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2022 NFL Week 1 Betting Guide

By Hank Blaine

NFL Week 1 doesn’t kick off until Thursday, Sep. 8 when preseason Super Bowl chalk Buffalo travels to SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles to take on the defending champion Rams. But although the season is more than a month from starting, it’s never too early to handicap 2022 NFL Week 1. Check out the things you must keep in mind in our Complete Betting Guide to NFL Week 1.

Complete Betting Guide for 2022 NFL Week 1

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Buffalo is an overlay at -1 on the road versus the Rams

Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen can take a game over with his arm or his feet. Allen is one of the most physically gifted athletes to ever play the quarterback position. So although the Rams continue to have a decent defense, they’ll have an issue stopping Allen from doing whatever he wants.

Von Miller now plays for Buffalo. Miller is going to be in Matthew Stafford’s face all day. The Bills will find a way to temper Aaron Donald’s impact. Bills easily cover the -1.

Not all week 1 rivalry games are the same

Don’t expect every rivalry game in NFL Week 1 to be a dogfight. Some games will go down to the final possession. Others should lead to blowout wins. The most competitive rivalry game pits the Packers versus the Vikings. Green Bay could struggle to get past Minnesota. The Vikings have a talented roster. New head coach Kevin O’Connell is a creative play caller.

O’Connell will devise a strategy to get the ball to wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and running back Dalvin Cook. On defense, the Vikings face Aaron Rodgers without a true WR1.

By contrast to Green Bay, the favored New Orleans Saints should drub the rival Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans’ roster is superior to Atlanta’s. The Falcons will struggle to keep up with a Saints’ offense that includes one of the best wide receiver units in the league.

Arizona’s game versus Kansas City could dictate the rest of the Cardinals’ season

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals must play their first six games without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Murray and the Cards can make a statement in week 1 by beating Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

The game happens on Zona’s field. A win could foreshadow a great Arizona season. A loss, especially a bad loss, could end the Cardinals’ season before it begins. That’s how mentally fragile the Desert Birds are.

Jacksonville versus Washington winner will be a contender in their division

One of the most important games in NFL Week 1 involves the Washington Commanders and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams made massive changes this past offseason. But the jury is out as to whether the changes will matter.

The team that wins this AFC versus NFC clash should be on the road to challenging for their division title. The loser could be on the road to finishing last in their division. So pay attention to Jags versu Commanders.

At -2, Tampa Bay is an underlay versus the Dallas Cowboys

It’s difficult to understand why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are road favorites agianst the Dallas Cowboys. Tom Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but the Cowboys’ defense is tight and the Bucs’ offensive line is much different in 2022 than it was in 2021.

Also, Dak Prescott should have no trouble moving the ball against Tampa’s D. The spread line should be reversed. So if you don’t want to wait and you can find a moneyline, back the Boys.

The New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, and Houston Texans are home dogs to consider backing

The Jets, Panthers, and Texans not only have a shot to cover spreads as home underdogs, but each can upset their more high-profile week 1 opponents. NYJ takes on the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets will be much better in 2022 than they were in 2021. The Jets drafted three impact players in the first round: corner Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, wideout Garrett Wilson, and defensive end Jermaine Johnson.

All three could start. Not only that, but the Jets also drafted freak running back Breece Hall. Don’t be surprised when J-E-T-S upsets Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on the moneyline.

Panthers hosts the Cleveland Browns. There’s a good chance Cleveland heads to Carolina without Deshaun Watson. The Panthers started last season winning their first three games. So Carolina does have talent and if Matt Rhule starts Baker Mayfield, the Panthers could be a surprise squad this season.

On paper, Houston is the worst team in the NFL. The roster, though, may not be as bad as people think. Davis Mills played well last season, Marlon Mack is a good running back, and Brandin Cooks is a good wide receiver. If the offensive line plays well, the Texans will have a shot to upset the Indianapolis Colts. Give Houston a look before dumping on Indy to cover.

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*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.