Week 1 predictions and picks against the spread: Get ready for Baker Mayfield and Russell Wilson statement games

It's Sunday, folks, and we've run through the most likely game scripts. Here are our NFL Week 1 predictions and picks for point spreads and moneylines.

How’s everyone’s Week 1 going? Good/bad? Well, it’s about to get better for bettors. Here’s our final look at NFL predictions and picks for the remaining 15 Week 1 games. The following NFL betting odds are for picks against the spread, as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Week 1 predictions and picks

Each week of the NFL season features the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

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What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities. With that in mind, here are our final assessments for each remaining Week 1 contests.

New York Jets (+7) vs. Baltimore Ravens

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

The betting line has remained steady, even after Joe Flacco was officially named the starter (this weekend and for the next three weeks, at minimum). He’ll need to play nearly flawlessly to win. After missing the playoffs despite starting 8-3, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have to be pretty revved up for this one. Even with a questionably healthy backfield, Baltimore has the firepower to overwhelm New York.

Against-the-spread prediction: Ravens
Moneyline winner: Ravens

Detroit Lions (+4) vs. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Not much has changed since earlier this week. This should be a fascinating contest between two ascending franchises. Most of the Lions’ key players in 2021 were sidelined for 4+ games. At full strength, this team can turn their 19.1 points per game last season into 23+, while Philadelphia will show off their prized acquisition, A.J. Brown. I’m betting on a back-and-forth affair, with Philadelphia squeezing out the victory.

Against-the-spread prediction: Lions
Moneyline winner: Eagles

Houston Texans (+7) vs. Indianapolis Colts

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

The line was 8.5 five days ago. Perhaps the solidification of Houston’s backfield behind rookie Dameon Price has inspired confidence. I was comfortable with Houston covering the earlier line, and there’s little reason to veer away from this bet after the recent change. The Colts should win comfortably enough, but Houston will stick around, thanks in part to the undervalued Nico Collins.

Against-the-spread prediction: Texans
Moneyline winner: Colts

Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

How confident am I about the Bengals’ passing attack? Confident enough to target Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Hayden Hurst in my recent fantasy draft. (Unfortunately, I was only able to snag Hurst, but that’s a long story.) After this game, we might hear rumblings about the Steelers making a QB change later this month. Mitch Trubisky has a tough opening assignment, and Najee Harris’ Lisfranc injury concerns might not help.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bengals
Moneyline winner: Bengals

Chicago Bears (+7) vs. San Francisco 49ers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

As shared before, the Bears are the only current NFL franchise that’s never had a QB throw for 4,000 yards. They’re also the only current franchise that’s never had a QB throw 30 TD passes. On Sunday, we’ll see if Justin Fields can do what’s never been done in the Windy City. I’m comfortable betting on Fields to keep this one close. This is his team until proven otherwise. He’ll step up because he has to — a blowout loss might define this team for weeks to come.

Against-the-spread prediction: Bears
Moneyline winner: 49ers

Miami Dolphins (-3) vs. New England Patriots

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Miami’s won three straight against the Patriots for the first time since the dawn of the Bill Belichick era in New England. If reports out of camp were more positive about Mac Jones, I’d feel comfortable predicting a minor upset. But the Dolphins have too many offensive weapons, while the Patriots probably will lean heavily on their impressive backfield. It might take the final drive to decide this one, but Miami should end up on top by at least three points.

Against-the-spread prediction: Dolphins
Moneyline winner: Dolphins

Atlanta Falcons (+5.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

Marcus Mariota last started a regular-season game three years ago. No one knows how he’ll fare against the vaunted Saints defense. But we might assign a high probability that he won’t dominate. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons held to single digits. New Orleans, meanwhile, can lean on Alvin Kamara, perhaps a little Mark Ingram, and a much-improved receiving corps. There’s a lot to like about this year’s Saints.

