The opening week of the 2021 NFL season is upon us and will arrive on Thursday night. The season will get rolling with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers unfurling the championship banner before taking on the Dallas Cowboys in what should be an entertaining season opener. With the games now just a matter of a few days away, it’s time to start thinking about how to wager on the Week 1 games. We are going to try and cover all the bases throughout the next couple of days, but we are going to get the ball rolling by picking out 3 games against the spread that we really like. I am going to be skipping the Thursday game and looking ahead to the weekend for these 3 NFL Betting picks, so let’s get right to it.
Week 1 ATS Picks for the 2021 Season | NFL Betting
Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Houston Texans
For fans in Jacksonville, the hope is that their team is on the path to building something special. They have a new coaching staff in place, as well as a young QB who has the potential to be something very special in the NFL. Perhaps best of all, they have a schedule in the early weeks of the season that will give them a legitimate shot at building some momentum. For the opening week of the season, they will hit the road to face a Houston Texans franchise that is in some serious turmoil. The Texans just announced that Tyrod Taylor will get the start at QB in Week 1, which is probably not what they had hoped for heading into the season. I think we can throw out all the past ATS trends for this one and take the Jaguars to cover in a low-scoring affair.
San Francisco 49ers (-7 ½) at Detroit Lions
It was a down season for the 49ers in 2020, mostly because they were absolutely hammered by the injury bug. While they spent much of the offseason seemingly deciding which way to go at QB, Jimmy G remains, while rookie Trey Lance will be waiting for his shot. In Detroit, the Lions traded away Matthew Stafford, the best player on their roster for more than a decade, in exchange for Jared Goff. Other than just that move, there are a lot of reasons why this figures to be another long season for the Lions. The 49ers have had some success on the road in the Motor City, covering the spread in 4 of their last 6 visits. You also need to consider that the Lions are also just 2-4 ATS in their last 6 opening week games.
Green Bay Packers (-4 ½) at New Orleans Saints
On paper, this looks like one of the best matchups of the opening weekend, but you do also have to wonder if this one is going to be as close as a lot of people seem to think it will be. The Packers were given a boost this offseason with the return of Aaron Packers after a holdout that looked like it might end with him moving on. In New Orleans, the Saints are looking to begin life without Drew Brees under center. They will start the season with Jameis Winston as their starter, which does not fill me with a ton of confidence, while also being one of the reasons I am leaning towards the Packers here. It also helps that Green Bay is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games played in the month of September.