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2021 NFL Preseason Week 1 Preview, Odds and Picks

By Hank Blaine

There is already one NFL preseason game in the books, but the official Week 1 of the exhibition slate kicks off this week with every team in action – there are games each day Thursday through Sunday. Here’s a look at a few of the more interesting ones with the NFL odds.

Be sure to check out the latest 2021 NFL odds and lines at our online Bitcoin sportsbook before placing your bets this season!

2021 NFL Preseason Week 1 Odds

  • Washington Football Team (-2) vs. Patriots
  • Steelers vs. Eagles (-1)
  • Titans vs. Falcons (Pick’Em)
  • Bills (-2) vs. Lions
  • Cowboys vs. Cardinals (-1)
  • Dolphins vs. Bears (-3.5)
  • Broncos (-1.5) vs. Vikings
  • Saints vs. Ravens (-3)
  • Browns vs. Jaguars (-1.5)
  • Jets (-1) vs. Giants
  • Bengals vs. Buccaneers (-6)
  • Texans vs. Packers (-3)
  • Chiefs vs. 49ers (-2.5)
  • Seahawks vs. Raiders (-1.5)
  • Chargers (-4) vs. Rams
  • Panthers vs. Colts (-1.5)

Top 2021 NFL Week 1 Preseason Games to Bet On

Steelers at Eagles

  • When: Thursday, August 12th, 7:30pm ET
  • Where: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2021 NFL Preseason Odds: Philadelphia Eagles -1

Pittsburgh opened the preseason with a very ugly 16-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game last Thursday. Mason Rudolph got the start at quarterback as he attempts to win the backup job behind Ben Roethlisberger – not clear yet if Big Ben will play in this game as he didn’t in the opener. The Steelers briefly used such regulars as receivers Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson, linebacker Alex Highsmith and cornerback Cameron Sutton.

One guy who won’t play is superstar linebacker TJ Watt. He’s holding out of training camp until he gets a contract extension. Watt is in the final year of his contract, playing on the fifth-year team option worth a guaranteed $10.089 million. Watt has 49.5 sacks in four seasons and has been a first-team All-Pro back-to-back years.

This will be the Eagles head coaching debut of Nick Sirianni, the former Colts offensive coordinator. He has yet to name a starting quarterback for the season but it would be a stunner if it’s not Jalen Hurts. I’d expect he plays a bit in this one. Hurts isn’t having a great camp by all reports. His backup is Joe Flacco.

The Eagles remain without first-round rookie receiver DeVonta Smith, last year’s Heisman winner at Alabama. He’s dealing with an MCL injury and probably will miss the entire preseason. Last year, during his Heisman campaign, Smith finished with 117 catches, 1,856 yards, 23 touchdowns and 15.9 yards per catch.

NFL Betting Pick: Philadelphia Eagles

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Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons

  • When: Friday, August 13th, 7pm ET
  • Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
  • 2021 NFL Preseason Odds: Pick’Em

It’s the Falcons head coaching debut of Arthur Smith, who was the Titans’ offensive coordinator. Though he was the franchise’s top target, Smith was one of seven coaching candidates considered by Atlanta after the Falcons fired Dan Quinn during last season. Under the Smith umbrella, the Titans were the only team in the NFL that ranked in the top five in rushing yards per game (153.5) and passer rating (107.0) since 2019.

Of course, these teams made a big trade this offseason with the Falcons sending future Hall of Fame receiver Julio Jones to Tennessee. Atlanta shipped Jones and a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for 2022 second-round and 2023 fourth-round selections. The 32-year-old Jones had made five consecutive All-Pro teams prior to laboring through a 2020 campaign on a strained hamstring.

Despite appearing in only nine games, he still collected 51 catches for 771 yards, his 15.1 yards per catch right in line with his career average (15.2). However, Jones is currently dealing with a minor leg injury so most likely won’t play this game or perhaps at all in the preseason.

NFL Betting Pick: Tennessee Titans

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • When: Saturday, August 14th, 7:30pm ET
  • Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
  • 2021 NFL Preseason Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6

Tampa Bay takes the field for the first time since beating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55, also at Raymond James Stadium. It is believed that Tom Brady will play for the Bucs, but it absolutely won’t be for very long. Coach Bruce Arians was asked about Brady specifically and responded that “everyone” would play. It would be Brady’s first-ever preseason game with the Bucs because there was no preseason in 2020. Arians did play most of his starters (including Jameis Winston) in the 2019 exhibition opener.

Cincinnati starting QB Joe Burrow and top running back Joe Mixon will both sit this one out. Burrow had his excellent season cut short by a knee injury and while he’s healed from that, the team wants to play it cautious. Burrow has made it clear that he wants to play in the preseason at some point, but it’s not really up to him. Burrow has struggled badly with interceptions and inconsistency in training camp.

Brandon Allen should draw the start versus Tampa Bay. Samaje Perine and rookie Chris Evans should see the majority of carries against the Bucs in place of Mixon, who is fine health-wise.

NFL Betting Pick: Cincinnati Bengals