We are now just one day away from the official start of the 2021 NFL season, which is fantastic news for those of us who live and breathe football. Thursday night will see the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a party that they hope will end with a win over the Dallas Cowboys. I would certainly bet on that happening, but I am not including that pick in our SU picks for Week 1 of the season. I like to go with games that the bookies see as a little tighter than most, as it helps with the potential ROI, especially of you are playing a parlay. You could, of course, put a game that looks like a lock in there to help with your chances of cashing out, which is not a bad idea in the early part of the season. With that in mind, let’s get to our SU picks for Week 1 so you can get ready to make your bets against the NFL odds.
NFL Betting | Straight-Up Picks for Week 1 of the 2021 Season
Carolina Panthers over New York Jets
Given how these two teams have performed over the last few seasons, this might be a game that you might ordinarily pass on. Former Jets QB Sam Darnold making his debut for the Panthers against his old team makes it a bit of a must watch. While Darnold struggled in New York, the reality is that he did not exactly have a supporting cast helping him out. He has a ton more weapons in Carolina, including Christian McCaffrey, who is healthy and ready to go. The Jets will have their rookie QB making his first ever NFL start, which is a bonus for a Panthers defense that looks pretty weak. The Panthers are better than the Jets on the offensive side of the football, which should make the difference here. Carolina is also 7-0 SU in their last 7 versus teams from the NFC East.
Atlanta Falcons over Philadelphia Eagles
Both of these teams can be considered to be in a rebuilding or transitional phase, so it’s tough to know what to really expect from either of them. The Falcons were rumored to be moving on from Matt Ryan in the offseason, but the veteran QB is back, albeit without Julio Jones as a target. In Philly, they have opted to give the starting job to Jalen Hurts, who certainly looked the part at times last season. That said, the Eagles look to have holes on both sides of the football. I don’t see either of these teams as viable playoff contenders but getting off to a winning start might help build some confidence. I am giving the slight edge to Atlanta at home here.
Denver Broncos over New York Giants
This is another matchup that doesn’t exactly jump off the page when looking at the schedule, but I still think it offers a good SU betting opportunity. Not entirely pleased with what they saw from Drew Lock, the Broncos went out and acquired the services of Teddy Bridgewater, who looked very good on a very weak Panthers team last season. In New York, this might prove to be a make-or-break year for QB Daniel Green. He should have Saquon Barkley back on Sunday, but there are still some doubts as to how much playing time the RB might see in Week 1. I think the Broncos just have a little advantage on the offense, which is why I am on them to win.