The 2019 NFL regular season won’t be here for over four more months. That leaves NFL fans plenty of time to drum up hope that their team can win it all.
If you look at the latest Super Bowl 54 odds, some people have a more realistic shot at seeing their team shock the world than others.
But it’s still the offseason. This is a time where everyone is undefeated. Your favorite team’s free agency moves and draft picks are infallible. The coaching and schematic changes are destined
Nothing can stop all 32 NFL teams.
That optimism only lasts so long, but it’s only aided by the 2019 NFL schedule release. Some teams have it
really hard going into 2019, others have it super easy, and just about everyone has a very interesting schedule on their hands.
I mean, the Cleveland Browns, of all teams, have four games scheduled for primetime television. Four. The Browns. Seriously.
With that type of exposure comes crazy expectations, and the madness starts in week 1. In fact, the top NFL betting sites
have hopped on the NFL schedule release and are wasting no time generating interest in the first week of the 2019 season.
As if they really had to twist our arms.
Week 1 NFL Odds and 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
The first week of the 2019 NFL regular season promises not to disappoint. The very first game of the year is an NFC North grudge match between the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers.
Later in the week, the New England Patriots begin their title defense tour at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s going to be a wild ride and hopefully a profitable run.
If you’re going to win money betting on the NFL in week 1, though (or at all in any capacity), it probably makes sense to get your research started early.
With that, I’m taking a look at the early week 1 NFL betting lines and making some picks.
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Possibly the best NFL game of week 1 goes down in Chicago, where Khalil Mack and the Bears will host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Whoever pieced the 2019 NFL schedule together made a good call
here, as an improved Packers squad will likely give the Bears a run for their money.
I think Chicago wins this one, but the Packers at +3.5 in a game that will probably be close feels like a steal. These Packers/Bears games tend to be tight and come down to the final plays. If
Green Bay does win, it’s likely to be dramatic.
PICKGreen Bay Packers (+3.5)-110
Atlanta Falcons vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Falcons got off to a slow start in week 1 last year and eventually suffered a slew of injuries they couldn’t recover from. They return with a loaded offense to battle a solid Minnesota team
on the road in week 1.
I respect Atlanta’s offense too much to bet against them to the tune of five points here. Minnesota has the benefit of being at home with a strong defense, but Atlanta could be better than
expected in 2019. I like a close game here, and while the Vikings should win, it won’t be by much.
PICKAtlanta Falcons (+5)-115
Washington Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz will be healthy to start 2019, which is good news for a still-loaded Eagles offense that only got better during the offseason. Deep threat DeSean Jackson comes in to take the top off
of defenses, and running back Jordan Howard gives Philly the grinder inside they were lacking.
Nobody will be confused who the better team is here, especially with the Redskins ailing at quarterback. Case Keenum could turn back the clock and be more 2017 than 2018, but I doubt it.
The smart money is on Washington being bad and the Eagles taking advantage in their home opener.
PICKPhiladelphia Eagles (-8)-110
Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets
This week 1 showdown between the Jets and Bills could set the tone for either side for the entire season. Regardless, it at the very worst gives us a fun AFC East clash as young guns Josh Allen
and Sam Darnold face off.
On paper, it’s the Jets that hold more optimism going into the new year. Le’Veon Bell is a massive addition and could balance New York’s offense out. I believe that to be true, but the Bills can
still defend and will play hard. Expect a close one.
PICKBuffalo Bills (+3.5)-110
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins
Miami looks like they’re going to be all kinds of bad in 2019. They’re introducing a brand-new coach in Brian Flores, Ryan Fitzpatrick is taking over their offense under center, and they lost two
terrific pass rushers in Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn.
Flores might be the right guy for the job eventually, but 2019 is going to get ugly in a hurry. Baltimore’s offense will hopefully be less gimmicky in 2019, but they at least have the defense and
offensive fundamentals to grind one out here.
I’d put extra emphasis on the under (36.5), but the Ravens by four also makes good sense.
PICKBaltimore Ravens (-3.5)-115
San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon are back to crush skulls, and they also are joined by a slew of nice offseason additions. San Francisco suddenly looks very dangerous, and this week 1 battle
in Tampa Bay shouldn’t thwart off bettors.
Tampa Bay did bring in offensive guru Bruce Arians to turn things around, but I’ve never been a big believer in Jameis Winston. The Bucs also don’t defend or run the ball well, so the Niners as
underdogs feel like highway robbery to get the new season started.
PICKSan Francisco 49ers (+1.5)-110
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The high-flying Chiefs get a stiff test when they face the Jaguars in Jacksonville in week 1. Patrick Mahomes and company were one defensive stop from playing in a Super Bowl, so you better
believe they’ll be out for blood to get 2019 going.
Jacksonville’s defense could be back to playing at a high level, while the addition of Nick Foles should balance out a bad Jaguars offense. All true, but I’m just not sure Foles and co. can keep
up with Mahomes.
