The 2019 NFL Schedule – Top Games to Bet on and More
The 2019 NFL regular season still won’t start for over four months. The 2018 season feels like it just ended, too.
But it’s always football season, am I right?
It certainly seems that way.
The 2019 NFL Draft is coming up at the end of the month, and on Wednesday night, the NFL decided to drop their 2019 schedule.
It seems like odd timing, but the NFL always seems to love taking some time out of the offseason to excite their fan base.
There is plenty to get excited about, too. Fans already knew the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears would open the season on Thursday Night Football, but word of marquee matchups has hit the airwaves.
NFL bettors can’t lay money on every single game of the new 2019 NFL schedule, but they’ll be happy to know that top football betting sites already have early week 1 NFL betting lines available.
You can take a look at which NFL games to bet on to start the year, but why stop your planning there? There is a lot to get excited about with the 2019 NFL schedule release, so let’s break down everything bettors will want to consider going into the new season.
Week 1 NFL Odds
First, let’s take a pit stop over at SportsBetting.ag and check out the early NFL odds for week 1. The schedule is official, and you’re definitely going to want to consider hopping on some of this value.
After all, with the 2019 NFL Draft still in front of us and months to go before rosters are even set in stone, a lot can change. That could make some of these point spreads worth attacking as soon as possible, while it’s always interesting to see how Vegas prices some of the marquee matchups.
I won’t go into great detail just yet, but here’s a running list of the early week 1 NFL betting lines.
- Green Bay Packers (+3.5) -110 @ Chicago Bears (-3.5) -110
- Atlanta Falcons (+5) -115) @ Minnesota Vikings (-5) -105
- Washington Redskins (+8) -110 @ Philadelphia Eagles (-8) -110
- Buffalo Bills (+3.5) -110 @ New York Jets (-3.5) -110
- Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) -115 @ Miami Dolphins (+3.5) -105
- San Francisco 49ers (+1.5) -110 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5) -110
- Kansas City Chiefs (-5) -110 @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+5) -110
- Tennessee Titans (+4.5) -105 @ Cleveland Browns (-4.5) -115
- Los Angeles Rams (-3) +100 @ Carolina Panthers (+3) -120
- Cincinnati Bengals (+7.5) -110 @ Seattle Seahawks (-7.5) -110
- Indianapolis Colts (+3.5) -110 @ Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) -110
- Detroit Lions (PK) -110 @ Arizona Cardinals (PK) -110
- New York Giants (+7.5) -110 @ Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) -110
- Pittsburgh Steelers (+6.5) -110 @ New England Patriots (-6.5) -110
- Houston Texans (+7.5) -110 @ New Orleans Saints (-7.5) -110
- Denver Broncos (+3) -115 @ Oakland Raiders (-3) -105
At first glance, there are some great week 1 NFL matchups, and there should be plenty of value for bettors to attack to start the new year as well.
The Packers and Bears face off in a huge NFC North rivalry clash to start the season, and that could set the tone for that division race. Four other divisional battles go down in week 1, while it’s interesting to note that two of them have spreads at +7.5 or higher.
These divisional matchups tend to be pretty intense, so that could be a spot where bettors tap into some nice NFL betting value.
Elsewhere, talented teams like the Falcons, Jaguars, Texans, and Steelers are all listed as +5 underdogs or worse. They won’t all convert winning bets if you back them, but there is probably an underdog winner in there somewhere.
There is a lot to digest for week 1 NFL betting, but with the 2019 NFL schedule coming out, I thought it’d be better to spend some time on a quick look at the entire year ahead of us.
Top 2019 NFL Games to Bet On
With an eye on the 2019 NFL season and always thinking about ways to profit, I looked over the 2019 NFL schedule release and plucked out my favorite games bettors will want to target.
Here are the NFL games that rank above all others in my opinion.
Week 1 – Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (TNF)
We get started with a bloody NFC North clash in week 1 as Aaron Rodgers leads a new-look Packers team into Chicago to take on the Bears.
Green Bay seems to have improved their roster enough to get back into the playoff hunt in 2019, but we may know right away in a tough road game if that’s actually true.
Week 1 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ New England Patriots (SNF)
The Steelers are a new-look squad as well, as their first game sans Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown is about as hard as they come. That has them taking on the defending champs on the road, and as +6.5 underdogs in week 1 at BetOnline and other NFL betting sites, bettors will need to ponder if they’re up for the risk.
Ben Roethlisberger and co. are being overlooked inside the AFC North, but something tells me that could be a mistake. I’m not sure they upset the Pats here, but this does promise to be one heck of a game on Sunday Night Football.
