NFL Week 1 Odds and Predictions: Best Picks Against the Spread

Payton Matthews | Updated Sep 08, 2020

Without question, the 2020 NFL season will be the most unusual in league history with the coronavirus still raging in the United States.

Home-field advantage may mean much less this year with fans not allowed in most stadiums – at least for the time being. Some teams, though, will allow limited fan attendance from the get-go. It probably will be wise this year as well to wait until the last minute to wager on games because there will be guys ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19 – even if it’s a false positive.

Here’s a quick look at all the Week 1 matchups with Sports Interaction’s NFL Week 1 odds. Games Sunday unless noted.

Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs, Thursday

Per usual, the defending Super Bowl champions host the Kickoff Game, and the Chiefs will raise their championship banner at Arrowhead Stadium – they actually already did it but will repeat the ceremony with about 16,000 fans in attendance. Kansas City and Houston split last year, both in K.C. The Texans won 31-24 in the regular season and the Chiefs prevailed 51-31 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, rallying from a 24-0 deficit. Click here for our full preview of the Texans vs. Chiefs.

Point spread: Chiefs -9.5

Pick ATS: Houston (I’d buy up to 10)

Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons

It’s Todd Gurley’s Falcons debut after being released by the Rams this offseason. Gurley started collegiately not far from at Atlanta at the University of Georgia. Seattle won in Atlanta in Week 8 last season, 27-20. Russell Wilson threw two TD passes, both to DK Metcalf. Falcons starting QB Matt Ryan was out injured.

Point spread: Seahawks -1

Pick ATS: Seattle

New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

The Jets’ defence lost its two best players in the offseason as the traded All-Pro safety Jamal Adams and linebacker CJ Mosley opted out. Buffalo won both meetings last season in very low-scoring games. The road team has covered the past four in the series, but we think that ends.

Point spread: Bills -6.5

Pick ATS: Buffalo

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions

The Bears in a bit of a surprise named Mitchell Trubisky over trade acquisition Nick Foles as the team’s starting but quarterback, but the former No. 2 overall pick Trubisky may have a short leash. He is 3-2 in his career vs. Detroit with some pretty good numbers. Chicago won both meetings last season and has won close games in Detroit in back-to-back years.

Point spread: Lions -3

Pick ATS: Detroit (I’d use alternate line of Lions -2.5)

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Winner gets a big early tiebreaker in the NFC North as one of these two most likely will win the division. Interesting that the Vikings are short favourites as they lost both meetings in 2019 and totaled just 26 points. While the Pack have the better quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, Minnesota is better almost everywhere else.

Point spread: Vikings -1

Pick ATS: Minnesota

Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots

The Patriots begin life without Tom Brady as 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton takes over under centre. Bill Belichick absolutely raved about Newton during camp. Miami, meanwhile, will get touted rookie Tua Tagovailoa on the bench for now and go with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. These teams split last year, and the biggest upset of the season was Miami winning at New England in Week 17, 27-24, as a 17.5-point underdog. That cost the Pats a first-round playoff bye.

Point spread: Patriots -6

Pick ATS: New England

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Football Team

Washington made the surprising decision to cut starting running back Adrian Peterson late last week and will likely ride rookie third-round pick Antonio Gibson for the most part. The Eagles have been hit hard already via season-ending injuries on the offensive line, but they are still the much better team and have covered five of the past six in the series.

Point spread: Eagles -6.5

Pick ATS: Washington

Las Vegas Raiders at Carolina Panthers

It’s the Las Vegas debut of the Raiders, although the home version will have to wait until Week 2. Carolina underwent a complete overhaul in the offseason and this will be the NFL head coaching debut of Matt Rhule, most recently at Baylor. It’s also the Panthers debut of QB Teddy Bridgewater. Carolina is 0-4-1 ATS in its past five games. Click here for a complete preview.

Point spread: Raiders -2.5

Pick ATS: Las Vegas

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Future Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers makes his Indianapolis debut. Jacksonville, meanwhile, has dumped three of its best players in the past week or so amidst accusations of tanking this season. The Jags appear to be the NFL’s worst team on paper. The teams split in 2019, each winning at home. Indy has failed to cover its past five as the road club in the series. Here’s our extended preview of this matchup. 

Point spread: Colts -7

Pick ATS: Indianapolis (use -6.5 alternate line)

Lamar Jackson Ravens

Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens

Baltimore brings a franchise-record 12-game regular-season winning streak into this one, although that did the Ravens little good in the playoffs. Their last regular-season loss? Week 4 at home in 2019 as Cleveland pulled a 40-25 stunner behind 165 yards and three TDs from Nick Chubb. Believe it or not, the Browns have just one Week 1 victory since returning to the NFL. They won’t win this one but will cover.

Point spread: Ravens -8.5

Pick ATS: Cleveland

Los Angeles Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals

Tyrod Taylor takes over as the Chargers’ starting quarterback with Philip Rivers off to Indianapolis. Taylor last started a game early in the 2018 season with the Browns. The biggest storyline here, though, is the NFL debut of 2020 No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow, the record-setting Heisman Trophy winner at LSU.

Point spread: Chargers -3

Pick ATS: Cincinnati (alternate line of +3.5)

Tampa Bay Bucs at New Orleans Saints

Easily the marquee matchup of Week 1 as Tom Brady makes his Bucs debut – as do Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette – against Drew Brees and a loaded Saints team. Brees is No. 1 all-time in NFL passing yards and TDs and Brady No. 2. They have only faced off a few times with Brady over in the AFC the entirety of his career.

Point spread: Saints -3

Pick ATS: New Orleans (alternate line of -2.5)

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers

The Niners are defending NFC champions and favoured to repeat. Arizona is on the rise under second-year QB Kyler Murray, a sneaky pick for NFL MVP. The 49ers swept the Cardinals last season but both games were competitive. Arizona is 4-0-1 ATS in the past five meetings.

Point spread: 49ers -7

Pick ATS: San Francisco (alternate line of -6.5)

Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams

The Sunday night game and opening of the $5 billion-plus (US) SoFi Stadium, which is truly spectacular, but no fans will be there. Watch for the Cowboys debut of defensive tackle Neville Gallimore. The Ottawa native was a third-round pick out of Oklahoma. He won’t start but certainly will play. Dallas trounced the visiting Rams 44-21 in week 15 last year.

Point spread: Cowboys -2

Pick ATS: Dallas

Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants, Monday

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plays in a game for the first time exactly one day shy of a calendar year as the future Hall of Fame suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 (Sept. 15) of last season. Meanwhile, the Giants begin a season without Eli Manning for the first time since 2004 – he and Big Ben were both first-round picks in the 2004 draft. It’s also the New York head coaching debut of Joe Judge. For the in-depth preview of this game, click here.

Point spread: Steelers -4

Pick ATS: NY Giants

Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos, Monday

In Week 1 only, there’s a Monday night doubleheader with this kickoff at 10:10 p.m. ET. Tennessee shocked everyone by reaching last season’s AFC title game, while the Broncos surged at the end under then-rookie QB Drew Lock. They are on the rise. Tennessee lost in Denver 16-0 in Week 6 last year. That would be the last game Marcus Mariota started at QB for the Titans. Lock hadn’t made his NFL debut yet. Here’s our complete preview of this matchup. 

Point spread: Broncos -1

Pick ATS: Denver