Best Early NFL Week 1 Odds & Picks (2022)

Aug 11, 2022 - 10:28 AM

By the time you read this, the Hall of Fame game to kick off the NFL preseason will have already come and gone, which means football season is officially here.

However, online sportsbooks have been offering Week 1 odds on moneylines, spreads and totals for weeks now. There’s still plenty of time for injuries and cuts, which could heavily alter these lines as we get closer to the start of the regular season on Sept. 8, but there is value to be had on particular games right now.

Here, we’ll review the best early Week 1 picks you can bet on today. 

(All betting lines and odds are courtesy of DraftKings

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Cleveland Browns (-1; -105) @ Carolina Panthers

We learned in early August that Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games by Judge Sue Robinson. Since that ruling, however, the NFL has appealed and will seek a longer suspension. If something were to occur where the NFL was victorious, we could see Watson sue the NFL for this.

This would have implications on the Week 1 matchup on the road against the Carolina Panthers betting odds. This is because, if that chain of events were to occur, it’s likely that Watson would play Week 1, and the suspension is postponed a season as that legal process plays out.

Either way, if Watson were to sit, there’s still value at -1 with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback simply due to the talent around him and his ability to manage games. 

Brissett started five games for the Miami Dolphins last season. Brissett threw for nearly 1,100 yards and five touchdowns in those starts.

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams: Over 52 (-105)

The defending Super Bowl champion Rams face the Bills to kick off the NFL season. If you recall, the Bills were bounced in the AFC Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs in perhaps the most shocking manner possible. Heading into this season, though, the Bills have improved while the Rams, some would argue, have taken a slight step back.

This offseason, the Bills brought in Miller, previously on the Rams. They also added wide receiver Jamison Crowder to add depth at receiver and drafted two notable players in cornerback Kaiir Elam and running back James Cook.

Elam will help bolster the back-end and patch up the hole left by fellow cornerback Levi Wallace leaving town, while Cook adds to a backfield that needed a bit of a boost. 

The Rams lost Miller, of course, but they also lost other key talents such as cornerback Darious Williams, guard Austin Corbett, defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (who remains a free agent). The Rams did add wide receiver Allen Robinson and linebacker Bobby Wagner. Still, those moves don’t account for the loss of edge-rushing production and cornerback help.

Both teams have top-tier offensive weapons, but the quarterback play makes them even more potent. The Bills have Josh Allen, the favorite to win MVP, whereas the Rams have Stafford, now a Super Bowl champion. These QBs will both find holes in the defense and rack up points. 

It wouldn’t be out of the question to see this total get into the 60s.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5; -105) @ Washington Commanders

As the new quarterback for the Commanders, Carson Wentz will take on the team that defeated his former club, the Indianapolis Colts, in the final week of last season to bounce them from the postseason. The Commanders lost players such as defensive tackle Tim Settle, guard Brandon Scherff and edge rusher Matthew Ioannidis. 

The Jaguars are under new management with Doug Pederson. They have Trevor Lawrence in his second season, running back Travis Etienne returning healthy and added players like cornerback Darious Williams, wide receiver Christian Kirk, and Scherff. 

Wentz is not a player to trust, especially in his first regular season game with a new team going up against a team that caused him to lose his previous role. 

New York Giants (+6.5; -110) @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans may have been the No. 1 seed in the AFC last season, but opening 2022, this is a different team. The Titans’ star player, running back Derrick Henry, will head into the season with his history of foot issues. Additionally, the Titans have little receiving talent. Their three starting wide receivers project to be Robert Woods, Treylon Burks and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. Woods is nearly 30 and coming off a torn ACL, while Burks is a rookie. The team also lost a plethora of depth talent in the offseason.

Meanwhile, the Giants continued to build their team with two top-six draft picks in edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal. The Giants are far from Super Bowl contenders. Still, nearly a touchdown underdog against this iteration of the Titans is too many points to pass up. 

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