The 200-day wait since the end of the Super Bowl and the regular season has finally arrived.
With the 290,000 long minutes behind us, fans can now start setting their sights on this season’s expectations. It’s a blank page for every NFL team and every organization will begin their journey to achieve their respective goals. With a full 16-game slate, there’s plenty of room for opportunity and here’s a look at the best value available to get this season off to a good start.
⚡ NFL Quick Picks for Week 1
- Commanders (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals: (-110) with DraftKings
- Under 41.5- 49ers vs Steelers: (-112) with PariRivers
- Browns (+2.5) vs. Bengals: (-110) to Unibet
Commanders (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals: (-110) with DraftKings
It’s been a while since there’s been this level of excitement around the Washington Football franchise. Their 8-8-1 record last season left a solid foundation to build on and the bigger storyline is the franchise changing hands in the offseason. For years, Washington fans have been asking Daniel Snyder to “sell the team” and finally, their wish has been granted. With Josh Harris now in charge, there is high excitement, as evidenced by the sold-out crowd after recording the lowest attendance numbers in the NFL last season.
It all lines up as the modest Arizona Cardinals team travels to Washington to take on the Commanders. The Cardinals have a ton of questions heading into the season, including who will play quarterback. First-year head coach Jonathan Gannon has yet to officially name a starter for the team after releasing Colt McCoy in the latest round of cuts. Joshua Dobbs is expected to be the starting signalman after Arizona traded with the Browns to add the 28-year-old just 24 days before kickoff. Gannon has many concerns as a first-time head coach. The former Eagles defensive coordinator was widely blamed for last year’s Super Bowl loss and every clip that has circulated on social media has painted Gannon in a bad light. Even if his motivational tools were effective, it’s hard to imagine things going well with the Arizona pedestrian roster.
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In the end, the stars seem to align for a convincing Commanders victory. They have a fuller roster on both sides of the ball, and while their cap as a team is limited, there aren’t any massive holes to fill. Generally, FedEx Field is taken over by its opponent, but don’t expect that to be the case against this team from Arizona. Expect a strong showing in the first game of this new era of football from the Commanders and them picking up a double-digit victory. Be sure to capitalize on the 7 point gap on DraftKings and wait until week 2 for a better measure of how good this squad of commanders really is.
🏈 Capitalize on the 7 point spread with DraftKings 🏈
Under 41.5- 49ers vs. Steelers: (-112) with BetRivers
The old adage says defenses win championships and these are two franchises that have fully embraced it. San Francisco has almost found that success lately by advancing to the conference championship the past two seasons with two different quarterbacks under center. They’ve now fully invested in Brock Purdy, as evidenced by their recent decision to trade Trey Lance to the Cowboys for just a 4th round pick. Although the 49ers have never lost a game Purdy has started and finished healthy, the eight-game sample size does not guarantee his future as a starter. Even on those team wins, it was the defense that ran the ship. San Francisco led the NFL in allowing just 16.3 points per game last season and secured another dominating group by recently signing Nick Bosa in a lucrative deal to end its resistance.
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Even though the Steelers’ defense hasn’t been as dominant as in previous years, their offensive output has been far less inspiring. In 2022, Pittsburgh ranked 26th in the league in scoring just 18.1 points per game. There’s a lot of hope that sophomore quarterback Kenny Pickett will take a step forward in his development, but he faces a tough task against this San Francisco defense. Pittsburg managed to win its final four games of the season last year to go 9-8 and keep Mike Tomlin’s 16-year streak alive.
Expect this game to be an old-school brawl with both teams working to score points. It may not be the top-flight football that many fans desire, but the betting slips still matter. Jump on the under 41.5 at odds of -112 on BetRivers and maybe do yourself a favor by keeping the TV on NFL Redzone.
🏈 Bet on less than 41.5 at BetRivers 🏈
Browns (+2.5) against Bengals: (-110) at Unibet
Since 2015, the division underdogs are 31-12-1 ATS in Week 1 games. In this AFC North game, the Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns. , with both teams having a lot to prove this year. Joe Burrow is still unsure whether to play following the calf injury he suffered at the start of training camp. Missing time in training camp is nothing new for Burrow as he has been unable to play due to a torn ACL and appendicitis the past two seasons. However, last season the Bengals lost their first two games and went 2-3 in their first five games. While they were able to right the ship and make the playoffs, the lack of preseason reps with Burrow will be a hurdle they’ll have to try and get over again this year.
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After a 7-10 season in which they largely disappointed, a strong start to the season is needed for this Browns team. Deshaun Watson has a huge year of proof ahead and should be determined to make a statement in his second season with the Browns. While playing just six games and having a year of rust may give him an extra leash in some people’s minds, he should be focused on the laser heading into week one. Cleveland has a team capable of making the playoffs and if they want to. to give themselves a chance, they cannot afford to waste this opportunity. The Cleveland Dawg Pound will be loud and active and ready to jump on any signs of life the team can give them. It’s fair to approach the season with a “show me” mentality regarding the Browns, but the circumstances are in their favor to kick off the season.
While it would be a different conversation if Burrow was 100 percent, the Browns should be prepared for whatever version of him enters the court. Cincinnati got off to a slow start last year under similar circumstances and the same could happen this year. Jumping on the moneyline is a more than fair option, but I would recommend taking the +2.5 spread on Unibet to give a little extra wiggle room. Expect it to be a close game and watch out for Cleveland as one of the most boom-or-bust teams this season.
🏈 Take the spread +2.5 at Unibet 🏈
⭐ Best online sports betting for the NFL
If you are looking for the best NFL betting sites, look no further. Here are the top sportsbooks that we can easily recommend to NFL fans in the United States.
- DraftKings (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, VA, WV)
- BetMGM (Available in: AZ, CO, FL, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, MD, MA, MI, MS, NV, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, PR, TN, VA, WA, WV and WY)
- PariRivers (Available in: AZ, CO, CT, IL, IN, IA, LA, MD, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA, VA, WV and WY)
- Unibet (Available in: AZ, IN, IA, NJ, PA and VA)
- desert diamond (Available in: A-Z)
- Betway (Available in: AI)
About the Author
Sean Barnard has worked in sports media for five years. He spent time as the 76ers Senior Writer for Philly Sports Network, Associate Writer at CluchPoints, Eagles Beat Reporter for YardBarker, and more. He also owns and operates his own podcast network called Pick Swap Media and is a radio host on Fox 102.5 The Gambler presented by iHeartMedia. Sean has written over 1,500 articles and recorded over 500 podcasts and is just getting started. Based in the Philadelphia area of the United States, Sean is a lifelong sports enthusiast who can be contacted on Twitter at @Sean_Barnard1 where he chronicles basketball breakdowns and other news.
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