Against-the-spread prediction: Saints
Moneyline winner: Saints

Carolina Panthers (pick ’em) v.s Cleveland Browns

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

What happened?! Carolina was favored by 2.5 points this past Tuesday. Are people concerned about Christian McCaffrey’s shin injury? Are bettors more bullish about Jacoby Brissett? Of course, there are good reasons why either team could win. But I’m going all in on Baker Mayfield and a Carolina victory in one of the biggest opening weekend statement games in modern QB history.

Against-the-spread prediction: Panthers
Moneyline winner: Panthers

Washington Commanders (-2.5) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 1 p.m. ET

I picked the Jaguars to cover as three-point underdogs earlier this week. Now the line is down to 2.5. That matters, especially among such evenly matched opponents. But to me, it doesn’t matter because I’ve also been picking Jacksonville to win outright. They have the personnel to handle an up-and-down unit like Washington’s.

Against-the-spread prediction: Jaguars
Moneyline winner: Jaguars

Tennessee Titans (-5.5) vs. New York Giants

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 4.25 p.m. ET

If you know which Giants receiver will lead his team in catches, yards, and/or touchdowns this season, then you are a wizard or sorceress. Or perhaps you dabble in tarot cards. Either way, New York is 1-6 years away from fielding a competitive team. While Tennessee has plenty of injury-relevant question marks, they can win this one on both sides of the ball.

Against-the-spread prediction: Titans
Moneyline winner: Titans

Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5) vs. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 4.25 p.m. ET

A fantastic revenge matchup. I wish the line had dropped to minus-3, but we can’t all be pregame winners. Expect Los Angeles to prevail in this heavyweight battle, thanks in part to an improved defense that should do a better job against Josh Jacobs and Co. than the Raiders will do against Austin Ekeler and Co.

Against-the-spread prediction: Chargers
Moneyline winner: Chargers

Arizona Cardinals (+6) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 4.25 p.m. ET

Lingering injuries to Zach Ertz and Rondale Moore have probably contributed to a dramatically shifting line, which was only 4.5 a few days ago. Believe it or not, I picked the Cardinals to beat the Chiefs last week, and the less-favorable line shouldn’t faze anyone. Kansas City’s somewhat new-look passing attack and (perhaps) middling running game will face more trouble than most bettors expect.

Against-the-spread prediction: Cardinals
Moneyline winner: Cardinals

Minnesota Vikings (+1.5) vs. Green Bay Packers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 4.25 p.m. ET

This doesn’t happen often, but I’m changing my allegiance after a week of picking the Packers to win and cover. Instead, with Irv Smith geared up for his long-awaited return and Allen Lazard hobbled, there are good reasons to believe Minnesota will get off on the right foot. Green Bay has been in the top 15 in points scored in 14 of the last 15 seasons. But the Vikings have all the pieces to outscore them in 2022, starting in Week 1.

Against-the-spread prediction: Vikings
Moneyline winner: Vikings

Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Date: Sunday, Sept. 11
  • Start time: 8.20 p.m. ET

The Cowboys were 1.5-point underdogs this past Tuesday. So much depends on the health and usage of each sides’ receivers. I’m sticking with the Buccaneers, thanks in part to a defense that should surprise Dallas. Tampa Bay’s defense underwhelmed at times last year, partly due to injuries. They are a major X factor for a team making another Super Bowl push.

Against-the-spread prediction: Buccaneers
Moneyline winner:  Buccaneers

Seattle Seahawks (+6.5) vs. Denver Broncos

  • Date: Monday, Sept. 12
  • Start time: 8:20 p.m. ET

Arguably just as dramatic as Mayfield’s face-off against his former team, Russell Wilson should light up the scoreboard on Monday night. And if he doesn’t, he’ll be one of the best facilitators of Week 1, operating with his near-elite backfield to move the ball almost at will against an overmatched Seattle unit that might already regret not paying Wilson.

Against-the-spread prediction: Broncos
Moneyline winner: Broncos

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