tua Tagovailoa will be looking to impress with his new-look offense, and I think they’ll have too much for the Patriots to keep up.
Eagles @ Lions: Eagles -4 – Two of the hype teams of the NFC open the season against each other, with the Eagles looking to win back the NFC East title. I like the Lions this year, but I like the Eagles more. I’ll take them to cover the 4.
Steelers @ Bengals: Under 44.5 – Mitchell Trubisky has been announced as starter for the Steelers despite a good preseason showing from Pickett, but it won't matter; the offensive line is still poor. The Bengals will be looking to avoid a Super Bowl hangover, and I think defense will be on top on both sides. So, despite it being a low total, I’ll be looking Under
Chiefs @ Cardinals: Under 53.5 – The Cardinals started the season on fire last year, but they also had Deandre Hopkins. He misses the first six games due to suspension, so that puts me off them here. The Chiefs have a new-look offense without Tyreek Hill. It could be a stuttering start from both, so I’ll go Under the 53.
Giants @ Titans: Giants +6 – With new coaching, the Giants should have a respectable offense. Saquon Barkley returns, and given they didn’t take on Daniel Jones’ fifth-year option, he knows he has to impress. The Titans might be in a soft reset, and I don’t think much of them this season. I like the Giants with the points on the road.
Buccaneers @ Cowboys: Under 51 – Both teams have serious issues on the offensive line and that means sacks and less passing that expected, the line has dropped already but I still like the under here.
Broncos @ Seahawks: Broncos -6.5 – Russell Wilson gets an immediate return against his former team in the opening game, as he takes on the Geno Smith Seattle Seahawks. I don’t see Seattle putting up many points against a solid defense. I’ll be taking the Broncos to start the season in style.
Adam Walford, Gambling.com