NFL Week 1 Picks, Predictions & Odds

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Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) looks to pass during pregame warmups before an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 in Houston.
(Matt Patterson/AP Photo)
Nick Hennion @nickhennion May 31, 2024, 1:03 PM
  • Two bets to make in 49ers vs. Jets.
  • Why points will come at a premium in Browns vs. Cowboys.
  • Two divisional underdogs to back in Week 1.

Below are my NFL picks and predictions for Week 1 of the 2024-25 NFL season. 

The schedule gets underway on Thursday, Sept. 5, as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs face the Baltimore Ravens. 

Other notable Week 1 contests include Eagles vs. Packers in Brazil and 49ers vs. Jets on Monday Night Football. 

Get the full list of NFL betting lines for Week 1 at the BetMGM online sportsbook

NFL Odds — Week 1

Week 1 GameGame SpreadGame Total
Chiefs vs. RavensChiefs -2.547.5 Points
Eagles vs. PackersEagles -1.548.5 Points
Dolphins vs. JaguarsDolphins -3.549.5 Points
Falcons vs. SteelersFalcons -2.543 Points
Giants vs. VikingsGiants -141.5 Points
Saints vs. PanthersSaints -4.540.5 Points
Bengals vs. PatriotsBengals -8.542.5 Points
Bears vs. TitansBears -4.543.5 Points
Bills vs. CardinalsBills -748 Points
Colts vs. TexansTexans -1.547.5 Points
Chargers vs. RaidersChargers -3.543.5 Points
Seahawks vs. BroncosSeahawks -4.542.5 Points
Buccaneers vs. CommandersBuccaneers -441.5 Points
Browns vs. CowboysCowboys -1.543.5 Points
Lions vs. RamsLions -351 Points
49ers vs. Jets49ers -6.545.5 Points

NFL Picks & Predictions — Week 1

49ers-Jets Total Under 45.5 Points (-110) | New York Jets Spread (+6.5, -115)

The Jets offense is the biggest unknown in this game, as bettors don’t have a sample of Aaron Rodgers games to consider. 

However, the Jets defense is a known quantity, and bettors should expect New York to contain San Francisco’s potent offense. 

Last season, New York ranked third in defensive EPA per play, including fourth in dropback defensive EPA per play, per rbsdm.com. 

They also rated out as a top defense away from home. Irrespective of opponent, they only surrendered 22.4 points per game on the road, good for 13th-best in the NFL. 

At the same time, San Francisco ranked 10th in defensive EPA per play last season. 

This game also matches two historically profitable betting systems. 

Since the 2019-20 season, primetime games on Sunday and Monday are 63.8% to the under. 

Additionally, outdoor Week 1 games featuring a road team that failed to make the postseason are 83-49-1 to the under since 2005-06. When the total closes between 40 and 47.5, the under is 60-26. 

From there, I’ll add the Jets to cover a lofty spread. 

There’s bound to be a Super Bowl hangover for the 49ers, who covered this number only twice against AFC opponents last season. 

As a result, give me the Jets so long as they’re above +6 on Sunday Night Football. 

Browns-Cowboys Total Under 43.5 Points (-110)

Cleveland is the home team in Week 1, which renders the under a viable proposition. 

The Browns, under new defensive Jim Schwartz, led the NFL last season in home points per game (13.7). 

A relatively easy schedule at home definitely contributed to that ranking, but Cleveland held two of three opponents that finished the year 13th or better in EPA per play under 17 points. 

Irrespective of venue, the Browns led the league in dropback EPA per play last season. That should arm them to defend a Cowboys offense that will likely rely on the passing game this year. 

Plus, Dallas’ offense took a major dip when they traveled last season. 

The Cowboys led the league in home points per game (36.8) but ranked ninth in road points per game (23.3). 

Even more concerning? Dallas played only three outdoor road games last season against teams that finished the year 11th or better in defensive EPA per play. 

In those three games, Dallas averaged only 13.3 points per game and stayed under 21 points in all three. 

At the same time, I don’t trust this Browns offense. 

The Cowboys ranked fourth in defensive EPA per play last season. Cleveland, in six games last year against teams 10th or better in that stat, averaged 18.1 points per game. 

It’s a touch concerning they cleared 21 points in three of those games, but two of those successes came in Week 10 or later. 

Earlier in the season, I’ll take the under in Cleveland.

Indianapolis Colts Moneyline (+105) vs. Houston Texans

We’re four months out from the NFL season, and I’m already so excited to make this bet. 

These teams met in Week 18 last year with the divisional title on the line. 

Houston won the game, but Indianapolis was right on the doorstep of Houston’s endzone late in the fourth quarter. However, a dropped screen pass on fourth down doomed Indy.  

That has to linger with the Colts, who will return quarterback Anthony Richardson from injury. When Richardson played against the Texans in Week 2 last year, they won 31-20 on the road. 

Plus, divisional underdogs tend to do well early in the season. 

Since 2005-06, such teams are 175-116-11 ATS (60.1%) in Weeks 1-3, including 86-50-8 ATS (63.2%) when the spread is between +0 and +3.5. 

As a result, I’ll back the Colts to avenge their late defeat last season and start with a home win.

Carolina Panthers Spread (+4.5, -105) at Saints

This number has already moved a half point based on early betting. Although I don’t trust the Panthers generally, I trust the Saints even less in this spot. 

For as bad as Carolina played last season, they played okay in the divisional matchups. They were 1-5 SU in six games, but they stayed within this number three times. 

Plus, I don’t trust the combination of Derek Carr and Dennis Allen, both of whom have struggled to cover as favorites. 

For his career, Carr is 21-37-2 ATS when he closes a market favorite, including 4-8-1 ATS last season. 

Allen, albeit in a limited sample, is 8-16-1 ATS when he closes as a favorite, including 3-7-1 ATS in divisional matchups. 

Carolina also matches a number of historically profitable betting systems. 

September divisional dogs in games with a total below 43 are 107-77-7 ATS since 2003-04, including 65-45-2 (59.1%) when they’re getting more than +3.5. 

Irrespective of the total, divisional dogs in Weeks 1-3 are 175-116-11 ATS (60.1%), including 102-65-8 ATS (61.1%) when they’re +5 or shorter. 

As a result, back the Panthers to keep this game close with a fresh offensive approach. 

NFL Betting Odds at BetMGM

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About the Author

Nick Hennion

Read More @nickhennion

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.

Nick Hennion is a senior content writer for BetMGM. His previous stops include VSiN, NBC Sports, The Action Network and Forbes Betting. He owns a bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree from Northwestern University.