Week 2 – New Orleans Saints @ Los Angeles Rams
Week 2 in the NFL brings a rematch of the NFC title game where the Saints arguably got burned by a blown no-call. This is the third meeting between these two teams in the last two years, and it will be about as high-profile as regular-season contests come.
Drew Brees could be knee-deep in his retirement tour, while both the Rams and Saints will already be jockeying for position in the race for the top seed in the NFC. Just the offensive talent in this game is enough to get you to throw some money down, but the emotion will also be palpable.
Week 2 – Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets (MNF)
It’s pretty crazy that a week 2 battle between two losing teams will be of significance, but this clash between the Browns and Jets is a big deal.
Both of these teams will be just in the second week of testing out new weapons like Odell Beckham Jr. and Le’Veon Bell, while these young teams also feature dazzling franchise passers in Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold.
The first meeting between these two quarterbacks did not disappoint, and now the Jets and Browns (believe it or not) both have playoff aspirations. The loser may end up struggling to gain their footing, too, making this a huge early-season NFL game.
Week 11 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers (MNF)
The Chiefs are probably still the cream of the crop in the AFC West, but they have a lot to prove after losing some key bodies on both sides of the ball in the past year. This week 11 showdown with the rival Chargers in Mexico City promises to entertain, while it could also carry huge divisional ramifications.
LA upset the Chiefs late last year on a bold two-point conversion call, and it’s quite possible this game could decide the AFC West title. Either way, we’re looking at a hard-fought game between two playoff contenders with elite offenses.
This game is going to be fun, and you won’t want to miss out on its betting potential, either.
Week 14 – Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots
I hate to double down on any team when going over the best NFL games to watch in 2019, but the Chiefs and Patriots are two rare teams that deserve a second glance.
This is not only a rematch of the AFC championship game of a year ago, but these two teams also combined for an insane 84 points during a regular-season meeting in 2018. I don’t know if we can brace for more of the same, but Patrick Mahomes vs. Tom Brady III sure has me excited.
This is another marquee NFL matchup late in the year that will be both entertaining and crucial to playoff seeding.
Week 16 – Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets
The Steelers and Jets both deserve one more mention on this list of NFL games to bet on in 2019, seeing as this week 16 battle has Le’Veon Bell facing his former team.
It’s quite possible the Jets (and maybe even the Steelers) will be out of the running for the AFC playoffs by the time this game rolls around, but Bell vs. Pittsburgh is going to be a massive storyline no matter what.
Will Bell crush the Steelers? Will the (likely) underdog Jets get the win? These are two narratives you can consider betting on late in the 2019 NFL season.
Week 16 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Chicago Bears
One more NFL game you’ll want to bet on is this epic week 16 contest between the Chiefs and Bears. Assuming these two talented teams stay the course based on where they were last year, this could give fans and bettors alike an insane offense vs. defense matchup.
Chicago may end up holding the edge at home with their defense, but it will be very interesting to see how Vegas prices this one. Even more interesting, of course, will be to see how it actually plays out.
Best and Worst of the 2019 NFL Schedule
I’m sure there are other games on the 2019 NFL schedule you like even more than the ones above, but if we remove bias, I think the most intense showdown comes in week 2 between the Saints and Rams.
There has perhaps never been a more controversial no-call in sports history than the one we saw in last year’s NFC title game. It was crazy to see, especially since it had a trip to Super Bowl 53 on the line and hurt the Saints in their own stadium.
Regardless, there is going to be bad blood going into this game, and I truly can’t wait to see where the top NFL sportsbooks set the spread and total. It’s going to be a great one to watch and an even better contest to wager on.
What’s the Worst NFL Game in 2019?
On the flip-side, you can probably look ahead to the 2019 NFL schedule and see some games you’ll either want to stay away from as a bettor or simply avoid as a fan.
There have been some pretty blatant eyesores in the past, but barring some major changes in the draft this year, some of these teams are going to be horrid. That may also make them unreliable when it comes to pro football betting and unwatchable in terms of pure NFL enjoyment.
This is clearly subjective, and things can always change, but my first look has a week 6 meeting between the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins as one of the worst NFL games in 2019.
Right now, you’re looking at a showdown between Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick at the very best, and due to injury or benching, it’s possible the quarterback play in this game could be a heck of a lot worse.
This game is going to be all kinds of ugly even beyond who is under center, and it may be one best left avoided by NFL bettors.
Which 2019 NFL Game Is Underrated?
I think it’s quite possible some bad teams could become a lot more watchable in 2019. The 2019 NFL Draft could change things greatly, while free agency moves and trades could also turn terrible teams into good ones.
If not that, they could at least be far more fun to watch than they were a year ago. Teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Oakland Raiders, and San Francisco 49ers come to mind when you approach the 2019 NFL schedule with that logic.
