NFL week 1 is here and with it comes some of the busiest times for American sportsbooks. With sportsbooks spreading across the United States at a rapid pace, there is a need to make sense of it all. Each week, Canal Street Chronicles will take a look at some game lines and player props that stand out one way or another. These picks will be reviewed each week and a tally will be given throughout the season. All odds are stated on a standard $100.00 USD wager. For instance, if a number has a plus, it means wagering $100 will win that amount. If a +1000 line with a $100 wager hits, the bettor can expect to win $1,000. If the line is a negative number, then it means that is the amount needed to bet to win $100. A -150 bet needs $150 on the line to win $100. Negative numbers are generally considered “favorites” to win. All betting lines are taken from our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook.
NFL sportsbook coverage for NFL week 1
The most common way to wager on NFL games is to pick against the spread. Sportsbooks handicap games based on spreads, where one team is stated to be the favorite and the other the underdog. If a team has a negative number, it signifies that the team is the favorite to win. Teams must win by that number of points for the bettors to win. A positive number means the team is the underdog. If a team loses but stays within this threshold of points, the bettor also wins. If sportsbook players simply want to pick winners and losers, there are systems for that as well. These are represented by the “money line” section of all sportsbooks. With this being the first week of the NFL regular season, expect a lot of uncertainty so taking underdogs might be beneficial. Let’s get into week 1 game line
NFL Week 1 wagers to watch
Season tally: 0-0-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers(-2.5) at Dallas Cowboys
This is one of the head-scratching lines for week 1 of the NFL regular season. The Dallas Cowboys have had a tumultuous off-season to say the least. Losses of Amari Cooper and Cedrick Willis has downgraded the weapons. The offensive line will be without Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Connor Williams. The defense lost Randy Gregory as well. Meanwhile, ‘Tompa’ Bay has had issues as well, but the on-field talent is still very good in the NFC. Also, this is a primetime game. Tom Brady will likely show out, take the Buccaneers and the points.
Philadelphia Eagles(-4) at Detroit Lions
The Lions made some improvements this off-season on all sides of the ball. Aiden Hutchinson is a blossoming pass-rusher. The offense added DJ Chark and drafted Jameson Williams as well. The issue is that the team did nothing to improve their rush defense. The last time these two teams met, the Eagles rushed for 236 yards. Jalen Hurts only had to complete nine passes the entire game because of this. The Lions are likely to put up a better fight than last time, but this game should be all Eagles. Take Philadelphia to win by more than four this week.
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Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders(-2.5)
Both of these teams got upgrades this off-season. For the Jags, Doug Pederson was hired as head coach. Pederson should immediately help Trevor Lawrence as his offensive system looks to be perfect for Lawrence’s skill set. The Commanders acquired Carson Wentz in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, returning him to the NFC East. Wentz has immediate weapons on offense and a decent defense to work with. The Commanders struggled last season, only ranking 23rd in totals points for the year and 25th in points against. The Jaguars were worse, ranking 32nd and 28th, respectively. Pederson’s leadership is in play here, as seen by the line being very close. The Jaguars are also relatively healthy going into this game and loaded both sides of the ball this off-season at important positions like wide receiver, linebacker, corner, and both lines. Jaguars pull off the upset this week, so take them and the +2.5 points in the opener.
Wild card pick of the week
Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers O/U 52.5
There will always be one pick in this series that will come from something other than a game line. In this case, it will be an over and under line from a game, commonly denoted O and U. This is the total points that sportsbooks predict will be scored in specific games by both teams combined. The last time these two teams met, the total scored was 67 points combined. Even without overtime, the total would still be well over this 52.5. The Raiders are more dangerous than ever this year, after bringing in Josh McDaniels as head coach and trading for Davante Adams. As for the Chargers, the offense is healthy and looks to continue a hot 2021 campaign. The defense did sign some stars like J.C. Jackson and Sebastian Joseph on the defense, but it remains to be seen if this defense is better as a whole. This week, take the over for the Raiders and Chargers.