PICKKansas City Chiefs (-5)-110
Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
The hype around the Browns is pretty insane. I definitely note the swagger Baker Mayfield has and the immense talent Cleveland has collected, but they haven’t proven anything yet.
It seems everyone has crowned the Browns as AFC North champs and Super Bowl contenders, yet they were just 1-5 against playoff teams in 2018. They have a lot to prove, and while the Titans aren’t
elite, they’re well-coached and hard-nosed.
The Browns might win in week 1, but it won’t be easy.
PICKTennessee Titans (+4.5)-105
Los Angeles Rams vs.Carolina Panthers
Are the Rams about to be victims of the Super Bowl hangover? Will Cam Newton show any ill effects of offseason shoulder surgery? Both are valid concerns for both sides, while Vegas seems to be
paying the Panthers some respect at home here.
I still think this is a tiny line to back the more talented Rams on. Carolina’s defense appeared to regress last year, and the Rams should be getting Cooper Kupp back. Assuming they don’t just free-fall into oblivion,
they’re the safer bet to start 2019 off at 1-0.
PICKLos Angeles Rams (-3)+100
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Seattle Seahawks
The expectations are very low for the Bengals going into 2019 as they have a rookie head coach taking over, and they’ve lost some defensive talent. Needless to say, going into Seattle and scoring
a big road win over the Seahawks won’t be easy.
This would have felt like easy money (picking Seattle) late last year, but the Bengals are a bit better than people seem to think. They do have talent on offense, and with a new head coach who
studied under Sean McVay, I’m willing to extend an olive branch here.
Seattle wins, but this one might be close.
PICKCincinnati Bengals (+7.5)-110
Indianapolis Colts vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Here’s another intense week 1 battle in the NFL, as one of these playoff teams from a year ago will start off at 0-1. I hate to pick a side here, as both the Colts and Chargers can put up points
and also have defenses that should be solid in 2019.
The edge has to go to the home team if you’re looking to pick a side, but I prefer the over (48) in what could be a fun shootout.
Detroit Lions vs. Arizona Cardinals
The only true pick’em slated for the week 1 NFL schedule is this battle in the desert between the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals. It may or may not feature Kyler Murray, which might end up
changing how bettors look at this one.
Perhaps that’s partially why Vegas isn’t sure how to price this one, but as things stand, I’d say Detroit is the more cohesive team from top to bottom. They feel like the easy pick, but you may
want to adjust things depending on how the draft goes.
PICKDetroit Lions (PK)-110
New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys
The G-Men and Cowboys seem to start the year facing each other every single season, and they’ll do so again in 2019. Eli Manning remains in the saddle for the Giants, who are running their
organization like it’s 1997.
That doesn’t sound good on paper, while Dallas looks like a solid bet to win the division and compete for a playoff spot again. I don’t love this spread at all, but with both offenses built to
run the ball, I like the under a lot.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New England Patriots
If I haven’t come to the best week 1 NFL game yet, then this has to be it. I know the Steelers let Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell go this offseason, but they honestly might be better off without
those two headcases.
I also expect Ben Roethlisberger and co. to be extremely motivated going into this season, while a thick spread like this feels ambitious against a hated rival like New England. The Pats are
probably locks to get the win in their home opener, but I expect this to be close.
PICKPittsburgh Steelers (+6.5)-110
Houston Texans vs. New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and company kick off their revenge tour at home against the Texans in week 1. They got burned by the referees in the NFC title game, and I get the feeling they won’t let anyone forget
The Saints will be out for blood and historically are very tough to beat at home. Provided the refs don’t give Houston the same breaks they handed the Rams, I love the Saints to win, and I
wouldn’t be shocked if they covered.
New Orleans to cover feels like a win, but a nice secondary wager could be the over (53.5).
PICKNew Orleans Saints (-7.5)-110
Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders
The last game of the week pits Jon Gruden’s Raiders against the rival Broncos. Nobody can possibly know what to expect here, but it’s obviously worth noting that Oakland is actually favored to
We don’t know yet if Derek Carr will even still be under center, but we do know the Raiders improved their roster and will be at home. I also don’t trust Joe Flacco at all, so almost by default,
Oakland feels like the play.
PICKOakland Raiders (-3)-105
It is way too early to feel amazing about any week 1 NFL picks, but I do think taking a look down the road can be very helpful. In some spots, exploiting crazy pricing might also be a fine idea.
The 2019 NFL Draft still needs to come and go, there will be another wave of free agency signings, and there’s of course the unfortunate possibility some star players succumb to injury.
All of this can shape and mold the 2019 NFL season, but the week 1 NFL odds are out there, and bettors need to take advantage of them. However you decide to bet this year, hopefully I can steer
you in the right direction. Either way, good luck, and enjoy the rest of the offseason!
Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.
When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.