The NFL is back with a slew of games on Sunday. Here are our expert betting tips for NFL Week 1
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1. San Francisco 49ers (-9) in spread (-105) against Detroit Lions
The San Francisco 49ers made it to the Super Bowl 18 months ago but failed to make the playoffs last season. Kyle Shanahan’s team was exhausted from injury in 2020 and missed big starters like QB Jimmy Garoppolo, DL Nick Bosa, RB Raheem Mostert and WR Deebo Samuel (among others!) For much of the year.
These players are now fit and ready to fire again; the 49ers added some great talent during the draft; The running game looked exceptional last season, and now that everyone is fit and healthy again, it’s hard to argue for anything other than the 49ers big win. Especially since the Lions lost Kenny Golladay in the free hand and, in our opinion, swapped down when they sent Matthew Stafford to the LA Rams and got Jared Goff in return.
Even when they’re on the move, expect a comfortable win for the 49ers.
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2.Minnesota Vikings beat Cincinnati Bengals -5.5 in spread (+125)
Cincinnati had issues across the field during the 2020-21 season, and from what we saw in the preseason, it doesn’t seem that many of them have been addressed:
QB Joe Burrow did a total of three reps on the turf after returning from his injury and is an unknown quantity ahead of Sunday. Rookie WR Ja’Marr Chase struggled to catch the football the preseason and looked like a man who, due to COVID concerns, suspended the previous campaign, which he did. Plus, skipping Penei Sewell still seems like a bad decision as the offensive line continues to offer minimal protection to her QB. There’s not much to say about the preseason, but any expert still has concerns about the Bengals’ ability to survive the shelter.
With the Vikings, however, Dalvin Cook will again lead the floor game. Cook ran 1,557 yards last season and looks to continue his hot form this year. Plus, Kirk Cousins has two of the elite recipients of the games he can target in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson. In our opinion, the Vikings are currently at the next stage in their development.
+125 chances of winning on Vikings with more than 5.5 points make perfect sense
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3. Arizona Cardinals +3 to the spread (-115) against the Tennessee Titans
With the addition of WR Julio Jones in the offseason to complement WR AJ Brown and RB Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans now boast one of the NFL’s elite offensives – they’ll be a tough matchup for everyone.
AJ Brown hasn’t trained this week due to an injury, however, and no one is really sure how fit Julio Jones is – the former Falcon spent most of last season at IR, which tells us the Titans may be overrated this early season especially against another exceptional offensive team of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals have their own stars in QB Kyler Murray and WR DeAndre Hopkins, not to mention our pick for the breakout rookie star in WR Rondale Moore (check out this section) who are more than capable of one worry middle titans secondary. The Cardinals also added JJ Watt to their ranks 3x NFL Defensive Player of the Year during the offseason.
This game itself is probably more even than the odds makers have it, and the Cardinals of making a surprise or losing a nail bite at -115 seems like a good value bet.
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4. Los Angeles Rams -9 in the spread (+105) against Chicago Bears
Last season, the LA Rams (and the Chargers) had to endure the agony of moving to one of the most modern elite stadiums in the world – SoFi – just to play in front of zero fans all year long.
With Matthew Stafford now calling Rams trainer Sean McVay at the quarterback, NFC West is on alert. LA already boasted elite defense and great receivers with Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. Now, with a gunslinger in its pocket, the offense seems poised to take the next step.
It still doesn’t look like the Chicago Bears players or fans still bought into Matt Nagy’s football brand. The bears don’t seem to know who their QB is; They were pathetic in pre-season, and we just think the Rams fans could expect a long overdue soccer celebration in beautiful SoFi.
Rams to cram Andy Dalton and the Bears -9 on the spread.
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Green Bay Packers -3.5 in spread (-115) vs. Saints of New Orleans
Forget all the babble about Jameis Winston at QB – with the exception of Marshon Lattimore, the New Orleans Secondary (especially the CBs) are an unknown quantity that will be an unknown this season and could be cause for concern for coach Sean Payton.
The Saints added Paulson Adebo in the 2021 NFL Draft and made two trades this week for CBs Bradley Roby and Desmond Trufant. But it’s too likely that it’s too little, too late against NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the league’s best WR at Davante Adams.
The saints are rarely blown out, mind you. Coach Peyton’s men are likely to keep this game competitive. Hence, Packers -3.5 looks just right on the spread.
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