Are you ready for some football? After seven long months, the NFL is back! Each Monday, you can find this helpful cheat sheet of the coming week, and new to Sports Interaction this year is an individual preview of every game on the schedule. So buckle in! Here’s a quick look at all Week 1 games with Sports Interaction NFL odds. Games Sunday unless noted.
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots, Thursday
As usual, the NFL season begins with the Thursday night Kickoff Game at the home of the reigning Super Bowl champion. The Patriots are heavy favourites to become the first team to repeat since they did it back in the 2003-04 seasons. This is one of two Week 1 matchups to feature division winners from last season. It’s the first meeting between the teams since the divisional round of the playoffs following the 2015 season, a New England win.
Point spread: Patriots -9 Pick ATS: Kansas City
New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Week 1 is supposed to be a time for optimism, but the Jets on paper look like the NFL’s least-talented team by far and 0-16 is not out of the question. Veteran journeyman Josh McCown won their quarterback battle in camp. Will Buffalo have starting QB Tyrod Taylor? He suffered a concussion in the Bills’ third preseason game but expects to be ready. This line would shrink a bit if Taylor can’t go. It’s the Buffalo head coaching debut of Sean McDermott.
Point spread: Bills -7 Pick ATS: Buffalo (buy down to -6.5)
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears
By now, all NFL fans should know about the Super Bowl Curse. The loser of that game hasn’t made it back since those Buffalo Bills teams in the early 1990s lost four straight Super Bowls. Will the Falcons still have a hangover here seven months after blowing a 28-3 Super Bowl LI lead against New England? It’s the Chicago debut of quarterback Mike Glennon and his first NFL start since 2014.
Point spread: Falcons -7 Pick ATS: Atlanta (buy down to -6.5)
Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco injured his back early in camp and didn’t play a down in the preseason but is expected to go here. The Ravens have lost an unthinkable nine players to season-ending injuries/suspensions/retirement since June 1. The two biggest likely being running back Kenneth Dixon and tight end Dennis Pitta. Keep an eye on Bengals running back Joe Mixon; he could be the NFL Offensive Rookie of the year. These AFC North rivals split last year, each winning at home.
Point spread: Bengals -2.5 Pick ATS: Cincinnati
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns
NFL oddsmakers aren’t sure what teams are in Week 1, but the fact that sad-sack Cleveland is nearly a double-digit home underdog should tell you it’s going to be another long season for the Factory of Sadness. The Browns are starting second-round rookie DeShone Kizer at quarterback. He’s likely to be the only rookie QB starting in Week 1. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger is 21-2 in his career against the Browns.
Point spread: Steelers -9 Pick ATS: Pittsburgh
Arizona Cardinals at Detroit Lions
When Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford takes the field, he will do so as the newly highest-paid player in the NFL – despite the fact he has a career losing record and has never won a playoff game. Almost impossibly, the Lions, one of four teams to never reach a Super Bowl, haven’t won a division title since 1993. They were on track to do so last year before Stafford hurt his finger in Week 14. Arizona was the NFC runner-up in 2015 but regressed to 7-8-1 last year.
Point spread: Pick’em Pick ATS: Detroit
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
Both these AFC South rivals had quarterback competitions in the preseason: Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles briefly lost his job, but the former No. 3 overall pick won it back over backup Chad Henne; and Tom Savage beat out rookie Deshaun Watson for Houston, but it’s only a matter of time before Watson takes over after the Texans traded up in the first round of this year’s draft to take him. Houston swept Jacksonville in 2016.
Point spread: Texans -5 Pick ATS: Jacksonville
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Miami Dolphins
Sunshine State bragging rights at stake. The Bucs are a team on the rise, and the Dolphins reached the playoffs last year for the first time since 2008. This is the Miami debut of quarterback Jay Cutler, who was lured out of retirement to replace Ryan Tannehill, who suffered a season-ending knee injury early in training camp.
Point spread: Bucs -2.5 Pick ATS: Tampa Bay
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
One of the more intriguing games of Week 1 as both teams had breakout 2016 seasons behind excellent young quarterbacks. Derek Carr led Oakland to a 12-4 record and a wild-card spot, while Tennessee was 9-7 behind Marcus Mariota but just missed a playoff spot. Carr and Mariota both suffered a broken leg in Week 16 but are healthy now. The Raiders won in Nashville 17-10 last season. It’s the Oakland debut of running back Marshawn Lynch.
Point spread: Titans -1 Pick ATS: Tennessee
Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins
This could be the final opener in a Redskins uniform for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has been slapped with the franchise tag twice – unprecedented for a QB. Cousins is likely to leave in free agency next winter. Philadelphia added two receiving weapons in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith for young QB Carson Wentz this offseason. Washington swept the series last year.
Point spread: Pick’em Pick ATS: Washington
Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Rams
Was to be a matchup of former No. 1 overall picks in quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Jared Goff of Los Angeles. However, Luck still hasn’t practiced a single time since shoulder surgery in January. The Colts haven’t officially ruled him out as of this writing, but he’s not playing for a while. It’s the Rams head coaching debut of Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in modern NFL history at 31.
Point spread: Colts -3 Pick ATS: Los Angeles
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers
This is the other matchup between 2016 division winners and could have home-field playoff ramifications come January as the Seahawks are heavily favoured to win the NFC West again and Green Bay is the clear betting choice in the NFC North. The Packers routed the visiting Seahawks last year at Lambeau Field, 38-10. They intercepted Russell Wilson five times.
Point spread: Packers -3.5 Pick ATS: Green Bay
Carolina Panthers at San Francisco 49ers
Carolina succumbed to the Super Bowl Loser’s Curse, going from 15-1 in 2015, losing Super Bowl 50 vs. Denver, to 6-10 and last in the NFC South in 2016. Cam Newton looked nothing like the NFL MVP he was the season before. He’s coming off shoulder surgery and didn’t play much in the preseason but will start. The Panthers have an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate in running back Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers were 2-14 last year, including a blowout loss at Carolina, and will be bad again. It’s the 49ers head coaching debut of former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
Point spread: Panthers -6 Pick ATS: Carolina
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
The Sunday night game. The TBA is for the status of two young superstars in Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. OBJ suffered an ankle sprain in his team’s second preseason game – it looked much worse — but is likely to play. Elliott has been suspended the first six games but is appealing. It would take a minor miracle or some legal intervention for Elliott to suit up here but it’s possible. Dallas lost only three regular-season games in 2016 and two were to the Giants.
Point spread: TBA Pick ATS: TBA
New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings, Monday
The story line here is Adrian Peterson returning to Minnesota. The best running back in Vikings history and future Hall of Famer was cut loose by the team this offseason and signed by New Orleans. As recently as 2015, Peterson led the NFL in rushing. The Vikings appear to have a capable replacement in Dalvin Cook, another top NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year favourite.
Point spread: Vikings -3.5 Pick ATS: Minnesota
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, Monday
Yes, there is a Monday night doubleheader – it’s a Week 1 deal only. It’s the Chargers’ first game with Los Angeles in their name since 1960. They’ve already been hit with some key injuries, including their first two picks in this year’s draft: receiver Mike Williams (likely out until October) and offensive lineman Forrest Lamp (done for season). It’s the Chargers head coaching debut of Anthony Lynn. Incumbent starter Trevor Siemian won the Broncos’ quarterback battle in camp over Paxton Lynch. These teams split last year.
Point spread: Broncos -3.5 Pick ATS: Denver