NFL teams will begin reporting to training camp in a little over a month and Week 1 of the regular season is less than three months away. One of the most interesting opening matchups is Cleveland at Carolina, with the Browns as 3-point favorites. here everything for your NFL Odds.
Betting Guide for NFL Week 1
Who will be the Browns’ starting quarterback? Baker Mayfield is still on the team but it’s only a matter of time before the former Heisman winner and No. 1 overall pick is traded – perhaps to the Panthers. Mayfield is owed just under $19 million for the 2022 season, and how much of his salary Cleveland is willing to pay has been a huge roadblock when it comes to potential trades. The latest rumors are that the Browns are willing to eat half his salary.
The Panthers continue to be a potential landing spot for Mayfield because of the uncertainty surrounding Sam Darnold, while the Seattle Seahawks — which are still figuring out their situation at QB between Drew Lock and Geno Smith — are also in the mix.
Of course, the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason and handed him the largest guaranteed contract in NFL history but there’s no way that Watson isn’t suspended for at least four games for all his off-field issues – he could be suspended the entire season. Two grand juries in Texas declined to indict Watson on criminal charges but the number of cases has since grown to 24. A league suspension could come soon for violation of its personal conduct policy.
Thus, the Week 1 starter likely will be Jacoby Brissett. Brissett came to the Browns after a season with the Miami Dolphins, in which he went 2-3 as a starter in place of Tua Tagovailoa. He completed 141-of-225 (62.7%) of his passes for 1,283 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions.
“I do have confidence in Jacoby,” Coach Kevin Stefanski said during minicamp. “He has played a lot of football for a young player. He is a smart player. He takes care of the football. Good size, can make all of the throws and those type of things.”
The marquee game of Week 1 is the Thursday night Kickoff Game as the Buffalo Bills visit the Los Angeles Rams in a possible Super Bowl 57 preview. The Rams of course are defending Super Bowl champions. It’s the first time Buffalo and the Rams will take part in the league opening Thursday game.
It will be the first meeting between the two clubs since the 2020 season when the Bills beat the Rams in a barn burner of a game 35-32. Josh Allen threw a game-winning touchdown pass to Tyler Kroft with 15 seconds left in regulation. This game also marks the first for Buffalo free agent signing Von Miller in a Bills uniform. And Miller will do it against a Rams team he helped win a Super Bowl on their home field. The game is a pick’em.
The biggest Week 1 spread is Indianapolis giving 8 points at Houston in what will be the Colts debut of former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. In his final season with the Falcons, Ryan had 3,968 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Ryan’s résumé is loaded with plenty of individual career success: 59,735 pass yards, 367 touchdowns, four Pro Bowls and 2016 NFL MVP.
For Coach Frank Reich, adjusting to a new quarterback is nothing new, because he has had a different Week 1 starter each season since he was hired by the Colts in 2018. Ryan had only three head coaches in his 14 seasons with the Falcons.
“I’ve really enjoyed spending time with [Reich] in the meeting room, getting a feel for his philosophy as a coach and the things that he believes in,” Ryan said. “Getting to know him as a person, you’re not going to find a better person than him. I really feel like we’ve made a lot of good strides in the last two months in terms of getting on the same page and communicating.”
Week 1 concludes on Monday night with Denver visiting Seattle in Russell Wilson’s return to the Pacific Northwest. Wilson wanted to win another Super Bowl, which is why he chose the Broncos in the first place. He wouldn’t have facilitated a trade to Denver if that wasn’t the case.
The Broncos are one of the prestigious franchises in the NFL, but their six-year playoff drought is the second-longest in the league. During the stretch, the Broncos have posted only one winning record (9-7 in 2016) and they are mired in a stretch of five straight losing seasons. Denver is a 4-point favorite. Seattle will have a training camp battle between Drew Lock and Geno Smith for its QB job.
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