Interesting Stories & Highlights from NFL Week 1 Initial LinesBetting
The start of the NFL season is still six weeks away, but that hasn’t stopped sportsbooks from releasing opening betting lines for all Week 1 games.
It’s been a tradition for Las Vegas sportsbooks to release Week 1 lines for NFL games way in advance of the start of the season. It’s a great way for them to boost action at a time when betting is usually slow, and get people excited for the upcoming football season.
This year, there are some exciting and interesting opening lines that bettors are already looking at, which we’ll break down here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will open up the NFL Kickoff Game, as the defending Super Bowl champion does every year. The team, led by sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, will face off against the Dallas Cowboys.
The line in this game opened at Buccaneers -6.5 over the Cowboys. That’s quite a large initial football spread for the opening game of the NFL season, which typically features two of the better teams in the league.
The Cowboys are coming off a season that saw them win 6 games compared to 10 wins, though that was without their star quarterback Dak Prescott. The Cowboys have a lot of offensive firepower, but the Buccaneers have a lot of obvious name recognition.
This could mean a lot of action comes in on Tampa Bay, eventually pushing the line even higher.
San Francisco 49ers
The largest initial Week 1 NFL line is in the San Francisco 49ers game against the Detroit Lions. The 49ers are favored by 7.5 points over the Lions, and they will be on the road for the game as well. That’s quite a big spread, especially for a team that struggled through much of last season.
The 49ers are getting many of their players back who were lost to injury last season, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In Detroit, meanwhile, the Lions will be switching to a new quarterback after trading Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and a bunch of draft picks.
The Lions are projected to struggle this season as they rebuild with Dan Campbell as the team’s new head coach. Look for a lot of public bettors to jump on this 7.5-point line.
A lot of publicity can change in just one year. The Pittsburgh Steelers made the playoffs last year after finishing with an 11-5 record in the regular season. Still, the Buffalo Bills are favored by 6 points over the Steelers in their Week 1 game.
The Bills had quite the season to remember in 2020, led by do-it-all quarterback Josh Allen. Sportsbooks are expecting bettors to remember the rise of Allen, and the demise of Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is now 39 years old.
Two Week 1 games opened with lines of only 1 point. The Los Angeles Chargers are favored by 1 point on the road against the Washington Football Team. The Chargers have an upstart young quarterback of their own in Justin Herbert.
Washington, meanwhile, is likely to be led in Week 1 by veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. While Fitzpatrick is 38 years old, the Football Team didn’t draft a quarterback this year, and didn’t bring in a legitimate player to compete with him really.
The other game with a 1-point spread is the Denver Broncos and New York Giants. The Broncos are favored by 1 point even though they’ll be traveling to New York for the game.
The Giants are led by a new wide receiver in Kenny Golladay and upstart quarterback Daniel Jones. The Broncos, meanwhile, will have a quarterback competition in training camp between Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater, who the team traded for this offseason.