The NFL is set to kick off its 100th season on Thursday, and everyone is excited. We’ve all made it through another long, boring offseason, and now it’s time to indulge with football back in full force. Week 1 NFL betting odds have been out for a while now, but there is still plenty of value on the board. As always, some teams are overvalued following a long offseason of hype, and others are very undervalued. This is the week to capitalize on that.
NFL Week 1 Best Bets (Thursday, September 5)
Chicago Bears (-3) vs. Green Bay Packers
The pick: Chicago Bears -3
What is it going to take for people to start believing in Chicago? The Bears came out of nowhere to win the division last year and only got better in the offseason. For whatever reason, most analysts don’t seem to believe in this team and are instead calling for either Green Bay or Minnesota to win the division, and that’s preposterous to me.
Chicago’s defense is miles better than Green Bay’s defense. The Bears should have one of the three best defenses in the league this season, and it could turn out to be the top defense if Roquan Smith develops into the player he can be at middle linebacker. Khalil Mack is going to be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate once more, and the secondary is elite.
The Packers have the edge at quarterback, but is there any other position where you feel confident that Green Bay has a significant advantage? Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, but Mitchell Trubisky is primed to grow by leaps and bounds this season. He put up good numbers in his first season under Matt Nagy, and he did it without any real route progression. Trubisky has been working on that this offseason, so we should see definite improvement there.
TNF Tale of the Tape
Opener: CHI -3.5
Move: CHI -4.5
Current: CHI -3
51.7% of $$ on CHI.
54% of bets on GB
Total Opened 46, Current 46.5
57% of $$ on Under
65% of bets on the Over pic.twitter.com/maMnnoi2ar
— Official Bookmaker (@bookmaker_eu) September 3, 2019
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (PK) vs. San Francisco 49ers (O/U 50.5)
The pick: Over 50.5
This is one of the higher totals for Week 1 of the season, but I don’t think it’s high enough. Tampa Bay led the league in passing last season. Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick combined to throw for well over 5,000 yards, and Winston has the potential to throw for even more yards in Bruce Arians’ system.
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay doesn’t have anything resembling a defense. The Buccaneers have a solid coordinator in Todd Bowles, but it’s going to take some time to get things moving in the right direction. Tampa Bay let go of its best defensive player (Gerald McCoy) this offseason, and this defense is likely to be boom or bust.
A healthy Jimmy Garoppolo should make San Francisco’s offense much better. Garoppolo only played in three games before suffering a season-ending injury last year, and he will be ready to carve up a pretty porous secondary. George Kittle could have a monster game.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (-5.5)
The pick: Tennessee Titans +5.5
Maybe I’m a little old and will date myself with this reference, but the Tennessee Titans are the NFL’s Rodney Dangerfield. This team is getting no respect despite finishing 9-7 in each of the last three years.
Every other team has been bandied about to win the AFC South, yet no one talks about the Titans. That will change when Tennessee goes into the Dawg Pound and knocks off Cleveland in Week 1.
The Titans have an excellent defense. Jurrell Casey is one of the league’s best defensive tackles, and Tennessee does boast the best safety in the league. Kevin Byard has been a menace over his previous three seasons, so the franchise rewarded him with a massive new contract this offseason.
Cleveland is overvalued by 1 or 2 points. While everyone is raving about the Browns’ skill position talent, they are ignoring the fact that the offensive line played at an unsustainable level over the tail end of last season and is likely to fall back down to Earth. The Titans are going to blow up a lot of plays before they happen, and that will frustrate Baker Mayfield and the Browns.
Check out NFL Week 1 betting odds.