NFL Week 1 Betting Lines
Each year, it is said that “This is the most highly anticipated season in NFL history.” And perhaps it is always true. That is certainly the case for the upcoming 2021 NFL campaign. All of which leads to Week 1. The NFL has come through with a strategically attractive schedule that is certain to attract record TV eyeballs and betting handle. And it all begins with the traditional Thursday Night NBC kickoff with the Dallas Cowboys, AKA “America’s Team,” going up against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Dallas has become “Next Year’s Team” as a franchise that is over-hyped, overpriced, and underperforming. Tampa Bay revealed their true quality in the 2020 NFL Playoffs and will be an even better team for 2021, with the confidence of a Super Bowl champion led by the GOAT of quarterbacks, Tom Brady.
*Odds as of Tuesday, July 27, 12:00 PM ET
A strong case can be made that there is no better Week 1 matchup than the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Buffalo Bills. Both were division champions last year. Pittsburgh may have found the best and most immediate fit of any team in the 2021 NFL Draft when they took Alabama running back Najee Harris in the first round. Harris ends the Steelers search for a bona fide replacement of LeVeon Bell. Just as important, Pittsburgh uses a similar terminology and offense to what Harris played with at Alabama. Meanwhile, the Bills took a major step into top-tier contender status in the AFC last year and fortified their defense on the Draft weekend. Quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers and Josh Allen of the Bills will man the marquee.
Will it be Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance under center for the San Francisco 49ers in their opener at the Detroit Lions? Dan Campbell will make his head coaching debut for Detroit, and Jared Goff is expected to be the new Lions starting quarterback after being dealt away by the Los Angeles Rams.
The new-look New York Jets also have a new head coach (Robert Saleh) and new quarterback, first round draft pick Zach Wilson. The Jets will open their season at the Carolina Panthers, who have a new quarterback (Sam Darnold) that used to be the Jets QB. Interesting how the NFL put that together for an intriguing Week 1 matchup.
That feeling of pro football newness extends to Houston, where the Texans will host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Making their respective NFL debuts for the Jaguars will be head coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Can Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns keep it going after finally making the playoffs last year? We’ll find out quickly in their Week 1 matchup at the Kansas City Chiefs. Cleveland almost upset the Chiefs at Arrowhead in the 2020 AFC Playoffs. Kansas City fans and gamblers remain concerned that Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is still not 100%.
The New Orleans Saints will begin life without Drew Brees as they host the Green Bay Packers. Bears fans are hoping Justin Fields will start for Chicago at the LA Rams, who have a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford.
Monday Night Football features only one opening game this year, but it’s a good one, as the Las Vegas Raiders host the Baltimore Ravens.
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