NFL Betting: Week 1 - Who’s Ready, Who’s Not?

Betting expert Howard Schwartz returns with his best bets for each week of the NFL season.

Predictions and picks for NFL Week 1

This Thursday, the season starts in Kansas City. The Chiefs open up against the Lions. The Lions finished the last season with a bang, going 4-1 in their last five games. They had a good draft in April, adding running back Jahmyr Gibbs who was the12th overall pick and linebacker Jack Campbell, the18th overall. It's worth noting that despite their hot finish, the Lions’ run defense and overall defense were both in the bottom half of the league.

NFL Week1 picksThe World Champion KC Chiefs (with the combination of Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce) have won their last five opening games, averaging 38 points a game. Mahomes is at the top of his game, with a 64-16 record. Since the schedule came out on April 12th, Andy Reid has had 117 days to prepare for this one. The line is 4 ½  and the over / under is 53 with the uncertain injury to Kelce. The money line is a solid -285.

Both teams will surely be putting points on the board. At this time, the questions we have are simple. Can the Lions keep up with the Chiefs? Will the Lions QB Jared Goff be able to overcome the noise at arrowhead stadium to call his play at the line of scrimmage? After lots of thought, the Chiefs at home with one of the best head coaches in the league are the better team. That alone is worth 3 points.

The Chiefs can be bet a number of ways. You can bet them straight up and lay the -4.5 or buy the game down to -3. We suggest buying it down, because the Lions score points. They were 5th in points scored last year, behind KC, Dallas, Buffalo and Philadelphia. You can also use them in any parlay that your thinking of playing. If you like teaser bets, go with Seattle and Indy.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-5) at Indianapolis ColtsColts Jags free pick

The Jags are favored by -5 over the Colts and will look to continue where they left off last season. They finished the season 5 – 0, while the Colts went 0-7 down the stretch. Indy will be starting Anthony Richardson at QB. He has just 14 games of experience. The Jaguars are returning 20 of 22 starters and should their division. The money line in Vegas is -220. This tells me that lots of money is coming in on them to win. The sport books know this, and that number has been creeping up.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)

Seattle who are favored by -5 are home against the LA Rams. This could be one of the worst 3 teams in the NFL this season. The Rams finished last season 5 – 12 and went 2 -3 down the stretch. Seahawks Rams free pickThey lost over 20 players from last year including both safeties. Cooper Kupp is out with an injury and Seattle are once again loaded at the receiver position. The Seahawks and playing a team that is just starting to rebuild. All 14 draft picks were signed for the Rams. These two teams usually play a close game, however being week 1 there is a big advantage for Seattle. Seattle is ready to roll and HC Pete Carroll has his team ready.  

Lock of the week: Seattle (-5) or buy it down to -3.5 and lay -140.

Howard Schwartz has been providing betting insights for over a decade on Facebook. Check out his social media group and website for more betting tips and NFL wagering advice.

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