The NFL schedule finally started to trickle out in the weeks after the draft before the league revealed the full 2021 schedule on May 12. That also means sportsbooks released their Week 1 opening lines for the weekend of Sept. 9-13 — totals have yet to be released. I released my initial Power Rankings for the upcoming season if you’re looking to get a better idea of what I think the Week 1 lines should look like. It’s time to dive into these matchups to see if there are any lines that we should bet 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 DraftKings Sportsbook as of the morning of May 12.
|Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5, -275)||9/9 8:20 p.m.|
|Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans (-2.5, -136)||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5, -110) vs. Washington Football Team||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, -136)||9/12 1 p.m.|
|New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers (-4.5, -200)||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Minnesota Vikings (-3, -136) vs. Cincinnati Bengals||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5, -121) vs. Houston Texans||9/12 1 p.m.|
|San Francisco 49ers (-7.5, -455) vs. Detroit Lions||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, -200)||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (-6.5, -286)||9/12 1 p.m.|
|Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5, -250)||9/12 4:25 p.m.|
|Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (-2, -130)||9/12 4:25 p.m.|
|Denver Broncos (-1.5, -121) vs. New York Giants||9/12 4:25 p.m.|
|Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints — No line (Rodgers situation)||9/12 4:25 p.m.|
|Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7, -335)||9/12 8:20 p.m.|
|Baltimore Ravens (-6, -305) vs. Las Vegas Raiders||9/13 8:15 p.m.|
Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5, -275), 9/9 8:20 p.m.
I’m leaning toward the Buccaneers side in the NFL’s season opener but I won’t be betting this game anytime soon. The Cowboys will see some public money come in, especially if Dak Prescott’s rehab stays on track, and I would expect this line to get below six points in the near future. I’d bet the Cowboys now at +6.5 if that’s the side you favor, and I’ll be waiting to see if the line gets shorter on the Buccaneers’ side.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans (-2.5, -136), 9/12 1 p.m.
I’m favoring the Titans side in this game with the line under a field goal and it could become a Best Bet later this summer, but I’m holding off for now since The Cardinals could get some love in this contest. Arizona is an up-and-coming team coming off a strong off-season while the Titans are trending the other way with some key losses in OC Arthur Smith, WR Corey Davis, and TE Jonnu Smith. This line has a better chance of moving closer to a pick-em than it does to climb over three points.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5, -110) vs. Washington Football Team, 9/12 1 p.m.
Wrong favorite alert! Wrong favorite alert! I’m making the Football Team a Best Bet at +1.5 since I think they should be small favorites in this contest. The Chargers have been building plenty of momentum this off-season and it carried over to this Week 1 line. Los Angeles will be debuting an entirely new coaching staff against a Washington roster that’s largely intact from last season outside of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. I’m trusting the veteran Fitzpatrick to be mostly on the same page with his new offense to grab the points with a spread that I think should be flipped.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Indianapolis Colts (-2.5, -136), 9/12 1 p.m.
I see a little bit of value on the Seahawks side right now but I’d wait to bet on the Seahawks to see if this line gets up to a field goal or more. The Colts have been getting a ton of respect in the betting markets all off-season despite the fact that their new QB, Carson Wentz, had a miserable 2020 campaign. Some books have the juice on the Colts at -2.5 so it looks like this line might move higher.
New York Jets vs. Carolina Panthers (-4.5, -200), 9/12 1 p.m.
This is a juicy matchup with these April trade partners with Sam Darnold taking on his former team right out of the gates. This game seems appropriately lined and I’m not looking to get involved in this contest with new quarterbacks leading both teams. I’d take the points now at +4.5 with the Jets since I think this line will settle in the 3.5-to-4 point range and I’d wait if I was looking to bet on the Panthers.
Minnesota Vikings (-3.5, -165) vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 9/12 1 p.m.
I was prepared to give this line out when I saw the Vikings open as -2.5-point favorites early on May 12 but this line quickly moved to a field-goal-plus. I’m still considering wagering on Minnesota at -3 because of the uncertainty surrounding Joe Burrow’s status for the first couple of weeks, and there’s absolutely no rush to bet the Bengals while we wait for more information on their franchise quarterback.
Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5, -121) vs. Houston Texans, 9/12 1 p.m.
