Opening Line Report: 2023 NFL Week 1 Lines


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Opening Line Report: 2023 NFL Week 1 Lines

The NFL schedule started to trickle out in the weeks after the draft before the league revealed the full 2023 schedule on May 11. That also means sportsbooks released their Week 1 opening lines and totals for the weekend of Sept. 7-11, which kicks off with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Detroit Lions. I recently released my updated Post-Draft Power Rankings projection and I’ve included my line projection for every Week 1 contest.

The Lions and Chiefs opener is the only game with a total in the 50s on the board at 53.5 points. The Arizona Cardinals and Washington Commanders are on the other end of the spectrum with the lowest total of 41 points. The Baltimore Ravens are the biggest favorite on the board as 9.5-point home favorites over the Houston Texans. The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers feature the smallest spread with the Bears installed as 1.5-point home favorites. It’s time to dive into these matchups to see if there are any lines that we should bet on now or if there are any lines we should hold off betting until closer to the start of the season.

Week 1 Opening Lines

Lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook as of the morning of May 12.

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5, 53.5)9/7 8:20 p.m.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5, 43.5)9/10 1 p.m.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-4, 44) at Indianapolis Colts9/10 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (-6, 46)9/10 1 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers (-3, 43) at Pittsburgh Steelers9/10 1 p.m.
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders (-6, 41)9/10 1 p.m.
Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints (-4, 42)9/10 1 p.m.
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5, 45)9/10 1 p.m.
Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5, 46.5) at Cleveland Browns9/10 1 p.m.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 47.5)9/10 1 p.m.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-1.5, 42.5)9/10 4:25 p.m.
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-2, 49)9/10 4:25 p.m.
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5, 45)9/10 4:25 p.m.
Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 45.5) at New England Patriots9/10 4:25 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5, 45.5) at New York Giants9/10 8:20 p.m.
Buffalo Bills (-2, 48.5) at New York Jets9/11 8:15 p.m.

NFL Kickoff Game

Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5, 53.5)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Chiefs -5

The Lions are getting a lot of love heading into the 2023 season after falling just short of the playoffs with an 8-2 run in their final 10 games. I’m one of those Lions supporters after they padded my bank account with their 9-1 ATS stretch to close out 2022. The NFL apparently is too by giving them the opening game of the season against the defending Super Bowl champions. This is the only Week 1 game with a total currently in the 50s at 53.5 points and it’s the largest total by a whopping 4.5 points — the Dolphins and Chargers are the next closest at 49 points. I typically bake in 1.5 points for home-field advantage, but I give the Chiefs two points at Arrowhead Stadium and I’m adding an extra half point for the Lions coming outdoors and playing in Kansas City on Super Bowl ring night. I’m still showing value on the Lions and I’m going to add them to my early portfolio at +7.


Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-2.5, 43.5)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Falcons -1

The Panthers (+300) and Falcons (+275) are both popular longshots to win the NFC South behind the favorite Saints at +110 odds. This matchup features a pair of top-10 picks and the two favorites for the Offensive Rookie of the Year, Bryce Young (+475) and Bijan Robinson (+300). The Panthers covered in both matchups against the Falcons last season, and they were an Eddie Pineiro extra point away from a pair of outright wins. D.J. Moore went from hero to goat, scoring on an improbable 62-yard Hail Mary pass in the waning moments of Week 8. His 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for removing his helmet during the celebration forced Piniero’s PAT miss and the Falcons prevailed in extra time. I have the Falcons as short favorites in this matchup, but I don’t disagree with the early line movement to the Falcons with Young making his first NFL start.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4, 44) at Indianapolis Colts

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Jaguars -4

Indianapolis will begin a new era of Colts football with Shane Steichen taking over for Frank Reich, and he’ll hopefully unleash his new toy and the fourth overall pick, Anthony Richardson, in the season opener. The Jaguars begin the year in an odd spot as the odds-on favorites to win the AFC South with the rest of the division drafting rookie QBs in late April. Jacksonville hasn’t won back-to-back division titles since Mark Brunell and Jimmy Smith led them to consecutive AFC Central titles in 1998-99. Trevor Lawrence started to flourish in the second half of his second season, and he’ll now have Calvin Ridley at his disposal. The Colts have the element of surprise on their side since there will be limited tape of Richardson in Steichen’s offense, but this still seems like a good spot for the Jaguars given the lack of experience from Indy’s new HC-QB combo.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings (-6, 46)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Vikings -6

The Buccaneers snuck into the playoffs last season with a losing record (8-9) and the league’s worst ATS mark (4-12-1) thanks to playing in the NFL’s worst division. They’re still playing in the league’s worst division but facing an uphill battle to maintain their spot at the top of the NFC South. They’re transitioning from the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, who won seven Super Bowls in 23 seasons, to the freshly minted journeyman Baker Mayfield, who was on four rosters in an eight-month span. The Vikings are trying to hold off regression in 2023 after they finished with a perfect 11-0 record in one-possession games in Kevin O’Connell’s first season. Minnesota became the first team in NFL history with 12+ victories to allow more points than it scored in the regular season, finishing with a -3 point differential. The point spread is right in line with my projection and my instinct is to fade Tampa Bay in Baker’s first start with the Buccaneers.

