After what seems like an eternity, football is finally here! The 2021 NFL season kicked off with a bang when the Dallas Cowboys took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday Night Football. With a full slate of games this week and all 32 teams in action, there are plenty of games to place some wagers on.
We are going to go over three of the best bets to consider every week, which you can tail or fade. Let's take a look at what we got for NFL Week 1, with odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) vs Detroit Lions
Major changes during an NFL offseason can have a profound effect on a team, especially when it comes at an important position like quarterback. The Detroit Lions went through a ton of changes this offseason, including QB Jared Goff now installed as the starter. The problem is when you compound all of that with a poor supporting cast on both sides of the ball, things can get messy. Despite it being an annoying 8.5 number and on the road, the Lions could struggle big time in this one against a very talented defense. They're also facing a quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo that knows his system and has way more weapons at his disposal. Even with a more talented QB and a great wide receiver group, the Lions still only ranked No. 19 in the NFL in points per game at home last year. I would not expect that to improve in Week 1 or this season.
2. Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints (Over 49.5)
The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were two of the league's highest-scoring offenses in 2020, ranking No. 1 and No. 5 respectively. While the Packers saw minimal turnover on offense, people should expect some strong output again, even if it's not a league-leading 31.5 points per game. New Orleans comes in with Jameis Winston at quarterback now. While he was sidelined most of last year, the last time he was a starter in 2019 with the Tampa Bay Bucs, he lead the league in passing. Green Bay ranked in the middle of the pack (15th) in scoring defense in 2020 and New Orleans was fantastic, ranking No. 3. However, New Orleans sustained some key losses on defense due to cap issues this offseason, which could make this new unit easier to penetrate. It's not crazy to think that both sides can manage 25 points, especially with the league's best offense featured in this matchup.
3. Washington Football Team (-1.5) vs Los Angeles Chargers
The Washington Football Team was one of the league's best up-and-coming defenses last season (No. 6 in opponents PPG), and many are predicting it to be a top-five unit this year. Justin Herbert wowed as a rookie, but he could start out with a sophomore slump in Week 1 against a difficult defense. The Chargers' offensive line was a problem last year and while they made upgrades, it could take them some time to gel. Going against Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat is far from a fun bunch to do it against. Washington's big problems were on offense last year, with the worst QB play of any team in the league. Now with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, and upgrades to their offensive line (Charles Leno) and receiving corps (Curtis Samuel), it now has the chance to be a dynamic unit. A lot of people could be surprised by Washington this season and it very well may start in Week 1.
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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.