This is a stay-away game if I’ve ever seen one. The Texans would become favorites if Deshaun Watson trends toward playing in Week 1, which I don’t see happening. On the other side, we have the great unknown of what Urban Meyer’s team will look like in Week 1. I’ll gladly stay on the sidelines in this one, but I’d be inclined to lay the points now with the Jaguars before it climbs higher since no one has been backing the Texans (for good reasons) all off-season long.
San Francisco 49ers (-7.5, -455) vs. Detroit Lions, 9/12 1 p.m.
The 49ers have quickly moved to -7.5 favorites across the board, which isn’t surprising at all considering San Francisco’s momentum this off-season and Detroit’s lack thereof. This line could ping-pong between -7 and -7.5 this summer so make sure you’re grabbing the appropriate line depending on which side you favor in this contest.
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons (-3.5, -200), 9/12 1 p.m.
I’m leaning toward the Falcons at -3.5 but the uncertainty with Julio Jones’ situation has me staying away from this game. This line could shrink to a field goal or less if Jones is moved before the end of the summer. I also don’t trust this Falcons defense to lay more than a field goal until I see if the unit has improved at all after a disastrous 2020.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Buffalo Bills (-6.5, -286), 9/12 1 p.m.
I’m a little lower on the Steelers than the books since I have the Bills favored by more than a touchdown in this contest. I could boost up the Steelers in August depending on how their young offensive line plays in the preseason since I think that unit, in particular, dragged them down last season. For that reason, I’m holding off on betting the Bills as under touchdown favorites, and I also don’t see this line moving to 7+ points in the near future.
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5, -250), 9/12 4:25 p.m.
My Power Rankings have the Chiefs as six-point favorites but I’m not surprised the line came out a little shorter in the Browns’ favor. Cleveland is coming off a strong off-season in which they addressed many of their major defensive needs while the Chiefs left a sour taste in the mouths of their backers the last time we saw them in the Super Bowl. There are a few rogue +6s out there if and I’d grab those now if you’re looking to back the Browns because I only see this line shrinking this summer.
Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots (-2, -130), 9/12 4:25 p.m.
I don’t have a strong opinion on this line, which means this game is pretty appropriately lined. I have the Dolphins as the slightly better team entering the season but the Patriots should be favored under a field goal with homefield advantage coming back into play this season. This line would have to move 1.5 points or more for me to get involved in this game in either direction.
Denver Broncos (-1.5, -121) vs. New York Giants, 9/12 4:25 p.m.
The Broncos opened as small road favorites over the Giants which, on the surface, looks mispriced, but books are clearly baking in a little bit of insurance in case Aaron Rodgers would wind up in Denver. It looks like books are hedging their bets with the Rodgers situations. I’d have Denver going off around four-point favorites if Rodgers landed with the Broncos while the Giants will likely go off as a small home favorite if it’s Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (no line), 9/12 4:25 p.m.
Sportsbooks are holding off on lining this game because of the uncertainty surrounding Aaron Rodgers’ situation in Green Bay. I’d guess the Packers would open as under field-goal favorites if Rodgers would play while I’d have the Saints as the favorites by 6-7 points if Jordan Love would start in Week 1.
Chicago Bears vs. Los Angeles Rams (-7, -335), 9/12 8:20 p.m.
The Bears will be starting either a washed-up veteran in Andy Dalton or a fresh-faced rookie in Justin Fields against the league’s best defense from last season. You can tell where I’m leaning in Matthew Stafford’s first game but I’m not looking to bet it until I see if some -6.5s start to pop up. A few books have moved the juice to the Bears side so we could see this line move in the Bears favor in the future.
Baltimore Ravens (-6, -305) vs. Las Vegas Raiders, 9/13 8:15 p.m.
This line is a bit inflated in the Ravens’ favor — I have it more in the five-point range — but I’m not exactly dying to get to the window to bet on Las Vegas after they had one of the worst off-seasons of any team. I don’t see this line moving much in either direction this summer unless something dramatic happens. The Ravens are available at -5.5 at some sportsbooks and I’d avoid laying -6 if I was looking to bet them.
Brolley’s Best Bets
Washington Football Team (+1.5, DraftKings) vs. Los Angeles Chargers. Risk one unit at -110 to win .91 units.