San Francisco 49ers (-3, 43) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: 49ers -1

The schedule makers smiled upon the Steelers by giving them their matchup against the 49ers in the season opener. Sam Darnold is currently the healthiest quarterback on their depth chart, with Brock Purdy recovering from throwing elbow surgery and Trey Lance undergoing a pair of surgeries to his right ankle in the last calendar year. HC Kyle Shanahan continues to appear ready to hand Purdy the starting job in 2023, but he’ll still need to prove he’s healthy in training camp and in the preseason. San Francisco has failed to cover in three straight season openers, which includes a nine-point loss as 6.5-point road favorites against the Bears last season. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has pulled off two massive outright upsets over Super Bowl contenders in each of the last two seasons against the Bengals and Bills, respectively. Mike Tomlin’s squad has covered in three straight season openers. If you can’t tell, I’m betting the Steelers in this spot catching a full field goal.

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders (-6, 41)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Commanders -3.5

The Cardinals have the NFL’s worst season win total at 4.5 victories, but they’ll open the year with one of their few chances to crack the win column against one of the league’s other bottom feeders. Of course, they’ll most likely be without Kyler Murray at quarterback, as he is expected to miss time early in the season recovering from his late 2022 ACL injury. Washington’s new starting QB Sam Howell gets a soft opening spot against the Cardinals. There could be more energy than usual at FedEx Field if the worst owner in professional sports, Daniel Snyder, is finally out by September. This is the lowest total on the board at 41 points and the Commanders are giving far too many points. I don’t trust the Cardinals enough to bet on them at this point, especially with the chance that the Cardinals move players like DeAndre Hopkins later this summer.

Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints (-4, 42)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Saints -4

New Orleans enters a new period of Saints football with Derek Carr taking the reins of the offense. Michael Thomas will be back in the lineup for the Saints but for how long? And Alvin Kamara could be out of the picture depending on how his trial goes in August. Will Levis will also be taking the baton for the Titans at some point this season, but it will most likely be Ryan Tannehill’s show to open in 2023. New Orleans’ new-look defensive line is going to be tested right out of the gates against Derrick Henry and the Titans’ rushing attack. The Saints moved on from Marcus Davenport, David Onyemata, and Shy Tuttle by signing Nathan Shepherd and Khalen Saunders, and drafting Bryan Bresee and Isaiah Foskey. The point spread and my projection for this game are exactly aligned and I don’t have a strong feeling in either direction.

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5, 45)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Ravens -7.5

This game features the biggest spread on the board with the Ravens entering as 9.5-point home favorites. Baltimore finally locked up Lamar Jackson to a long-term contract after an excessively long dispute, and they’ll debut their new-look offense with Todd Monken calling plays and Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers added to his receiving corps. Houston will try to climb out of the NFL’s basement for the first time since 2019 with HC DeMeco Ryan, QB C.J. Stroud, and EDGE Will Anderson each making their debuts with the Texans. John Harbaugh’s teams have cleaned up in Week 1 with an 11-4 ATS mark, and he’ll get to tee off against a rookie HC and QB this year. This line is a bit bloated compared to my projection, but I want nothing to do with betting the Texans in this spot.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5, 46.5) at Cleveland Browns

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Bengals -3

The 100th Battle of Ohio will take place in Cleveland to open the season with the Bengals owning a 52-47 all-time edge. The Bengals will look to lock Joe Burrow into a long-term contract before September, and we’ll see if Joe Mixon takes the field with him this season. The Browns spent the off-season adding receiving help for Deshaun Watson to help his Cleveland career takeoff after an ugly first six-game run last year. These teams split their season series outright and ATS last season. Jacoby Brissett smoked Cincinnati by 19 points on Halloween before Ja’Marr Chase and the Bengals got their revenge by 13 points in December. I’m unlikely to get involved with this game with my projection lining up tightly with the point spread.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5, 47.5)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Seahawks -6

The Rams’ Super Bowl victory feels like it happened a decade ago after their dreadful 5-12 follow-up campaign. It’s time to see what the remaining core of this team has left in the tank after Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald ended last season on injured reserve. Geno Smith won the Comeback Player of the Year award by leading the league in completion percentage (69.8) and throwing for 30 TDs. He’s out to prove 2022 wasn’t a fluke, and his offensive weaponry is even better this season after they drafted Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Zach Charbonnet. Seattle won both matchups outright last season, but Los Angeles got the covers, which means the Rams have won five straight ATS and 8-of-9 against the Seahawks. Based on my projection, I’m leaning toward the Seahawks, but I’m staying away from this game with the Rams back to full health and given Sean McVay’s success against Pete Carroll.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-1.5, 42.5)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Packers -.5

The Packers and Bears are pitted against each other in the shortest point spread on the board. I’m a little higher on Jordan Love and the Packers than the sportsbooks and I give Green Bay a slight edge in what I see as a pick-em contest. There could be an advantage in betting on the Packers early this season because of the perceived massive downgrade from Aaron Rodgers to Love. I’m also more bearish (pun intended) on Justin Fields and Chicago than the public has been after an eventful off-season filled with plenty of additions. I’ll hold off on betting on the Packers for now in hopes that the momentum builds for the Bears and this line stretches out to a full field goal. This could be a game to consider betting under the total with both of these teams rolling out relatively new offenses.

