NFL Week 1 Best Bets – Predictions & Picks for Week 1

Week 1 of the NFL season is here, and we’ve got quite a slate of games! There are five Week 1 matchups that feature two playoff teams from a year ago and other big-time games.

But before we get into some of the best games and bets, it’s good to go over some early-season strategy.

Week 1 games tend to be a bit random, so don’t invest too much of your season-long bankroll into these games.

Another bit of advice is to only bet on proven teams with stable quarterback situations. That will help limit the overall risk in these games. With that in mind, let’s get into the picks for our NFL prediction and picks series.


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NFL Week 1 Best Bets

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills

One of the best Week 1 games on the slate, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the Bills after losing back-to-back games to Buffalo in consecutive seasons.

Both teams made the playoffs in 2020, and both believe they are Super Bowl-bound this year. This projects to be a hard-fought game as both teams have elite defenses and can win games alone by their front seven.

The biggest question is which quarterback will play better and which team can keep them upright? Josh Allen was an MVP candidate last season, while Ben Roethlisberger led his team to an 11-0 record to start the season.

Whichever team can best protect their quarterback will likely win this game. We like Pittsburgh’s defense slightly better, giving them the slight edge here for this Week 1 pick.

Steelers vs Bills Prediction: Steelers 26, Bills 23

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers QB, throws during 2021 NFL preseason action

Ben Roethlisberger’s Pittsburgh Steelers could keep their Week 1 game closer than expected against the Buffalo Bills. (Image: USA TODAY Sports)


Steelers vs Bills Best Bet: Steelers +6.5 (-105) on DraftKings

While the Bills will likely win more games during the season, Week 1 games tend to be a bit random. That’s why giving Pittsburgh 6.5 points feels like three too many for this tipster pick.

This will likely be a game decided on the last drive, probably due to a field goal. And considering the odds, Pittsburgh feels like the better bet here as Mike Tomlin‘s teams usually start fast out of the gate.

spread

-105

Steelers +6.5 @ Bills (NFL Week 1)

PIT @ BUF | 09/12, 1:00 PM ET

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Steelers vs Bills Best Bet: UNDER 50 points (-110) on DraftKings

Both of these teams can score 30 points in any game, but these are two of the best defenses in football. Look for both offenses to be a bit shaky at the start of the season and for the pass rushes to take over.

Look for this contest to go under 50 points.

over-under

-110

Steelers @ Bills: UNDER 50 Total Points (NFL Week 1)

PIT @ BUF | 09/12, 1:00 PM ET

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Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

Two of the most successful teams in the NFC over the last decade have been the Packers and the Saints.

They’ve had several fascinating games against one another, but this should be another intriguing matchup as it will be Aaron Rodgers taking on Jameis Winston, recently named start to replace the retiring Drew Brees.

Where this game will be played is still up in the air as Hurricane Ida has forced the Saints to evacuate the city. However, the line hasn’t moved at all, with the Packers still favored by three points. (Check our NFL gameday odds page to keep tabs on any Packers vs Saints line movement.)

Entering the 2021 season, Green Bay is just the more talented team, and the Packers have more continuity on both sides of the ball.

The Saints still should be competitive in the NFC under Winston, but this is a challenging opening game for New Orleans to try to figure out the offense with him under center.

Packers vs Saints Prediction: Packers 27, Saints 20

Packers vs Saints Best Bet: Packers -3 (-110) on DraftKings

The Packers are three-point road favorites, but it’s worth remembering that this game might not be played in New Orleans.

Still, the Packers have had a lot of success under Matt LaFleur early in the year, going 7-1 against the spread in September over the last two years.

With the Packers bringing back nearly every starter on both sides of the ball, look for them to get the win and cover in Week 1 against the Saints.

over-under

-110

Packers -3 @ Saints (NFL Week 1)

GB @ NO | 09/12, 4:25 PM ET

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Packers vs Saints Best Bet: UNDER 50 points (-110) on DraftKings

Betting the under in a game that features Aaron Rodgers and Jameis Winston seems less than ideal, but these early-season games tend to be a bit sloppy.

While both offenses can light up the scoreboard, it’s worth remembering that the Saints did have a top-five scoring defense during the 2020 season.

Green Bay finished at No. 13 and is certainly capable of making big-time stops when needed. Expect both teams to score into the low-to-mid-20s, but for the Under to ultimately hit in this contest.

The star backs — Green Bay’s Aaron Jones and New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara — will play a major role in slowing the pace.

over-under

-110

Packers @ Saints: UNDER 50 points (NFL Week 1)

GB @ NO | 09/12, 4:25 PM ET

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Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears

The first Sunday Night Football game of the year will feature two playoff teams from a year ago that have made a big change at quarterback.

The Rams traded away Jared Goff, along with two first-round picks, for Matthew Stafford. Meanwhile, the Bears signed Andy Dalton and traded up in the first round for Justin Fields.

Dalton will get the start in this one, which makes it even easier to take the Rams. With Los Angeles having one of the best rosters in the NFL, they should have no problem winning at home in primetime.

Rams vs Bears Prediction: Rams 26, Bears 16

Rams vs Bears Best Bet: Rams -7 (-110) on DraftKings

The Rams are a touchdown favorite over the Bears, which says more about Chicago than Los Angeles. With Andy Dalton under center, it’s just an offense that doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

Add in the fact that their offensive line features several new starters and it could be a rough night for the Bears.

So take the Rams to win and cover the spread on Sunday night as the final margin of victory could easily exceed 10 points.

spread

-110

Rams -7 @ Bears (NFL Week 1)

CHI @ LA | 09/12, 8:20 PM ET

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Rams vs Bears Best Bet: UNDER 45 points (-110) on DraftKings

As we previously mentioned, both teams will be starting new quarterbacks in Week 1. That could lead to some sloppy play, especially since both defenses are among the best in the NFL.

This game should be a bit of a defensive struggle, and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if this is a 10-6 game entering the fourth quarter.

Look for the points to come in slowly, allowing the under to hit at SoFi Stadium.

over-under

-110

Rams @ Bears: UNDER 45 Total Points (NFL Week 1)

CHI @ LA | 09/12, 8:20 PM ET

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