Depending on how things shake out, I think that week 7 matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants could potentially be epic.
This would definitely require the G-Men trading for Josh Rosen, and if that happened, he’d carry a steep revenge narrative into a showdown with his former squad. Kyler Murray could also be added to that game as the #1 pick in this year’s draft, only increasing the appeal for bettors.
Path to the Playoffs in 2019
One other thing to consider when betting on the NFL in 2019 is how the schedule may impact teams. Which teams have brutal week 1 openers, could get off to a slow start, have a brutal schedule as a whole, or actually have a super easy path to the playoffs?
I don’t think a schedule completely dictates things one way or the other, but I will say that teams that randomly rise up from non-playoff status to competing for a playoff spot often have an easier schedule.
That’s one thing to consider, while division strength is another. Are the Patriots finally going to have it tougher in the AFC East with the Jets and Bills looking to improve?
Teams With the Easiest Path to the Playoffs
This is always going to be subjective, but it’s pretty simple: combine the 2019 opponent’s records, note their winning percentage, and project how a team’s schedule looks.
It’s not for sure going to tell you who actually takes advantage of the schedule, and the bad teams on that schedule could also get better, but it’s a fine starting point.
Based on the data from last year, here are the five teams with the easiest path to the 2019 NFL playoffs.
- Washington Redskins
- New England Patriots
- Los Angeles Rams
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
I wouldn’t read into this too much for the Redskins and Giants. Their quarterback situation is brutal, and they’re both in the weak NFC East. That doesn’t mean they can’t shock with a playoff run, but I don’t anticipate either will do that.
More than anything, this just locks the Patriots and Rams in as title threats. They both could endure a Super Bowl hangover, but they’re well-coached and absurdly talented. Both should make a run for the playoffs again in 2019 — if not much more — and an easy schedule should only aid them.
The team here that could be sneaky would be the Jets.
Sam Darnold gives New York a legit franchise passer, they beefed up their defense, and Le’Veon Bell gives them an elite feature back. They are ready to rock, and most would agree they’re now the second-best team in their division.
With an easy schedule ahead of them, don’t be shocked if the Jets push for a wild card spot.
Not too far behind these five teams are the Bengals, Bills, and Browns. These are three more teams that did not make the playoffs in 2018 that should be on a short list of sleeper teams that could jump back up the rankings in 2019.
Teams With the Hardest Path to the Playoffs
On the other end of the spectrum are the teams that have a tough road to the playoffs in 2019. Some are not so deserving, but playing in tough divisions can also make things more difficult than expected.
The Raiders lead this list, and that’s simply not fair based on where they were at in 2018. However, playing in the AFC West with the Chiefs and Chargers complicates things, while the AFC as a whole has a lot of tough teams.
Nobody controls who the AFC faces in the NFC each year, either. It’s a rotating schedule, and Oakland just happens to be taking on the NFC North. Matchups with the Bears, Vikings, and Packers don’t look promising on paper.
They’re just one team that has it tough this year when you look at the 2019 NFL schedule, though. Take a look at the five teams with the toughest path to the 2019 NFL playoffs.
- Oakland Raiders
- Denver Broncos
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Houston Texans
- Chicago Bears
I wasn’t about to crown the Raiders or Broncos in the AFC West anyway, so this could stick a fork in them for me. Jacksonville is looking up at the Colts and Texans in the AFC South, too, but adding Nick Foles under center gives them a chance to buck this tough schedule.
Houston and Chicago are two playoff contenders that will simply have to work their way through some rough sledding. The Bears seem stacked, and I still peg them as the favorites to win the NFC North, though, so if one of these two slides, I’d nominate the Texans.
Other teams worth mentioning due to a brutal schedule include the Chiefs and Vikings. Both could find it tough to enjoy much success as they rank inside the top-10 for hardest NFL schedules this year.
Overall, there is quite a bit to take in when you start looking at the 2019 NFL schedule and preparing to bet on the new football season.
Several teams promise to excite and compete after down 2018 campaigns, but even some of those teams could have issues with improved divisions and schedules that simply don’t look very inviting on paper.
My pick to win Super Bowl 54 has been the New Orleans Saints ever since they got screwed in the NFC title game. I don’t think you’ll find a more determined and driven team in the league this year. Their schedule difficulty ranks 22nd in pro football, too, so I don’t think they’re going to have a tough time making their way back to the playoffs.
The Saints do have a crazy week 2 game against the Rams, though, so issues like that should be part of your NFL betting process if you have an eye on the big picture.
Either way, it’s fun to take an early look at the NFL betting scene. Whether you’re betting on week 1 NFL games or trying to figure out who wins Super Bowl 54, I wish you luck!