2021 NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 1

The 2021 NFL Season gets started tonight with the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers facing off with the Dallas Cowboys. The start of a new season means we can settle in for 5 plus months of betting NFL. Each week, Aaron Marcotte and I will be here with NFL Picks against the spread.

For Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season we have 6 picks for you. As Aaron and I do these picks separately we never know which teams the other will side with. We are going heads up with one selection for Week 1. Outside of that we have 5 other games for you to target.

As always, don’t bet more than you’re willing to lose and keep it fun. Good luck this week!

Kyle’s Picks

New Orleans Saints +4.5 vs Green Bay Packers

The death of the New Orleans Saints post noodle arm Drew Brees has been vastly overstated this season. This is still a team with enough talent on both sides of the ball to be very competitive this season. The offensive line may be among the best in the league.

Can Jameis Winston throw New Orleans out of games? Absolutely, but he can also throw that back into games too. The subtraction of Latavius Murray is actually a good thing for the Saints assuming that production falls into the lap of Alvin Kamara.

On the Green Bay side, they have the vast majority of their roster back from this season. We shall see if it can be as dominant as a season ago.

Even with this game not being played in the Superdome, the Saints are simply getting too many points. Take the “home team” in this spot and back New Orleans.

Pick: New Orleans Saints +4.5

Las Vegas Raiders + 4.5 vs Baltimore Ravens

This game might be my favorite of the Week 1 slate. Are the Raiders good? No, not really but that’s not really the point. Remember, the 1 win Jaguars beat a playoff bound Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 last season.

Primetime home underdogs are one of my favorite targets especially when that team is playing their first home game in their new stadium.

Baltimore is getting 70% of the bets per Action Network and that number could grow as more of the public gets involved or as people chase their Sunday losses for a Monday “lock”.

The Raiders are poised to rise up and get a team that should be in the playoff mix come season’s end. I would not only look at backing the Raiders with the points but would look to get involved on the moneyline.

Pick: Las Vegas Raiders +4.5

New England Patriots vs Miami Dolphins OVER 43.5

This total is incredibly compelling. Both offenses took huge strides in the offseason that should parlay into on the field success. Miami gave Tua Tagovialoa all the weapons to thrive this season with a multitude of pass catchers like Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle. Even if Fuller can’t go in this spot, Mike Gesicki and Devante Parker should be more than enough to help keep pace on the Miami side.

On the Patriots end, the Mac Jones era gets started in full this week. He looked every bit the part throughout the preseason. Adding Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne should help a group of pass catchers that was lackluster outside of Jakobi Meyers.

Both of these defenses have the ability to create turnovers and either score themselves or set up their offense with a short field.

All of these factors point to a higher scoring affair than the line indicates. Take the over in this spot.

Pick: Dolphins at Patriots OVER 43.5

Aaron’s Picks

Kansas City Chiefs -6 vs. Cleveland Browns

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the Browns this offseason. While I buy into most of it, I don’t think they are competing with one of the best teams in the league right out of the gate.

Arrowhead is notoriously hard to play at, the Chiefs should be at full strength, and everyone knows the offense well enough to click immediately.

The Browns enter year 2 of the Stefanski/Van Pelt experiment, which showed some promise last year but was predominantly one-dimensional with the run. News flash – you have to pass to beat the Chiefs! And you have to throw the ball a lot to keep up with their offense.

If KC gets out to an early lead, and the Browns abandon the run game, they don’t stand a chance keeping this within 1 TD. Go with what you (think you) know in week 1.

Pick: Kansas City Chiefs -6

Green Bay Packers -4.5 @ New Orleans Saints

Aaron Rodgers and Company, the same old crew, versus a re-tooled New Orleans team without Drew Brees and Michael Thomas… umm, 4.5 points is generous only because this game is in New Orleans.

Oh, wait, no it’s not! The Saints won’t be playing any true home games early on due to the hurricane, so they are essentially losing the only advantage they had in this game.

I don’t think the Saints will be bad this year, but they are going to need some time to accommodate to life without Brees. It’s been a while!

The Packers are a Top 5 favorite to win the Super Bowl at (+1300) while the Saints are sitting at +3000 (generous in my opinion). Put your money on the much better team at this stage of the season.

Pick: Packers -4.5

Houston Texans +3 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

This one is just a clear public fade. August was “The Texans are the worst team in the league” month, and while likely true, they are going up against 2020’s worst team in the league. They still have a very veteran squad while the Jags are an extremely young team with a 1st time NFL coach calling the shots.

I don’t expect this to be a pretty game by any means, but I do expect a fair amount of points and for the home team to take this one.

Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence will figure things out, but #1 overall QB’s are typically not great in their first game. They are 3-11-1 ATS since 2000 and their last win was David Carr back in 2002 per @LordReebs on Twitter. Play the odds and the seniority of the Texans squad.

Pick: Houston Texans +3

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