- NFL odds are back with the long-awaited arrival of the 2022 regular season.
- Week 1 NFL odds feature a huge number of short, sharp betting lines.
- NFL bettors who like to load up on favorites should be very careful this week.
At long last, the 2023 NFL season has arrived.
Naturally, the inception of a new season also means it’s once again time to start handicapping the week-to-week NFL odds market.
NFL Best Bets: Week 1 NFL Predictions
After I’ve handicapped the whole board each week, I will publish my three best plays from the wider canon of NFL odds.
I’ll provide a short explanation of why I like each bet, so you don’t have to go on faith alone.
If you prefer an audio version of this weekly article, you can always subscribe to The Lion’s Edge, my weekly handicapping podcast for BetMGM. More on that in a little bit.
One rule to keep in mind: Whenever there’s an underdog in the range of +3 to +7, I’m almost always sprinkling a quarter-unit moneyline play on top of the spread play.
Bengals at Browns (+2.5)
The Bengals are angling for their third straight division championship this year. As long as Joe Burrow is the quarterback in Cincinnati, there will be a ton of public betting support for the Bengals.
Still, the line here is only Bengals -2.5, which regular column readers know is a number I approach with a ton of well-earned skepticism.
Undoubtedly, the Browns have some quarterback issues to solve, even with Deshaun Watson operating the offense. But Cleveland quietly has established top-10 units on both the offensive and defensive lines, which will be a central factor in their success in 2023.
I believe the Browns will dominate the line of scrimmage and ultimately win this game, sending Cincinnati to another 0-1 start. Shake off the rust and avoid that bait line of Bengals -2.5. I’m hitting the Browns on the moneyline, too.
Best Bets: Browns +2.5; Browns ML +115
Panthers at Falcons (-3.5)
If you read my monster NFL futures betting article, you know I have a ton of Falcons stock heading into 2023. What’s one more log on the pyre?
Atlanta enters 2023 knowing exactly who it is as a team. Arthur Smith wants to run the ball. He built one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, then used major draft capital to bring in an immediate impact player at running back.
Carolina, meanwhile, remains listless on offense. Bryce Young is a talented-but-undersized quarterback who will have very few weapons to utilize in his first NFL start.
All of my offseason homework says this is Atlanta’s game to lose, so I don’t mind laying the hook.
Best Bet: Falcons -3.5
49ers at Steelers (+2.5)
Nobody wins in Week 1 quite like Mike Tomlin and the Steelers. Tomlin’s coaching staff spends the offseason reviewing tape of its Week 1 opponent and building a custom defense to attack its specific vulnerabilities.
That’s why the Steelers have scored Week 1 upsets over the Bengals and Bills in recent years – two teams that are objectively better than Pittsburgh.
The 49ers are coming east for a 1 p.m. game, where Brock Purdy is no longer a cute story. He’s the real starter this year, with Jimmy Garrapolo and Trey Lance shipped off to new teams.
How will he handle a healthy Steelers defense? Let’s find out. I’m betting on another Week 1 stunner.
Best Bet: Steelers +2.5; Steelers ML +110
NFL Parlay For Week 1
One NFL parlay to consider for Week 1 is:
- Cardinals +7 (-110)
- Texans +10 (-110)
- Colts +5 (-110)
Points can be awfully valuable in Week 1, where underdogs are often downgraded too much or for bad reasons.
Here, I’ve thrown three of the biggest dogs of the week into a little ATS parlay that pays out at +595.
You can click here for more information on how to build parlay bets with NFL odds.
NFL Teaser For Week 1
One NFL teaser to consider for Week 1 is:
- Browns +8.5
- Steelers +8.5
- Patriots +10
This isn’t a classic Wong teaser, since the third leg was originally Patriots +4. But it’s at least a Wong teaser in spirit, as the Browns and Steelers get up through the three and the seven, and the Patriots land at the key number of 10.
This is a three-team, six-point teaser currently available at BetMGM for +160.
You can click here for more information on how to bet teasers in online sports betting.
NFL Survivor Pick For Week 1
I’m participating in a high-stakes Survivor game in Las Vegas this year, so I thought I’d add an extra dimension to my picks column this year. I’ll be sharing my weekly Survivor pick here, in spite of whatever strategic disadvantage it might bring.
Call it an added incentive to come back and read my NFL picks column every week.
In Week 1, I’m playing the Baltimore Ravens, who are -500 moneyline home favorites against the Houston Texans. It’s (by far) the biggest line of the week, and presumably one of the safest options available.
Some bettors may want to save a good team like the Ravens for a later week, preferring to pick a team like Washington for Sunday. I understand the strategy, but frankly, given the number of competitors that regularly crash out after calamitous Week 1 upsets, I’d prefer to keep my pick this weekend as conservative as possible.
You can click here for more information on how a football survivor pool works. Also, if you’re not already, make sure you’re entered into BetMGM’s free-entry Survivor Challenge! There’s a $100,000 prize for the winner, and it’s totally free to play.
Want More NFL Analysis?
If you like this sort of content, I’d recommend checking out my podcast, The Lion’s Edge, which I host on behalf of our content team here at BetMGM.
Every week, I highlight odds and bets that I think are interesting or ripe for advantage bettors, like me. I also bring on expert guests from both inside and outside of the sportsbook, so you can learn a little bit more about key topics in online sports betting.
Check it out and subscribe on the podcast player of your choice. You can also listen to some of the most recent episodes in the podcast player below.
Build an NFL Parlay at BetMGM
Take your NFL betting to the next level by building a parlay at BetMGM!
From the preseason through the postseason, you can build NFL parlays from a variety of odds, including spreads, moneylines, and player props. Whether you wanted to add two heavy favorites like the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs, two underdogs like the Jacksonville Jaguars or Detroit Lions, or quarterback props for Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, there are parlay opportunities for everyone.