NFL Betting Picks: Week 1

Notice! Actual odds are subject to change and are correct as displayed only at the time of publishing: 10:35 AM 10.09.2020.

No, this is not a joke. Do not attempt to adjust your screen’s display settings. The NFL really is back, with the 2020 season kicking off with a Thursday Night Football matchup that’s sure to be a bang-bang affair. In an AFC Divisional Playoff rematch, the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take on the high-flying Houston Texans under the lights at Arrowhead Stadium.

Just in time for the league’s return, CanadianBettingSites has the best and brightest NFL betting picks for Week 1’s exciting slate of games, which notably includes Tom Brady’s much-anticipated Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut and the renewal of iconic divisional rivalries between the Packers and Vikings in Minneapolis and the Ravens and Browns in Baltimore.

So, what are the top NFL picks this week?

Houston Texans (4.20) at Kansas City Chiefs (1.24)

When these two teams met in January, we had ourselves a barn-burner. After falling behind 24-0 at home, the AFC West champs went wild, stealing an improbable lead when Patrick Mahomes found Travis Kelce from short range just before the stroke of halftime. They never looked back, running up the score in the second half to earn a famous 51-31 victory.

That’s 82 points, folks, and that means one thing loud and clear: go ahead and pick the defending champs to win this one straight up, but the over-under is currently set at 54.5 at 888Sports. Bang that over!

The Chiefs, who have exactly zero players on their injury report entering Thursday night, are the ideal team to put on a show in the vertical passing game to set the tone for a new season so deeply threatened earlier in the year by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s incumbent upon head coach Andy Reid to open up the playbook and let Mahomes, Kelce, and game-breaker Tyreek Hill eat, and notably, that crew is only further bolstered by a skill player youth movement featuring second-year speedster Mecole Hardman and debutante Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the first running back off the board in April’s NFL Draft.

This could be the most talented Chiefs team we’ve ever seen.

Pick KC and watch them stack up points by the bushel.

Green Bay Packers (2.18) at Minnesota Vikings (1.70)

These two teams have hated each other for a long, long time, so they won’t be lacking for motivation when Sunday afternoon’s kickoff rolls around. If you buy the overall offseason buzz, you might be tempted to put the Packers and Vikings on even footing heading into Week 1. A closer look at the facts, however, makes the Packers not just a solid pick to win on the road, but an attractive point spread bet at SportsInteraction (SIA) at +2.5.

No offense to Minnesota, who deserve props for finagling a trade for star Jaguars pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, but their offseason is much more a story of subtraction than addition. They may very well round into form in due time, but trying to forge a new identity after saying goodbye to star receiver Stefon Diggs and three Pro Bowl defenders in Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, and Xavier Rhodes is not a recipe for success when Aaron Rodgers comes to town.

It’s got to be Green Bay in this one.

Baltimore Ravens (1.27) at Cleveland Browns (3.90)

Reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are most definitely still smarting from January’s upset special at the hands of the upstart Tennessee Titans, and will want to open up the 2020 regular season campaign with a demonstrative showing. The hometown Browns, however, must break in yet another head coach moving on from Freddie Kitchens following a single disappointing season in charge.

Neither of these things bodes well for Cleveland. They have a talented roster on paper, but don’t expect a repeat of their upset win over B-More from Week 4 of 2019. Rather, we should expect something much closer to Week 16’s 31-15 Ravens victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.

At +8 according to the top bookmakers, the Ravens ought to feel slighted by the current point spread — keep that in your back pocket.

It’s going to be Ravens all day long in the 216.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2.48) at New Orleans Saints (1.55)

The Saints may be opening up their 2020 campaign at home, but they’re far from the center of the fervor this time around. This is Tom Brady’s world, and the Tampa Bay Bucs’ new starting quarterback is assured to have his every throw, play action, instance of sideline body language examined to a microscopic level Sunday afternoon. As it stands, New Orleans is a -3.5 favorite at home, according to Bodog.

In picking this game, it comes down to whether you believe that the utterly mortal version of TB12 we saw in 2019 was largely a product of a lack of weapons out wide. He’ll have every chance to succeed now that he’s got a franchise deep threat in Mike Evans and a swift, versatile Chris Godwin to call upon. With that in mind, if you like the possibility for a nail-biter that goes down to the wire, Bucs +3.5 has to be on the table.

Overall, however, the Saints are the better team and are playing in the Dome. Expect them to get the W.

Tennessee Titans (1.71) at Denver Broncos (2.17)

The concerning foot injury suffered by longtime face of the Broncos Von Miller looms largest over this Monday nightcap, which shoved the line from a pick ’em to a slight edge in favor of the visiting Titans. This is surely an overstatement of the gravity of a single defensive player in a single NFL game, as well as an overreaction to the Titans’ improbable upsets against the Patriots and Ravens in last season’s playoffs.

One does not simply walk into Mile High and dictate terms. At the very least, consider throwing Denver into a teaser at William Hill, if you’re skittish about Drew Lock (or any team that hired Vic Fangio to call the shots, for that matter).

The Broncos are the sneaky pick Monday night.