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NFL 2021/22 Week 1 betting preview, value bets & top odds

NFL preview

Week 1 of the 2021-22 NFL season kicks off on Thursday with a matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and continues into the weekend. Our NFL Week 1 best bets include the San Francisco 49ers vs Detroit Lions as well as two of the more intriguing matchups of the round in the Cleveland Browns vs Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers vs New Orleans Saints.

San Francisco 49ers (-7.5) at Detroit Lions (+7.5)

San Francisco had a down year last season due to a number of key injuries on both offense and defense. With everyone back healthy and some new talent acquired through the draft and free agency, the 49ers figure to be one of the top Super Bowl contenders out of the NFC.

The Lions, meanwhile, are a trainwreck. Detroit has finished dead last in the NFC North for three straight seasons with a combined 14-33 record. This offseason, the Lions traded their best player in veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford for struggling former Los Angeles Rams starter Jared Goff. This is a game that the 49ers should dominate and win by double digits.

San Francisco 49ers -7.5


Cleveland Browns (+6) at Kansas City Chiefs (-6)

This matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cleveland Browns is arguably the best game on the schedule in Week 1. The Chiefs are a powerhouse; since Patrick Mahomes took over the starting quarterback job in 2018, Kansas City is 38-10 during the regular season. All signs point to another dominant season from KC in 2021-22.

However, the Browns are one of the few teams in the AFC this season that could be a legitimate threat to the Chiefs. Cleveland has an excellent offense and a revamped defense that should be much better than last year’s unit was. When these two teams met in the playoffs last season, they played to a competitive final score of 22-17 in Kansas City’s favor.

The Browns are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games against Kansas City despite losing four straight against them. And that’s likely what we’ll see this Sunday; another close Chiefs win, but one in which the Browns cover the spread.

Cleveland Browns +6


Green Bay Packers (-4) at New Orleans Saints (+4)

Aaron Rodgers decided to return to Green Bay after a long offseason of arguing with the team and demanding a trade. Rodgers won the NFL MVP award in 2020 with 4,299 passing yards, 48 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. His return means the Packers should have one of the NFC’s best offenses again in 2021-22.

The Saints offense is much more difficult to predict following the retirement of long-serving quarterback Drew Brees. He has been replaced by Jameis Winston, who has struggled with accuracy in his career but has also racked up plenty of passing yards and touchdown passes. Winston’s unpredictability makes it tough to pick a winner in this game, but whether he’s running the offense well or turning the ball over to Green Bay’s high-powered offense, all game scripts point to a high-scoring affair. We will take the overs on this one.

Over 50 total points

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