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-2, 49)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Chargers -2.5

Tua Tagovailoa’s brain health is going to be one of the biggest NFL stories like it was last season, and he said in April that he pondered retirement. The Dolphins drafted Tua another absolute speed merchant in Devon Achane, and we’ll see how Mike McDaniel plans to deploy him in his offense. Justin Herbert is set to debut in Kellen Moore’s offense after his huge arm was leashed a bit in Joe Lombardi’s offense. It’s up in the air if Austin Ekeler will join him in the backfield as he continues to look for a pay raise. The Chargers flummoxed Tua in a 23-17 victory as three-point home underdogs last December, limiting Tua to 5.2 YPA and a 35.7% completion percentage. I’m leaning toward Brandon Staley cooking up another scheme to slow down McDaniel’s offense while laying less than a field goal.

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos (-3.5, 45)

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Broncos -2.5

The Walton-Penner Family ponied up to bring Sean Payton to Denver, and the marriage between him and Russell Wilson will get its first meeting with the Raiders. Early indications are that Javonte Williams won’t be available to open the season as he recovers from multiple ligament tears in his knee. Josh McDaniels’ seat is already a little warmer than he wanted after blowing an NFL-record five different double-digit leads in the second half in his first year with the Raiders. He brought in a pair of his guys – Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers – to try and turn things around in his second season. The Raiders won and covered in both matchups against the Broncos last season, which gave them a six-game winning streak in this series. Las Vegas is 10-1 ATS against Denver dating back to 2017 when it still played home games in Oakland. This spread is a bit bloated compared to my projection and the series history makes the Raiders a compelling wager at more than a field goal.

Philadelphia Eagles (-4, 46.5) at New England Patriots

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Eagles -4

The Lombardi Trophy runner-ups get their 2023 campaign underway against a Patriots franchise they beat in Super Bowl Bowl LII and lost to in Super Bowl XXXIX. New England is set to honor their quarterback from both of those games, Tom Brady, which will be the second time he’s returned to Foxborough since leaving New England after the 2019 season. The Eagles blew up their backfield in the off-season, but they arguably have a more dynamic duo in Rashaad Penny and D’Andre Swift if they’re able to stay healthy. Bill Belichick brought back his old play caller Bill O’Brien and signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki after last year’s offensive debacle with Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. I don’t anticipate having much interest in betting on this game unless the Eagles would dip below field-goal favorites, which seems unlikely.

Sunday Night

Dallas Cowboys (-2.5, 45.5) at New York Giants

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Cowboys -2

The Cowboys and Giants will renew their rivalry in Week 1 on the first of two New York primetime games on opening weekend on the 22nd anniversary of 9/11. Dallas won both games against New York last season, with the Giants earning an ATS split thanks to a garbage-time TD from Richie James with eight seconds left on Thanksgiving Day. Mike McCarthy wrestled play-calling duties away from Kellen Moore after another Divisional Round loss, and he’s vowed to run the rock more in 2023. The Giants are going all-in on Daniel Jones, inking him to a long-term contract and adding several bodies to his receiving corps. This point spread is pretty dead on compared to my power rankings, and I’ll only get involved with this game if the Giants catch a little more than a field goal.

Monday Night

Buffalo Bills (-2, 48.5) at New York Jets

Brolley’s Power Ranking Projection: Bills -.5

I’m a little lower on the Jets than most and I’m still showing a little value on New York in Aaron Rodgers’ first game in Gotham green. It means that I’m even lower on the Bills than the market after they flamed out of the playoffs and a quiet off-season. The line has been bet down from the Bills -3 and it looks like it will settle into a spot that is more in line with my power rankings. The Jets covered both games as double-digit underdogs against the Bills last season, including an eight-point victory in Orchard Park in mid-December. The Jets could have some September growing pains while Rodgers gets acclimated with his new teammates. I lean toward the continuity of the Bills in the season opener and I’d bet them if they become underdogs at any point.

Brolley’s Best Bets

Detroit Lions (+7, BetMGM) at Kansas City Chiefs. Risk 1.1 units to win one unit.

Pittsburgh Steelers (+3, BetMGM) vs. San Francisco 49ers. Risk 1.1 units to win one unit.

Tom is a Senior Writer at Fantasy Points who specializes in fantasy and betting analysis. He’ll be helping you to navigate the waiver wire and manage your fantasy teams while also keeping our betting content robust all year long, especially during the season. Tom's Best Bets against the spread won at 64.3% clip last season and he owned the last undefeated team out of 3000 entries in Scott Fish Bowl 12.