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NFL betting: 5 Week 1 games you should bet right now

·4-min read

The full 2021 NFL schedule was unveiled on Wednesday. And with that schedule release came the release of the Week 1 betting lines at BetMGM.

Some of those figures have already shifted in the hours since. Still, we've had enough time to digest those initial point spreads and over/unders to offer some sides we really like. 

You may want to get on them now, because these lines will continue moving as we inch closer and closer to kickoff. 

Cowboys at Buccaneers under 51.5

This just feels like too many points. The total for the 2021 season opener opened up at 53 at some spots and has already ticked down. At BetMGM, the total currently sits at 51.5 — down from 52.5. I’m still willing to take the under.

Offenses generally aren’t as crisp early in the year as they would be as the season progresses. For the Cowboys, Dak Prescott is slated to return after a severe ankle injury cut his 2020 season short. It may take him some time to get adjusted, especially with a lackluster offensive line going against an aggressive Bucs defense. Sure, there’s Tom Brady on the other side, but this feels more like a 28-21 game than a 35-28 game to me.

Sam Cooper

Jaguars -2.5 over Texans

This line is moving, and for good reason.

The Jaguars started at -1.5 and moved a point, and it might move a lot more. Yes, it’s scary to bet on a team that is on a 15-game losing streak as a road favorite in Week 1, but the Texans are barely an NFL team at this point. Rookie quarterbacks have fared just fine in their first starts before, and Trevor Lawrence is a special talent. The Jaguars overspent in free agency, but they are better than a year ago.

And this play is all about Deshaun Watson. We have no idea if Watson will be Houston’s quarterback in Week 1. If he’s not, you’ve got a ticket against the worst roster in the NFL led by Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. If Watson plays, I feel comfortable with the Jaguars at less than a field goal. If he doesn't, the line should be closer to a touchdown. The Texans won’t win more than two or three games this season, Watson or not, and this might be the only time you can fade them laying less than a field goal.

Frank Schwab

Vikings -3 over Bengals

This line ticked up a bit too since it was released at -2.5 on Wednesday, and it might keep going that way. If you want it, get it before it goes over a full field goal.

We all think Joe Burrow will be fine, but how do we know? He’s coming off a major knee injury and it’ll be his first game back. Rust has to be expected. It’s not like the Bengals were great when he was healthy last season. The Vikings are not a great team, but they aren’t bad either, and I’m not sure the Bengals aren’t bad. I want this one before the line moves higher than a field goal, which it will.

Frank Schwab

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) on the field before the start of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Al Drago)
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) on the field before facing the Washington Football Team on Nov. 22, 2020, in Landover, Maryland. (AP Photo/Al Drago)

Seahawks +2.5 over Colts

Carson Wentz was one of the worst starters in the NFL last year in Philadelphia and he gets a much-needed change of scenery with the Colts, but his first game in Lucas Oil Stadium should be a tough one.

Wentz has really struggled against Seattle over the course of his career. He is 0-5 straight-up and 1-4 against the spread. The only time the Eagles covered vs. the Seahawks with Wentz under center came last year. The Eagles covered a 6.5-point spread by a half-point via a miracle touchdown and two-point conversion with 12 seconds remaining.

Russell Wilson, on the other hand, has historically been excellent as an underdog. Since the beginning of the 2018 season, the Seahawks are 9-4-1 ATS as a road dog. They’re also 7-7 straight-up over that span, so a few bucks on the moneyline might be worth it. The Seahawks have won three of their last five games as an underdog of three points or fewer. 

Sam Cooper

Giants +1 over Broncos

Let’s say Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater is starting for the Broncos Week 1. Would you want them as a road favorite? Me either.

If Aaron Rodgers gets traded to Denver, this ticket will look bad. I get that. But it still wouldn’t be egregious, and the thought of having the Giants as a home underdog against the Broncos without Rodgers is fine by me. The Packers haven’t indicated Rodgers is going anywhere, and I’m willing to bet on that until I see otherwise. And even if Rodgers is traded to Denver, it'll be his first game in a totally different environment without optimal time to work with his new teammates.

Frank Schwab

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