NFL Week 1 Lines: Best Matchups and Bets to Make Now

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NFL Week 1 Lines: Best Matchups and Bets to Make Now

Author: American Gambler Staff | Last Updated: August 30, 2023

The opening of the 2023 NFL season is still several weeks away, but it’s not too early to take a look at NFL Week 1 lines and place bets on Week 1 action.

Betting lines are available across major online sportsbooks for each game of the opening slate, and we’re here to break down the matchups as well as the opportunities to be had by betting early on NFL betting sites.

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Overview of the Opening Week of the NFL Season

Here is every matchup from Week 1 of the upcoming NFL season:

  • Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs – 8:20 PM ET Thursday, September 7

  • Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders – 1:00 PM ET Sunday, September 10
  • Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – 4:25 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos – 4:25 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers – 4:25 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots – 4:25 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks – 4:25 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants – 8:20 PM ET Sunday, September 10

  • Buffalo Bills at New York Jets – 8:15 PM ET Monday, September 11

Betting Guide for Week 1 Lines

Currently, the team most heavily favored to win in Week 1 is the Baltimore Ravens according to several of the nation's best betting apps. It’s understandable given the matchup – the Ravens are one of the most consistently functional operations in the National Football League, their offseason drama around Lamar Jackson is far behind them, and they’ll be at home against a Houston Texans team at the outset of an attempted rebuild.

The spread favors the Ravens by 9.0 to 9.5 points; three other teams are favored by a touchdown, none of which are favored by more than a full 7.0 points.

Nfl week 1 lines: best matchups and bets to make now
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Of course, Week 1 is inherently unpredictable. When it comes to football betting, we’re reminded every season that we don’t know these teams before they’ve played a real down, and certainly not this far in advance.

That’s reflected in most of the available odds, with more matchups than not separated by spreads of fewer than 4.0 points.

If there’s one point to remember when betting on Week 1, it’s not to read too far into historical performance. Every team will be composed of a new, unique combination of players and coaches – we have no way of knowing how they’ll match up against each other. Don’t let any upset catch you or your bankroll by surprise.

Matchups to Watch in Week 1

Here are some matchups that may especially bear watching in Week 1:

  • Buffalo Bills (-1.5) at New York Jets – This is primetime football for a reason. Quarterback play didn’t cause all of the Jets’ problems last season, but it was enough to single-handedly keep the team out of serious contention. Aaron Rodgers will have a chance, early, to show us how he matches up against the premier quarterbacks in the AFC.

  • Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5) at New England Patriots – The defending NFC champions will open the season with two new coordinators and a handful of new starters. It’ll be interesting to see how different the team looks and whether they’ll have the same dominant running game against a coach and team known for consistently denying their opponents’ strengths.

  • Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers (-2.5) – Few coordinator hirings drew as much attention or hype as Kellen Moore joining the Chargers or Vic Fangio joining the Dolphins. Both teams were already playoff contenders in a loaded AFC field; the Chargers’ offense against the Dolphins’ defense will be one of the most anticipated matchups of the weekend.

Key Games and Matchups

Below are some matchups in Week 1 that may prove to have pivotal ramifications later in the season:

  • Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.0) – The Panthers will roll out a new-look offense with quarterback Bryce Young, alongside a new-look defense coordinated by Ejiro Evero, led by new head coach Frank Reich. The Falcons will boast an overhauled defense of their own coordinated by Ryan Nielsen, and feature a new offensive centerpiece in Bijan Robinson. Beyond enlightening us about who these teams are, this game may very well be a deciding factor in the race for a presumably wide-open NFC South.

  • Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-2.5) – The Packers, for better or worse, are entering a new era in the wake of Aaron Rodgers’ departure. The Bears have fortified their offense around Justin Fields, who looked like an ascendant quarterback at times last season despite the team’s struggles. No team has a firm grasp on the NFC North; once again, this has a chance to be an influential game in the standings in addition to an informative first impression from both teams.

  • Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns – The Bengals are a known entity in the NFL after two years of deep playoff runs and little franchise turnover, but they helm a division that may feature four legitimate playoff contenders. What the Browns get from Deshaun Watson is among the biggest X-factors in how the entire season plays out – the team has everything else necessary to win if he performs at (or even near) the level he has in the past.

Advantages of Betting Early on NFL Week 1 Lines

With so much time left between now and kickoff, which includes the entirety of training camp and the preseason, lines on Week 1 games will invariably change.

With plenty of time to prepare, you can sift through a ton of betting data between now and Week 1.

Betting on Week 1 before so much transpires is a risky business, but it can be rewarding for bettors confident enough in their study of how a team has evolved over the offseason. This can be especially true for teams like the Texans or Buccaneers, who already face long odds, and may face a greater risk of the odds narrowing than getting even more favorable.

Be sure to take advantage of the best NFL betting promos to cash in.

American Gambler Staff