It’s often said the NFL has become a year-round sport due to the various components of its offseason. The annual release of the full schedule for the coming season certainly qualifies as one of those landmark dates on the league’s calendar, as fans and bettors get a tangible look at exactly how each team’s season might unfold.
Following a 2020 season that conformed to the unique realities of playing a professional team sport during a pandemic, the 2021 campaign promises a return to what could be considered near normal. That reportedly includes the likelihood of a return to full stadiums around the country – bringing home-field edge, always a needle-moving factor in football. Additionally, a number of key players that opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns are due back on the field.
Top US sportsbooks like DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM already have early lines available for NFL Week 1. There can certainly be an edge to betting early on NFL moneyline, spreads and totals if that bettor feels the lines could be set inefficiently, especially when he/she feels a particular team is being underestimated/overvalued based on the prior season/offseason developments.
Here’s a look at lines for NFL Week 1 and early betting previews from a pre-training camp/preseason perspective.
NFL Week 1 odds
Here are NFL Week 1 odds. Click on the price(s) you like below to bet now.
Thursday, Sept. 9
Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers () – 8:20 p.m. ET
While the line is rather hefty in favor of the defending champions in this season-opening clash, it would have been difficult for the schedule-makers to set the Buccaneers up with any better Week 1 opponent now that Drew Brees is in retirement. The Cowboys won’t jump off the page based on their dismal 2020, but factor in a healthy Dak Prescott into the equation, a dynamic group of receivers and what should be a considerably improved defense, and you’ve got yourself the makings of a team that stands to make one of the biggest season-to-season improvements of any club.
The Bucs not only made good on becoming the first team in NFL history to secure a Super Bowl title in its home stadium, but they followed it up by doing something almost as unprecedented in the salary cap era – they retained each and every key component of that championship squad that had a chance to go elsewhere. That means priceless continuity for Tom Brady, who was clicking in Bruce Arians’ system by season’s end, and who – much to the chagrin of the rest of the league – should have a full command of the playbook right from the jump in 2021.
Opening spreads vs. current spreads
Here we will look at how the Week 1 spreads change in the weeks and days leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season. NFL Week 1 odds shown here are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Game matchup||Opening Spread||Current Spread|
|Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Buccaneers -6||Buccaneers -6|
|Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons||Falcons -3||Falcons -3|
|Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans||Jaguars -2||Jaguars -2|
|LA Chargers at Washington||Washington -1.5||Washington -1.5|
|Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans||Titans -2.5||Titans -2.5|
|Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis Colts||Colts -1.5||Colts -1.5|
|Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills||Bills -4.5||Bills -4.5|
|San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions||49ers -6.5||49ers -6.5|
|Minnesota Vikings at Cincinnati Bengals||Vikings -2.5||Vikings -2.5|
|New York Jets at Carolina Panthers||Panthers -4.5||Panthers -4.5|
|Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints||Packers -1||Packers -1|
|Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots||Patriots -2.5||Patriots -2.5|
|Denver Broncos at New York Giants||Broncos -1||Broncos -1|
|Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs -6.5||Chiefs -6.5|
|Chicago Bears at LA Rams||Rams -6||Rams -6|
|Baltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders||Ravens -4.5||Ravens -4.5|